I really like the Mazda3 I just bought! - Page 2 - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by VWandDodge View Post
Check around my posts. One issue with oil consumption on these engines is the valve cover gasket was redesigned. I caught oil on the threads of two spark plugs, plus loose fasteners on the valve cover, around 16xK miles. The PVC is a PITA, and I posted pics for that as well as NO ONE who changed the damned thing posted pictures or instructions worth a damn on the entire InterWebs.

FWIW - My car is closing on 179K miles and its only issue right now is a bad gasket for the thermostat. I've had to play hell bleeding the air pockets from the cooling system on the drive to/from work this entire week. Guess what's on the maintenance agenda this weekend?

Welcome. These cars are a blast, and I'm partial to the 1st Gen so much that I'm seriously considering a second.
If my car doesn't sell soon, then I will end up replacing the PCV as well as the valve cover gasket.

I have priced it so that nobody jumps on it, and I won't lose anything on what I have put into it since buying it, which is a few hundred, on miscellaneous stuff that needed done anyway. Plus, I spent a few days making a new hatchback cover (or whatever they are called). My cover was missing when I bought it, and rather than pay $110-150 for a used one, I made a really cool one for really cheap. Yesterday, I changed the oil and transmission fluid, and today the drive belt (serpentine) and tensioner. Last week was the spark plugs, air filter and cabin air filters. All were things that needed done anyway, plus are selling points in my ad. I had started doing these things when I learned about the potential engine problem, and didn't want to stop before finishing, plus some of the stuff I had ordered online prior to learning.

I dread doing the PCV valve, if I get to it before it sells. But at 112k miles, it needs to be done anyway, and I will attempt it in a week or two, if nobody buys it.

It is completely asinine of them to put a PCV valve like that in a location like that.

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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 08:15 PM
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Luckily, in my 04 with the 2.3, I haven't had any issues whatsoever. Nearly 220,000 miles, doesn't use a drop of oil, and still runs strong.

I did do the spin-on filter conversion, and I religiously do my own oil changes every 5,000 miles with 5W-20 Mobil 1 Gold Cap or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum, and I prefer to use Mazda OEM filters. If my stash of LF05-14-302B Mazda filters is depleted and I forgot to order more, I'll use Wix.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 08:55 PM
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OP here again. It is now back up for sale. I can't chance really, really losing my butt on this car, when the risk is so high. If the engine craps out, my $5k car is worth less than $1k. I am not willing to spend up to $2k on a 2.5L just to up my odds. Well, that cost and the very, very huge PITA of swapping an engine, even if just bolts right up to everything.

I am not at all fond of the thought of anything from Ford (or Chevy, or Pontiac, etc.) in anything that I drive. I want a real Mazda engine. I really wish I had done sufficient research prior to buying this thing, which I happen to love driving.
Ummm, if you care to look closely at the engine currently in your car you will see it says FoMoCo all over it; you do know what that stands for, don't you?

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Ummm, if you care to look closely at the engine currently in your car you will see it says FoMoCo all over it; you do know what that stands for, don't you?
Did I come across as not now knowing who made this engine? I am well aware that I have a Ford engine. I learned that after I bought it. That is the reason this car is back up for sale.

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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 09:43 PM
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Did I come across as not now knowing who made this engine? I am well aware that I have a Ford engine. I learned that after I bought it. That is the reason this car is back up for sale.
Here's the thing, from a performance and durability perspective, the the Duratec 2.5 is pretty much a match any 2.5 liter four-banger of the late 2000s or early twenty-teens. To be sure I'm not necessarily a Ford fan, but the Duratec engine is about as solid as it gets.

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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 09:43 PM
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I honestly find all of this silly. The whole car is built on a Ford C platform variation along with numerous other vehicles from Ford and Volvo though they each put their own spin on it. In the 3 it's a good platform, I haven't had much go wrong on mine. On pretty much any car you look at you will find a major failure that could occur and cost you $1K+, especially on a 10 year old vehicle. If the valve cover gasket isn't leaking, leave it alone! If the PCV system is working, leave it alone! Neither are considered a standard maintenance item on most modern cars. If the car isn't using oil then just drive it and enjoy it. Most importantly, don't neglect oil changes and check you oil regularly.

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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Outrider6 View Post
If my car doesn't sell soon, then I will end up replacing the PCV as well as the valve cover gasket.

