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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Short Story -> Plastic engine parts really suck! Failure of plastic oil filter cap leads to seized engine.


Long Story: 2009 Hatch Sport Manual with 2.3L NA (non turbo) and 140K miles on it. Wife starts car in the morning and drives off. Get a call 10 mins later that she pulled over due to instrument cluster lighting up like an Xmas tree and engine feeling funny. Get there, oil all over the engine and engine won't crank over. As I drive home to pickup items to tow the car, I notice an oil slick near my house. Appears like the all the oil squirted out in about a 1000 yard distance. I guess she did not see the oil pressure light until it was too late (I'm surprised there is no buzzer like in the old cars of the 80's/90's).


I was looking for the source of failure for over an hour and could not find it. I eventually pumped up my air compressor and started to blow air through the dip stick (had to plug up a few holes first, like the breather hose going to intake). I was shocked to see the failure on the engine oil filter cap. See picture (at bottom near my fingers, a hairline crack). No signs of issues leading up to this. My driveway was dry. This hairline failure was a sudden occurrence. I did an oil and filter change about 2 months prior (not like the day before the fail).



Anyone else hear of such a failure - I did not come across this in over 20 years of being around various cars.



Well, now I need a new engine :( I'd like to go the ford fusion 2.5L route but the various threads I have been reading are a little over my head in terms of the tech details and the needed modifications. I hope that this forum can help me out...



Thanks!
 

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Wow, sorry. I guess it’s time to start looking for an OG 2.3. Hope you get it taken care of.
 

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A possible source for an engine (hell, a complete parts car!), could be an auction. Depending on where you live, there might be a Copart.com or Iaai.com facility. You can look online at one of the sites and do a search.
 

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I'm wondering if the oil cap failure was a symptom and not the actual cause. Just thinking theoretically here, if the PCV became completely clogged, crank case pressure from blowby gasses will seek an alternate route to exit the engine and find the weakest point.

Regardless, given the spotty reliability history of the 2.3 liter engine, there is no way I'd put another one in. Said another way, 2.5 Duratec all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm wondering if the oil cap failure was a symptom and not the actual cause. Just thinking theoretically here, if the PCV became completely clogged, crank case pressure from blowby gasses will seek an alternate route to exit the engine and find the weakest point.
Not sure where the PCV is, but if someone gives me some guidance, I can check it. When I blew air into the dipstick to find the source of oil loss, I had to plug the hose that came out of the back corner of valve cover and into the air intake, otherwise I could not get any pressure into the engine. Is that what you mean?



Wow, sorry. I guess it’s time to start looking for an OG 2.3. Hope you get it taken care of.
Excuse my ignorance (I'm new to the Mazda world), but what is OG (I saw that stated in several threads but can't figure out what it stands for).


Appreciate the lead on possible donor sources!
 

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Not sure where the PCV is, but if someone gives me some guidance, I can check it. When I blew air into the dipstick to find the source of oil loss, I had to plug the hose that came out of the back corner of valve cover and into the air intake, otherwise I could not get any pressure into the engine. Is that what you mean?
The PCV is buried under the intake.

PCV Valve replacement
 

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If you end up going with a 2.3 for convenience, you might consider switching the oil filter plate/adapter with that of the 2.0L (replace the gasket with a Fel-Pro 72949) and conventional spin-on metal filters. Got the adapter for $9 at a salvage yard, the gasket for $4 online. I did that for my 2006 2.3L, because I was wary of the very failure you had -- the cartridge seemed like a trash design, so I changed it out as soon as I could.

I also put on a 3/4 UNF-16 sandwich adapter so I could have an oil pressure gauge.

FWIW, YouTube has options to learn about the swap. This guy gets into gritty details: "2005 Mazda 3 - 2.3L to 2.5L Engine Swap. The Details. Blah, Blah, Blah" (I can't post links yet!)
 
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