How to Diagnose a Misfire

Diagnosing a Misfire

It’s safe to say that most of us who are into modifying cars have seen this delightful CEL pop up on our dash. The P0300 (random/multiple cylinder misfire) can be one of the most annoying codes when it comes to drivability.

Diagnosing a Misfire

Sometimes a P0300 is very simple to sort out. Other times, it may take all day to track down. That said, here’s a user-friendly guide for those modders who are learning and would like to figure out the problem themselves.

Break down of combustion

In order to properly function, an internal combustion engine has four basic requirements:

  1. Air (O2)
  2. Fuel
  3. Compression
  4. Spark (or ignition)

Loss of one or more of these will cause a misfire. Understanding these requirements will better allow you to diagnose a problem and make an educated decision about what the problem might be — rather than just throwing parts at the car.

Types of misfire codes

There are two types of misfire codes. The first, P0300, means the misfire is happening on more than one cylinder (and/or happening randomly) and the powertrain control module (PCM) isn’t able to find where the misfire is originating from. The other type of misfire code is anything above P0300: P0301, P0302, etc. The last digit indicates the cylinder number that the misfire is occurring on. This means that there is a clear pattern for a misfire occurring on that specific cylinder. These codes are much nicer — and simplify diagnosis of your misfire without a doubt.

Misfires from cylinders

Let’s go ahead and start with the easier type of code.

One day, you’re driving down the road. The car feels a little bit rougher than normal, then your CEL comes on, and the P0304 code comes up on the Accessport/Scan Tool. This means that cylinder number four is having a misfire. Here are a couple steps to figuring out the culprit.

We already know what the four basic combustion requirements. Typically, the easiest and first thing to check would be your ignition system. So we’ll start the diagnosis with the spark plugs and coil packs.

  1. Since the code was for the number four sensor, you’ll start on that cylinder. Number one is on the side where your drive belts are and, in this case, they progress from left to right.
  2. There are two components that could cause an ignition failure, assuming that your PCM is in good working order. These components would be your spark plugs and coil packs. It’s as simple as playing some musical chairs with them to see which one is the culprit.
  3. Take your number four spark plug and swap it over to your number one cylinder. Now take your number four coil pack and put it on your number three cylinder.
  4. If the misfire jumps to the number one cylinder, you know it’s your plug. If it follows to number three, then we know it’s your coil pack. If it stays on number four, then we’ve eliminated the ignition system and can proceed to the next step.

Now your remaining options are either a problem with your fueling or a problem with the compression of your specific cylinder. To check this, perform a compression and a leak down test to verify the health of the motor, which will give you some peace of mind. However, if you find that the compression is low, or your leak down was excessive, you’ll have your answer right there. Typically, low compression and excessive leak down can be a result of valves not seating correctly, warped cylinder walls, bad piston rings, or other similar issues.

If you’ve done these two tests and everything has come back good, then we can cross that off the list (phew!) and move on to what’s next!

Fuel pressure

If you have an AccessPort, or readily available scan tool, checking your fuel pressure in regard to a misfire will be very easy. If your car is not direct injected you probably won’t be able to monitor it on your electronic control unit (ECU). So, you’ll more than likely need to hook up an inline fuel gauge to make sure you’re getting adequate pressure.

In this case, with our Mazdaspeed3, we’re able to see the PSI of our high-pressure system which makes diagnostics on this easier. Pressure, at idle, should be somewhere in the range of 400+ PSI for this vehicle. If you’re seeing a PSI under 100, then the pump is not creating any pressure and it’s just flowing through from the in-tank pump. If you’re seeing a PSI in the 200s, then your pressure relief valve may need to be replaced.

Monitoring your fuel pressure can give you lots of good information that can potentially tell you what’s causing a misfire. These issues aren’t as common, but they do still happen. If the pressures and fuel pump check out, then you’re on to the next step!

Injector seals

Injector seals are a very important part that often gets overlooked. On higher mileage cars, or cars creating more power, the injector seals are a contributor to misfires and loss of performance.

As you can see in the image, the upgraded injector seal on the left has a much more rigid design. These seals have a proven design that, believe it or not, don’t have a single reported failure! You can find those injector seals here.

