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Discussion Starter #1
I was on my way to a wedding gig this morning and when making a right turn I started to hear a "clunk clunk clunk". Very odd. It didn't happen when I drove straight or turned left. So, i drove a little further and at the next right turn, the noise came back. I pulled over and took a peak under the right front tire to see if there was a stick or something stuck somewhere underneath. Turns out there was a bunch of fluid dripping out!! I thought it was hydraulic fluid from the power steering (cuz it only happened on right turns), but the tow driver smelled it and said it was engine oil. It sucks because the car has about 4700 miles on it. I just got an oil change done about 3 weeks ago, but I only drive it on weekends to my gigs. After the guy took the car to their storage (the dealership isn't open on sundays), i checked the parking spot where I had it the night before, and sure enough there was a bunch of oil on the ground.

Fingers crossed it's covered by the warranty and that no major damage was done. I'm glad it didn't happen while I was on the way home from my gig last night and that I was only about 1.5 miles from my house.
 

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Sounds like something broke/was done wrong when the oil was changed 3 weeks ago. Hope you get it resolved easily.
 

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Since apparently the oil warning light didn't activate, hopefully the engine was not yet starved for oil and thus the engine was not damaged.

Please let us know the outcome.
 

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Oil light is oil pressure, not oil quantity. 1 or 2 qts is enough to keep the light off, but not to keep it safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok the dealership hit me up and said the car is ready to go. They also said that it was a broken gasket. No charge to me. Everything is covered by the warranty. I'll find out tomorrow at the dealership what gasket specifically broke.

Is a broken gasket related to the oil system a common problem with this car?

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Ok the dealership hit me up and said the car is ready to go. They also said that it was a broken gasket. No charge to me. Everything is covered by the warranty. I'll find out tomorrow at the dealership what gasket specifically broke.

Is a broken gasket related to the oil system a common problem with this car?

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Hmmmm...hope no permanent damage was done from oil starvation. Have yet to hear of such & I don't wanna speculate on the how & the why.
 

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Ok the verdict is: oil drain plug gasket failed completely.

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That still doesn't explain the clunks on right turns only though... If the oil drain plug gasket (it's really just an AL or copper washer) was missing or the drain plug was improperly tightened, your oil would leak out all the time - wouldn't matter if the car was standing still, shut off, or running in any direction.

Hopefully you got lucky and no latent damages resulted from this. I would insist on ensuring the issue is fully documented with Mazda corporate (not just the dealer) to ensure you're protected if the engine fails prematurely.

Edit: Note that the ONLY way an oil drain plug gasket can fail is if: (a) Someone neglected to install a new one during the oil change, or (b) Person doing the oil change torqued the drain plug improperly (i.e., too loose or too tight - either can result in a leak). Whoever did this last oil change is clearly at fault.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How would I document it with corporate mazda?

The dealer said they checked the engine to make sure no damage occurred as well as "pressure tested the gasket".. I ask them how they tested it. They said that they just run the engine for a really long time and then check to make sure there are no leaks. My mileage didn't go up at all. my tank went down about half way and it was about three-quarters of the way full when the tow truck picked it up.

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Discussion Starter #10
The dealership did tell me that if the engine does run out of oil it will go into shutdown mode and you can't drive faster than 20 miles per hour. The weird thing is that the check engine light never came on. I told them that and they said that's good; that means that I never got to the point of having the oil be so low that the engine goes into shutdown mode. I caught it before it got to the point of being catastrophic which is good

I still don't know what that weird sound was that it made when I would turn corners. And it didn't make it every time I turn the corner. It just did it occasionally. But the dealership climbed under there and said they didn't find anything stuck in the wheels are in the engine area that might have caused that sound so that's good they said everything was clean except for the oil that had leaked. They told me they had to push it into the shop once the tow truck delivered it because the oil had completely drained out entirely. The engine was practically bone dry.

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All they did was test for leaks? I'm hoping for the best here & wishing no internal harm was done running the engine w/o oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The engine never ran out of oil before I shut it off. I caught it in time. I would guess when I pulled over and looked at what was happening, from that point about two quarts leaked out onto the ground. When the tow truck driver hoisted it up onto his flatbed was still leaking. But you're right. I should call them and ask them if they open the engine up to make sure that there was no damage to the engine. On the service form all it says is
"replaced oil drain plug gasket and adjusted oil level. Recheck operation. All check ok"

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The dealership did tell me that if the engine does run out of oil it will go into shutdown mode and you can't drive faster than 20 miles per hour. The weird thing is that the check engine light never came on. I told them that and they said that's good; that means that I never got to the point of having the oil be so low that the engine goes into shutdown mode. I caught it before it got to the point of being catastrophic which is good........

