The Mazda CX-7 is a mid-size crossover SUV produced by Mazda from 2006 until 2012. This car was Mazda’s first mid-size SUV since the Navajo discontinued production 12 years earlier and was shown publicly for the first time at a car show at the beginning of 2006. Despite the popularity of this car, the prevalence of Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems may deter car owners from purchasing this vehicle.
Situated below the Mazda CX-9 on the sizing scale, this vehicle shared the Ford C1 platform used in the Focus and Mazda3 vehicles. Utilizing a front-engine, front-wheel-drive, or front-engine, all-wheel-drive, this car was popular until its discontinuation in mid-2012.
The Mazda CX-7 used a 2.3-liter MZR L3 turbo l4 gasoline, 2.5-liter MZR L5 l4 gasoline, or 2.2-liter MZR-CD l4 diesel engine throughout the years. It also had either a 6-seed F21 automatic, 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission depending on the buyer’s preferences.
Despite the various engines and transmission offered throughout the sixth year of production, this car model had its fair share of Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems. Let’s see the function of the head gasket, the worst Mazda CX-7 production years, the overall head gasket repair cost, and the signs of a faulty head gasket in your vehicle.
What is a Head Gasket?
The head gasket is a circular-shaped panel located between the cylinder head and engine block. The cylinder head sits above the cylinder block, helping to form the closure on the top of the combustion chamber. The upper part of the engine is the cylinder head, while the lower part is the engine block.
The engine block contains all of the major components of the bottom of your car's motor. This is when combustion occurs in an internal combustion engine and houses important components like the crankshaft.
As you can see, the head gasket, cylinder head, and engine block help make the engine run. Without these three components, your car would not be able to drive, and you’d have numerous Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems.
Mazda CX-7 Engine Problems
When looking at where the Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems originate, most issues start in the engine. The worst model years of the Mazda CX-7 in terms of reliability, durability, owner confidence, and issue severity are the 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011 options.
2007 Mazda CX-7
The 2007 Mazda CX-7 has been the subject of issues with the variable valve timing and the timing chain causing damage to the engine. The design used in this specific car model and year means that the variable valve timing chain needs to be frequently replaced, causing irreversible engine damage if the repair does not take place.
Due to the frequent Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems, owners will often have to repair the engine at a very low mileage – and costing them nearly $9,000 in the process.
The most common engine concerns in the 2007 Mazda CX-7 focus on the engine timing chain failing, the turbo going out, head gasket problems, the car losing power while driving, a ticking noise, the timing chain breaking, and the check engine light turning on. For owners to fix the Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems, they will have to pay around $2,700 to replace the head gasket at around 80,000 miles.
2008 Mazda CX-7
The 2008 Mazda CX-7 has its fair share of engine problems, with the most common issues focusing on engine failure, turbocharger failure, the check engine light coming on, and a blown head gasket. Fixing the blown head gasket is expensive for owners, costing around $1,500 to repair the head gasket at nearly 120,000 miles.
2010 Mazda CX-7
The 2010 Mazda CX-7 has the same engine defects as the previous model years, with variable valve timing and timing chain failure, turbo failure, and head gasket concerns. If the Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems lead to a damaged engine, the replacement cost is around $9,000.
The top engine concerns focus on the turbo failing, engine failure, VVT breaking, the car jerking, and head gasket failure. Repairing the head gasket in the 2010 Mazda CX-7 is around $1,500.
2011 Mazda CX-7
The final model of the Mazda CX-7 that has the most Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems is the 2011 year, with this car getting the best rating out of the previous four in terms of reliability and confidence rating. However, despite the improvement, owners still complain of the car vibrating while driving and head gasket concerns.
Signs of a Blown Mazda CX-7 Head Gasket
One common symptom of Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems is pre-ignition concerns. If the combustion timing is not firing at the correct rate, it can put too much pressure on the cylinder head and lead to head gasket malfunctions.
This cylinder head problem can lead to premature head gasket failure. If this happens, drivers might notice a rough idle, the car running roughly, a reduced engine performance, and concerns when you first start your car or idling. If you notice concerns with your engine’s performance and lifespan, this can be a clear symptom of Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems.
Furthermore, drivers may notice low coolant levels. A faulty head gasket or damaged part can cause coolant to leak out of the system, leading to coolant pooling under the vehicle. Low coolant levels will cause an increased engine temperature, increased friction, overheating, and frequent Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems.
In addition, if you notice discolored oil in your vehicle, you will notice other Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems. The discoloration results from coolant inappropriately mixing with motor oil while being held in the engine, resulting in a milk-like color. Noticing any discolored oil can alert you to head gasket issues and a higher head gasket repair cost in your car.
Mazda CX-7 Head Gasket Repair Cost
Calculating how much you will pay for a head gasket repair cost depends on the specific year of the Mazda CX-7 you own. Unfortunately, this repair or replacement can be quite costly for any driver. The total price depends on your mechanic, the frequency of Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems, and the cost of the parts.
The average cost for a Mazda CX-7 head gasket replacement typically runs between $1,351 and $1,709 on average for both the cost of the parts and the cost of the labor. The labor costs are estimated between $1,118 and $1,410, while the parts are much less expensive at between $233 and $299.
Once you have a blown head gasket, you have a few different ways to proceed. The first option is to fix the problem and sell your car for parts – you can usually sell an old scrap vehicle or pre-used car at a local shop. Or you can use CashCarsBuyer to get the most bang for your buck and use trusted agents who will keep you informed every step of the way.
The other option is to address the Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems, fix the issue, and keep the vehicle. Although paying for a head gasket replacement can be very expensive, if your car is in good working condition, it can be worth it to fork over the cash.
Mazda CX-7 Head Gasket Parts
When fixing your head gasket problems, you need to purchase some pats in order to carry out the necessary head gasket replacement at home or your local mechanic’s shop.
The first option you can choose is the FEEL-PRO Head Gasket 26407PT, with this part offering 100% vehicle sealing with specific materials to ensure the head gasket remains durable over the years. This product can accommodate multiple layers of stainless steel, eliminates any leak paths, and works well with high cylinder pressures to keep the Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems to a minimum.
You can use a second option to fix your Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems is the Mahle Original Head Gasket Set HS54770. This product is OEM certified, contains all gaskets and seals required to remove a cylinder head, and utilizes OE equivalent or better materials in every single product. This is a high-quality and foolproof option that can keep your Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems to a minimum.
The final choice you can use to remedy Mazda CX-7 head gasket problems is the Victor Reinz Head Gasket Set. This set lasts a very long time, protecting the head gasket against fuel, oil, anti-freeze, and water. Providing OR-proven strength and high-temperature resistance, this option is one of the best choices to prevent any further Mazda CX-7 problems.
The Bottom Line
Recognizing the most common head gasket problems that you may find in your Mazda CX-7 can help you keep repair costs as low as possible and prevent these issues from occurring again in your car.