While you’re working on this area, it’s a good time to clean out any carbon build-up in the ports and on the tips of the injectors. Carbon that builds up on the tips can keep the fuel from properly atomizing, so clean them as best you can. Make sure the seals, as well as the seats for the seals, are very clean so they can adequately seal.

The chance of an injector failing is very small on this platform, but it’s still possible. If you have a cylinder-specific misfire code, and you’ve eliminated all other possibilities, it’s time for a new injector.

Air (O2)

Back in the good old days, your engine used carbonators to moderate fuel/air intake. The engine would suck in air, and in turn, use the Venturi effect to draw in fuel. The more air that got drawn into the engine, the more the fuel would automatically get sucked in. Although this method works, it’s inefficient and not as reliable. When the weather changes, it may not always work or need to be adjusted.

Today, a car’s ECU uses sensors to monitor how much air comes into the engine. Once it knows how much air is coming in, it can appropriately choose how much fuel to inject to achieve the targeted air/fuel ratio (AFR) in the ECU’s mapping. If this monitoring system is not working correctly, the car will run poorly and probably sputter when you apply any throttle.

In Mazdas, the vehicle uses the mass air flow (MAF) sensor to detect how much air is entering the motor. The ECU reads this on a scale of 0–5 volts. The higher the number, the more air. This sensor also works in conjunction with the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor. This sensor tells the ECU what boost/vacuum reading is for the air entering the motor. If either of these is not operating correctly, misfire codes are very possible.
You can tell when these sensors are giving improper readings by using your AccessPort or scan tool to monitor MAF grams/sec or the MAP readings. If they are sporadic, or not within specifications, then you know you have an issue.

Air-related issues, such as vacuum leaks or sensor-related problems, are more prone to causing a P0300 code — they affect more than just one cylinder. So, if you have a P0300 instead of a specific cylinder code, it wouldn’t hurt to start checking here!

I hope this helps you have a better understanding of why misfire codes happen and how you can find a resolution. If you ever have any technical questions, please you guys give us a ring at 360-260-2675! We’re always happy to help!

Until next time,
Brett

New Third Generation Shocks and Struts

CorkSport Third Generation Shocks and Struts

This post goes out to all of our awesome third generation fans, we haven’t forgotten you. In fact, we love you! And so, we’ve created a new, rad product to take your Mazda 3 to the next level. Your older sibling, the Mazdaspeed 3, has loved these beauties for years, so we thought it was about time to share the love with the third generation rides.

Introducing performance adjustable struts and shocks for the 2014+ Mazda 3! And Mazda 6 fans, you just hold on …

Why struts and shocks matter

CorkSport Third Generation Shocks and Struts Installation

Before we get into all the awesome details of these new performance struts for your Mazda 3, let’s talk about why performance struts and shocks are so critical to your vehicle.

Everything you do with your Mazda happens through the tires. Whether it’s commuting, canyon carving, driving at an autocross event, or showing up to your favorite car meet, it all happens through your tires. That said, we can’t give the tires all the glory, because everything they communicate gets translated through your suspension. This comes in many forms classified as handling performance: accelerating, decelerating (braking), cornering, and steering response are the key aspects. All of these characteristics work great (albeit soft and numb) in OE form, and they do all work together as designed, buy we can do better than that. You’re an auto enthusiast now, so you install those awesome CorkSport lowering springs and really start to push your car past its OE limits. It feels great initially, but you quickly hit the limits of the OE struts and shocks damping range, which means it’s time to upgrade.

When you lower your Mazda with higher rate springs you push the OE struts/shocks out of their effective damping range. This can directly affect the characteristics I mentioned above.  Increasing the damping to better match the higher spring rates will put the suspension back to its balanced design, but with more emphasis on performance. The sacrifices you made for the lower and stiffer suspension are now less of a compromise and an even greater benefit. It’s a win-win folks.