They told me they had to push it into the shop once the tow truck delivered it because the oil had completely drained out entirely. The engine was practically bone dry.

Contradictory, makes no sense. Either there is oil in the motor or there isn't. Somebody is not telling you the whole story. No surprise there. The clunking sound was probably the oil plug rolling around inside the undertray after it fell out due to not being installed properly.
 

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Or maybe the clunk can be from ... oil got on the bushings of the stabilizer bar so the stabilizer bar moves from side to side more than it's supposed to and it hits the body or the lower control arm on suspension travel ... it happened to me on a previous car (not Mazda) same clunk on turns only, it was from oil getting on the bushings.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Contradictory, makes no sense. Either there is oil in the motor or there isn't. Somebody is not telling you the whole story. No surprise there. The clunking sound was probably the oil plug rolling around inside the undertray after it fell out due to not being installed properly.
when I pulled over and looked under the chassis, oil was still draining out.. I'd guess a quart or two leaked out between when I turned off the car and when the tow truck showed up. While the tow truck was loading my car onto the flatbed, oil was still leaking out, especially when the flatbed was angled.. The tow truck operator checked the dipstick before loading the car and it was dry. Whatever oil was left in the engine dripped out onto the flatbed between Sunday day and Monday morning when the service center opened and the tow company dropped the car off.

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Discussion Starter #19
some good news

I spoke with the Service Director at the dealership about the situation today, requesting for corporate mazda be made aware of it in case the engine failed prematurely. He offered to make the situation right and that I could bring in the vehicle at any time and they would put the engine thru a pressure test and check inside the cylinders and headers to make sure nothing was damaged and also give me a few free oil changes . He also said he would go after the tech that over-torqued the gasket in the first place. Basically, "this should have never happened. we'll give you a loaner car while we make sure the engine isn't damaged, and if it is damaged we'll make it right". So, that's pretty cool.

However, I'm not sure if I want them performing the oil change again...
 

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I spoke with the Service Director at the dealership about the situation today, requesting for corporate mazda be made aware of it in case the engine failed prematurely. He offered to make the situation right and that I could bring in the vehicle at any time and they would put the engine thru a pressure test and check inside the cylinders and headers to make sure nothing was damaged and also give me a few free oil changes . He also said he would go after the tech that over-torqued the gasket in the first place. Basically, "this should have never happened. we'll give you a loaner car while we make sure the engine isn't damaged, and if it is damaged we'll make it right". So, that's pretty cool.

However, I'm not sure if I want them performing the oil change again...
Responding to bold/italics points in order:

1. Don't trust or count on this dealership's service director contacting Mazda on your behalf. You can do this yourself; read the warranty booklet that came with the car - it has procedures and phone #'s/contacts to call when you are not happy or otherwise disagree with how a Mazda dealership is handling a problem. The best you can expect to get from Mazda in this case is that you would inform them of the incident caused by their dealership's incompetence, document the miles on the car at the time, and they could extend your warranty on engine specific failures.

2. Other than offering you a few free oil changes, the rest of this is pure BS to try to appease you. There is no easy way to determine if damage was done, short of doing a complete engine tear down, inspect/measure/spec every moving part & reassemble the engine. He's smoking crack if he says otherwise. Besides, who would pay for all that labor? Mazda won't, because your engine hasn't failed, thus no valid warranty claim that the dealer can charge to.

3. Did the dealer actually say/document that the gasket (i.e., drain plug) was over torqued? If so, then when calling Mazda corporate, I'd request that they authorize a DIFFERENT dealer to inspect the oil pan, and if it's damaged, replace the oil pan free of charge under warranty. Reason is if the dealer over torqued the plug to the extent that several quarts of oil leaked out, it is highly likely that they damaged your oil pan - the threads for the plug could be stripped, and area around it (that the washer seals against) could have been distorted. In their repairs they did to get you back on the road, they could "fix" it and get it to seal by using a little thread sealant on the plug, and torque down the new gasket/washer just a smidge tighter than spec to get it to seal up, but that is NOT a permanent repair. A few oil changes later, and you'll likely find that the plug threads are too stripped or oil pan mating surface too deformed to seal, requiring repair.

4. I would not go back there. No excuse for F-ing up an oil change!
 
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