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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-19-2020 06:14 PM
raitchison OK guys add me to the list of Oil hungry 2.3L owners.

I bought my car new almost exactly 16 years ago. I've done all the oil changes on the car myself. Back when I used to autocross and tow regularly I used Mobil1 (5w30 in the winter and 10w30 in the summer) and changed the oil every 3000 miles. When I stopped autocrossing and towing I bumped the OCI up to 5000 miles and when Exxon bought Mobil and switched Mobil1 to a semi-synthetic I switched to MaxLife (red bottle).

I have ~145K miles on the car now, obviously some things have broken (thermostat, a few fuel purge solenoid valves, alternator) but in general it's been very reliable.

Last time I changed the oil was about 6000 miles due to two ~1000 mile road trips but I was alarmed to only get about 1.75 quarts out. I admit I had not been regularly checking the oil because I've never once had to add oil between oil changes before.

In general though the car is still running great and just passed it's smog test a couple weeks ago.

Checked it last weekend, about 500 miles since the last oil change and it was a quart low.

So needless to say this is all very concerning to me. I'm due for new spark plugs so I will check the old plugs for signs of oil and go from there.
12-31-2017 07:42 PM
VWandDodge This thread interests me because I serviced the valve cover gasket, O2 sensors, and spark plugs last year on my 3. I had the transmission rebuilt a couple of weeks ago and the car runs strong with 14xK miles. It had 39K miles when I bought it about 7 years ago. I have noticed zero oil consumption issues with the engine, aside from having to replace the valve cover gasket, so perhaps that's why these cars have a bad rep for doing so. I use synthetic oil changed at 7,500 mile intervals.

I was wishing I'd known about the 2.5L swap *before* I had serviced the engine; however, I'm thinking I can get another 5 years out of this car.
12-31-2017 07:27 PM
the_big_dill I have been using liquimoly 5W20 since I owned the car, I am nearing 250k miles now and compression is still close to original and no oil loss. I change it every 5k miles though.

I think your posts were getting blocked for the suspicious length of them, haha. I like details when its something interesting, but I have seen random advertisements that pop up on the forums.

Where I live, very few people mess around with the control units on these cars, im talking the NA cars, not the speeds. That being said, I have seen so many cars with this problem, and none of them have been messed with electronically. I personally believe it trails down to the maintenance history of the vehicle.

People who buy new econoboxes like the 3s don't necessarily buy a car to take care of it. They buy a new car for it to be trouble free. I believe the 2.3L engine is just plagued with some problem with PCV path.

The theory you have is pretty intricate, but I would have to disagree, you don't have to lose compression for oil to get consumed. I have heard the older proteges consume oil because the oil ring was stuck to the piston, but compression was still good!
Another point to that, my moms 2006 3 with the 2.3L drinks oil like like a pig, but compression is good... No smoke or leak either. might not be an issue with the rings either.

As I mentioned before, one big clue leading me to believe it is the PCV system is that my moms cars intake is covered in seemingly fresh oil, where as my cars intake is dry. I haven't checked if that oil was pooling up at the bottom of the intake, but maybe it gets burned in trace amounts under high air velocity in the intake.
12-31-2017 03:47 PM
m3iguy
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogbone7.3 View Post
... What kind of oil have you been using? I知 planning on using Castrol 0w-20 synth...
I use Pennzoil or Valvoline full synthetic, but also believe that any of the other competing, top-shelf full syn (such as Castrol) would be fine as well.

Quote:
... what should I start with when I run the engine through the brake in period? ...
Are you rebuilding the boneyard engine? If not, there would be no break in period.

Quote:
... As I see it: (and I知 way open for suggestions and corrections here) the high mixture causes an excess in un-burnt fuel to deposit in the form of carbon. ...
IMO, extended running rich would dilute the oil and trash the engine due to lack of lubrication. However, running overly rich would likely not be something that could continue for an extended period of time. Case in point: last Winter, my Chevy's MAP sensor started to go bad with no code set, and resulted in rich fuel trims around -20. That rich condition was something which was painfully obvious, and could not be ignored for even a brief period of time.