Time to upgrade those shocks and struts

CorkSport Third Generation Shocks and Struts

You now understand why you need performance struts and shocks, but why do you want CorkSport performance struts and shocks? First off, they fit like OE. There is nothing more frustrating than being mid-install under your Mazda and the part just won’t fit. Not with CorkSport parts, folks! We wouldn’t do that to you because we know how much it sucks. Second, we designed the damping range to have a great flexibility depending on your setup. The softest setting will allow you to basically match the OE damping rate, if you’re still rocking OE springs and comfort is your highest goal. However, if you like to push you Mazda to the limits then turn up the damping to up to 70 percent stiffer than OE, or anywhere in-between, with 15 positions to choose from. You really can setup your Mazda just how you want.

Lastly, it is so easy to make adjustments with these shocks and struts. If you like a softer ride during your commutes, but want to push the car on the weekends, just pop your hood to adjust the front and reach into your wheel well to adjust the rears. Don’t wait any longer my fellow Mazda enthusiast, take your Mazda 3 to the next level.

Pre-Production Update: New CorkSport 72mm Throttle Body

GEN-6-497 72mm Throttle Body Pre-Production

CorkSport continues to strive for new and innovative products to elevate the Mazdaspeed platform, even as many in the community have fallen away from it. For the past year, we’ve been steadily working on a throttle body upgrade for the DISI MZR that doesn’t force you to compromise between performance and drivability.

GEN-6-497 72mm Throttle Body Pre-Production

Our initial design process started with simulating various inner diameter sizes to see where maximum gains could be achieved with both 2.5-inch and 3-inch IC piping. The resulting best compromise for both piping was 72mm ID versus the OE 60mm ID. The 72mm ID also allowed us to retain the OE bolt pattern for a painless installation utilizing an O-ring for sealing between the throttle body and intake manifold.

Once the prototype was produced, we began the validation process. To prove and measure the true increase in airflow, we flow-benched both the OE and CorkSport throttle bodies. To reduce variables in testing, both throttle bodies were equipped with 3D-printed velocity stacks with a 0.5-inch radius.

GEN-6-497 72mm Throttle Body Pre-Production Testing

The flow bench testing showed impressive gains at 28-inch H20 with a 12mm larger ID. Testing was performed at 25 percent, 50 percent, and 75 percent throttle plate open. We attempted 100 percent, but the flow bench we used could not support that high an airflow. At 75 percent throttle open there was an increase of 131cfm.

GEN-6-497 Flowbench Testing

With the flow bench showing impressive improvements, it was time to put it on a car and see how it responded. Installation was straightforward, only requiring a new 3-inch silicone couple and T-bolt clamp. The first drive with the new 72mm throttle body was quite undramatic — I consider this a great thing because the car drove great. There were no odd throttle surges, no choppiness, and no unpredictability. Throttle response felt a bit more crisp and alert in a predictable way.

The first dyno testing was performed on a CorkSport turbo-equipped car with CorkSport camshafts and intake manifold. Dyno testing showed about 100rpm decrease in spool and inconclusive peak power gains. This may be due to the lower volume of airflow moving through the engine. However, driving the car felt better.

Next, we wanted to see how the 72mm throttle body would react with a larger turbo setup. We sent the prototype to a beta tester running a GT3582R at 34psi with a built and PI-equipped engine. This is where the CorkSport throttle body woke up. Check out the graph below. The green graph represents the OE throttle body, and the blue graph represents the CorkSport prototype 72mm throttle body.

GEN-6-497 Throttle Body Dynojet Research

Again, the results are impressive with a 16wHp/20wTq increase at peak power, but what’s even more impressive is the power under the curve. There are consistent gains from spool to redline. Spool was about 100rpm sooner, followed by a substantial gain from 4,000rpm to 5,000rpm and more conservative gains from 5,000rpm to redline. Both of these dynographs were produced on the same day within a few hours of each other due to the installation time.

So, you’ve got the info. Now tell us what you think of the new CorkSport 72mm Throttle Body. Comment below, or reach reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

10 Tips for Garage Days

Garage days and your Mazda

Garage days have been around for as long as the practice of modifying cars. Wrenching on your projects, some good company, hot food, cold beer — what could go wrong? Hopefully nothing, but that’s typically not the case in all honesty, especially in the Mazda game. Murphy’s Law truly takes effect, and what can happen usually will happen.

