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Old 02-02-2012, 03:19 PM
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Default 2012 Mazda 3, SkyActiv Oil & Filter Change

Here is a post on issues I experienced on changing my oil for the first time on a new 2012 Mazda 3 Grand Touring i, 5-door hatchback, SkyAcitv G, 2.0, /w 6 speed automatic transmission.

I have always performed almost all repairs and maintenance to cars I have owned over the years. The purchase of a new Mazda 3 was to be no exception. I also believe that the first oil change on a new engine is one of the most important things one can do, since there is potentially more wear on a new engine in the first few hundred miles during “breaking in” period. Removing that “wear” (microscopic metal and other contaminates) from the engine oil makes sense to me. To that end I decided to change my oil and filter for the first time after 500 miles. An oil and filter change usually takes me about 20 to 30 minutes, but I ran into issues that might be helpful to others on this forum.

Mazda recommends synthetic 0-w20 oil in this engine. I had to go to a couple of parts stores to find this weight oil, and finally did from Mobile 1. The oil filter was a larger problem, as no cross-reference or parts book I encountered, was more current than 2010, including on line searches directly to filter companies! I decided to go directly to Mazda for the first filter, and then physically try to match it up with one from a filter manufacturer at a local parts store. I spent $11 for a filter at the dealer and thought I could start a simple job that had already taken me several hours, and I hadn’t even gotten under the car.

This Mazda supposedly gets up to 40 MPG and one of the reasons is its aerodynamics. On the under part of the car, beneath the engine is a full belly pan to direct airflow. I placed my hydraulic jack on the left side of the car, behind the front wheel, which slightly tilted the car to the right (keeping the drain at the lowest point), and placed a jack stand next to it. This allowed ample access room to the drain and filter. There is an access panel in the belly pan, which comes off with one #2 Phillips head screw. Removal of this panel allows perfect access to the drain plug and filter. Removal of the entire belly pan is NOT necessary to drain the oil or filter and the access panel hole was large enough to insure that no oil dripped onto the inside of the belly pan. The oil drain plug takes an 8mm Allen wrench. I plan to have a socket version of that wrench for my next change of oil to make things a little easier.

Removal of the filter was accomplished with a large water pump pliers to loosen the filter, and I thought the job was almost finished. I opened the new filter box, which I had purchased from the dealer and immediately saw that it was a larger diameter than the one I had just removed. The part number from the removed filter on the car is PE01-14-302. The dealer sold me a LF05-14-302B filter, so I took the removed filter from the car back to the dealer, along with the wrong filter they had sold me, to get the correct part. After about 15 minutes of checking their parts manuals on their computers and asking me over and over about the type of car I had, they reluctantly realized the filter their system called for was wrong, but only because I had the correct used filter in my hand which I had just removed from my 2-week old Mazda 3. My dealer (in San Francisco, CA) did not stock the filter I needed! But to their credit, they refunded my money and said they would have the correct filter in about 4 hours and would give it to me at no charge. They came through on this and the rest was straightforward.

A couple of other notes: The manual says the crankcase holds 4.2 L of oil. This is equivalent to about 4.8 quarts to bring the oil to the top mark on the dipstick. Also, I called several filter manufactures to try and cross-reference the PE01-14-302 filter to one of their stock. Wix said “they did have any 2012 listings yet and couldn’t help me”. Purolator said “they did not make this filter”. Fram was very helpful and said the filter for this car is a PH6607. I just purchased a Fram Ph6607 and it appears that this filter physically the same as the one I removed from the car. I am sure that the Fram Ph6607 can be cross-referenced to many the other filter suppliers, as the PH6607 is a fairly common filter. Lastly, I purchased a filter wrench for easier removal and replacement of the filter. The size needed for the correct filter is a “Code C” (Pennzoil Oil Filter Cap Wrench), which fits 65/67mm flutes on the bottom of the filter. It does work on both the original Mazda filter and the Fram filter.

