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Thread: Dangerous cylinder deactivation trouble on 2018 CX-5 and 6 models

  1. #466
    Registered Member gdluke's Avatar

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    Thanks, I did have the NHTSA website on hand. I feel like calling corporate either way, hopefully their response isn't that I should wait for the letter as well... Their excuse would probably be, that they send letters to enable them to not be swamped with appointments from all owners at the same time. Much like the inception of Carplay/Android Auto - though that was not a recall, they were only allowing certain models at a time, e.g allowing all Mazda 6 sedan owners to get the infotainment option before anyone else.

  2. #467
    Registered Member yrwei52's Avatar
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    Arrow Dangerous cylinder deactivation trouble on 2018 CX-5 and 6 models

    Quote Originally Posted by Martyd View Post
    I've asked before with no answer but will try again. Not an engine guy.
    Is it possible to get to the rocker arm with a fiber optic scope of some kind via the oil fill hole? They do so much with these in the human body etc. Find it hard to believe there isn't something for mechanical things.
    Based on pictures from jjm86m it looks like there're too many obstacles sending a fiber optic scope from oil filler hole above cylinder #2 to the rightmost cylinder #4, especially it requires a sharp down turn when the scope reaches to the position above the cylinder #4 (a big if) where the last rocker arm usually is the falling suspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjm86m View Post
    For those who were asking, I was able to take a few pictures of what the rocker arm looks like when its fallen off. I stopped by the dealership to grab a few things from my car and talked with the technician for a bit. He was a lot more helpful than the service rep and showed me all the paper work he got and said the copy of the work showing that I had a P0304 previously never got to him. WTH! For those that are going ask how he didn't have the record, Hindsight is 20/20 I should've taken my car back to the same dealership that did the P0304 code work for me. The first dealership I took it too was the one I purchased the car from and I was having an oil change done that day as part of the year free service and 80 miles from my work/home. The second trip I ended up taking it to the dealership 10 miles from my place to avoid having to take off more time off from work than necessary.

    Anyways, while I was there I asked to grab a few pics and was able to get the ones below.

    I'm also grabbed a shot of the service bulletin with the instructions to check for the rocker arm from Mazda. The SA-015/19 posted earlier in this thread is for checking debris but SA-041/18 is the specifically for the rocker arm. Inspection step 3 is important for anyone owning a Mazda that may be affected. Make sure your oil change service records are verifiable, especially if you're doing your own oil changes. I wouldn't put it past a dealership to hassle you over something like that. They didn't for me but you never know.









  3. #468
    Registered Member yrwei52's Avatar
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    Arrow Dangerous cylinder deactivation trouble on 2018 CX-5 and 6 models

    Also I believe there's a splash cover, #9 in the picture, which may also block the access to the top of cylinder #4.


    2018 CX-5 Valve & Timing Cover.jpg

  4. #469
    Mazzippy70

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjm86m View Post
    Ed, the whole reason GoHawks and I are unhappy with the "fix" is because the dealership and ultimately Mazda Corporate are only fixing CX5's that don't have any issues. If you already have a rocker arm that is fallen off the fix to the recall is only masking the issue. The dealership flashed my PCM and the limp mode issue went away. But at the end of the day it only masked the problem because the rocker arm had already fallen off and a software update didn't magically reinstall the rocker arm. I tried multiple times to get the engine to limpmode post PCM update without any success and yet there was still a floating arm inside the engine.

    IMO it isn't foolish to drive at over 5000 RPM or even up to redline. You don't have to be screaming down the highway at 5000RPM. You can easily hit 5000 at under 30mph. Like I mentioned in a previous post. Be smart about where you try this. You don't need to be mechanical minded to have a little common sense.

    Also, For the record my limp mode did not occur until 6000-6200 RPM. Details are documented in other posts on this thread.
    Hi JJm86m (and Go Hawks too).....I thought I understood what need to be done to check for dislodged rocker arm, but after reading your post here I got really confused.

    Please help me(and other viewers) clarify or confirm a few points:

    1. Are you saying that after the reflash of your PCM, you tried to rev your car to high RPM in effort to get the car to go into limp mode and you could NOT?

    2. Your post sounds like the reflash of the PCM prevents the car from going into limp mode at high RPM and AT THE SAME TIME you still have the dislodged rocker arm. True?

    3. If #2 is true, then why do we care if there is a dislodged rocker arm…..after all, the car no longer goes into limp mode anyway (unless there is some power loss at high rpm due to less # of cylinders in operation).