Garage days and your Mazda

Coming from the Bay Area, where I was the main go-to tech guy, I usually had two to 12 Mazdas at my house on any given weekend. (How the homeowners association didn’t get mad, I will never know.) I’ve been around the block a time or two and seen what can go wrong on garage days. I’ve seen what turns a fun day into 20 trips to the hardware store, tools everywhere, missing parts, and the typical “What did I get myself into?” feeling.

If you have a big job coming up and you’re questioning whether you can do it, some of these tips may help you get it done faster and more efficiently, and ensure you have a good time — instead of pulling your hair out.

Preparing for modding your Mazda

Tip 1: Preparation

Don’t wait until garage day to check the box. Always make sure you have the right parts and hardware in advance. Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “How could some people wait that long to open their shiny new parts?” Honestly, I agree. But some people toss the boxes aside and don’t open them until the day of installation. I’ve seen people go to put on that new part and discover they’re missing something they need. Get all the hardware taken care of beforehand.

Tip 2: Tools

Be prepared for different outcomes that may happen and have all the tools that you need at hand. If you’re lacking proper tools, I’d recommend working with a buddy who has a better collection. Having nice quality tools makes all the difference.

Tip 3: Rise and shine

Start early. Nothing sucks worse than nighttime falling with the car halfway apart (especially when you have work the next day and it’s your daily driver). If you can, plan your job to go over the course of the weekend so you’re less stressed and can take your time.

Flashlight for working on your Mazda

Tip 4: Plan for drops

Have a quality flashlight and a pick-up magnet handy. On a garage day, it’s not a matter of if but when you drop something important. There’s nothing worse than when that dropped part falls into the abyss or someplace you can’t reach. Keep a pick-up magnet for those annoying bolts. The flashlight is good for easily spotting shiny things, and for overall lighting during the job.

Tip 5: Really read the instructions

Thoroughly read up on the installation. Read the instructions. Read the forums and talk to some friends for tips. There is usually something helpful out there you may not have known already. For specialty jobs, know your torque specs and procedures.

Tip 6: Stay stocked

Stock up on brake clean, PB blaster, WD40, carb clean, gloves, or whatever else you might need beforehand. It’s annoying to have to stop what you’re doing just to go buy a $6 item that was forgotten. Also, if you wear them, get plenty of gloves. Your hands will thank you at the end of the day.

Tip 7: Catch a catch can

Have something around to catch fluids. Occasionally, people get deep into a job and realize they have to disconnect a line they didn’t know they’d have to. It’s always good to have some sort of catch can. Especially ones that can be sealed off so you can dispose of it easily. This goes along with our first tip, but I’m mentioning it again, because some people will overlook this.

Catch can to keep your garage clean

Tip 8: Organization

Organization trays are awesome. Use sticky notes for trays or zip locks you can label to keep tabs on bolts and nuts for their component parts. This makes reassembly on a big job much faster.

Prevent scratches in the garage

Tip 9: Prevent scratches

Moving blankets or big blankets are amazing for preventing any scratches while you’re leaning over the hood. Also, blankets help to hold the tools you’re currently using. You can drape them over and attach them with masking tape to keep them in place.

Check your work on your Mazda mods

Tip 10: Check your work

Once you’re all done, be sure to verify all of your work before starting the car. Verify torque specs, connectors, and the rest. After you start up, quickly check for any possible leaks, listen for odd noises, etc. For example, make sure no exhaust gas is escaping from the downpipe gasket.

I hope these tips are helpful one day! Make sure to follow the CorkSport blog for more Mazda modification tips and information. And, if these tips do come in handy, tag a photo of the finished product with #CorkSport on Instagram and show us your ride.

Cheers,

Brett

 

 

Winter Projects Update: Break in Procedure

CorkSport break in procedure

Over the past couple of months, CorkSport noticed that a handful of people — including a few guys here in the Washington and Oregon area — are doing engine builds over the winter. It’s very exciting to see more people raising their power goals and pushing the limits of the platform. As I continue to follow certain engine builds, I noticed that the question of a proper break in procedure always comes up.