Now I suppose one could argue that running slightly rich might go undetected. Although that may be true, IMO poor oil maintenance is by far the most likely cause of your 2.0L issues. Best of luck getting it back on the road successfully!
12-31-2017 01:52 PM
dogbone7.3
Quote:
Originally Posted by m3iguy View Post
It's not a hi-jack when the OP is a one-and-done airhead, like the guy who started this thread.


^^ +1 ^^
My daughter's 2011 2.0L 3i has never used any oil whatsoever, with regular 7.5K OCIs, and an 11K extended oil change the last time. I've used only top-shelf 0W-20 full synthetic and Mazda filters, and regularly check the oil between changes.

I listened to it as she started it up at -1F this morning, and it sounded great. Nothing 'extra' from the engine, just a nice solid purring sound. I love that engine


Thanks for the feedback m3iguy;



I知 glad to hear you致e had good luck with 2011 2.0. The engine I got from the junk yard in PA is a 2011 2.0 w/ 111k miles on it. What kind of oil have you been using? I知 planning on using Castrol 0w-20 synth.



Which brings me to a question for all; since I知 new to the synthetic oil world, what should I start with when I run the engine through the brake in period? Do these Mazda痴 come from the factory with synthetic oil and 0 miles on the engine? So you池e running synthetic for the first 5k miles?
Back to the 電isappearing oil issue:
As I was rambling in yesterday痴 post, I was considering the PCV comment. I think this may be one of the key players in the overall issue. I値l need to look at the design of the PCV and vacuum system and see if anything jumps out.


One of the other key players (IMHO) may be the fuel mixture. I値l have to check the engine that threw a rod, but the one I got used from the junk yard was apparently running very rich. The cylinders looked like cylindrical mirrors. And the carbon build up was thick (in the areas where it would tend to not get blown off). I値l need to check the VCU to make sure it has the appropriate code when we get it running again.


As I see it: (and I知 way open for suggestions and corrections here) the high mixture causes an excess in un-burnt fuel to deposit in the form of carbon. The carbon builds up (this happens relatively fast) to the point at which it flakes off during the combustion part of the cycle and gets stuck to the cylinder wall.

The piston comes up and collects the carbon which causes a build up along the perimeter of the piston (the compression ring). These larger particles do two things. 1: They get ground down and work their way throughout the ring grooves, eventually making their way to the oil ring and mixing with the oil (ever notice the black stuff that comes out when you change your oil? It痴 clear when it goes in). And 2: Some of the larger particles get blown out of the combustion chamber; I believe causing pitting on the valve lands along the way. (I had to have my valves and valve lands cut because there were some really deep pits.)


Both of these processes will eventually lead to lose of compression. The lost compression into the crankcase (blow-by) will increase as the compression rings become restricted by the excess buildup of carbon between the ring and the piston ring groove surfaces. The buildup affects the combustion ring痴 tendency to spring back as the piston travels back up the cylinder. The affect is that it takes longer due to increased friction. When this happens the ring can no longer apply adequate pressure to the cylinder wall.



Lost ring pressure on the cylinder wall means the rings will start to float a little as the piston travels up. When this happens, some carbon (very small particles) will roll between the cylinder wall and the surface of the ring. (That痴 a very nice polishing method.) At the same time they are polishing the cylinder walls the rings are floating higher allowing larger carbon particles between the ring surface and the cylinder wall. Now we池e getting even more blow-by and lost compression.


It痴 a vicious cycle that just keeps growing as the engine hours accumulate. Poor oil quality and a low quality oil filter (one that doesn稚 filter to a low enough micron level) coupled with longer than recommended OCIs will contribute to more and more blow-by creating the perfect storm; literally.


Now the crankcase is pressurized. Not so much that it blows your dip stick out, but higher than the PCV system was designed to handle. Where does all that extra air go? Back to the intake (I think ). But, now that it痴 traveling at a higher speed and volume; it痴 taking more oil vapor along for the ride.
And so we池e back to the beginning of the story; which is a lot of air, mixed with too much fuel, combined with some dirty air, mixed with too much oil, and the process starts all over again. But it痴 worse now.


