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Discussion Starter #1
I changed my oil today, I used the opportunity to create a how to guide that lists the steps and tools required to undertake this task.

Please make note of the tools required, some tools are not found in every home toolbox, generally the hex bit socket, torque wrench and oil filter cap wrench. You can't really substitue these so make sure you have everything before you begin (I had to walk 1/2 mile to Pep Boys after I took the oil out)

Here you go.

http://robert.aitchison.org/tiki-page.php?pageName=Mazda3+DIY+Oil+Change

Edit 1-8-05: I have changed the URL to reflect the location of this page on my new web site. I also made a couple minor changes to the document to reflect thoughts on O-Ring replacement after 3 oil changes as well as correcting the Mazda Part Number for the filter cartridge.

Edit 6-10-05: I made some minor cosmetic changes to the page. I've added spacing, formatting and coloring that should make it easier to read. I also added some clarity about the oil filter cap wrench specification. Finally I added the part number for the filter + O-Rings kit as well as a link to buy from Mazdastuff.com.

Edit 10-21-09: First change in > 4 years, added additional information about applicability to different model years, changed materials required section to make it simpler, give a bit more information as well as list part numbers for different brands of filters. Finally I changed the license from all rights reserved (©) to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license (
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DIY Oil Change: How-To Guide w/Pics

Great guide. I was about write a guide like this when changing my oil this week but now I don't have to! Good to know that you have to have a hex socket, I need to get one of those.
 

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DIY Oil Change: How-To Guide w/Pics

Great job, keep it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
DIY Oil Change: How-To Guide w/Pics

If you are buying a torque wrench, be sure you test it before use. I already had a large torque wrench but it didn't go as low as 10n-m so I had to run to pep boys and buy another smaller one.

Well I set it for the correct setting and commence to using it to tighten the plu and notice that it has starting to strip the plug (the hex socket part). I'm like WTF and stop.

I was able to test it as the low range on my big torque wrench overlapt with the high range on the little one, as it turns out the little one did not operate at all and I was putting who knows how much torque on the poor little aluminum drain plug (probably more than 25 n-m before it started to strip).

Now my filter drain plug is stripped and I will probably have a hard time getting it out next time and I will definitely need to replace it.



Also, on the oil filter cap wrench, I ended up using filter pliers to get the oil filter housing off (caused cosmetic scratches to the plastic housing) so I could bring it with me to pep boys to do a test fit. The one I found was a model A251 which is exactly 76mm, now there was a tiny amount of play so after searching for & finding the wrench online I also found the A250 (what I linked to in my guide) which is for 74 or 76mm and may work better.
 

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DIY Oil Change: How-To Guide w/Pics

Total cost is $34.29? Thats about how much it costs for Wal-mart to do it w/ synthetic oil. Why do it yourself?
 

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DIY Oil Change: How-To Guide w/Pics

Cause I don't trust anyone but myself to do the oil, certianly I wouldn't trust Wal-Mart.

If I can get Costco to carry Mobil1 0w20 that will drop the price of the oil a lot (probably $1.50 a quart) plus from now on I plan on replacing the O-Rings only every other time.

Does Wal-Mart use Mobil1 or do they use a fake synthetic like Syntec, Synpower?
 

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DIY Oil Change: How-To Guide w/Pics

no, they use mobil
 

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DIY Oil Change: How-To Guide w/Pics

Now I remember another thread mentioning there were two different types of filters on the 3's. They had started originally with a cartridge and then switched to the screw on. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I will try to find the thread. Anyway, does this change apply to the cartridge or the newer screw on? Thanx.

Edit: Found the other thread...
http://mazda3forums.com/viewtopic.php?t=3583&highlight=cartridge
nm, seems to be a cartridge.

Craig
 

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DIY Oil Change: How-To Guide w/Pics

Good job... The cartridge filter type looks similar to the one that was on my VW VR6. I used to take it to the local Valvoline place and they never had any trouble. Of course, I suspect there are more VR6's out there than 2.3 M3's right now.

One thing I noticed, or maybe it's just early, but ain't the picture in step 7 (the drain plug close up) upside down?
 

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DIY Oil Change: How-To Guide w/Pics

I have a january build 3, and my filter looks to be a cartridge style filter. As far as looking without taking off the cowling. Maybe the ones on the boat now have screw on types.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
DIY Oil Change: How-To Guide w/Pics

UnixGeezer said:
One thing I noticed, or maybe it's just early, but ain't the picture in step 7 (the drain plug close up) upside down?
Well I was lying on my back under the car trying to get a good view of the train plug, not sure what constitutes "upside down" from that postition. :)

Mostly I wanted to clearly illustrate for everyone what the drain plug looks like.
 

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DIY Oil Change: How-To Guide w/Pics

I don't want to sound strange or not car-techy, but it costs me $21 to have the oil changed at the dealer. I use to do the change on my old car all the time, but buying the oil, filter, ring...seems like $21 is cheaper?


Thought.

Buhbye
 

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DIY Oil Change: How-To Guide w/Pics

ah guys? I don't wanna sound mean... but if you need pictures to find the drain pan maybe you should take the car to the dealer for oil changes?
 
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