Mazda3: Winter taking its toll

The arctic conditions that hit the UK in early December caused many problems for many people, and eventually even my faithful Mazda3 began to crack.

Since the cold weather lifted I've had a problem with the 3's washer jets. It started off when the cold snap was still upon us - every now and then they just wouldn't work. At first I assumed the nozzles were just freezing up, so didn't think too much more about it (I'd reported on this in the last update). Now it's warmer it's clear there's an underlying issue because the jets just don't work at all. This means I've been travelling everywhere with a bottle of water and a cloth just in case the windscreen needs clearing.

It could be as a result of the repairs the car had a few months back, but I'm going to need to take the car to a dealer to get it looked at. This has coincided with a message telling me tyre rotation is required, so a trip to my local Mazda garage is on the cards. Just in case you don't know 'tyre rotation' means moving the wheels to different corners in order to get even wear.

Another thing I've come to notice is the 'ambient' lighting in the cabin. I found when driving on unlit B roads at night the wash of blue light projected from above the centre console can be distracting as it glints off your hand on the gear knob. This is more noticeable if you're wearing a watch or ring, and at times I sub-consciously thought I had a police car in my rear-view because of the blue light glinting away in my peripheral vision.

The stereo fitted to the ‘3 deserves a special mention. Not only do the Bose speakers provide more than sufficient quality and volume to the sound, the steering wheel-mounted controls for the sound and navigation systems are easy to use and intuitive. Perhaps most impressive is that the stereo is standard equipment. In fact, the only 'optional' thing on my car is the Velocity Red paintwork. This means you get dual-zone climate contol, heated seats and windscreen, sat nav and plenty more besides without having to go near the options sheet.

Current mileage: 6658

Average mpg: 31.22