Ok. Those are my thoughts for the day. I have to go pick up a used AC compressor for Old Blue and get back to the 2.0 waiting for me in the garage.
12-31-2017 11:36 AM
dogbone7.3
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_big_dill View Post
Forums are meant to help each other, don't be sorry as I am glad you posted here!

Please send photos or detailed descriptions of what you find, it is of great help to find out where the problem is... Were these 2.3L engines? I bet the majority of people who owned these cars while they were fresh just didn't change oil on time, hence the build up.

I will let you know if I can find anything on the piston ring spec.

Hey Big Dill, thanks for the feedback. I posted here yesterday but for some reason the post never appeared. Must have gone out to the nether...

I got the specs for the piston ring gap. Still wish I could find the 10,000 page pdf of the 2010 era Mazda 3. I have the Haynes book (actually bought it for the boy, but he's not interested yet) and I have the 3000 page pdf that I got for $14 bucks. Then I found the same one for free while looking for the 10,000 page one.
I need to figure out the picture posting method here, then I値l start posting pics. I want to build a thread for the 2.0 rebuild, but this holiday week has been hectic.. can稚 wait to go back to work so the local boss doesn稚 find more for me to do.
I looked through some of the photos I took during the tear down and will take some more as I finish the old block inspection. Will also include some detailed photos of the intake. I値l have to come back here and update a post with the link. But I知 thinking too far ahead now.
Also; no. These were both 2.0 engines.
12-30-2017 01:30 PM
dogbone7.3
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_big_dill View Post
Forums are meant to help each other, don't be sorry as I am glad you posted here!

Please send photos or detailed descriptions of what you find, it is of great help to find out where the problem is... Were these 2.3L engines? I bet the majority of people who owned these cars while they were fresh just didn't change oil on time, hence the build up.

I will let you know if I can find anything on the piston ring spec.
Thanks for the feed back Big Dill. I actually found the (or i should say "a") spec on the ring end gap. Unfortunately it's in a Haynes manual. These are good books, but I prefer OEM service manual stuff. Or even actual machine shop info that describes how to calculate the gap yourself. Since this is my son's DD, I just want it as stock as I can get it.

And "no", not 2.3s. These engines were both 2.0s. I think it's the L4 family. And I'm not sure who the actual designer is. I did know, but can't recall if it's Ford or Mazda. It is however referred to as a Duratec 2.0 in some places and has the FoMoCo brand in the block casting.

I certainly will post some pictures once I get this one back together. Currently: I'm taking way too many pictures of the build process. I did quite a bit of work on the heads as a trial run for future projects, and learned a lot. That's another thread.

As for the oil issues at hand; It's hard to say what the root cause is. It could be a design issue; but that doesn't explain why some have had great performance with regular oil changes.

IMHO: I think more than likely it's a combination of issues.
it could be the brand of oil (cheap and non-synth);
it could be the use of non-synthetic oil coupled with long OCIs (If the engine was "actually" designed for synthetic use only);
it could be that the PCV needs to be changed out more regularly.
my favorite thought is that the VCUs get hacked and mucked around with. While I was reading threads on one of the other forums, someone said that running the mixture on the wet side is always better if your looking for more power. I think it went something like 'the wetter the better'. Which is far from the truth.

The mixture has to be at least very close to what it was designed for. Unless you're pulling it out once a year to clean it up and replace the rings and check the valves. If you run it too lean, it runs hot and dies sooner. I'm not really sure what all could happen... warped head, burnt valves..
If you run it rich there are other issues. Carbon building up and the cylinder walls get to looking like cylindrical mirrors. Not to mention the clogged piston rings and pitting on the valve lands. This (I think) could lead to higher than usual blow by; pressurizing the crankcase and causing more oil vapor to get recirculated back through the intake through the PCV.

