We purchased a 2019 CX5 last summer from Walser Mazda. We are very pleased with the car so far. The sales process went smooth and the sales people were very nice. Regular maintenance visits to the service center have gone well too. So some nice things to say about the dealer.
However we had one sour interaction. At the time of purchase I requested a block heater to be installed and was told that Mazda does not install factory block heaters. Why not? We live in one of the coldest states in the nation. All my past vehicles had options for factory block heaters (Subaru Outback and Ford Focus and F-150). I think it's a given for Minnesota customers to have the option of of having factory block heaters installed.
I researched online and learned that Mazda indeed does not install factory block heaters in USA Mazda's, but it does so for Canadian Mazdas. I also found sources for Canadian Mazda CX-5 OEM block heaters. It is Mazda part number 0000-88-CX5A-CA and this OEM part is only available from Canadian Mazda Dealers for the cost of 56.10 US Dollars.
I called the Walser Mazda service department and asked if I bought and brought the part in myself would they install it. They told me they don’t install aftermarket parts. I tried to explain it was a Canadian OEM Mazda part and not an aftermarket part, but they wouldn’t hear of it. I then spoke with the Service Manager. First he told me they don’t install them because the block heater causes the engine block to warp. I’m fairly certain that is a false explanation. Why would Mazda dealers in Canada install them if they are known to cause engine blocks to warp? And how would they cause engine block warpage? I've been using block heaters for 35+ years and never heard of such a situation. I googled it and found nothing.
When I questioned him on that, the service manager brushed it aside and went on to say that the oil viscosity is so thin on the CX5 that block heaters are not really needed. I agree that thiner oil makes for easier winter starting, but keeping your engine block warm in sub-zeroes temperatures is the best solution to reduce engine wear in cold weather not to mention having faster heat in the car on those cold winter mornings MN is well-known for.
While I’m frustrated not to be able to have a block heater in our new Mazda CX5 while living in Northern MN, I’m really disappointed that that the service manger gave me a false explanation that block heaters cause Mazda engine blocks to warp, which makes me weary to continue bringing my car there for service.