Mazda3 Trip Computer Hack

Discussion in 'Other Manufacturers' started by mazda3mike, May 8, 2007.

  1. mazda3mike

    mazda3mike Well-Known Member

    On another forum I discovered a way to unlock the trip computer in models below the Grand Touring. Normally you have to pay for that trim line to get this, but for some reason it's trivially easy to unlock it. This only works on 2006 and later models...I tried this on a friend's 2005 and it didn't work--Mazda changed suppliers for the head unit and display for 2006.

    With ignition off, press and hold the AM/FM and CD buttons on the stereo. Turn ignition on but don't start the car. Hold the buttons until the display changes to something like "DISP ON". That's it! Now, the "Set" button on the stereo operates the computer. If you had the Grand Touring model the button would say "Info". Just read directions on operation in the owner's manual. :Banane06:
  2. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    Very nice.:)

    Why Mazda withholds this?????
  3. mazda3mike

    mazda3mike Well-Known Member

    They want to sell you the higher priced Grand Touring, why else?!! :D
  4. johnf514

    johnf514 Zoom? Try Glide!

    Thanks for the hack - I'll make sure to do this when I pick up the 3i Touring. :D
  5. aca2983

    aca2983 Well-Known Member

    Hi Mazda3Mike,
    I am a Mazda3 owner and just registered on this site. I am a member of the other forum where you probably found out about the MPG indicator hack. I did it on my car and it's interesting to watch and I'm getting some useful feedback.

    I'm interested in finding out some of the specific things you have done to achieve high MPG in your 3. My car is an 06 5-speed Touring hatchback, 2.3 of course. Since my first fillup after activating the trip computer, I got 28. Not great, but slightly better than my normal average. Much of my driving is in heaving DC-area stop and go urban environment. Not much interstate travel. Currently the car has 14k miles with 5w20 Mobil 1 in it. I have 16" wheels and tires on mine, not the usual 17's (long story). As best I can, I try to have smooth launches, keep the gearing as high as tolerable, and anticipate (and avoid) braking. I usually fill up with Shell 87.

    As far as my high-MPG cred, I do have some :). I had a 1983 Honda Civic 1300FE, which was the MPG champ of it's day. MPG in the 40's was normal, and 50's was easily attainable. I got rid of it at 205k miles, and have regretted it since. (My family also had a 82 1300FE) We'll skip over the 91 Civic- unremarkable on all accounts, MPG included. Next was a 97 Dodge Stratus. That car was a somewhat rare 2.0 with 5-speed trans. That car got low 30's pretty easily, and on highway trips it broke 40 several times. Pretty impressive considering it was a hefty car. The big trunk, high MPG, and spacious back seat made it the car of choice with friends on roadtrips. 2002 Mazda Protege5 automatic was not good MPG wise, but it rekindled my affinity for smaller cars and hatchbacks, and it's fun to drive quotient won me over to the Mazda brand. 1993 Mazda B2200 5-speed pickup was bought as a 2nd vehicle during a heavy 16 month period of home improvements and landscaping. Avg MPG not stellar, about mid/upper 20's, but my parents bought it from me, and they use it for ACTUAL WORK, while their F-150 always sits shined and waxed in the garage, never does real work a truck should do, and probably gets about 12mpg. The 8 month experience with a 2005 Saab 9-2x is best forgotten, so I came back to the zoom-zoom brand in Feb 06 when I got my Mazda3. Love the car! I wish the 2.0 was available in the hatchback, but I really do like the hatchback versatility. I really am jealous of the great MPG numbers that Mazda 3i owners are bragging about on and elsewhere. My hope is that in the future Mazda will improve higher-MPG options (next gen Mazda3 2.0?, Mazda3 Cdi?, Mazda2?) while still maintaining the excellent handling and fun-to-drive characteristics that Mazdas have (and that Hondas USED to have "back in the day" until they sold out to Mr. and Mrs. Middle America-- but don't get me started on that!)

  6. mazda3mike

    mazda3mike Well-Known Member

    The only thing I did to the car was pump up the tires to 44 (max on the sidewall; I have the 17" wheels), and put in synthetic 5W-20 oil. I changed the auto tranny fluid a couple times with standard Mercon V, which is already semi-synthetic. Other than that it's all driving mods. It's tough to do too much w/ the automatic; between the owner's manual and this site I've learned NOT to shut off the engine and coast, as the car's not designed to be towed on 4 wheels (not sure this applies to the manual or not). I use the manumatic shifting to start in 2nd most of the time and keep rpms low. I leave plenty of distance behind the next car and try to "drive without brakes" (DWB--look it up on this site), and rather than use cruise I hold the throttle steady. This means you slow down going up a hill but it helps your mileage a lot. I'm still trying to find the car's sweet spot in terms of speed. I saw on your other post you got 43 on a trip while driving 75 w/ A/C on. :eek: That's amazing...I've seen enough posts on the other forum to believe the car may actually do better at higher speeds, at least up to a point. I might try adding 5-10 mph to see what happens.

