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#4723557 - 04/11/18 11:56 AM 2008 Mazda 3 2.3L oil loss potentially resolved
newbe46 Offline


Registered: 01/19/17
Posts: 207
Loc: Ontario, Canada
For the American BITOG'ers, my apology for not converting the units to imperial.

My girlfriend drives this 2008 Mazda. I've been taking over the oil changes because the place she went is bit pricey for oil changes.

The first time I did the oil change on the car was at around 145,000 KM. Given this is just a small 4 cylinder NA engine, I would expect it takes about 4 litre to 4.4 litre and indeed Mazda calls for 4 litre without filter change and 4.3 litre with filter change. Anyway, correct me if I'm wrong.

After the oil finished draining, I was appalled by how much came out of the oil pan. It was a little less than 2 litre! And the OCI was not even close to 5,000 KM. I can't say for sure the duration but let's just say it was 4 months. In other words, in less than 5,000 KM the oil consumption/loss was more than 50% unless the mechanic filled only 2 litre but I doubt it.

First of all, I was surprised by the lack of oil pressure did not trigger the low oil light on the dash. Second of all, how could a relatively young and a naturally aspirated engine consume so much oil? After all this is just a compact 4-door engine not a performance oriented engine. And more importantly how long has this been happening?

I first blame Ford for producing [censored] engines again since my family had two Fords before and both were died prematurely. Sorry if I offend any Ford fans out there and this is not my intention. I do love the Ford GTs and I believe they are built in Canada. grin

Then I told my girlfriend to keep a close eye on the oil level on this OCI. And again a few months had passed, on this OCI we changed at around 5,000 KM and just like the one before, only a little over 2 litre came out.

What's the reason? Some articles online says oil consumption could be caused by worn valve seals. We don't plan on spending a lot of money to nurse this car, so if it requires rebuilding the motor that's out of the question. I read somewhere that oil loss could be caused by an aged PCV which is what I plan to look at this coming summer. The worst case we would just keep feeding cheap store brand oil just to keep the car going.

A few days ago I checked the oil level again, I took note of the level both when the engine is cold and hot and I was happy to see there was not much oil loss, but what is the reason?

First, let me say this 2.3L engine has the drop-in type filter instead of the spin-on filter. I had only done two oil changes on this car. The first time when I removed the oil filter from the housing, I replaced the rubber o-ring of the filter housing cover. But I did not replace the filter housing drain plug filter because I did not have the Allen at the time and I didn't think too much of it. This design is similar to my M3.

The second time I changed the oil I do have the Allen key in my possession so I did everything properly, I did it just like how some of the YouTube DIY videos. When I took out that rubber o-ring from the filter housing drain plug, I noticed the material is not as soft as the new one that came with the filter, there was also some discoloration. I also notice there was a lot of oil stain on the filter housing cover which I could not notice the first time because I did the first oil change in the evening.

So my conclusion is that, this o-ring had not been replaced for a very long time and caused some oil leaking from the oil filter housing. It may not drip as much when the car is parked because most of the oil goes back to the oil pan. But if the car is running and oil being pumped through the filter, we wouldn't have known while we are in the car.

Sorry for the long post. If you reading this last line, you are a true BITOG'er and thanks for reading.
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#4723567 - 04/11/18 12:01 PM Re: 2008 Mazda 3 2.3L oil loss potentially resolved [Re: newbe46]
pbm Offline


Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 7642
Loc: New York
The Mazda MZR is a Mazda designed (not Ford) engine which Ford uses and calls Duratec. It's an excellent, long lasting engine. I would change the PCV valve and use a new O-ring with each filter change.
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#4723568 - 04/11/18 12:01 PM Re: 2008 Mazda 3 2.3L oil loss potentially resolved [Re: newbe46]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10338
Loc: OH
I would replace the pcv valve with an oem unit and monitor from there. Even it if rattles still replace it. They still rattle even though the internal spring is broken.

