Mazda 3 Charging System Malfunction (7 Reasons)

Mazda 3 showing charging system malfunction could mean a dead battery. A car will not start if you have a dead battery which can be very frustrating.

This is a very common problem in the Mazda 3. Since it is common it is easily fixable. 

So, is the Mazda 3 charging system malfunctioning? 

The Mazda 3 charging system can malfunction for several reasons. The first reason is the battery. The battery can become worse over time. Another reason is the alteration followed by PCM software issues. To fix it you can replace the battery. We’ve also shown you how to turn off the i-stop light. 

At first glance, all this will seem confusing. But, we’ve simplified it just for you. Steer yourself into the article to find the answers you need!

Reasons That Could Disrupt the Mazda Charging System

Your Mazda charging system could be malfunctioning for a number of reasons. Below, we are about to state some problems and solutions for this Mazda system malfunction.

1. I-stop Light 

When you have a charging malfunction the i-stop light usually comes on. And this light continuously blinks. 


You are obviously wondering how I fix my charging system warning light. Well given below are some DIY i-stop light fixes that you can easily try!

The first thing you should do is disconnect the battery negative terminal and the battery sensor. Leave the battery negative terminal undisturbed for five minutes. Then connect the battery negative cable. 

After waiting an additional ten seconds connect the battery sensor. Do not do this process the other way around. Next, turn on the ignition and wait fifteen seconds. 

Then turn the i-stop switch for ten seconds. If after this the i-stop flashing color is green you can proceed to the next step. Then turn off the ignition and start it again. 

After this let the engine warm up completely. Once the engine is warmed up completely, turn the steering wheel lock to the lock position. Then turn the steering wheel back to the middle.

Turn off the ignition and turn on the ignition again. Then within five seconds press the i-stop switch for three seconds. Start the engine and long press the switch again for three seconds. 

The i-stop light should blink green for a while and then turn off. 

2. Alteration

Alteration can become bad. And it is one of the most common problems to occur. This problem could ultimately cause the charging system to malfunction. Electricity is generated from the alternator which then goes to the battery. 

Since this is directly connected to the battery it can cause problems when charging. That is when the alternator becomes damaged or goes bad. 

Around a number of pulleys, there is a serpentine belt. This belt along with the vehicle engine helps to power the alternator. So, when the serpentine belt gets damaged the alteration also becomes bad. 

Driving on top of a puddle can cause the water to splash and damage the belt. Which in turn wrecks the alteration. A bad alternator is the most common problem for vehicle system malfunction Mazda 3 2020. 


The solution to this problem is to take the car to a professional. So, they can check and tell you how you can fix it properly. Fixing the serpentine belt should just about do the trick. 

3. Battery

Always keeps in mind that the battery has to be compatible with your Mazda. If they aren’t then the charging system will malfunction. 

A Mazda may require a Q85 EFB battery, and you could put in a regular battery. If such an incident occurs then your Mazda will show signs of error. Putting a 600 CCA battery into a Mazda with an 850 CCA battery is also incorrect. 

Batteries could also get damaged. Battery terminals could become loose or corroded. 


The first solution to this problem is to be aware. Do not mistakenly put in a different battery. You can simply check the owner’s manual for the specifications of your batter.

Your car’s battery also should have the specifications printed on it. Another word of advice is the iStop technology Mazdas need an EFB battery. EFB is the abbreviation of enhanced flooded battery. 

The solution for a battery terminal becoming bad is simply replacing it. And when doing so make sure these batteries are tightly put in. Another thing you can do is to recharge the battery.  

4. PCM Software Issues

Many issues can be seen in the software. And this can cause your charging system to malfunction or the AT light to come on. Not having the latest updates could cause such problems to arise. 

You can also do a code scan just to check. 


PCM software issues can be solved by updating the software. Fault codes like P1794 can be seen and an update can clear this code right out. 

5. Electronic Control Unit

ECU is basically the system that keeps in check that the car isn’t overdoing itself. If this system gets damaged it cannot keep the car in order anymore. Hence causing failure in the charging system. 

But check this after you’re done checking all of the other possible causes. Because this particular system is a bit expensive to check and replace. 


The solution to this problem is to get a professional to check the problem out. You cannot, unfortunately, solve this problem at home. A professional can only be the one to solve this problem. 

6. Power Loss

Power loss can occur by some components draw out power. These components can be an AC unit, headlights radio, or the light in the glove box that goes unnoticed.

And when power losses occur the charging system will not work. 


Whenever you see the charging system isn’t working, check all of the power-losing components. Turning these off can sometimes fix this problem. It can also help you not lose power unnecessarily. 

7. Short Trips

The name of this problem speaks for itself. It does mean taking shorter car rides. Too many short car rides will not let your battery charge properly.

During winter as the temperature decreases the battery power also decreases. 


As you’ve already guessed, the solution to this problem is taking longer trips. You don’t have to take long trips all the time, once in a while will suffice. You can also use a battery charger which is 12 volts. 

This type of charger can make sure that the battery is not getting damaged. Additionally, charge the battery to 100%. 

Given below are some of the best battery chargers you can purchase for your Mazda 3! 

We’re sure these battery chargers will keep those Mazdas running for quite a while. 

How to Know the Charging System Is Functioning 

After you’re done understanding how to fix the car charging system. You have to understand whether you’ve actually fixed the problem or not. And we are here to walk you through that process. 

First, start your car. During this process, the light should come on again. The lights shouldn’t remain on for more than two seconds. 

If they do then your charging system is still malfunctioning. The lights should turn off right after two seconds. Another bad sign is the lights turning off and then on again and the cycle continues. 

The light could just not turn on in the first place either which is an equally bad sign. If any of these occur your charging unit needs to be fixed.


Given below are some questions that you might have too.

How to check if the alternator or battery is causing the problem?

The engine dying right after you start the engine indicates that the alternator is causing the issue. On the other hand, a car not being able to start on its own but can start with a jump start then it points to the battery being the problem. 

Is it okay to drive a car that has a bad alternator? 

Yes, it is. But, it is recommended not to drive with a bad alternator. You can drive for a while but your car will eventually stop because of the battery being dead. 

Will a car battery drain because of a blown fuse? 

No, a car battery draining has nothing to do with a blown fuse. A blown fuse, however, can harm the turn signal or keep a headlight from functioning. 


We hope this article clears all your doubts about the Mazda 3 charging system malfunction.

It’s very exhausting facing car problems again and again and not knowing what to do. 

But we’d like to think that we helped you figure out what could be wrong with your Mazda and how to fix it!

Jerry Ellis

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