    4. What I understood was….if you want to check to see if you have a dislodged rocker arm, you can rev the car to high enough RPM (like 5500-6200 and hold it there a bit) to see if the car would go into limp mode and if it does, you have a dislodged rocker arm – I this still true?

  5. #470
    Mazzippy70

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    According to Mazda recall statement:

    *Remedy: A Mazda dealer will reprogram the PCM with improved hydraulic valve adjustment control software, so that it may operate properly when transitioning from cylinder deactivation to full cylinder activation modes while driving.*

    With that said I think we should not do any high RPM test until AFTER the PCM reprogramming. This is because we can potentially cause the rocker arm to fall off in a good-working-order car. What do y*all think?

  6. #471
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tran7270 View Post
    Hi JJm86m (and Go Hawks too).....I thought I understood what need to be done to check for dislodged rocker arm, but after reading your post here I got really confused.

    Please help me(and other viewers) clarify or confirm a few points:

    1. Are you saying that after the reflash of your PCM, you tried to rev your car to high RPM in effort to get the car to go into limp mode and you could NOT?

    2. Your post sounds like the reflash of the PCM prevents the car from going into limp mode at high RPM and AT THE SAME TIME you still have the dislodged rocker arm. True?

    3. If #2 is true, then why do we care if there is a dislodged rocker arm*..after all, the car no longer goes into limp mode anyway (unless there is some power loss at high rpm due to less # of cylinders in operation).

    4. What I understood was*.if you want to check to see if you have a dislodged rocker arm, you can rev the car to high enough RPM (like 5500-6200 and hold it there a bit) to see if the car would go into limp mode and if it does, you have a dislodged rocker arm * I this still true?
    Tran, I can't say whether or not the reflash disables limp mode. My car has a new engine and reflash and so far I have had no further issues. My biggest concern about the recall only doing the reflash is the fact that the owner really has no indication of the rocker arm being dislodged. If it is already dislodged and they reflash the PCM, they are preventing nothing, the damage has already been done and still exists unbeknownst to the owner and the dealership. Yet both parties feel as if the problem is remedied. If your rocker arm is off and the reflash does disable limp, obviously it will not go into limp mode as it would have before, but that doesn't mean there is no problem. This is why people are saying the reflash could possibly mask or hide the issue. So now you may not have to experience the car going into limp mode like myself and others have, but that rocker arm could possibly work its way into a place that could do catastrophic damage to anoher valve or worse. And there is no guarantee when or if this will happen, but Mazda definitely knows this is a possibility. This is just one of the reasons why I still believe they should be doing a physical observation along with the PCM reflash.

    I ask again. If you do the reflash and your rocker arm is already off and thousands of miles later your engine craters because of this preexisting condition that wasn't discovered due to the lack of a visual check, who is financially responsible for this repair if you are no longer under warranty? And how will you be able to prove that this was preexisting? Nobody knows how many miles one can drive with this rocker arm dislodged. As near as I can tell mine may have been off from the time we drove it off of the lot. And we had 9000 miles on ours before we had our experience. We never had any indication of a problem. Mazda KNOWS there is possibly vehicles driving around right now with a missing rocker arm. It appears to me that they are trying to take the easy and cheap way out. And quite frankly it disgusts me.

  7. #472
    Structural Member shadonoz's Avatar
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    I'm also afraid Mazda is dealing with this problem from a cost benefit standpoint, to everyone's detriment.

    Let's keep in mind that Mazda has been investigating this for at least 8 months. They should know a lot more about what's going on than we do, with our couple of known failures.
    SA 041-18, which first addresses the rocker arms, is dated 12/8/18. Then SA 015/19 is dated 4/8/19. These instruct the techs how to deal with cars coming in already reporting failures. They are reactive.

    The recall, OTOH, appears to be for all CD engines [?], and has nothing to do with failures, codes. It is procative, preventative. That presumably gives the company legal cover.

    It looks like they've decided that it will be cheaper to deal with the [hopefully] few major failures caused by missing rocker arms than to inspect all 262,000 engines.

    The bottom line: if you've thrown a code or gone into limp mode ["stalling"], you get inspected. If not, you get flashed and sent on your way. And good luck to you.

    And the question of who is responsible after the warranty expires? Three guesses.

    Not good by all appearances.

