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.
2012 Mazda3 hatchback 2.0 Skyactiv 6-spd auto