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Discussion Starter #1
I did a search, and read all the posts of the past couple of years about the hard to read oil dipstick on the recent model year Mazda 3s. They don't seem to solve my issue.

FYI, my car has the 2.0 motor.

My situation is:

1. When the car was brand new, the oil level was too high when I got the car home from the dealer (there were 38 miles on the odometer). I went back to the dealer the following weekend, they checked the oil, said it was fine, even though we're both looking at the same dipstick, and I can see the oil is way past the line.

2. So I go to an oil change place, they check it, they agree it is overfilled. I curse the Mazda dealer as being lazy and not caring. The oil change place drains roughly 1/2 a quart out, and the oil is at the right level per the dipstick.

Fast forward several weeks ....

3. Being protective of my new car, I just had the oil+filter changed, there are just over 650 miles on the odometer. Thought it would be a good idea to remove contaminants, particulate, etc that might be in there because the engine is new. I watch the tech (not a Mazda dealer, but a good shop) put in exactly 4.5 quarts (out of one quart bottles). This is the right quantity per the owner's manual (and per what I have subsequently been able to find on the web). Yet, the dipstick shows the level as overfilled! The tech and I both looked at the dipstick, he says he put in what his computer database says is the right number of quarts, so he does not want to adjust for what seems to be a bad dipstick.

My question is, WHAT THE **** IS GOING ON !?

I brought the car home, let it sit for over an hour - the level still shows as overfilled.

I'm not a duffus who does not know how to read a dipstick. Neither are the techs I have spent time talking to. Yes, the dipstick is absolutely AWFUL on the 2007 - but it can be read.

I'm wondering if the dipstick was cut too long ... is this possible? How would you get that checked? Or where can I get a new dipstick? Or get the current dipstick's length adjusted?

Or is the 4.5 quart crankcase capacity number wrong (for the 2.0 engine)? Anyone know of a good website where I can doublecheck that?

Can anyone help? Similar experiences? Hard to believe both the dealer and a tech would overfill this car.
 

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Re: 2007 Mazda3 - Faulty Dipstick / Wrong Crankcase Oil Capacity Number? (for 2.

You could try buying another dipstick, they should be readily available from your dealer. I can't see one costing more than $25. If you bring 'em a box of donuts and be really friendly (not pissed off), the service department may just give you another one, or at least try swapping one from a car on the showroom floor to see if it makes a difference.
 

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Are you sure those bottles held a quart and not a liter? A liter is about 1.1 quarts. Just checking!

Unless they've changed something in the engine for 2007, 4.5 quarts should be correct. Your dipstick is probably off a little. My girlfriend's MX-6 is the same way; where the max line on the dipstick is actually a half-quart low.

DrWebster's idea of comparing dipsticks with one on the lot is good.

It's really not a big concern though; more of an annoyance. I'd just adjust the way I read the dipstick if it isn't easily resolved with the dipstick comparisons. You could drive around with 3 quarts or 5 quarts and your car isn't going to know the difference, except that a smaller capacity would wear out the oil quicker and leave you with a smaller safety margin as your car consumes oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I live in the USA, they do not sell oil by the liter down here.

I actually think its VERY important to have the oil be at the correct level. A car engine is a precisely engineered product, proper lubrication in an environment where temperatures regularly exceed 200F seems to me to be a quite critical issue. If the oil level is wrong, and each day your motor experiences 0.01% extra engine wear, suddenly after just a few years your engine is shot prematurely and unnecesssarily.

It's not really encouraging that your GF's Mazda has a bad dipstick ... is Mazda dipstick challenged ... how hard is it to make a decent dipstick that gives an accurate reading?
 

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However, running with less or more oil will not cause engine wear. The only time engine wear will occur with the wrong amount of oil is if there is enough to cause oil to be blown through the piston rings because there is WAY to much (several quarts to much) or to low so that the oil pickup becomes uncovered starving the engine of oil...which usually takes running at least 25% below capacity...and even then it often times takes hard cornering running that low to do it.

Extra wear of the oil itself will occur to some degree. Over filling will reduce the engines output a tiny bit as that is just extra oil that the crank shaft is sheering...however it is a small reduction in power unless you have over filled by several quarts.

Just go with the suggestions, after an oil change see where on the dipstick it is falling and remember the spot. Or if you can remember it get a scribe, nail, or chisel and bang a small divot into the dipstick there for future reference. A couple tenths of a liter one way or another will make no practical difference in the motors operation at all.
-Matt
 

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[quote author=UrbanmanUSA link=topic=69988.msg1219912#msg1219912 date=1172024454]
I actually think its VERY important to have the oil be at the correct level. A car engine is a precisely engineered product, proper lubrication in an environment where temperatures regularly exceed 200F seems to me to be a quite critical issue. If the oil level is wrong, and each day your motor experiences 0.01% extra engine wear, suddenly after just a few years your engine is shot prematurely and unnecesssarily.[/quote]

It's definitely good practice, and I don't disagree with maintaining a proper oil level, but I'm just saying that the guy who serviced your car isn't lazy or uncaring; he probably just sees it all the time and knows there's no reason to be concerned.

There is a point on either end - too high or too low - where engine damage and/or increased wear will occur, but it definitely isn't within a quart on either side of the recommended fill capacity. That said, those margins are there for a reason and I don't advocate intentionally adding too much oil or running too low!
 
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