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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2004 mazda 3s 2.3l 4dr hatchback that I recently purchased. It has roughly 155,000 miles on it. Right after I got the car I did a high mileage oil change, changed the air filter, replaced the battery, did a complete fuel system cleaning, and added a fuel tank additive. When I did the oil change I added a bottle of Lucas high mileage oil stabilizer to it as well. On the way to work this morning it starts knocking extremely bad. I work at Jiffy Lube so I pulled it into one of the bays to check things out. There was only 1/2 a quart of oil in the car. There are no leaks. I added 4 quarts of oil to it.

Please help me understand where the oil went and what is going on with my car.
 

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You can't physically burn that much oil in that engine on that short a drive. (Assuming less then 500 miles ).
If you burned that much oil you would have at least a couple DTC's.
If there is no leaks go recheck the oil on the dip stick.
 

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4 quarts of oil doesn't just disappear. It's either burning or leaking. If you aren't seeing any signs of leaks, and there are no oil stains under the car after you park it overnight, then you should definitely see blue smoke coming from your exhaust.

Check your PCV valve for sticking, and if that doesn't help, it might be time for a compression/leak-down test to figure out where it's going.

From what I've read on this site and elsewhere, it isn't uncommon for high-mileage 2.3 engines to burn oil, and the result is sometimes an engine rebuild/replacement.
 

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That's not exactly what I wanted to hear, but what I feared. Thanks. I guess I've got to start looking for another motor.
You are prematurely thinking the worst from one response a member gave.
You did not indicate how many miles you drove to work. You did not indicate if the tail pipe was oil wet, you did indicate a check engine light. These are the first things to be looking at.
A failed PCV valve cannot draw that much oil into the combustion chamber without causing ^^^^^
If you had that much oil in the combustion chamber you would have also oil fouled spark plug(s) also causing a DTC.

You did not mention if there were any issues before you did your described maintenance... another BIG clue that something was overlooked?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There were no issues prior to doing the maintenance other than the clutch had just been replaced and the oil bevel needing to be replaced. I took the valve cover off and the front cam and a little bit of the rest cam are scorched.
 

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There were no issues prior to doing the maintenance other than the clutch had just been replaced and the oil bevel needing to be replaced. I took the valve cover off and the front cam and a little bit of the rest cam are scorched.
*did a complete fuel system cleaning, and added a fuel tank additive .......On the way to work this morning it starts knocking extremely bad.
Well there you go. IMHO based on what has been said so far... You missed something. An engine does not suddenly get that thirsty for oil after doing the service you did and run through the engine with no apparent sign found in the exhaust tail pipe simply smoking very badly, a DTC or dripping oil (notice I did not say on the ground ;). I would go back and follow your footsteps regarding everything you did. Your lost oil will be found. You can also pull the easiest to get to spark plug and look at it to make a confirmation that you are or are not oil fouling the plug because of excessive oil saturation.

*The knocking may likely have been from the cleaners you used which may have inadvertently lowered the octane and your knock sensor was out of range reporting to the ECU which may not have or could not have retarded the timing enough to compensate.
 

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Like the guys above said, 4 quarts doesn't just "disappear". It either never got put in, or it obviously left the engine somehow, either leaking or burning out.

You said you work at Jiffy Lube. Did you use one of those "automatic" oil dispensers? If so, it either didn't work correctly, or you may have set the volume incorrectly.
 

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With respect, I am leaning towards forgetting to put oil in the engine. I am guilty of doing the same thing to a customers trans after r&r’ing the clutch. Customer got a new trans.
 

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the oil bevel needing to be replaced.
?

As @theblooms asked, how was the oil replaced? -- a 5-quart jug that was definitely mostly empty, or ~4.5 empty quart bottles? Presuming you've got the cartridge oil filter with the plastic cap, are you sure there isn't a crack in that or some other deviation from what's expected? It wouldn't be the first time a leaking cap caused catastrophic oil loss and engine damage. If you fancy yourself a capable DIY mechanic, @Davids3 is but one member that will earnestly recommend doing a 2.5L swap so you can escape the often oil-consuming and failure prone 2.3L. You should be able to find a detailed guide by searching this site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The oil was replaced via a pod with a container that is labeled by quart of to 6 quarts. And yes I have the canister filter. And how would I find a 2.5l that fits. I thought it was only either a 2.0l or a 2.3l engine for the Mazda 3s. I forgot to mention it is a manual, therefore trying to find a motor at a reasonable price is tedious. I looked at the cap and it doesn't appear to have a leak. It is completely dry. I am at a complete loss here.
 

