2 hours to change the oil.....

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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
Okay, it was the first oil change, so keep that in mind. Here are some of the highlights:

1. When you're rolling with Eibach springs, forget about using your Rhino ramps. I then broke out my custom low profile wooden ramps, just to get the car up high enough to use a floor jack. But wait, there's nowhere to jack up the front-center! Okay, time to try out the scissors jack in the trunk......waaaaay too slow. Hmmm, maybe it would be best to pay the dealership to do it? Nah, deep in my barn is an old set of steel ramps and an "extension kit" for lowered cars.....perfect! The tires are just narrow enough to fit.

2. The underside is almost entirely covered by plastic panels, you know, for aerodynamics. A small sub panel on the passenger side is removed by popping out the plastic pin's center with a flat blade screw driver. I think there was a screw or two to remove.

3. The oil filter and drain plug are directly behind the panel - nice! Unfortunately, the oil filter is so small, none of my filter wrenches fit. The replacement filter, a K&N with welded-on nut will be alot easier to remove during the next oil change. At this point though, I realm don't want to go out and buy yet another filter wrench so it was hammer time.....actually, screwdriver and hammer time. I pounded a deep hole in the OEM filter and used the screwdriver as a torque lever.

4. The drain plug has an internal hex socket hole. An 8mm L Key wrench with box end wrench ( to add leverage/more torque) got the plug loose to drain that 4.8 quarts of 0W-20 oil.

5. While the oil was draining I spritzed the engine bay with water and wiped it off with a paper towel. I was surprised at how dirty the towel was after only 9 months or so. Part of my cleaning/observing routine is the check the water level in each battery cell. The threaded and elastomer-sealed cell caps are unique in that they double as a sort of dip stick to verify whether the water/acid level is adequate. The shape is interesting - a sloped step of sorts - very innovative. The battery has "High Performance" and "Stop/Start rated" or something to that effect.

6. The oil fill cap is right next to the dipstick. The plastic cover does not need to be removed.

7. By the time I cleaned up, 2 hours had passed,
but I can guarantee you the the next change will take less time.

8. I set the reminder to be based upon an oil life algorithm instead of mileage. I did follow the manual's method of resetting the maintenance wrench symbol by holding the trip button and setting ignition to ON. However, the wrench symbol did NOT turn off. Anyone know what may be the issue with that? Update: See my other post about the wrench light. There are 3 different reminders that can trigger the light. All are reset by using the infotainment screen.
 
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Bruns

Member
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Mazda Axela 4WD GT (Lexie)
After reading this, I an happy I got the service package. Roughly 900 dollars for three years of services and the japanese inspection at the end of the third year - (the inspection alone is around 2 GRAND!)


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BrianM3GS

Member
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Mazda3 Sport GS-Sky 2012
But wait, there's nowhere to jack up the front-center!
That drives me nuts. I guess I was spoiled by several cars with central jacking points planned into them. It hasn't been an issue for me with the Mazda3 yet, only because I do seasonal/tire swaps using the rocker panel jacking points, and due to a dealer oil change package I haven't had to do anything else.

I think that assumption is now that everyone will use a platform, two-post, or four-post lift for all service. I was surprised to learn a few years ago that a very workable floor mounted two-post lift is only about $3,000, if you have the ceiling height to use it in your garage; if I ever build a garage, it will have one.

Unfortunately, the oil filter is so small, none of my filter wrenches fit...
I would put it back on the ground and go get a wrench that works... but maybe that's just me. I hate working without the right tool, really don't like the feeling that I may be stuck with an immobilized vehicle and no way to complete the job... and I don't mind an excuse for another tool.

4. The drain plug has an internal hex socket hole. An 8mm L Key wrench with box end wrench ( to add leverage/more torque) got the plug loose...
Wouldn't a hex bit for a ratchet (presumably 3/8" drive) be easier?
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
That drives me nuts. I guess I was spoiled by several cars with central jacking points planned into them. It hasn't been an issue for me with the Mazda3 yet, only because I do seasonal/tire swaps using the rocker panel jacking points, and due to a dealer oil change package I haven't had to do anything else.
Yes, this is the first car I've owned that doesn't seem to have a central jacking point at each end. I think I'll have Discount Tire rotate the tires (now due).

I think that assumption is now that everyone will use a platform, two-post, or four-post lift for all service. I was surprised to learn a few years ago that a very workable floor mounted two-post lift is only about $3,000, if you have the ceiling height to use it in your garage; if I ever build a garage, it will have one.
That'd definitely be nice. I'll have to check into that after other house expenditures are taken care of.