We can all agree that making sure the rings fully seat themselves is the most important thing in the life of the piston, but everyone has a specific way of breaking in a newly built engine. Still, you may be looking for some guidance. Here at CorkSport, thanks to Master Mechanic and Technical Advisor Vincent Melon, we use a specific break in procedure we thought we’d share.

CorkSport break in procedure

Life comes at you fast

Four months ago, I blew a quarter-sized hole in the notorious piston three that forced my hand — it was time to get a built bottom end. I learned a lot during this build process and, most importantly, learned what a proper break in procedure looks like. I wanted to make sure to list out the steps Vincent and I took to guarantee the engine would be solid when fully broken in so that we could help folks like you who might go through the same process.

 

Breaking in a Mazda engineCorkSport's Vincent breaking in

Mazda engine blockHole in Mazda piston

 

Oil tips for breaking in your engine build

In our opinion, one of the most crucial parts of the break in process is choosing the correct oil to break in your new build. For people who aren’t sure which oil to go with, here’s what we recommend you run: Driven BR30.

Driven BR30 oil

Vincent has done a lot of research on this specific type of break in oil and swears by it. This oil will end up costing you around $10 a quart, and you’ll need around twenty quarts by the time the break in procedure is all said and done.

Burning the midnight oil

Once you have the oil you need, new plugs, and the engine put back together, it’s time for the crucial first startup. When you first start the car again, you will want to rev the car throughout the rpm range for about 15–20 minutes to get your coolant system and oil hot. This first step will work out any air bubbles in your cooling system. It will also keep any extra metal bits in the engine fully suspended in really hot oil. Once you’ve kept the rpms consistent for about 20 minutes, it’s time to change the oil. The next few steps are super easy to follow:

  • Change the oil again at 400 miles.
  • Change the oil again at 800 miles.
  • Change the oil again at 1000 miles.

Make sure when changing your oil at these increments, you keep a close eye on what the oil looks like. If you do not see metal bits in the oil you are changing, you’re fine. If you do notice a continued amount of metal in the oil, make sure everything is running and machined properly.

During the first 2000 miles, keep your rpms above 3000 and avoid cruising at any certain speed or rpm for long periods of time. The most crucial part of this process is making sure to change gears a lot. You can get into boost, but we recommend that you give the engine about 1000 miles before you really start romping on it. Once you have reached your 2500-mile mark, you’re good to drive it any way you like, and you can go back to using whatever type oil you want.

Cheers,

Luke

 

Shift Knobs and Tailpipes: A Car Guy’s Valentine’s Day

Mazdaspeed3 Leather Steering Wheel

While we prefer the smell of motor oil, the wafting scent of roses everywhere tells us it’s Valentine’s Day. If you’ve got a special someone, by this point you’ve bought the flowers and candy, made a dinner reservation, and detailed your Mazda, with a substantially lighter wallet telling the tale of your romance-fueled efforts. If not, what are you doing reading this blog? Get to work before before you end up demoted to the couch!

But for those who might not have a date set up, don’t worry. Your true love (your Mazda), will always be there for you. Here are a few ideas for how you can spend Valentine’s Day with your ride so you don’t end up sitting home alone handling your camshaft.

Dinner and a movie

Spending an evening in guarantees one thing: You’re not driving. And we know you — you’re happiest when you drive. So, we’re giving you a destination. Hop in your Mazda and go grab a burger or a slice. Afterward, hit the cinema and enjoy some kick-ass action. We recommend you check out “John Wick 2” and watch Keanu Reeves wreck shop on anyone and everyone that crosses him. Or, if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s time to check out “Fast and Furious” star Vin Diesel’s “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.” If you happen to run into a cute, single lady at the theater, why not offer her a ride home?

Check out our ultimate driving playlist for music suggestions for the ride to and from the movies.

Leather play

You’re too smart to get roped into a screening of “Fifty Shades Darker” this Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little fun with leather — by installing CorkSport’s Mazdaspeed 3 leather steering wheel.