In my case, I really think it has more to do with someone mucking around with the VCU code and changing the mixture. I say this because essentially, this will be the third engine for this car (well. the third one didn't actually come out of this car). But it's my story and I'm stinking to it.
So, both of the ones that I pulled apart where full of carbon. I need to take a better look at the one that came with the car. And, yes, I'll post pictures. It will just take some time since that one is buried right now. And I wasn't thinking about documenting anything when I started all this.

To answer Datsun's question: The engine that came with the car: I have no idea how many miles were on it. It had all the markings of a junk yard engine when he brought the car home. That's about the time I started trying to think positive. Then: It ran ok until it didn't. Used a lot of oil in the meantime, but my fingers were crossed. (note to self: that doesn't work. Needless to say; the positive thinking also did nothing)

The engine that we got to replace it came from a junk yard in PA. the internet said 11k miles. I first found one in Florida for about $1700. It supposedly had either 28K or 60k miles (Can't remember). That's when I found the one in PA. That one was $900 and came with free shipping. Plus they knocked another, I think, $50 or so off for something, not really important since the engine showed up with a smashed oil pan and a broken valve cover. In addition, the packing slip said 110k miles. They forgot to include the one zero on the internet.

For now, I'm going to try to attach a picture to see how it works. It's just a teaser if it works. But if it doesn't: it's just some pieces of a piston....
no cliff hangers here...
12-29-2017 09:07 PM
Datsun1600
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipo View Post
I've been on Mazda3 related forums since I bought my 2009 Mazda3 i TVE 5-Speed back in the fall of 2008; I think I've heard of a single 2.0 liter engine failing, and that was clearly due to lack of maintenance. Regarding the 2.3, as I understand it, there are two main issues; the thin/low quality cylinder liners and oil flow (both of which were addressed in the 2.5 liter engines), even still, some engines manage 200,000 miles easily, others to Tango Uniform in well under 100,000 miles, even with meticulous maintenance.
Was that single 2.0L engine my daughter's car? LOL. Her 2007 engine blew a head gasket, but I would say there was a lack of maintenance to the engine.

Now that I've put a 2012 2.5L Ford engine in her car I have given her a strict maintenance schedule to follow. She understand, finally, that engine fluids are not to be ignored.
12-29-2017 11:44 AM
m3iguy
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogbone7.3 View Post
....
I'm sure this is just a lot of wind for everyone, and i opoligize for that. I feel like i might have hi-jacked this thread. .....
It's not a hi-jack when the OP is a one-and-done airhead, like the guy who started this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_big_dill View Post
Forums are meant to help each other, don't be sorry as I am glad you posted here! ...

I bet the majority of people who owned these cars while they were fresh just didn't change oil on time, hence the build up. ....
^^ +1 ^^
My daughter's 2011 2.0L 3i has never used any oil whatsoever, with regular 7.5K OCIs, and an 11K extended oil change the last time. I've used only top-shelf 0W-20 full synthetic and Mazda filters, and regularly check the oil between changes.

I listened to it as she started it up at -1F this morning, and it sounded great. Nothing 'extra' from the engine, just a nice solid purring sound. I love that engine
12-29-2017 10:37 AM
shipo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Datsun1600 View Post
Dogbone,

Since both your cars are 2.0, were you sourcing another 2.0 engine? I'm curious as to how many miles the replacement engine you purchased had, and how much did you pay? All the local (Denver) Mazda replacement engines I could find had ~100k miles on them and were $1100. Literally only a couple of motors on the East Coast had around 40k miles on them but were $1400. They probably had been sitting for many years. I was trying to find 'exact' replacements, so that was engines in the '06-'09 vintage.

I went with a 2012 2.5L duratec engine out of a Ford Fusion. Only 20k miles for about $800, including the expensive shipping cost. Got it from LKQ online. Engine was clean as a whistle when I opened it up. But, I would expect a clean engine with that low mileage.

Daugher's 2.0L engine was in bad shape. We only owned it from 85k to 155k miles, but we took care of it during that time.
Is it safe to assume the extra power of the 2.5 is noticeable in all driving environments?
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