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Old 02-19-2017, 05:48 PM   #1
nanxun
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Greetings and questions about 2013 vs. 2014 FR-S

Hey, guys.

I'm new to the forum and this is my first post, so please be gentle!

After getting into an accident last Tue (Valentine's Day), my insurance co. deemed my beloved 2014 Mazda3 hatch (2.0L) a "total loss."



So, I'm looking for a new ride and seriously considering getting into a used FR-S. I've already seat-tested a couple examples from the 2013 model year and love the car's dynamics.

I have two used examples in my sights:

1. An orange ("hot lava") example from the 2013 model year with 36.5k miles on the clock and an asking price of $13.8k (private seller).

Went to look at and test drive this car today. It has the well-known issue of condensation in one taillight assembly as well as a bit of curb rash on all 4 rims (??!), signs of minor brushing up against other objects/cars (minor scuffs) on the driver's side front fender and left-rear bumper, a door ding, etc.


2. a dark gray ("asphalt") 2014 example with 23.0k miles and an asking price of $16.0k (at a dealer; OTD price will be more like $17k, I assume). Haven't yet test driven or looked at this car in person.


Questions: all revolving around my concerns about quality control for the initial production run in 2013
1. Will having a mechanic pull the diagnostic codes off the ECU on the 2013 car be sufficient to determine if it had a faulty ECU mapping from the factory (improper/unsteady idle and associated problems)?

2. If it did have an ECU issue, will this have potentially damaged the engine and thus affected its (the engine's) long-term reliability?

3. Is it worth my peace of mind to pay $3k more for a 2014 example with 13.5k fewer miles and most of the first year production gremlins worked out? Or is it possible that the 2013 car is mechanically and electrically sound and thus a solid car (for the long-haul) at a great price?

4. Finally, am I missing or overlooking any other issues either with the quality control on the 2013 car or otherwise?

Any guidance or advice would be most welcome and much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by nanxun; 02-21-2017 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:07 PM   #2
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hey nanxun and welcome. im fairly new here too. i bought a 2013 black with 36 thou on it, my car had new tires and brakes. i can,t compare it to any other cars but i have enjoyed mine so far and it tracks and drives great. good luck which ever way you go.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:18 PM   #3
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thx for the reply and the welcome @scionhobokenD

sounds like your 2013 is serving you well. glad to hear it and hope i can get into an 86 and become a full member of the forum/community
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:40 PM   #4
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Hey, guys.

I'm new to the forum and this is my first post, Thanks in advance!
Hi ya, naxun and welcome to the forum..........

If they both have the transmission that you prefer and neither of them have been heavily modified or wrecked, I'd just pick the one that has the color you prefer.

I've had my 2013 for 4 years now and have had zero problems with it .....


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Old 02-19-2017, 09:53 PM   #5
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Hi ya, naxun and welcome to the forum..........

If they both have the transmission that you prefer and neither of them have been heavily modified or wrecked, I'd just pick the one that has the color you prefer.

I've had my 2013 for 4 years now and have had zero problems with it .....


humfrz
thanks for the warm welcome, @humfrz

pleased and encouraged to hear that your 2013 has served you so well!

i'm completely new to the platform but have been reading as much as i can about it. probably over-reacting, but my main concern is the build quality and QC for the 2013 model year in general, and whether the 2013 example i looked at this afternoon was in a wreck. (owner says no, but his asking price, $13.8k, is way below anything else i've seen in the area.)

more specifically, not sure if the airbox is stock or has been replaced. i've seen pics of some people's airboxes with "TRD" on them. might you (or anyone else) happen to know is this standard or aftermarket? sorry for the noob questions.

EDIT: nevermind. think i just discovered the answer to my own question (re: airbox) here on the forum. apologies!
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:09 PM   #6
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I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a '13 and I'll tell you that if a car is much below market value to REALLY check it out. I've looked at probably 20 cars and every one that was a "too good to be true" deal ended up having issues due to accidents. These cars just seem to attract the "young and stupid" crowd and it shows. To expound on that statement young doesn't always equate to stupid however it seems to go hand in hand all too many times.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:45 PM   #7
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I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a '13 and I'll tell you that if a car is much below market value to REALLY check it out. I've looked at probably 20 cars and every one that was a "too good to be true" deal ended up having issues due to accidents. These cars just seem to attract the "young and stupid" crowd and it shows. To expound on that statement young doesn't always equate to stupid however it seems to go hand in hand all too many times.
Thanks for the wise counsel and for sharing your own thoughts and experience, @TommyW .

It's good to get confirmation of my gut instinct, which is that the '13 I saw today is, more likely than not, just "too good to be true." As such, I'll probably go see and drive the '14 model. If that doesn't work out, I'll get my mechanic to go over the '13 more thoroughly, if it's still available.