Mazdaspeed3 Leather Steering Wheel

We’ll opt for the soft, stylish feel of hand-wrapped and stitched leather on a racing-inspired grip any day. If you’re feeling bold, add a leather shift knob. Once installed, hold on tight. You’re in for a wild ride with these two.

Can’t get enough? We’ve got a leather e-brake handle, because braking safety is just as important as an agreed upon safeword.

Oil and massage

On this special day, it’s time to treat your baby to a little TLC. Dim the lights and break out the oil … then turn the lights back on so you can see what you’re doing. Give your whip an oil change and, if you really want to splurge on your Mazda, install a CorkSport SkyActiv Aluminum Oil Catch Can. If you want to be extra smooth, add a CorkSport Oil Catch Can Drain Valve Kit to your cart, so you can really be slick with the oil. Your ride and your garage will thank you. Then, bust out the loofa and the wax and give your baby the massage she deserves, rubbing her down from tail end to headlights.

CorkSport Mazdaspeed Waxing

These suggestions are sure to get your engine revving. Date or not, your Valentine’s Day will be an affair to remember. Treat yourself to a new part and have the night you and your Mazda deserve. Whether you spend the night modding or taking your ride to a late-night movie, tag us with #CorkSport in a photo so we can immortalize your Mazda romance on our Instagram feed.

2017 Race Season Is Here!

2017 Race Season at CorkSport

The wait is over! It’s finally the time of year where we shed the car covers, finish our tunes and builds, and make any last modifications to get fully prepared for the 1,320-feet road course racing season. As you can imagine, all of us here at CorkSport now have an extra pep in our step with the weather improving and our goals becoming clear.

Built for speed

2017 Race Season at CorkSport

Because I live for racing, I’ve built my car specifically for the drag strip. I have a 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 decked out with:

CorkSport built for speed receipt

Running faster in 2017

During last year’s season, I was able to lay down a pretty raw pass with my full bolt-ons, stock block, and CorkSport turbo. I was happy with a 12.7 elapsed time (ET) at 115 mph — a respectable number if you ask me! This year with my new built bottom end, I am hoping to have more midrange, spray more meth, and run faster. I have a personal goal of trapping 120 mph on the CorkSport turbo. Just imagine how sweet it would be to have a Mazdaspeed 3 trapping 120 mph in the 1,320 with almost no turbo lag!

Whether a racing victory is your goal, or you just want a modded-out dope-looking ride, we want to make sure you guys think about CorkSport when you are looking for parts. I’m proof that our turbo with full bolt-ons is capable of impressive speed. Whether you need suspension components, turbo components, or you just want to have a chat, you know where to find us!

Cheers,

Luke

Employee Spotlight: Cali Goes Vancouver

There aren’t many things that can make a person pick up their whole life and move to a new place — especially when that move has to happen in only four weeks — but an amazing job can be good motivation. Still, when this whole journey began on October 31, I had no idea what kind of roller-coaster ride I’d started.

My old grind

A few months back, I was just a technician working my normal routine. I’d wake up, go to work at 8:30 a.m., work on cars, and then go home. As much as I love working on cars, repairing people’s daily drivers wasn’t exactly fulfilling. There were no turbos, no coilovers, no stage 3 clutches, and — most of all — there was no challenge, no way to better myself. There was satisfaction in learning and in becoming a better tech, but even though I had a great boss, I didn’t exactly find myself waking up looking forward to the day. My motivation was declining and I knew it was time for a fresh start.

Moving Truck from Cali to Vancouver

Pacific Northwest-bound

Since I moved to Vancouver, I’ve gotten two responses when people ask me where I came from. It’s either the classic, “I hate Californians!” (Of course, I can’t blame them. Many Californians are snobby, drive too fast, and don’t use their turn signal enough. So, it’s understandable that the locals are pissed off that their area is getting contaminated by newbies.) However, I’ve also been asked, “What brought you up here?” And, to that, I get to reply, “I got recruited by an awesome company that I’ve wanted to work for since I was 19.”

