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My 2005 manual Mazda3 is going through 2 quarts of oil a week. There's no smoke or leakage of any kind. Any suggestions on what it could be?
 

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Most likely it is the Positive crankcase vent (PCV). Typically lasts about 100K then the engines suck oil, without burning it. The part itself is not expensive but it is not an easy job. Dealerships will do it for about $250 - 300 but call and get that in writing first.
 

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I have been breaking my head over what is causing the disappearing oil on these cars.

I have two 2006 Mazda3 hatches. I can tell which one has been better cared for as only one of them has oil consumption issues.

Most people found the PCV valve to correct their issues, but is not the case for me... and I have not found the answer to this problem in years, just keep an eye on the oil level.

Good luck!
 

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My 2005 manual Mazda3 is going through 2 quarts of oil a week. There's no smoke or leakage of any kind. Any suggestions on what it could be?
The engine is toast, and your O2 sensors and catalytic converters will be as well soon. Read some of the threads about oil consumption and read the threads about engine swaps. The early mazda3 engines will eventually start 'consuming' oil and there is no fix.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but swapping a mazda engine with a Ford Duratec engine that is more reliable is the way to go. You'll get a lot of support on these forums as many have done the swap and already done all the hard research. I just completed my swap and it feels great!

p.s. New model Ford engines are way more plentiful and way cheaper and have much lower mileage than older Mazda engines. 2.0L/2.3L/2.5L Ford and Mazda engines share the same block, so they are very compatible with each other.
 

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The engine is toast, and your O2 sensors and catalytic converters will be as well soon. Read some of the threads about oil consumption and read the threads about engine swaps. The early mazda3 engines will eventually start 'consuming' oil and there is no fix.
There is always a fix, im just baffled by there not being a solution even though there are so many people with this issue.
 

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There is always a fix, im just baffled by there not being a solution even though there are so many people with this issue.
Yes, there is a fix and the 2.5 liter Ford Duratec engines (and the few 2.5 liter non-SkyActiv Mazda engines as well) had those fixes built into the motor; the 2.3 is not so endowed and cannot be retrofitted.

BTW, the issue does not seem to affect the 2.0 liter engines in the Mazda3, just the 2.3 liter mills.
 

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Yes, there is a fix and the 2.5 liter Ford Duratec engines (and the few 2.5 liter non-SkyActiv Mazda engines as well) had those fixes built into the motor; the 2.3 is not so endowed and cannot be retrofitted.

BTW, the issue does not seem to affect the 2.0 liter engines in the Mazda3, just the 2.3 liter mills.
Is that something you know from personal experience? I too have never seen the 2.0L engines have these issues, but I have not been prowling on the 3 forums.

If I may add, seems like this also boils down to maintenance as well. From what I gathered, people who tend to care of their cars while they are still low mileage tend to not see this issue.

My moms 06 3 w/ the 2.3 has 287k and has been consuming oil like a pig since 240k when we got it. Also, the oil gets black after 500km after an oil change and smells pungent (aggressive) when i pull the dipstick... very peculiar. But I can tell that the previous owners of that car did not care for it.

My 06 3 has gone many more kms and consumes no oil. In fact, between oil changes the oil stays a clean color and smells fresh.

One clue i have found is that my moms intake is covered in fresh oil all the time, mine is dry. I have cleaned the throttle bodies multiple times and is something to take away.
 

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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.
 

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I wonder if the issue isn't the PCV valve itself but the oil separator it attaches to. If the baffles inside were to fail then you would get a lot more oil in the intake. Installing a catch can in the PCV line would show you how much is actually getting by.
 

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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.

Hello, I'm new to these newer Mazda engines, but learning fast. I used to drive a 1990 MX6 w/ a 2.2L if memory is correct. Awesome car. And i put 'er through it.
Currently I've got 2 of the 2.0s in my garage (one is unknown and the other is supposed to be a 2011). It's actually my sons car. I'm not sure of the mileage, maybe 110k on one and similar on the other. Problem is both engines are salvage yard engines. He got the car with a salvage yard (junk yard in my day; but that's a rant for another day:grin2:) and put maybe 2000 miles on it and it through a rod. I'm sure neither one of these engines saw much for maintenance.
So I pulled it out and tore it down to see what happened. CARBON... really bad. throughout the engine's air path. It had the most in the intake area before the combustion chamber; thick. The one cylinder got so bad that the oil rings "apparently" got plugged up with carbon. There were too many pieces. The wrist pin didn't get anymore lubrication and the rod actually stretched on the wrist pin. The rod ended up breaking a little more than half way down.
So we rolled the dice and got another junk yard engine shipped in. Guarantee and everything :laugh:. i did a compression test and one cylinder was bad. I didn't want to deal with the company that supplied it. They said all their engines are compression checked good in order for resale. I really didn't want to go through the trouble and get another bad engine. I already planned on replacing all the gaskets anyway.
Again, i tore it down to see what i was up against. It was also full of carbon; just as bad as the other one. It wouldn't have lasted long at all.

I guess the short answer: i have no idea "yet" why these engines are carbon-ing up (I don't think that's a word). But i'm sure it has something to do with oil consumption. He was adding a quart of oil every tank of fuel or so.
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. The reason I'm here is to find piston ring gap specs. I'll be sure to post back here if i figure out why these are carbon up so bad, but for now; can anyone point me in the right direction.
if you're still reading this. Thank you.
 

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Hello, I'm new to these newer Mazda engines, but learning fast. I used to drive a 1990 MX6 w/ a 2.2L if memory is correct. Awesome car. And i put 'er through it.
Currently I've got 2 of the 2.0s in my garage (one is unknown and the other is supposed to be a 2011). It's actually my sons car. I'm not sure of the mileage, maybe 110k on one and similar on the other. Problem is both engines are salvage yard engines. He got the car with a salvage yard (junk yard in my day; but that's a rant for another day:grin2:) and put maybe 2000 miles on it and it through a rod. I'm sure neither one of these engines saw much for maintenance.
So I pulled it out and tore it down to see what happened. CARBON... really bad. throughout the engine's air path. It had the most in the intake area before the combustion chamber; thick. The one cylinder got so bad that the oil rings "apparently" got plugged up with carbon. There were too many pieces. The wrist pin didn't get anymore lubrication and the rod actually stretched on the wrist pin. The rod ended up breaking a little more than half way down.
So we rolled the dice and got another junk yard engine shipped in. Guarantee and everything :laugh:. i did a compression test and one cylinder was bad. I didn't want to deal with the company that supplied it. They said all their engines are compression checked good in order for resale. I really didn't want to go through the trouble and get another bad engine. I already planned on replacing all the gaskets anyway.
Again, i tore it down to see what i was up against. It was also full of carbon; just as bad as the other one. It wouldn't have lasted long at all.

I guess the short answer: i have no idea "yet" why these engines are carbon-ing up (I don't think that's a word). But i'm sure it has something to do with oil consumption. He was adding a quart of oil every tank of fuel or so.
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. The reason I'm here is to find piston ring gap specs. I'll be sure to post back here if i figure out why these are carbon up so bad, but for now; can anyone point me in the right direction.
if you're still reading this. Thank you.
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.
 

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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.
 

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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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....
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.

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 :wink2:
 

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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.
 

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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...
 

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