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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For starters i have a 2004 mazda3 5sp with a CAI and Cat back. The car has 48000 miles on it

Here is the story.

On Sunday when I was driving my car home I notice what sounded like a knock coming form the engine. I was around the block from home so when I got there I checked my oil. My oil was low (just barily on the dip stick). So then next morning I went to the store to get some Oil. I filled it up (took 3 quarts) and then drove it home. The next day when I went to work it was raining out and I could still hear the knocking. When I got to work and went to walk in I noticed the area I drove in I could see rainbow swirls from oil. So I thought that’s not good. So I went into work then came out to look at the car an hour later and there was a huge oil swirl mark under the car. The dealer told me to have it towed in so I did just that. The next day the dealer looked at the car and told me that the Housing for the oil filter was cracked. And this was caused by me using an after market oil filter. They claim the aftermarket ones not maid by Mazda do not fit the housing correctly and that is what caused the housing to crack and leak out the oil. They said they would cover it under warranty and that Mazda has redesigned the housing recently due to this problem. The next day I got a call from the dealer saying that it turns out that I need a new engine because the car was running on low oil causing internal damage. Luckily they told me that they would cover it under warranty and they did not hassle me on my add on's. Now i should have my car back in a week. At no time during driving my car did my low oil light come on. At what point does the light go on. Does it wait for the engine to cease and then go on? Has anyone hard about aftermarket filters not fitting correctly?
 

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Its a plastic housing so you could overtighten it and crack it. Otherwise they are blowing smoke up your ass. When you change your oil, leave the skid shield off and start it. Let it run for a minute and check for leaks. If its not leaking then, it wont magically start to leak later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Im not the one that did the oil change i took it to a delta sonic to have done. Pluss my oil change was about 3 months ago. I just find the excuse kinda odd and that the low oil lite never came on and the amont of oil in the engine was low enough to destroy the engine.
 

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What did the dealer say about the low oil light? I would question them about whether that's something that needs to be inspected/repaired.

As for the rest of the story, I agree with edrection that a cracked filter cap due to over-tightening is much more likely than an aftermarket filter causing the problem. I mean, those cartridge filters have very little structure to them--you could crush it in your hand without much trouble, so I fail to see that causing damage to either the aluminum housing or the molded plastic housing.

I'd for sure switch oil change places. The last thing you want is some gorilla repeatedly overtightening those drain plugs etc. Either DIY or take it to a dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I never mentioned the light to the dealer. Once they told me it was covred I didnt really care to bring it up at the time. When i go pick up the car or next time i talk to him I am going to make sure to ask
 

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Most low oil lights come on when the oil pressure drops to between 1-3psi. Normal operating pressure at idle should be 25-30psi.

So that gives you an indication of just how 'decent' the low oil light is. If you run low enough on oil (3 quarts is hugely low) you can periodically starve the engine while accelerating, braking, and cornering without the low oil light coming on. It is usually not sensitive enough to come on if there is only a periodic short (1-4 second) interuption in the flow of oil or just a pressure drop. This will kill the motor after awhile.

Basically the low oil light is only useful if you suddenly develope a large oil leak (especially in pressurized sections of the motor) and blast/leak out your oil quickly. If it is a slower leak then you can be running to low on oil periodically starving the motor for several minutes or even hours of driving without realizing it. A sudden large oil loss is likely to set the oil light with enough time to actually turn the engine off without causing damage (or only minor extra wear).
-Matt

PS Yes I think low oil lights should be set at a much higher level that or put an actual oil pressure gauge on the car, even if it is an 'idiot' gauge like the temp gauge...just so people can get a better idea of if they are running low oil pressure or if it is periodically dropping really low.
 

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[quote author=WetsuitxNinja link=topic=64698.msg1113793#msg1113793 date=1166594527]
[quote author=MetalCord link=topic=64698.msg1110013#msg1110013 date=1166297441]
Long story short... if you see the oil light come on... it's already too late.
[/quote]


Its a fact :( Is it all cars? Or just mazda?
[/quote]

That's all cars.
 

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Other then a few rare cars that have oil pressure gauges, that oil light is calibrated on every single car that I know of to turn on when there is effectively no oil pressure. Unless it is a sudden catastrophic loss of oil and the oil light comes on, the engine is generally dead by the time the light comes on with a slow leak.
-Matt
 
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