Caring for your Mazda in Summer

As temperatures rise, your Mazda is going to feel the heat. With all of the road trips and picture-perfect drives, you need to keep your baby looking good and driving well. We rounded up the top summer care tips that the CorkSport community submitted to us on Facebook and added in a few of our own.

Search for shade

The sun can damage your car’s paint job and interior materials. Keep your Mazda safe by parking in the shade or using a garage whenever possible. Not only will it keep the interior from being a blazing heat soaked oven, it will do a little more to keep you and your Mazdaspeed comfortable! 

Get fresh fluids

Keep your Mazda running smoothly during the hot summer months with fresh fluids in your coolant system. It will protect your engine and keep your AC cold as ice. Keep in mind that your intercooler will be working overtime in the coming temperatures, might as well give it that extra boost of topping off the fluids.

Check your oil

Oil is your car’s lifeblood. Regular oil changes are the cheapest way to extend the life of your Mazda and keep it performing at its best. Change your oil before your next big road trip or if it’s been longer than three months since your last change. You can also look into cleaning out your oil catch can, as it’s been protecting your engine from some extra gunk for a while!

Give her a proper wash

This is crucial for keeping your Mazda looking good and preserving the paint. Be sure that you’re cleaning the brush that you’re using so you don’t scratch her, and the pre-soak is there for a reason! Check out our thoughts on ceramic coating that can protect your paint!

Keep the interior fresh

Exterior shots are sexy but you spend most of your time inside your Mazda so don’t forget about keeping your interior clean. We have customers that use vinyl conditioner to keep their interior pure and preserve its matte metallic finish. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time inside your ride, you might think about upgrading the interior components for that luxury feel, the Corksport Alcantara Steering wheel or shift knob is a great start! 

Maintain a sexy shine

Now that your interior is fresh and the exterior is washed, it’s time to get that sexy shine. Kiefer Westlund, a professional detailer, and John Lukis a CorkSport 7th Gear Member recommend regular waxing using Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax. Meguiar’s wax sells for $25 per bottle, which will last for many washes. For more tips on keeping your exterior shine, check out our blog post on how to keep that new Mazda sheen.

Now you’re ready to take on the hottest months of the summer performing well under the hood and looking good.

Cheers,

CorkSport

CorkSport License Plate Relocation Kit for 2018 Mazda 6

If you haven’t heard already, Mazda has finally kicked out a new Mazda 6 with a turbocharged engine!

CorkSport jumped on the waiting list early and we are proud to be one of the first owners of a 2018 Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve. Ours is Soul Red Crystal.  In the short time we have had the car, it has already been on the lift, the dyno, and many backcountry roads. We are digging into the new platform and have already started work on a handful of new performance parts.

This license plate relocation kit is just the beginning of what we’ve got in store for this new car.  

So let’s talk about our first mod for the brand new 2018 Mazda 6. If you’ve got one, hopefully, you were lucky enough to prevent the dealer from drilling holes in your bumper because we are proud to introduce the CorkSport License Plate Relocation Kit for 2018 Mazda 6!

As with all CorkSport License Plate Kits, the 2018 Mazda 6 kit includes everything you need to move your plate from the middle of your bumper to the side and free up much-needed airflow (trust us, you’ll want that airflow for some other parts we are working on). All mounting brackets, hardware, and even bumper hole plugs are included to make for a quick and simple installation with no permanent modifications required.

All components have been proven to last and looking good while they do it. A zinc-coated steel adapter is used to connect to the OEM emergency tow hook hole. A laser cut, precision formed, and powder coated mounting bracket is used to support the ¼” thick Lexan plate mount. We even include stainless steel tamper proof mounting hardware to ensure your plate, and relocation kit doesn’t disappear in a parking lot.

While mainly a cosmetic modification, the CorkSport License Plate Relocation kit does provide a small increase in airflow entering your radiator and intercooler. Even though it’s a small improvement, we’ve already found the OEM intercooler needs all the help it can get (more on that in coming months).

For an added visual boost and to support the #1 brand in Mazda Performance, be sure to pick up a CorkSport License Plate Frame to go with your relocation kit!

This is the first of many performance parts we have in the works here at CS HQ. Let’s reveal a few of those already in the pipeline…

Upcoming products include an upgradable Short Ram Intake System, Performance Intercooler & Piping, Lowering Springs, and a Stainless Steel 80mm Cat-Back Exhaust System.  We’ve already seen gains with the SRI System and will be testing the Exhaust and Intercooler parts in the coming months. Check back here for more updates!

 

 

3 Turbos and a Supercharger for Mazda

A year ago we were all complaining at Mazda saying “where is the forced induction?” and it looks like Mazda was listening.

First up is the Mazda 6 turbo which Mazda has priced to sell as you can get into a GT Mazda 6 turbo for $29200.  Granted there is no manual gearbox but I can say first hand they are fun to drive and the torque from the boost is really addictive.  I find it hard to not want to screw with people in the 6 since it has no visible exterior queues that it has a turbo. I will say we have already been tweaking on the car and found that it does respond well to modifications.

Second up is the SkyactivX which Mazda says will be available later this year.  This engine is supercharged to allow it to be an HCCI engine, aka compression gas motor.  The forced induction setup is pretty tricky and the initial look I have done with it I get we can crank it up a bit more to improve the efficiency of the intercooler to give it more heat capacity to allow you to use the boost longer in the car for high performance driving.  Until it shows up we won’t know for sure but we are looking forward to trying it out.