All told, this simple job took over ˝ day instead of the 20 minutes it should have so I wrote this post to hopefully save some aggravation for the next person /Larry
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2012, 05:08 PM
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It is not wise to change your own oil & filter as it voids your powertrain warranty.
Proof of oil changes are required (buying oil and getting a receipt is not sufficient). I would have the dealer do this just for this reason.
At least you put the Mazda oil filter back on.
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Last edited by UseYourNoggin; 02-02-2012 at 05:16 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2012, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UseYourNoggin View Post
It is not wise to change your own oil & filter as it voids your powertrain warranty.
Proof of oil changes are required (buying oil and getting a receipt is not sufficient). I would have the dealer do this just for this reason.
At least you put the Mazda oil filter back on.
I don't know about Canada, but your first statement is patently incorrect here in the States. By performing your own oil changes and simply keeping the receipts for the oil and filters the warranty stays firmly intact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lwmaas View Post
I also believe that the first oil change on a new engine is one of the most important things one can do, since there is potentially more wear on a new engine in the first few hundred miles during “breaking in” period. Removing that “wear” (microscopic metal and other contaminates) from the engine oil makes sense to me. To that end I decided to change my oil and filter for the first time after 500 miles.
Changing oil after only 500 miles is a practice I cannot recommend strongly enough against for any number of reasons including (but not limited to) the following two points:
  1. The tolerances and manufacturing techniques have conspired to virtually eliminate "microscopic metal and other contaminates". Long gone are the days when the oil filter weighed a couple of pounds after the first oil change.
  2. Many (most?) manufacturers "enhance" the factory oil (typically off-the-shelf stuff you and I can buy at our local parts store) with an additive package (either directly or via assembly pastes/lubes) which enhances engine break-in.
Long story short, item #1 means there is no urgent need to purge the engine of contaminated oil shortly after a car is built, and item #2 means that it is actually to the engine's advantage to keep the oil in until the first recommended oil change.

Last edited by virgin1; 02-03-2012 at 03:41 AM.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:02 PM
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Even in my owners manual ('04) it states the engine requires no break-in period and rcommends the first oil change @ 7,500, which is what I did. @ 20,000 miles I converted to full synthetic oil, change the filter @ 5,000 intervals and do a full change @ 10,000.
Now, nearly 8 yrs later and 70,000 miles on the clock, no problems at all. Still uses absolutely no oil in between changes. And @ 10,000 the oil is still quite serviceable too! A little brown (not black,) but that's all. I could probably run it to 15k and it would still be good.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shipo View Post
Changing oil after only 500 miles is a practice I cannot recommend strongly enough against for any number of reasons including (but not limited to) the following two points:
  1. The tolerances and manufacturing techniques have conspired to virtually eliminate "microscopic metal and other contaminates". Long gone are the days when the oil filter weighed a couple of pounds after the first oil change.
  2. Many (most?) manufacturers "enhance" the factory oil (typically off-the-shelf stuff you and I can buy at our local parts store) with an additive package (either directly or via assembly pastes/lubes) which enhances engine break-in.
Long story short, item #1 means there is no urgent need to purge the engine of contaminated oil shortly after a car is built, and item #2 means that it is actually to the engine's advantage to keep the oil in until the first recommended oil change.
Although tolerances have continued to improve, finer tolerances will NEVER replace breaking in an engine. All moving parts must seat in over the miles, and this occurs more during the first miles and less during the later miles. This is a reality, and although you may feel this isn't important to you, it is still just as real.

Oil serves several purposes, but the main one is to lubricate by providing a film between moving parts. This film, in theory, lubricates the moving parts and eliminates wear. In reality oil does a good job, but it isn't perfect. Oil gets broken down with age, dirt, and heat, but age or heat wasn't the reason I changed my oil at 500 miles. Oil does get contaminated with dirt and metal wear residue over time. These foreign particulates are then carried in the oil, and then can work as an abrasive, carried by the lubricant between the moving parts. The filter supposedly removes this debris to a point. But only by changing the oil and filter can one remove all the debris from the oil. A case in point; my oil was very dark, almost black after only 500 miles. Although there was no way of telling for sure how much dirt and debris was being carried in that oil, the new oil and filter were CLEAN!

BTW, according to my dealer, Mazda's are shipped from Japan with very little oil in the crankcase from the factory, and it is a special oil designed not to go more than a few miles, so that dock workers won't drive the cars except to load them on the trailers for shipment to the dealers. This oil apparently is of poor quality and the dealer changes it when the car arrives. Even with the new oil from the dealer in the car (in my case, 6 miles) one could still smell the burning off of the shipment oil for several days after the car was delivered.

Finally, don't change your oil if you don't agree with my post. The dirtier it gets, the sooner you engine will wear out. The dealers keep upping the milage intervals between oil changes. I see NO down side to having clean oil. Can the dealers say the same? It is the cheapest insurance you can get for your engine, and except for a few dollars spent, there is NO downside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by virgin1
Even in my owners manual ('04) it states the engine requires no break-in period and rcommends the first oil change @ 7,500, which is what I did. @ 20,000 miles I converted to full synthetic oil, change the filter @ 5,000 intervals and do a full change @ 10,000.
Now, nearly 8 yrs later and 70,000 miles on the clock, no problems at all. Still uses absolutely no oil in between changes. And @ 10,000 the oil is still quite serviceable too! A little brown (not black,) but that's all. I could probably run it to 15k and it would still be good.
I feel that tolerances are much better in new cars, than years ago, but I disagree that "the engine requires no break-in period". I feel that driving the car a little easier, varying the RPM's, and no hard acceleration for the first few hundred miles is just common sense. Stomp on your car right out of the showroom floor if you want to, but I'll wait for a couple of weeks.