This forum is already standing me in good stead, even though I have not (yet!) joined the ranks of 86-owners.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:25 AM   #8
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the issues (which in short were minor) with the early models were sporadic and from what I personally experienced along with reading the experiences on this forum with other people's '13s you shouldn't need to worry. Like @humfrz said if the tranny and color matches and it drives fine you'll be ok.

and folks the price on that 2013 is right on the money, seems like he chose the exact dollar amount KBB suggests for a '13 86 in "good" condition for his area....pretty sure living in the east can make it tough to ask for higher prices on coupes so @nanxun and @TommyW shouldn't be comparing prices when they're on the opposite sides of the states
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:59 AM   #9
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the issues (which in short were minor) with the early models were sporadic and from what I personally experienced along with reading the experiences on this forum with other people's '13s you shouldn't need to worry. Like @humfrz said if the tranny and color matches and it drives fine you'll be ok.

and folks the price on that 2013 is right on the money, seems like he chose the exact dollar amount KBB suggests for a '13 86 in "good" condition for his area....pretty sure living in the east can make it tough to ask for higher prices on coupes so @nanxun and @TommyW shouldn't be comparing prices when they're on the opposite sides of the states
Many thanks for weighing in @HKz , esp. regarding the pricing of that '13. Point well-taken. I did check the KBB site and you're absolutely correct.

Hmmmm. Now I'm swinging back towards the idea of getting a mechanic to go over the car more thoroughly to look for any structural/mechanical issues as well as for any electrical gremlins.

Additional input still welcome and appreciated as I mull it over.
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:19 AM   #10
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Welcome! Glad to have you around.

I'm only 17 and I haven't driven many cars In my life, but the FRS to me is amazing. I currently own a 37k Mile Ultramarine 2013. If i were in your shoes i'd just go for the asphalt 2014.

Personally I feel the process of purchasing through a dealer is less of a hastle with financing etc etc.

I feel like the price of that car as well is extremely good, was there anything wrong with it before, in any accidents or anything? (the dealership one) I purchased my FRS a few weeks back from Woodbridge VA and payed about 16.9k for mine.

The fact you mentioned the other vehicle had some scuffs on mirrors and all does to me show it might of not been cared after too great, but I could be wrong. Whichever car you end up getting good luck! but hey, that 14'
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanxun View Post
Hey, guys.

I'm new to the forum and this is my first post, so please be gentle!

After getting into an accident last Tue (Valentine's Day), my insurance co. deemed my beloved 2014 Mazda3 hatch (2.0L) a "total loss."



So, I'm looking for a new ride and seriously considering getting into a used FR-S. I've already seat-tested a couple examples from the 2013 model year and love the car's dynamics.

I have two used examples in my sights:

1. An orange ("hot lava") example from the 2013 model year with 36.5k miles on the clock and an asking price of $13.8k (private seller).

Went to look at and test drive this car today. It has the well-known issue of condensation in one taillight assembly as well as a bit of curb rash on all 4 rims (??!), signs of minor brushing up against other objects/cars (minor scuffs) on the driver's side front fender and left-rear bumper, a door ding, etc.






2. a dark gray ("asphalt") 2014 example with 23.0k miles and an asking price of $16.0k (at a dealer; OTD price will be more like $17k, I assume). Haven't yet test driven or looked at this car in person.





Questions: all revolving around my concerns about quality control for the initial production run in 2013
1. Will having a mechanic pull the diagnostic codes off the ECU on the 2013 car be sufficient to determine if it had a faulty ECU mapping from the factory (improper/unsteady idle and associated problems)?

2. If it did have an ECU issue, will this have potentially damaged the engine and thus affected its (the engine's) long-term reliability?

3. Is it worth my peace of mind to pay $3k more for a 2014 example with 13.5k fewer miles and most of the first year production gremlins worked out? Or is it possible that the 2013 car is mechanically and electrically sound and thus a solid car (for the long-haul) at a great price?

4. Finally, am I missing or overlooking any other issues either with the quality control on the 2013 car or otherwise?

Any guidance or advice would be most welcome and much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
You wouldn't happen to be the guy who submitted a car debate to everyday driver??
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:24 PM   #12
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You wouldn't happen to be the guy who submitted a car debate to everyday driver??
Wow. Yeah, that'd be me.

Small world, huh? How'd you figure it out?

Got any advice or words of wisdom?
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:34 PM   #13
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TommyW[/URL][/U] shouldn't be comparing prices when they're on the opposite sides of the states
I don't believe I was comparing prices. Prices are relative to location. You need to know your local pricing structure and compare accordingly
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:43 PM   #14
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I don't believe I was comparing prices. Prices are relative to location. You need to know your local pricing structure and compare accordingly
Just to follow-up on points made by @HKz and @TommyW , the asking price for the '13 is, indeed, right on the nose in terms of KBB pricing.

However, it's priced well below any comparable vehicles (with similar mileage, transmission, etc.) being offered in my local market. That's what raised a red-flag for me, esp. after reading about QC issues associated with the first production run.

I'm more open to pursuing the '13 now (as opposed to just dismissing all examples from MY 2013 and moving onto examples made in 2014), but it'll still have to have to pass more thorough inspection by a mechanic. So, points made by both TommyW and HKz are well taken. Thx, guys.
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