I have priced it so that nobody jumps on it, and I won't lose anything on what I have put into it since buying it, which is a few hundred, on miscellaneous stuff that needed done anyway. Plus, I spent a few days making a new hatchback cover (or whatever they are called). My cover was missing when I bought it, and rather than pay $110-150 for a used one, I made a really cool one for really cheap. Yesterday, I changed the oil and transmission fluid, and today the drive belt (serpentine) and tensioner. Last week was the spark plugs, air filter and cabin air filters. All were things that needed done anyway, plus are selling points in my ad. I had started doing these things when I learned about the potential engine problem, and didn't want to stop before finishing, plus some of the stuff I had ordered online prior to learning.

I dread doing the PCV valve, if I get to it before it sells. But at 112k miles, it needs to be done anyway, and I will attempt it in a week or two, if nobody buys it.

It is completely asinine of them to put a PCV valve like that in a location like that.
When I did the PCV I opted to replace the intake gaskets while I was at it. Honestly, like any other first time job it's kind of a PITA due to the learning curve. The only reason the PCV sucks for me is that bending takes its toll on my lower back. The best How-To I found for that was a YouTube video by a guy in England on his Ford Mondeo. I posted pics in the Powertrain forum with details which should help. At 112K miles, your car is a low mileage wonder. I say you should keep it.

You've knocked out enough items on it that it will provide many years of service. It's cheaper than a car payment!

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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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I am now thinking I will likely keep it. At least I am not going to lower my asking price to get someone to buy it quicker, and will stand firm on my current price. If I don't sell it, I will be worrying about it crapping out on me for as long as I own it. If it sells, I my mind would rest far easier if I got something with a proven 2.5, or better yet - a real Mazda engine. But once it gets close to 200k on it, then at least I will stop worrying about the oil problem, as that could happen to any engine at all with 200k on it.

My thinking on the PCV valve is that it could be a cause of the oil consumption problem. I would rather head-off that possibility before it happens, and I have replaced lots of PCV valves on vehicles with over 100k on them. I have replaced a few on my nearly 200k 4Runner, as failing PCV valves have caused oil burning problems on it (that went away when replaced). Or, I could check my oil on the Maz3 weekly, and when I notice the level dropping, then I could replace the PCV valve and hope that the problem goes away. Also - a cracked breather hose could cause a consumption or other problem, so why not nip 2 potential problems in the bud?

Regarding the valve cover gasket, that was one way I bought this car at a lower price. There was some oil on the upper back of the engine. I thought it was probable either spilled oil from a change, or a leaking VC gasket. I got the owner to drop the price by $500 because of that. I cleaned off the oil (I always like to keep an engine clean so I can see fresh leaks, and a clean engine is much easier to work on). I haven't seen any oil reappear on it, so it very well may have been spilled oil. Also, I have read of folks finding oil on their spark plugs, which is something that would not be readily or easily seen. I would rather head-off that problem too. It helps that a VC gasket job on this car seems to be a very easy job, and cheap, too. Why not do it, especially if I am already in there for the PCV valve? Taking care of known potential issues and nipping possible problems in the bud, before they happen.

I know I am OCD, anal-retentive, and over-think things. But I love machines and pride myself on keeping them in good working order, as well as doing every single thing on them myself. I never, ever take any vehicle to a mechanic. The only work of that nature I ever pay for is tires and alignments, and only because I cannot afford the equipment to do that type of work. If I could change auto cars with tire irons, and align them with yardsticks and lasers, then I would. (After some major suspension work once, I actually did align a wheel that way, and got it within 1/2 degree of the designed alignment number).

In summary, I think I will replace the PCV valve, breather hose and VC gasket (as well as gaskets on anything I have to remove), but all of that will have to wait until after Christmas, when funds become available. Or before then, if it happens to start using oil. That is, if it doesn't sell before I get to that. I know I would worry far less with either a 2.5 or if I got a Miata (Miatas are well known for being extremely reliable).

If I didn't love driving this car, as well as the practical aspects of it, then I would have already lowered my asking price to get rid of it and ease my mind. At this point, I really want to keep it, and will do what I can to make sure that I can do that. But one thing I most certainly will not do is swap an engine on it. I love working on cars, and am good at it, but that is far more than I want to take on, but time and money-wise.

I hope I covered all of the points I was thinking of. I am 53 and my old, cluttered brain is withering away. I really don't want this thread to go on forever.

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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 10:24 AM
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FWIW, I'm fiddy, so don't let your age get you down. You pretty much seem to have the bugs ironed out.

Just a tip when addressing the PCV is to have some throttle body cleaner on-hand. Chances are the back side of yours is filthy.

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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 11:40 AM
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Agreed, I'm well into my sixties; the rest of y'all are a bunch of young punks.

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