Lastly, my post was mainly to try to help others find the correct filter for the 2012 SkyActiv engine.

Last edited by lwmaas; 02-02-2012 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwmaas View Post
... Lastly, my post was mainly to try to help others find the correct filter for the 2012 SkyActiv engine.
You are correct, of course. And we appreciate the write-up and the effort.
But remember that this is a discussion forum and opinions, knowledge, and experiences do differ.
Thanks for the write-up, and good job.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:51 AM
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First off, thanks for the dissertation on finding an oil filter for the SkyActiv-G engine; I'm sure that will help many folks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lwmaas View Post
Although tolerances have continued to improve, finer tolerances will NEVER replace breaking in an engine. All moving parts must seat in over the miles, and this occurs more during the first miles and less during the later miles. This is a reality, and although you may feel this isn't important to you, it is still just as real.

Oil serves several purposes, but the main one is to lubricate by providing a film between moving parts. This film, in theory, lubricates the moving parts and eliminates wear. In reality oil does a good job, but it isn't perfect. Oil gets broken down with age, dirt, and heat, but age or heat wasn't the reason I changed my oil at 500 miles. Oil does get contaminated with dirt and metal wear residue over time. These foreign particulates are then carried in the oil, and then can work as an abrasive, carried by the lubricant between the moving parts. The filter supposedly removes this debris to a point. But only by changing the oil and filter can one remove all the debris from the oil.
A few points:
I've worked for not one but two European automobile manufacturers as an engineer, and as such have rubbed shoulders with many-many of the other engineers of all stripes working in those two companies. When I say manufacturers run countless hours of tests on their engines, often to the complete destruction of said engine, that is a bit of an understatement. With that in mind, the oil analysis results from the laboratory tests show quite conclusively that all of those microscopic bits of metal and other debris you're worried about are no higher in a newly manufactured engine than they are in a long broken in but otherwise properly functioning engine. With that in mind, does that mean you should be changing your oil every 500 miles from now on?

FWIW, based upon the factory testing as well as oil analysis results on my own cars, I've completely abandoned factory oil change interval recommendations (outside of warranty of course) and moved to extended intervals. Back in 2007 my oldest car had a slow coolant leak into the oil (discovered by oil analysis), and given that that particular had a cast iron block and aluminum heads, it was a pretty good bet a head gasket was having an issue. There were 143,625 mils on the car at the time (I'd owned it since new); I pulled the heads off and while I didn't find any head gasket leaks (the problem turned out to be a ten cent "O" ring in a coolant bypass tunnel elsewhere on the engine), I did find that all six cylinders were still sporting their original factory honing marks. I guess running my factory oil for the recommended 7,500 miles, and the subsequent 12,000 mile oil changes didn't cause too much damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lwmaas View Post
A case in point; my oil was very dark, almost black after only 500 miles. Although there was no way of telling for sure how much dirt and debris was being carried in that oil, the new oil and filter were CLEAN!
The color of oil has no bearing what-so-ever on whether oil is A) dirty, and B) fit (or otherwise) for service in any given engine.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:38 AM
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When my dad bought his Honda Civic, he called to get his oil changed and he was told NO they would not change his oil, because the light for it had not come on. It was over 1 year before he was allowed to change his oil.
Warranty? Ask the dealer or Mazda.
I personally would change it before 8,000, more like @ 4,000 especially for the first one.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UseYourNoggin View Post
When my dad bought his Honda Civic, he called to get his oil changed and he was told NO they would not change his oil, because the light for it had not come on. It was over 1 year before he was allowed to change his oil.
Warranty? Ask the dealer or Mazda.
I personally would change it before 8,000, more like @ 4,000 especially for the first one.
It is a well known fact that Honda uses assembly pastes which act as an oil additive (once the paste has been washed off the parts it was applied to) to help the engine settle in. Honda strongly recommends not changing the oil in their new cars until the factory recommended first oil change.

Funny thing, virtually every Honda forum I've visited included a very lengthy thread on just this issue. The consensus is to wait until the OLM light indicates it's time for a change.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shipo View Post
It is a well known fact that Honda uses assembly pastes which act as an oil additive (once the paste has been washed off the parts it was applied to) to help the engine settle in. Honda strongly recommends not changing the oil in their new cars until the factory recommended first oil change.

Funny thing, virtually every Honda forum I've visited included a very lengthy thread on just this issue. The consensus is to wait until the OLM light indicates it's time for a change.
Honda wants the prize for least car maintenance!!
This is a strategy to sell more cars!
They generally have a good status in quality, now they have less maintenance!!
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