Last post on Nov 03, 2013 at 6:15 PM
You are in the Mazda3
What is this discussion about?
Mazda MAZDA3, Hatchback, Sedan
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
#4922 of 4993 Conventional vs. Synthetic
Jan 25, 2009 (6:01 pm)
I am new to the Mazda world, and just bought my first Mazda3 (2009 Grand Touring HB). Noticed that the owner's manual recommends oil changes every 7,500 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. Because of the long intervals, I suspect synthetic will be used. But I am not 100% on that, since I got mixed messages from 2 salesmen.
I know lots has been written about synthetic v. conventional, but I am curious to see what most new (2009) owners are doing in terms of type of oil. Parallel to the regular 36K / 3 yr bumper-to-bumper, I have an extended (came with the purchase) warranty of 100K miles or 8 years, that requires all servicing be done at the dealer or the warranty is voided.
I want to hold on to the car for a long time. Love the looks and the way it rides. What oil type is everyone using?
Thank you for your feedback/input.
#4923 of 4993 Re: Conventional vs. Synthetic [ecogan]
Jan 26, 2009 (4:41 am)
I bought a 2009 Mazda3 sedan a little over two months ago and I'll be hitting 7,500 miles in the next two or three weeks. After spending some time on the bobistheoilguy.com web site, it seems that 7,500 miles is very doable on the factory oil (which is a 5W-20 conventional by the way). That said, my plan is to switch to Mobil 1 0W-20 at the first oil change and use that every 7,500 miles, at least through the warranty period. In addition, I will send in an oil sample from each of the first three or four oil changes for Used Oil Analysis (UOA), just to make sure all is well with the oil selection and the engine break-in.
A brief note on extended warranties... The last one that I bought was on a car I purchased in October of 1988, and when all was said and done, even after 100,000 miles I hadn't made back even half of the initial cost of the warranty. Said another way, that was the first and last extended warranty I've ever bought. Since 1993 my wife and I have bought eight new cars and driven them an average of about 100,000 miles per (the high was 170,000 and the low was 30,000 due to the fact that I bought a sports car one day before we found out we were expecting our first child, and car seats and that car didn't mix).
Had I purchased the extended warranties that were offered for those eight cars I would have spent something over $16,000 plus the various deductibles (typically $100 per visit). Against that I've had to pay about $5,500 in unscheduled maintenance (including one transmission), so on the surface, I'm over $10,000 ahead in sixteen years. But wait, there's more! The transmission that I mentioned failed at 109,000 on that vehicle, some 9,000 miles after the extended warranty would have expired, and as such, it would not have been covered. Said another way, by my math, I'm some $14,000 ahead of where I would have been had I bought the extended warranties.
Granted, on any one car an extended warranty might well pay off, however, over the driving/car ownership lifetime of you, me, and virtually everybody else, the bet is that "self-insuring" will be way-way less expensive than buying extended warranties.
Long story short, my advice to you would be to ask for your money back on that warranty and then invest it in a CD or something. Should you be faced with an extraordinary maintenance item at some point after the standard warranty expires, simply use the money that you've saved to pay for the repair.
#4924 of 4993 Re: Conventional vs. Synthetic [shipo]
Jan 26, 2009 (8:15 am)
Shipo - I fully agree with you on extended warranties. This one was "free" but the hook is that I have to do all service at the dealer. I am very skeptical of dealers, and think that they will try to gouge you at every opportunity. In fact, just today I called the service dept. and asked about the 7,500 miles or 6 months oil change intervals. (Those are free as part of a "Customer Care Program".) The service manager suggested that I still change the oil (regular oil) every 3K or 3 months, because of the "stop and go that we do around here." (That one, of course, is on me...) The skeptic in me kicked in. What do you think? Think I need it? My wife and I are gentle drivers, and will probably do about 15k miles per year, and about 50/50 highway/city.
Thanks for your thoughts.
#4925 of 4993 Re: Conventional vs. Synthetic [ecogan]
Jan 26, 2009 (8:35 am)
The problem with any predetermined Oil Change Intervals (OCIs), such as 7,500 miles per the engineers that designed our cars, or the lucrative 3,000 mile intervals that your dealership and Jiffy Boob suggest, is that YOUR driving environment may or may not call for either of those intervals. To eliminate any guess work I typically send my oil out for analysis a few times early in a car's life, and every year or two thereafter.
FWIW, my last two cars came with a factory recommended 15,000 mile OCI, however, both cars also came with Oil Life Monitors (OLMs) that measured the amount of fuel consumed since the last reset, and were very accurate at determining when the oil should be changed (confirmed by UOAs), and as such, oil changes were performed in as few as 12,500 miles, and after as many as 18,000 miles. That said, the last two cars that we bought for my wife came with 7,500 and 6,000 mile OCI recommendations respectively, and on conventional oil they were just about right. That said, the UOA results showed that when both vehicles were run on Mobil 1 0W-40, an OCI of ~12,000 miles was optimal. As I was only having UOAs run every two years, I targeted 10,000 miles for the oil changes on both vehicles, just to leave a reasonable margin of error.
If you want to take advantage of such services, here is a link to the company that I use: http://www.blackstone-labs.com/
#4926 of 4993 Re: Conventional vs. Synthetic [shipo]
Jan 26, 2009 (9:35 am)
Thanks, Shipo! Great information. I will take a look at it, and arrange for the testing. My goal is to keep the car as long as possible, and at the same time not be gouged by the dealer/other facilities.
#4927 of 4993 Re: Conventional vs. Synthetic [shipo]
Jan 26, 2009 (11:00 am)
FWIW, I've been running Mobil 1 5W-30 with a 5000 mile OCI in my MS3 and the UOAs indicate that it could easily go another one or two thousand miles. I'd bet that the NA 2.3 could run an OCI of 7500-10000 miles. In any case, the reason I change the oil at 5000 miles is because the dealer gave me free 5000 mile changes for as long as I own the car(which hopefully won't be much longer, but I digress). All I have to do is provide the Mobil 1.
#4928 of 4993 Re: Conventional vs. Synthetic [roadburner]
Jan 26, 2009 (2:03 pm)
Thanks - good chatting with you. Excellent info.
#4929 of 4993 30,000 mi maintenance
Jan 29, 2009 (4:41 pm)
Is the 30,000 mi maintenance service really necessary? If you skip the service, what do you do for maintenance instead? Honestly, i'm trying to hopefully save $ (dealership charges $365). I do know besides oil change, tire rotation the transmission fluid and air filter should be changed. Does the service include changing the cabin air filter? (I could not find the list of services online)
#4930 of 4993 Re: 30,000 mi maintenance [mazdrvr]
Jan 29, 2009 (4:59 pm)
Mazdrvr - I would not skip the 30K mile service. My brother-in-law has owned Mazdas for the past 20 years, and is convinced that Mazda has a very "honest" service schedule and does not try to sell unnecessary services. If your car has the usual 36K mile warranty, you definitely want to do the service, so as to not void the warranty. One thing you may want to do, is consult a local trusted auto place (I know, they are tough to find sometimes...) and see what they would charge for you for that service.
Although dealers can be more expensive than local chain-type auto places, it may be worth the extra bucks to make sure a Mazda-certified tech worked on the car.
#4931 of 4993 Re: 30,000 mi maintenance [mazdrvr]
Jan 29, 2009 (5:15 pm)
I'd get the 30K service; just make sure that the dealer doesn't perform any more work than the Mazda schedule calls for.