Third is the Mazda 6 diesel which uses 2 turbos.  Mazda tried to release the 6 in the past but when they couldn’t match what VW was doing they declined to just “Send It” as the car didn’t perform as they needed it to and still hit the emissions targets without urea injection.  Later we all found out VW was a cheating bastard which kept us from having the Skyactiv diesel engine here to crank up the boost on. About every publication in the planet has posted up about the 2018 Mazda 6 diesel being seen in the EPA parking lot for testing along with a pile of other diesel models.  This is a good sign if Mazda says it will pass the US emissions and handed one over to the EPA we can expect it and soon.

I am going out on a limb here and saying that besides the announced Mazda 3 Skyactiv we are going to get something fun in the new Mazda 3 ~ a year after the initial release.  If you are reading this Mazda, please give us a Mazda 3 GT with a turbo motor.

 

-Derrick

Tools Every Mazda Owner Needs in their Garage

Tools Every Mazda Owner Needs

Whether you only change your oil or have done multiple engine swaps in your garage, its necessary to have the right tools for the job. Since we do everything from engine builds to big brake kits here at CorkSport, we definitely spent a lot of time wrenching, and have discovered a few “must have” tools along the way.

The basics are a necessity! While you can take apart just about everything on a Mazda with only an 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, and 21mm socket/wrench, it’s important to have a good mix to make your life that much easier. Short and deep well sockets, multiple drive sizes, lots of extensions, breaker bars, and so on can all help you remove that awkwardly placed bolt.

A few other must-have basics I find myself using in the CS shop:

  • Small 1/4″ drive ratchet-perfect for the 8, 10, and 12mm bolts in tight spaces
  • Ratcheting wrenches-for when a socket just won’t fit. Flex head ones for even more versatility.

 

  • Crows foot wrenches-you won’t use them often but they’re a lifesaver that one time you need them.
  • Impact gun-cordless or pneumatic, these can speed up any install.
  • Wheel safe lug nut socket-the plastic outer sleeve prevents any scratches to your wheels.

 

Developing exhausts for the Mazda lineup means repeated installs/removal of full exhaust systems and Oxygen sensors. This is helped immensely by a proper Oxygen sensor socket and some penetrating fluid. If you’re planning on upgrading your exhaust, I would definitely recommend getting an O2 sensor socket to get it done right.

 

 

One of the more recent tools we have acquired at CS is a set of exhaust hanger pliers. When coupled with some lubrication, these make removing those pesky rubber hangers so much easier.

 

 

While elbow-deep in the engine bay, it is so much easier if you can actually see around the turbo! We are a little spoiled at CS with how well lit the shop is, but for those less lucky, find yourself an under hood light.

 

 

Still having trouble seeing? Pick up a telescoping mirror that you can angle around to try and locate that hard to see nut or bolt. These are also extremely handy if you cannot find a socket or piece of hardware you dropped in the engine bay. Pick up a kit that includes an extendable magnet as well and recovers anything you may drop.

 

I always try to be prepared when performing maintenance or doing an install. Having a factory service manual really helps with this. Torque specifications recommended disassembly procedures, and fastener locations are all laid out in the FSM.

I also try to look for any unusual tools that may be needed for an install as not having the right Allen head socket or external Torx socket can derail an install. Check online for the FSM for your car, most can be found with a little hunting. Certain installs are also made easier with custom vehicle specific tools available from aftermarket companies (the CorkSport Injector Puller for Instance).

 

Last but not least is having a friend to help you with the install. While you cannot keep this very special “tool” in your garage all the time, it can be invaluable to simply have another set of hands around.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, however; I hope it helps out some of you when attempting a difficult install. Have any other special tools you find yourself using when working on your car? Let us know down below!

-Daniel

Mazda Nostalgia – 323 GTX

Nostalgia

I recently got a good dose of nostalgia when I agreed to help my dad pick up his new (to him) car, a 323 GTX.  A longtime friend of mine had one sitting in his driveway looking pretty sad and I had mentioned it in passing to my dad that he was looking to sell it.  

Like most GTXs you find for under $1000 they need some love and this car was no exception and it needed to be towed home.

After spending an hour looking the car over once it was home I realized home much I still remembered about these cars.  Honestly, it has been 7 years since I looked at a GTX in person and the floodgates in my mind popped open with piles of information on what we needed to check out first in the car.  

As we continued to look over the car, answers to why things were not working just came right out. A good example is why does the cooling fan turn on when you crank over the engine? I didn’t even have to look, I knew there are several sensors which the car looks at to #1 turn the fan on and #2 what speed to run it at based on temperature, the A/C is turned on, etc.  Turns out the car didn’t have either of the two temp sensors plugged in or they are broken.

As we went over the car I was listing off items we need to check or replace to get this car back up and running as it should be a funny feeling came over me.  I really felt good to be working on one of these cars again. This time the money pit isn’t mine thankfully, but if I ever want to get that “good old days” feeling from my early twenties all I have to do is go over to my dad’s house and pick up a wrench as there is almost certainly something which will need to be fixed.

The fun part of this adventure is the answer to why did he buy it.  Like most 323 GTXs they are meant to be raced and this is no exception as it will be run in the Gambler 500.  Never heard of the Gambler 500 before? Well, it is like chump car or Lemons racing, you can prep a cheap car and go rally racing with it.  Having a $500 car survive the weekend of navigating GPS and not breaking down in the middle of nowhere is the challenge.

Some of you remember my old GTX which was sold to another local GTX aficionado sitting in the normal position of being broken and needing time and money thrown at it to get it back on the road again.  If you haven’t seen the car before here is a few pictures of it in it’s natural habitat which I have dug up.

If any of you decide to pick up a GTX, remember it doesn’t take much to get your 323 to do this and not leave the transmission in pieces….

-Derrick