My 24 year old daughter has a three year old Mazda CX7. Nice enough car but it has always given lousy gas mileage.
Last week she had a very traumatic day of driving. Within an hours time: a rock, not a little stone, hit and smashed her windshield while she was on an Interstate; a short while later she was pulled over by the State Police. Stressful enough because she was actually slightly under the speed limit. The Trooper told her her car was on fire. Fortunately, on inspection it was found to not be on fire. But a huge amount of smoke was coming from it and that caught the Troopers attention. What happened was her a/c compressor had frozen and the belt kept being pulled around the pulley.
Stuck on the highway (thank goodness for cell phones) she called us to express panic; a friend to pick her up and a tow truck to take to the nearest Mazda dealer.
With some Googling we found that many-many complaints had been filed with Mazda for the identical problem. And all of them were right at 45,000 miles, just what her car has.
Windshield $250.00 to replace; a/c and belt $850.00.
Then, when fixed she found she was getting much-much better gas mileage. Before the a/c was changed, in other words the entire time she owned the car, it had given really poor mileage.
This indicates to non-mechanic me the a/c unit was bad the whole time and was dragging. Bad news.
We don't know if Mazda will make good on the replacement. But we do know this is the last Mazda ever for anyone in our family.