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And how would I find a 2.5l that fits.
04 2.3l swap to 2.5l successful (Do a Google search: 2004 2.5 swap site:mazda3forums.com ) I believe it's most commonly sourced from a newer (e.g., 2011) Ford Fusion, but other Ford models are possible (e.g., Escape?). I think a failure point of the 2.3L may have been the oil control ring design, and perhaps the tolerances of the crank journals. The risky part about installing a used 2.3L is that you don't necessarily know for sure whether the previous owner ran it low on oil and sharply reduced it's lifespan. The 2.5 swap is advocated as a "trade-up" to a more powerful and reliable motor, but it's not exactly an amateur hour task. Have a look at that thread, and "Baxrok2" on YouTube is one source of swap wisdom:

Edit: FWIW, I'm skeptical that you could lose that much oil through the rear main seal without noticeably affecting the clutch performance, but you might investigate that. I believe there's a weep hole at the lower-rear of the clutch housing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As I've said before the oil was added from a container that holds up to 6 quarts. I put a bottle of Lucas high mileage oil stabilizer and 3.5 quarts of 5w-20 Castrol high mileage to equal 4.5 quarts. I know for a fact that I added the oil because I thought like you'll did that I might have forgotten to put oil in so I had my boss look back at the cameras and he confirms don't me add oil. And I'm not stupid, I've been working on cars since I was a kid. I know that 4 quarts of oil doesn't just disappear. I know that it has to go somewhere. I just don't know where because there are no leaks whatsoever and I don't see some coming out of the tailpipe. Although, now that I think about it. When I was doing the blow out after the fuel system cleaning I did notice some black smoke coming out of the tail pipe. I didn't think anything of it at the time because I thought that there was just that much carbon built up in the system. Could that have been done of the oil burning off instead? Also, a manager I work with sometimes mentioned that it could also just be the knock sensor. What do you think? Although, the knock for progressively worse on the way home last night and it was too the point that I didn't think that I was going to make it home.

Please help. I'm at my wits end here.
 

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if the oil was burnt you should be blowing a blue cloud out of the exhaust
as asked how long ago was oil change
was the correct grade of oil used
depending on how long you drove with low oil determines the chances the engine is beyond help
oil and coolant should be checked weekly
on a new to you vehicle should be checked daily until you become familiar
it is not a case of questioning your intelligence
everybody makes mistakes
i have been a mechanic for 40 years
yesterday added a jug of windscreen wash to the coolant overflow bottle
when i went to check the coolant recovery bottle, duh moment, that was the same one i just filled
 

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I'm assuming that since you were running around with almost no oil, and your engine is knocking that you are now the owner of yet another garbage 2.3. One of our garbage 2.3's actually had a couple of cylinders completely full of oil when we took the head off, so oil can end up in strange places, in addition to burning off or leaking out. Nevertheless, you need to source a replacement engine. The best donor is a 2011 or so Ford Fusion (non hybrid) 2.5 liter motor. They can be found as low as $200, but $400-500 is more typical. You should also source an intake manifold 2.3-2.5 adapter plate usually available on eBay for about $40. Other than that, all the replaceable parts you need to make the swap are already on your dead 2.3 (oil pan, oil pickup tube, timing cover, harmonic dampener, etc). Basically the swap process, to over simplify, is to remove anything on your dead 2.3 that is different on the Ford 2.5 and swap it over.

Some parts you will need to buy new, including two diamond friction washers for the timing chain gears, a new crankshaft pulley (harmonic dampener) bolt, and it wouldn't hurt to add new gaskets for the valve cover and the rear main seal.

This swap will bring new life to your car, giving it more power and reliability, making it well worth the effort to do. My son and I have done several of these, and while it has some challenging aspects, there is ample documentation on the forums and youtube that explain the process quite well. Good luck.
 
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