Mazda CX-3: Exterior Care / Maintaining the Finish

Mazda CX-3 (2015-2024) Owner's Manual / Maintenance and Care / Appearance Care / Exterior Care / Maintaining the Finish



  • When the wiper lever is in the AUTO position and the ignition is switched ON, the wipers may move automatically in the following cases:
    • If the windshield above the rain sensor is touched or wiped with a cloth.
    • If the windshield is struck with a hand or other object from either outside or inside the vehicle.
  • Keep hands and scrapers clear of the windshield when the wiper lever is in the AUTO position and the ignition is switched ON as fingers could be pinched or the wipers and wiper blades damaged when the wipers activate automatically. If you are going to clean the windshield, be sure the wipers are turned off completely (when it is most likely that the engine is left running) this is particularly important when clearing ice and snow.
  • Do not spray water in the engine compartment. Otherwise, it could result in engine-starting problems or damage to electrical parts.
  • When washing and waxing the vehicle, be careful not to apply excessive force to any single area of the vehicle roof or the antenna. Otherwise, you could dent the vehicle or damage the antenna.

To help protect the finish from rust and deterioration, wash your Mazda thoroughly and frequently, at least once a month, with lukewarm or cold water.

If the vehicle is washed improperly, the paint surface could be scratched. Here are some examples of how scratching could occur.

Scratches occur on the paint surface when:

  • The vehicle is washed without first rinsing off dirt and other foreign matter.
  • The vehicle is washed with a rough, dry, or dirty cloth.
  • The vehicle is washed at a car wash that uses brushes that are dirty or too stiff.
  • Cleansers or wax containing abrasives are used.


Mazda is not responsible for scratches caused by automatic car washes or improper washing.

Scratches are more noticeable on vehicles with darker paint finishes.

To minimize scratches on the vehicle's paint finish:

  • Rinse off any dirt or other foreign matter using lukewarm or cold water before washing.
  • Use plenty of lukewarm or cold water and a soft cloth when washing the vehicle. Do not use a nylon cloth.
  • Rub gently when washing or drying the vehicle.
  • Take your vehicle only to a car wash that keeps its brushes well maintained.
  • Do not use abrasive cleansers or wax that contain abrasives.


Do not use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or strong detergents containing highly alkaline or caustic agents on chrome-plated or anodized aluminum parts. This may damage the protective coating; also, cleaners and detergents may discolor or deteriorate the paint.

Pay special attention to removing salt, dirt, mud, and other foreign material from the underside of the fenders, and make sure the drain holes in the lower edges of the doors and rocker panels are clean.

Insects, tar, tree sap, bird droppings, industrial fallout, and similar deposits can damage the finish if not removed immediately. When prompt washing with plain water is ineffective, use a mild soap made for use on vehicles.

Thoroughly rinse off all soap with lukewarm or cold water. Do not allow soap to dry on the finish.

After washing the vehicle, dry it with a clean chamois to prevent water spots from forming.


Dry off brakes that have become wet by driving slowly, releasing the accelerator pedal and lightly applying the brakes several times until the brake performance returns to normal: Driving with wet brakes is dangerous. Increased stopping distance or the vehicle pulling to one side when braking could result in a serious accident. Light braking will indicate whether the brakes have been affected.

When using an automatic car wash

  • Retract the door mirrors.
  • The automatic car wash brushes could reduce the paint lustre or hasten paint deterioration.

When using a high water pressure car wash

High water temperature and high water pressure car washers are available depending on the type of car wash machine. If the car washer nozzle is put too close to the vehicle, the force of the spray could damage or deform the molding, affect the sealability of parts, and allow water to penetrate the interior. Keep a sufficient space (30 cm (12 in) or more) between the nozzle and the vehicle. In addition, do not spend too much time spraying the same area of the vehicle, and be very careful when spraying between gaps in doors and around windows.


Your vehicle needs to be waxed when water no longer beads on the finish. Always wash and dry the vehicle before waxing it. In addition to the vehicle body, wax the metal trim to maintain its luster.

  1. Use wax which contains no abrasives. Wax containing abrasives will remove paints and could damage bright metal parts.
  2. Use a good grade of natural wax for metallic, mica, and solid colors.
  3. When waxing, coat evenly with the sponge supplied or a soft cloth.
  4. Wipe off the wax with a soft cloth.


A spot remover to remove oil, tar, and similar materials will usually also take off the wax. Rewax these areas even if the rest of the vehicle does not need it.

    Exterior Care

    The paintwork on your Mazda represents the latest technical developments in composition and methods of application. Environmental hazards, however, can harm the paint's protective properties, if proper care is not taken...

    Repairing Damage to the Finish

    Deep scratches or chips on the finish should be repaired promptly. Exposed metal quickly rusts and can lead to major repairs. CAUTION If your Mazda is damaged and needs metal parts repaired or replaced, make sure the body shop applies anti-corrosion materials to all parts, both repaired and new...

    Other information:

    Mazda CX-3 (2015-2024) Owner's Manual: Clock

    Setting the time The clock can be set at any time when the ignition is switched to ACC or ON. To adjust the time, press the clock button for about 2 seconds until a beep is heard. The clock's current time will flash.Time adjustment To adjust the time, press the hour/ minute set button while the clock's current time is flashing...

    Mazda CX-3 (2015-2024) Owner's Manual: How the SRS Air Bags Work

    Your Mazda is equipped with the following types of SRS air bags. SRS air bags are designed to work together with the seat belts to help to reduce injuries during an accident. The SRS air bags are designed to provide further protection for passengers in addition to the seat belt functions...


    Rearview Mirror


    Do not stack cargo or objects higher than the seatbacks:

    Cargo stacked higher than the seatbacks is dangerous. It can block your view in the rearview mirror, which might cause you to hit another car when changing lanes.

    Rearview mirror adjustment

    Before driving, adjust the rearview mirror to center on the scene through the rear window.

    Mazda CX-3. Rearview Mirror

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