    Traffic around DC really sucks. I'm in the DC area too, south of Balto. Most of my commute is technically interstate, although it's 95 and the Capitol beltway so there can be a lot of stop and go. Commute is 26 miles each way. It's fairly hilly--never realized how hilly until I got the scangauge!

    BTW, I noticed the car's trip computer tends to read low. My last fillup the computer said 34.5 but I actually got 37.3 (my record). The scangauge is currently in the wife's car.
  7. aca2983

    aca2983 Well-Known Member

    Since having the computer on I love how it goes to "99.9" pretty much anytime you coast in gear. I'm now playing this little game with myself, where I see how long I can go with my foot "up", neither on the gas nor the brake. The car actually uses less gas coasting in gear than coasting with the clutch down because the fuel is shut off entirely.

    Forgot to mention that my transmission oil is synth also, but that was only recently switched this winter.

    I have read conflicting information about this car concerning (manual) shifting. Some say always shift early and keep revs low, other say rev it up to 3k RMP or so in the low gears, then quickly get into the high gears. I can't do it consistently enough to see a difference. My driving patterns are such a mix, and it takes me 2 weeks or so to use a tank, so its hard to be consistent.

    Yeah the 43 trip was surprising. I have had other trips in the mid/high 30's. Even on ski trips to WV, all that mountain climbing is balanced out on the return when you get to coast. Getting over 30 in highway driving is not difficult at all if you keep speed sensible. I am originally from the E. Shore and visit family there, and once I get on the other side of the bridge, if I get off 50 and take slower roads I get better MPG than I do if I take 50 the majority of the way. Plus if I'm not in a hurry I can go 55-60 and not worry about too many tailgaters.

    p.s. Not MPG related, but I recently installed the OEM Sirius radio system (myself) and it's great.
  8. mazda3mike

    mazda3mike Well-Known Member

    If you get a scangauge it'll read numbers over 100 (not to mention you'll get all the extra info that comes with it). Not sure why Mazda's display can't do the same, it would be trivial to drop the decimal point at that, uh, point.

    Yeah, me too. I don't know where is best to shift. Experience tells me low rpm is better, and typically when I'm cruising at constant speed if I change from 5th to 4th the mpg goes down. But it's possible that acceleration at higher speeds is better in lower gears.

    You can probably exceed 60 mpg for long stretches if you could cruise along at 40-45 on a relatively flat road.

    Nice! I thought about doing that but instead installed an ipod adapter into the head unit. It'll only take one input back there, so for now satellite radio is out.
  9. pumaman

    pumaman Well-Known Member

    Any idea if the computer hack would work on an 06 Mazda 6i?

    And what new info do you get?
  10. aca2983

    aca2983 Well-Known Member

    Maybe. Try it. All Mazdas are supposed to have common audio systems, but there may be programming differences.

    Instant MPG, Avg MPG, Avg Speed, and Distance to Empty.

    See if trip computer is described in your user manual. On a 3, the "set" button would be used in place of there the directions refer to the "info" button. Push Set/Info to cycle through functions, or hold down to reset that functions. Hit Clock to go back to clock. Very simple.
  11. pumaman

    pumaman Well-Known Member

    No such luck.:( No mention of the MPG functions in the owners manual. I decided to try the method you mentioned just on the off chance. First thing I noticed is that the 6 doesn't have an AM/FM button, there are seperate AM and FM buttons. I tried pushing each one along with CD, and even all three at the same time. Got bupkus.
    I guess they figure that people who get the 6 aren't concerned with FE?! :mad:

    Thanks for helping me try though. Guess I'll look into one of those scangauge thingies everyone here talks about. I haven't noticed anyone mention the price yet... I probably don't want to know.
  12. mazda3mike

    mazda3mike Well-Known Member

    I got the scangauge for $140 through a group buy on another forum. It's currently selling for $160 at,which is cheaper than the manufacturer's site.
  13. pumaman

    pumaman Well-Known Member

    I looked into it and it was $156 with free shipping on Amazon. Not too bad. When I told my wife she said, "That would pay for a lot of gas!" She was more open to the idea when I told her it could also diagnose problems and reset check engine lights. I'll probably wait a bit till I see what my average is without it just using the tips I've picked up here so far, and then when I have a little extra cash I'll nab one and see what the difference is.

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