CorkSport in San Francisco
When I first saw Luke post that CorkSport was hiring, I wanted to hop all over it. But after reading the job description, I didn’t think it was right for me. A few weeks went by and I hadn’t thought about it again, that is, until I spoke with Barrett. I asked if anyone had been hired yet and the answer turned out to be a negative — they were still looking. Next thing you know, I’m getting asked if I might be interested in the gig. One thing led to another, and a day later I’m on the phone with Kim. Turns out the job was a better fit than I first thought!

It’s quite the elaborate interview process at CorkSport. We don’t have revolving doors here, and they needed to make sure that I was the right fit. Over the course of a month and a few interviews, things were looking good and it started to become much more real that I could actually end up working for the biggest name in Mazda Performance. They already had a strong idea of what they had in store for me and where they wanted to see me in six months. Everything came together and they offered me the job.

I remember when I first got my MazdaSpeed a couple years ago, I thought about how cool it would be to work at CorkSport. It was apparent to me, as well as fellow modders, that CorkSport has fun doing what they do, and that they love their customers and the Mazda community. It’s ironic that, not too long after I first thought CorkSport would be a great place to work, the windy roads of life brought me to the moment when I received a formal job offer from them.

Corksport Mazdaspeed in Garage

After a long talk with my girlfriend and my family, the decision was made, I accepted the offer, and we started packing boxes. I was leaving my family, a beloved Mazda community, and a bunch of friends behind for a clean professional slate, but I knew I was gaining the room to grow, and more opportunities than ever before.

Part of the team

A few weeks and a million questions later, here I am writing a CorkSport blog and getting settled in. I must say that, so far, my favorite part about this process has been dealing with and getting to know our awesome CorkSport customers. I’ve been writing postcards and throwing in little goodies, the same things I used to get with my parts when I was a customer — a little something extra makes all the difference! My daily job is helping people make their cars faster, lower, and cooler. I’m living the life!

CorkSport MazdaSpeed to Vancouver

On another note, no other company I’ve worked for has been so welcoming and helped me to feel at home so quickly. It’s not easy to pack up and move your life, but it didn’t take long for Luke, Vinny, and me to become best buds. Working on cars has now become more of a hobby, and all my tools now go good use on side jobs, like other Mazdas in the community. No more beat-up, dirty hands from repairing people’s daily drivers is a nice change, and my girlfriend is probably happy about that as well. Ha!

That’s, essentially, the long story short of how I was recruited to work at CorkSport and made the jump from the Bay Area to Vancouver. I’m glad to be a part of this awesome new team, and to have the opportunity to keep growing and learning.

Until next time, ladies and gents!

Cheers, Brett

Corksport Mazdaspeed to Vancouver

Prepping Your Mazda for Winter Weather

Oh, winter and the holidays. It’s an amazing and stressful time of year when we hope all the time spent shopping for that perfect gift for our lady means we get the karmic payoff of loads of CorkSport parts in our stocking — or, even better, when they’re rad mods too big to fit in a stocking! (If you didn’t get that special CorkSport part this year, or you’re still shopping for the Mazda fanatic in your life, check out the last-minute holiday gift guide).

 

Now that we’re past focusing on holiday madness, it’s time to get back to thinking about your Mazda. ‘Tis also the season of winter weather and slick, sludge-covered roads. At CorkSport, we’re here to help with that. We don’t want you to fret about snow damaging your ride or how a trip to the mountain for snowboarding might fill your car with salt-filled snowmelt, so take a look at these Mazdaspeed 3 mods you’ll want this winter.

Mud flaps

CorkSport Mazda Mud Flap

Branded with a stylish CorkSport laser-etched logo, these 80A durometer 1/8” thick urethane flaps protect your baby from the abuse of road debris and snow buildup. They’re heavy-duty enough to keep your vehicle in great shape, but durable and flexible enough to hold up to wear and tear — they won’t peel, fade, rust, or break. Fear no road with these bad boys installed, which only takes about an hour!

Floor mats

CorkSport Mazda Floor Mats

If you know the snow’s about to hit, it’s easy to grab a trash bag to lay down and protect your car from the snow that’ll drip off your shoes. But who wants to pick someone up for a ride with garbage bag-lined floors? And nothing ruins a good entrance like stepping out of your ride with a trash bag accidentally stuck to your shoe. Our floor mats are the accessory you need to protect your vehicle from the winter weather and look good doing it. With OEM fitment that delivers show car quality, these mats feature a fully sewn and sealed edge along the high-quality carpeting to deliver a long lasting, durable floor protector.