  8. #473
    Registered Member yrwei52's Avatar
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    Arrow Dangerous cylinder deactivation trouble on 2018 CX-5 and 6 models

    Quote Originally Posted by shadonoz View Post
    I'm also afraid Mazda is dealing with this problem from a cost benefit standpoint, to everyone's detriment.

    Let's keep in mind that Mazda has been investigating this for at least 8 months. They should know a lot more about what's going on than we do, with our couple of known failures.
    SA 041-18, which first addresses the rocker arms, is dated 12/8/18. Then SA 015/19 is dated 4/8/19. These instruct the techs how to deal with cars coming in already reporting failures. They are reactive.

    The recall, OTOH, appears to be for all CD engines [?], and has nothing to do with failures, codes. It is procative, preventative. That presumably gives the company legal cover.

    It looks like they've decided that it will be cheaper to deal with the [hopefully] few major failures caused by missing rocker arms than to inspect all 262,000 engines.

    The bottom line: if you've thrown a code or gone into limp mode ["stalling"], you get inspected. If not, you get flashed and sent on your way. And good luck to you.

    And the question of who is responsible after the warranty expires? Three guesses.

    Not good by all appearances.
    And whoever in Mazda Corporate he/she ignored the bad reputation from history and came up this idea of the FIRST 4-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation for North American market should get fired! Especially the cylinder deactivation on CX-5 offers almost no benefit on fuel economy with 1/0 MPG gain based on EPA ratings, and it only activates in a very limited condition. Now Mazda has to face huge loss on a recall to all of these 262,000 engines, and the "fix" is not really a true fix which may cost Mazda even more in the future by some lawsuits!

  9. #474
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    Rather than having to remove the valve cover, wouldn't it be possible to use an endoscope or borescope (kind of like this) through the spark plug hole to check that both valves are opening? If its rocker arm is off, the valve will be closed when the other one is open.

  10. #475
    Registered Member erhayes's Avatar
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    I think you may have a good idea Mulligan. Ed

  11. #476
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    With so many of these engines out there, if people have rockers out of place, we will see possible engine damage routinely reported in the next few years.

    I would be very interested to see if Mazda redesigns any internal parts going forward.

  12. #477
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
    Rather than having to remove the valve cover, wouldn't it be possible to use an endoscope or borescope (kind of like this) through the spark plug hole to check that both valves are opening? If its rocker arm is off, the valve will be closed when the other one is open.
    Quote Originally Posted by erhayes View Post
    I think you may have a good idea Mulligan. Ed
    See posts 467 and 468. If there was a cheaper way to see if the rocker arm had fallen off, Mazda would have likely figured it out after opening up the first couple of engines.

  13. #478
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    Quote Originally Posted by sm1ke View Post
    See posts 467 and 468.
    Those posts are about the feasibility of coming through the oil fill opening in the valve cover with a scope to look directly at the rocker arms.

    My idea is to remove the spark plug, stick the scope into the spark plug hole, and view the movement (or lack of movement) of the valves inside the cylinder when the crankshaft/camshaft is in a position where the valve should be opening.

    Assuming the scope equipment is available, this would probably be faster, simpler, and cheaper than removing the valve cover, and it avoids the chance of introducing leaks at the interface between the valve cover and cylinder head. However, it's probably still too expensive in Mazda's judgment. Aside from expense, there may be some other reason why it's not feasible. Just an idea...

  14. #479
    Registered Member yrwei52's Avatar
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    Arrow Dangerous cylinder deactivation trouble on 2018 CX-5 and 6 models

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
    Those posts are about the feasibility of coming through the oil fill opening in the valve cover with a scope to look directly at the rocker arms.

    My idea is to remove the spark plug, stick the scope into the spark plug hole, and view the movement (or lack of movement) of the valves inside the cylinder when the crankshaft/camshaft is in a position where the valve should be opening.

    Assuming the scope equipment is available, this would probably be faster, simpler, and cheaper than removing the valve cover, and it avoids the chance of introducing leaks at the interface between the valve cover and cylinder head. However, it's probably still too expensive in Mazda's judgment. Aside from expense, there may be some other reason why it's not feasible. Just an idea...
    Your way won't work because it's the "hydraulic" lash adjusters which is pushing the valves down. If the engine is not running, the HLA can't push the valve down as there's no oil pressure to supply the force within the HLA.

  15. #480
    Registered Member erhayes's Avatar
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    One could see the rocker not in contact with the camshaft with the engine NOT running. Ed

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