Back in 2012, Mazda introduced a great system that was said to improve fuel economy. It is called i-Eloop, stands for Intelligent Energy Loop. It was highly anticipated because such system is considered groundbreaking at that time.
i-Eloop regenerates the kinetic energy that was produced when you hit the brake. Normally, that energy will just be gone, but this system is able to recycle the energy and use it to power the car’s lights, stereo, and basically anything electrical in the car. It improves fuel economy because the car doesn’t to have to tap the gas to power the electrical system since it now has the recycled kinetic energy for that.
Unfortunately, this system is not perfect. Right after it is launched in new Mazda models in 2012, users start to file various complaints about i-Eloop. Here aare some of the most common problems of the system.
Mazda has a history of recalling some of its new launched models that come equipped with i-Eloop back in 2014. Those models are Mazda 3 and Mazda 6. Those cars were recalled due to faulty power control module (PCM).
When the car is driven in wet surfaces, the PCM will incorrectly diagnose problems that don’t necessarily exist. When the system thinks that there is a problem with the energy storage capacitor, it can lead to simple problems like errors in the windshield wipers to more severe problems like sudden engine shutdown. Thankfully, the problem could be solved after Mazda upgraded the software.
i-Eloop Doesn’t Charge
Many users reported that their i-Eloop failed to charge when they were driving. As a result, the system didn’t have enough power to let the electrical equipment operated. The cars still took power to power the electrical equipment from the fuel and those users couldn’t feel the real fuel saving advantage of the i-Loop.
There were many reasons that lead to this problem. Sometimes it is simply because the users didn’t brake enough so there were no adequate kinetic energy to power the i-Loop. Meanwhile, some others happened simply due to the faulty system. Thus, the solution will depend on what causes the problem.
Is It Still Faulty Now?
The reports and complaints regarding the flaws of the brake energy registration system still exist, but it is not as much as in 2012. It seems like Mazda really has improve the system over the years. The most complaints about i-Eloop problems happened in around 2012 to 2014. Those are also the years where some of the new models at that time were recalled due to the faulty PCM. The system was introduced in 2012 so it was still very new back then and perhaps the automaker didn’t expect those errors coming.
Now, i-Eloop performs better and it also used without any problems in new high end Mazda cars. So, it is a clear sign that Mazda has really solved those problems. However, it is said that i-Eloop will not appear in the upcoming 2018 Mazda3. But it seems like we don’t have to worry about that. The automaker said that the decision to drop i-Eloop is not due to the faulty system but simply to cut production cost. Besides, it will not do anything significant for the new Mazda3 fuel efficiency.