Car cover

Don’t make the mistake of simply trying to protect your Mazda while it’s on the road. Keeping your car covered during the winter weather is crucial. With a five-layer composite structure to protect against all forms of water — even falling icicles that can cause scratches — this cover also keeps your ride safe against the additional UV rays that bright white snow banks can bombard your car with in winter. Even better, this cover comes with a tie-down and adjustable buckle so it won’t blow off during winter storms.

Aluminum skidplate

CorkSport Mazda Aluminum Skidplate

Winterizing isn’t just about protecting your car’s good looks. You want to protect that undercarriage as well. Don’t put in all that hard work just to let a snowy, salty, gravelly road mess it up! Made of a single piece of 0.090” precision machined aluminum to deliver maximum coverage with minimum effect on your vehicle’s weight, the skidplate also features an opening that makes oil changes a breeze. You can hit those winter roads with peace of mind that your hard work isn’t going to get dinged up along the way, no matter what the weather.
These winterizing tips should help you start preparing your Mazda for the months ahead. If you have tips and thoughts of your own based on cold weather experience, we’d love to hear them in the comments below. And, if you apply any CorkSport mods to prepare for the snow, make sure to share them with us using the hashtag #CorkSport on Twitter and Instagram!

CorkSport’s Performance Race Industry Show Recap

CorkSport at PRI

In the car game, there are two big shows each year where all the action happens: the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) and Performance Race Industry (aka PRI). At these events, automotive parts companies flaunt their accomplishments, showing off their latest and greatest mods and parts, while everyone gets a chance to network, catch up, and just generally ogle and chat about gorgeous vehicles. We here at CorkSport love to keep up on what’s hot and new in the automotive industry, so this year we headed to Indianapolis for PRI to see what auto trends are being developed.

First Impressions

CorkSport at PRI

As we first entered the convention center, the stage was set. The picture above features the main PRI banner, which prominently displays some dirt mod cars. That can only mean one thing: PRI would be showcasing a lot of American muscle and, probably, not a lot of imports. Regardless, we braved the show.

The Cars, The Parts, The Highlights

Wandering the aisles of the show, our suspicions were confirmed. PRI had more American muscle than the lineup of cars Vin Diesel will drive in the next “Fast & Furious” movie. But, as we navigated the aisles, we were greeted by a sight for sore eyes — an import you can never go wrong with — a Le Mans-winning P1 car.

Corksport at PRI Mazda

When it comes to performance cars, it doesn’t matter if the car is an import or a domestic, one good thing about them is turbos. Good news from the show is that it looks like Garrett doesn’t have any plans slow down on their production of turbos anytime soon, for themselves or for the Mazdaspeed 3. They had some great tech on display, which is never a bad thing. Feast your eyes on these beauties.

CorkSport at PRI - NP01

Next, we came across a nice surprise in the NASA booth — a paint scheme that any Mazda enthusiast should know. The NP01 is more than just rad-looking, it’s powered by the 2.0 MZR motor and a large selection of other drivetrain parts making it very affordable when it comes to cost to own and cost to race. If you’re in the market for a race vehicle and cannot afford one of the Lola/Multimatic-built Mazda Prototypes that Speedsource is selling, the NP01 is a great alternative.

CorkSport at PRI

Finally, there was one big wow part we have to tell you about. Check out this crazy, billet Duramax Chevy motor.

Corksport at PRI DX600 Billet Duramax

The DX600 Billet Duramax is a supercharged compound turbo setup. Looking for a billet aluminum block for your Chevy truck? We know you Mazda fanatics probably aren’t, but this is really freakin’ sweet piece of hardware regardless. Now, if only we could get someone to make a billet engine for the Mazdaspeed 3. Then life would be really sweet.

Hope you all enjoyed this PRI update as much as we enjoyed checking out cars and parts at the show. As always, at CorkSport we strive to keep you all apprised of the new and interesting car news you crave. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for our latest news.