I would put it back on the ground and go get a wrench that works... but maybe that's just me. I hate working without the right tool, really don't like the feeling that I may be stuck with an immobilized vehicle and no way to complete the job... and I don't mind an excuse for another tool.
I didn't want to get a wrench that I would use only once. Now that I have the K&N oil filter installed, an oil wrench is no longer needed.


Wouldn't a hex bit for a ratchet (presumably 3/8" drive) be easier?

Yes, but I didn't have one. Now if it were a square drive screw.........
 

BrianM3GS

Member
:
Mazda3 Sport GS-Sky 2012
Now if it were a square drive screw.........
Not a lot of square drive screws (which should be Robertson ;) ) in cars, but I have seen the occasional case plug with a 3/8" square socket, designed to use ratchets and extensions directly - that's convenient, and works well.
 
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Mazdaspeed6
The lack of central jacking points IS pretty aggravating. Same issue on my wife's CX-5.

Guess I haven't looked under my 3 yet. Good to know to expect having to work around not having that center jack point. >:(
But, seeing as it'll be at OE ride height for a while, my ramps ought to work for now. :D
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
Yes, Rhino ramps should work with the stock height. They work with my son's lowered Civic and did work with my lowered MX6 GT. I think it's the length of front area ahead of the axle that prevents my 3 from being able to ascend the Rhinos.
 

Kedis82ZE8

'15 CX-5 GT AWD, '12 GX 460, '07 G35x
Contributor
:
'15 CX-5 GT AWD
I noticed water level in all cells was a little low so brought them up to a normal level with some distilled water today.

5. While the oil was draining I spritzed the engine bay with water and wiped it off with a paper towel. I was surprised at how dirty the towel was after only 9 months or so. Part of my cleaning/observing routine is the check the water level in each battery cell. The threaded and elastomer-sealed cell caps are unique in that they double as a sort of dip stick to verify whether the water/acid level is adequate. The shape is interesting - a sloped step of sorts - very innovative. The battery has "High Performance" and "Stop/Start rated" or something to that effect.
 

Bruns

Member
:
Mazda Axela 4WD GT (Lexie)
I am also impressed by how dirty the engine bay gets.
Even though the bottom of the car is completely covered by aerodynamic plastic plates the engine bay gets very dirty.

My Lancer used to stay clean for a long time.


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Natey

Moderator
Contributor
Patron
I hillbilly fabbed some extenders for my rhino ramps. Now I can get my RX-7 up enough to wheel a jack under it.
A couple 1x4's and some imagination.... ;)

Also, I don't drive a 3, but every Mazda I've owned had other oil filters that fit. I used one out of a 626 for my P5. It screwed on perfectly but was much bigger (more filtering area) than the P5 one. If there's physically enough room for a larger oil filter, I'll bet one out of a 6 or CX-7 will fit.
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
...sure beats paying $300 for a pair of Race Ramps!

One of the things that bobistheoilguy.com tested in regards to oil filters was pressure drop across the filter. If a filter has low pressure drop AND filters well, it earns a high ranking. One of these filters is K&N. That's why I use these filters in all of my vehicles. Besides, I will probably put 5000 miles per year on the odometer of my 3 and even less on my MX5, not because I don't like driving them, but because I live only 11 miles from work.
 

Google

Member
Okay, it was the first oil change, so keep that in mind. Here are some of the highlights:

<snip>

the reminder to be based upon an oil life algorithm instead of mileage. I did follow the manual's method of resetting the maintenance wrench symbol by holding the trip button and setting ignition to ON. However, the wrench symbol did NOT turn off. Anyone know what may be the issue with that? Update: See my other post about the wrench light. There are 3 different reminders that can trigger the light. All are reset by using the infotainment screen.

@Wow dude, you have a lot of patience, lol. When you say oil life algorithm, do you mean the reminder is based on time? It would be nice if the new Mazda3s actually knew how dirty the oil was and gave you a reminder based on that instead of age vs mileage.
 

BrianM3GS

Member
:
Mazda3 Sport GS-Sky 2012
When you say oil life algorithm, do you mean the reminder is based on time? It would be nice if the new Mazda3s actually knew how dirty the oil was and gave you a reminder based on that instead of age vs mileage.
The oil life determination would typically be based on distance driven, how hard the engine is worked (engine speed and load), and operating conditions (e.g. temperature).

I would not expect a reasonable car to have instrumentation to examine the oil; perhaps more importantly, how dirty the oil might be is not the only factor in whether or not it needs changing.
 

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