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#4723573 - 04/11/18 12:06 PM Re: 2008 Mazda 3 2.3L oil loss potentially resolved [Re: newbe46]
CharlieJ Offline


Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 1426
Loc: FL
I highly doubt that not changing the o-ring on the oil filter cap caused any oil to leak out. If it was leaking out from there at all, the plastic cap would be covered in oil. I change the oil filter (and o-rings) every other oil change with zero sign of any leakage. The engine is either leaking oil from somewhere else or burning oil. I have the same engine that does not use a noticeable amount between changes at 5K Miles. The PCV valve is not worth messing with on these engines in my opinion.
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#4723576 - 04/11/18 12:11 PM Re: 2008 Mazda 3 2.3L oil loss potentially resolved [Re: newbe46]
WobblyElvis Online   content


Registered: 09/23/14
Posts: 1386
Loc: Toronto Canada
I am curious, are you saying the filter housing was leaking 2 quarts in 5,000 km and yet it did not leak enough to see it form a puddle on the ground? I am wondering if this much oil can evaporate off a hot engine and never drip on to the ground. Do you park on asphalt or a gravel driveway?

Good to see you found the problem.

Edit: I see the plug you are talking about is right on the bottom of the filter housing down at the bottom of the engine so this kind of negates my question.


Edited by WobblyElvis (04/11/18 12:18 PM)

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#4723579 - 04/11/18 12:14 PM Re: 2008 Mazda 3 2.3L oil loss potentially resolved [Re: newbe46]
JimPghPA Offline


Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 3859
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
Inbetween oil changes check the oil level every 2000 KM and top it off then until it reads full on the dipstick.
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#4723581 - 04/11/18 12:19 PM Re: 2008 Mazda 3 2.3L oil loss potentially resolved [Re: newbe46]
thrace Offline


Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 408
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: newbe46
I was surprised by the lack of oil pressure did not trigger the low oil light on the dash. Second of all, how could a relatively young and a naturally aspirated engine consume so much oil?
2 quarts down out of 4 quarts does not usually cause low oil pressure. Oil light usually is low oil pressure indicator. Not Level indicator. So if pressure is not low and oil level is low, oil light stays off. Don't know if Mazda has low oil level sensor. Most cars do not. Still could be burning oil. Some Euro makes are more known for burning. Valve stem seals not typically bad at 145k Kilometers.

Quote:
I first blame Ford
Not a Ford engine.

Then I told my girlfriend to keep a close eye on the oil level on this OCI. And again a few months had passed, on this OCI we changed at around 5,000 KM and just like the one before, only a little over 2 litre came out.

Quote:
we would just keep feeding cheap store brand oil just to keep the car going.
A reasonable plan.

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#4723601 - 04/11/18 12:32 PM Re: 2008 Mazda 3 2.3L oil loss potentially resolved [Re: newbe46]
NormanBuntz Offline


Registered: 07/27/13
Posts: 2165
Loc: Outer Banks, NC
How about this? Switch to Walmart's Supertech High Mileage oil in the correct viscosity AND either you or your GF check the oil level at every gas tank fill up. There's no excuse for allowing a vehicle to be two liters low on engine oil. Also, I agree with changing the PCV valve.
_________________________
2017 Honda Odyssey SE, 14K
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2007 Honda Ridgeline RTS, 86K
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#4723672 - 04/11/18 01:40 PM Re: 2008 Mazda 3 2.3L oil loss potentially resolved [Re: newbe46]
quint Offline


Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 373
Loc: Cincinnati
The early 2.3 MZR's did have issues with oil burning, mostly 2004-2007 model years. Yours is a 2008 but depending on the build date you might be on the tail end of this issue. It was related to the PCV valve, although I wouldnt rule out valve seals or other issues. I would start with the PCV valve though. If you are active on Mazda forums or just go onto Mazda forums and do a search you'll see posts about some 2.3's burning oil. The MZR's came in various displacements and are generally well built and durable engines but the 2.3 version did have its disproportionate share of problems for whatever reason compared to the 2.0 and 2.5 version you see in this market.
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1993 240sx convertible
2001 Sequoia
2012 Mazda 2
2012 Mazda 3 Totaled 3/16/18, R.I.P
2017 Mazda 3
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#4724005 - 04/11/18 07:40 PM Re: 2008 Mazda 3 2.3L oil loss potentially resolved [Re: newbe46]
2004tdigls Offline


Registered: 10/31/11
Posts: 487
Loc: maple ridge, bc
use the dipstick and check the oil, there is no excuse for driving a car low on oil

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#4724088 - 04/11/18 08:51 PM Re: 2008 Mazda 3 2.3L oil loss potentially resolved [Re: newbe46]
benjy Offline


Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 906
Loc: pa
always check oil when cold so all is drained into the pan, a level surface is recommended as well. oil cools + lubricates + running with it down prolly increases its use CHECK IT REGULARLY!!!!

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