I may be 18 from the neck up, but the rest of me is almost 60...
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Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
It truly is. I have owned my 2.3L for around 6 years and I've had minimal problems, it has 129K miles and doesn't burn a drop of oil. Before that I owned a 97 Ford Escort with the 2.0L SPI engine, these were somewhat notorious for dropping valve seats and messing up the motor. I owned that car for 8 years and also never experienced that common issue. The key thing is that I always kept up on maintenance and used synthetic oil. I'm a mechanic and if the motor in my MZ3 happens to fail I'll deal with it. If the body isn't worth putting another motor into then I'll just get a different car. The bottom line is that all 1st gen's are now at least 11 years old and when you buy an 11 year old car expect that it may have major issues looming. If you can't deal with that then buy or lease a newer car.Well this is a sad read. Guy was happy with car. Told people how happy he was. One guy says some crap about engines blowing up. Now guy has no car and is sad.
OP back again, with another update and some questions. I finally sold the car. It wasn't burning or leaking any oil at all, but I couldn't live with worrying about the engine grenading on me. I had to keep lowering my price a little at a time, but fortunately ended up selling it before I lost too much money on it. I lost no more than about $300 on materials (I had replaced the serpentine belt and tensioner, spark plugs, cabin and engine air filters, transmission fluid, bought an under engine cover on fleabay and made a hatchback deck/cover myself). Time is money, so I lost several hundred, overall. My mistake and lesson learned. I didn't do enough research.
Now I am in the market for either a Miata, which are known to be extremely reliable, or a Maz3 with either a 2.0 or 2.5. Probably the latter, because hauling a dog, camping gear or my mountain bike with a Miata are difficult to do. A Maz3 is far more practical for my needs.
My questions are:
1) Do the 2.0 and 2.5 have a similar design and location for the PCV valve, which are a huge chore to replace? I consider PCV valve replacement to be somewhat of a routine maintenance item, and normally take about $10 and 15 minutes to do - not far more money and many, many hours. I will not buy a Maz3 with a 2.0 or 2.5 if replacing the PCV valve on those also takes an entire day or two, involving removing the intake manifold and many other things, which is a retarded design.
2) Is the 2.0 about as solid an engine as the 2.5? As in both of them far better than the 2.3?
3) Is the very abrupt and harsh shift from 1-2 common on most Maz3's with automatics? Mine did that especially when cold, and still somewhat when warmed up, even with a new transmission filter and proper new fluid. I imagine that harsh shifting will cause a transmission to fail early.
4) Is the P0171 CEL code common on 2.0 and 2.5 engines too? I kept getting that, and wasn't able to resolve it. I had no apparent intake air leaks, and I checked thoroughly. The main intake rubber hose was solid, with no holes or cracks, and I had cleaned the MAF. My CEL kept coming on after it would idle for several minutes, like at a stop light or while I was checking transmission fluid level. It was like something was getting hot and causing an air intake leak. I suspect it may have been related to the PCV valve or its hose, which I could not access without removing tons of stuff.
I am considering a local 2010 with a 2.5, and want to be more educated on the car before I look at it and make a decision.
PCV is more like a couple of hours to replace on your first attempt. I have pics in a thread where I detail how to remove and replace it.I am now seeing that, in addition to possible valve problems or piston ring problems, the PCV valve could be a possible cause of massive oil consumption problems. It looks like a full or multi-day job just to replace the PCV valve, which, while needing to be done anyway on a car this old, but might not even prevent the oil problem from occurring.
Lesson learned: I should have done sufficient research before buying this car. I made a huge mistake. Despite really liking this car, I am now going to sell it and buy a Miata instead.
Thanks for making me aware of this problem before I really lost my butt on this POS car. POS, only because of this particular problem, and the related design stupidity (the PCV valve location). Shame, because it is so practical and such a fun car to drive.
Color me a fool.