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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I couldn't find a car repair thread, as in I have symptoms and need help with diagnoses. Problem below, feel free to move if necessary.

On Friday I heard a loud crack from my engine area, like a rock hit the car or something. Couldn't find any marks and got home fine. Today I went to drive it and the whole car shakes when idling and the check engine light is on. Car drives fine otherwise. I had to take my wife's car to work for fear of it breaking down. I've owned this car for about 5000 miles.

2011 Mazda 3S ~53000 miles.

Comments:
Shouldn't be a timing issue since it's just idle that's the problem. I've read about the engine mounts going bad?
My Battery is getting pretty old but that shouldn't be related...
That loud crack might not be related, I didn't notice a problem driving home that day.

Any help is appreciated.:banana 1:
 

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Rear Motor Mount?

Got a close autoparts store that you can limp it to and get the code checked on it to see what the light is for?
 

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Try pulling the spark plugs. You may have broken one. Car running on 3 cyl will definitely shake and throw a cel.
 

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Keep track of which plug wire goes on which spark plug. Just in case you don't think of it. That would make matters much worst.
 

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Keep track of which plug wire goes on which spark plug. Just in case you don't think of it. That would make matters much worst.
It's not the 90s anymore, it's coil on plug design, you can't mistake which goes where anymore ;)
Cars don't have distributor caps anymore lol
 

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Damn. I did have a car with coil packs but there were still wires going to the plugs. I actually didn't look at the plugs on our cars yet.

You know you feel old when... :wheelchair:
 

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I dont miss having a distributor and being a tooth off on my old 4age or trying to line up the distributor gear and the oil pump shaft on an old small block. Doing those things taught you new curse words lol

@stevar is talking about distributor-less systems with a big coil pack that has wires to every cylinder and usually arranged in pairs/waste spark. Those are definitely possible to wire wrong Ive done it and it sounds horrible! Luckily our cars have a coil for every cylinder so its a no brainer.

OP if your check engine light is on you need to figure out what it is first before you start tearing into your car trying to fix the unknown
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Okay so read the whole thing before you laugh at me. I checked the oil right as the tow truck pulled up and saw it was pretty low.

I must be burning oil, because Mazda said my oil was way below minimum and it had thrown the timing off.
"P0011 P0016 P0300 Crankshaft position over advance 1.00------Diag Perform Vehicle Diag 4203 CPC 1.00----Valve Timing is off need to tear down to inspect and realign timing marks"

They wanted to charge $500 more dollars (past the $110 for diagnoses) to change the oil and fix the timing. I declined. I put 2 quarts of oil in it and it drove home fine. However I need to check the timing and I'm new to Mazda. In my Honda we had the belt and used a timing light with the distributor. That isn't the case with these chains though yeah? How do I do it? Or what will be the cost to have a small shop do it for me? I've done basic replacements like O2 sensors or distributors, anything harder though I don't have time for. Advice? The car is driving totally fine to the normal senses. I bought an OBD II reader though to help in the future. I'm concerned how the oil got so low. I changed it myself 3000 miles ago with no problems.

Thanks for the help:cheesy:
 

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There is no 'fixing the timing" The timing is electronically controlled so you cant adjust it in any way. The only way they can fix anything is if the chain jumped a tooth or something which I highly doubt because it would run like complete shit and it would be a lot more than 500 dollars.

My guess is you ran low on oil and the cam timing actuators didnt have enough oil to work properly so it set a code and ran like crap. Granted its not a good thing it was ran that low but if you put oil in it and its fine now i'd say just drive it and keep an eye on your oil level from now on. You may or may not have done damage but if you did it sure as hell wont be a 500 dollar fix. Sounds like they wanna make some easy money.

You should, however, change the oil as soon as you can.
 

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I'm not too keen on this loud Crack sound that you've heard right before the issue showed up. Loud crack from engines and oil mysteriously disappearing is definitely a concern. If your timing was out you might of heard a misfire in the engine. If your exhaust fumes are not smokey blue in color then oil is not being burned in the cylinder (usually bad piston seals causes this) unless the head cracked at a cylinder.


Possible bad scenarios:

Damaged oil filter from impact, cracked head/block (bleeds oil into coolant or in cylinders), damaged head gaskets (which can also blend engine oil and coolant), bad seal at oil drain plug (common since washer can get crushed). These are some common things that has happened in the past but this Crack sound you mentioned...hopefully it was a misfire within the engine.

If you want to bring it to a backyard mechanic he could check the cylinder pressures to make sure that your cylinders and gaskets are fine and also do a oil pressure check. (This car needs an oil gauge) Your oil is leaking somewheres.


I'm sounding paranoid but paying $50 or so for someone to do a few test can be peace of mind. If they find something at least you can catch it and pay hundreds before the engine ends up costing you thousands. If Mazda dealers are telling you the fault codes then cross reference it with an OBD reader. If they are telling the truth then ya, something needs adjusted. Sensors do tell you the problems and rarely lie about it.

Do you still have a Cel?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm not too keen on this loud Crack sound that you've heard right before the issue showed up. Loud crack from engines and oil mysteriously disappearing is definitely a concern. If your timing was out you might of heard a misfire in the engine. If your exhaust fumes are not smokey blue in color then oil is not being burned in the cylinder (usually bad piston seals causes this) unless the head cracked at a cylinder.


Possible bad scenarios:

Damaged oil filter from impact, cracked head/block (bleeds oil into coolant or in cylinders), damaged head gaskets (which can also blend engine oil and coolant), bad seal at oil drain plug (common since washer can get crushed). These are some common things that has happened in the past but this Crack sound you mentioned...hopefully it was a misfire within the engine.

If you want to bring it to a backyard mechanic he could check the cylinder pressures to make sure that your cylinders and gaskets are fine and also do a oil pressure check. (This car needs an oil gauge) Your oil is leaking somewheres.


I'm sounding paranoid but paying $50 or so for someone to do a few test can be peace of mind. If they find something at least you can catch it and pay hundreds before the engine ends up costing you thousands. If Mazda dealers are telling you the fault codes then cross reference it with an OBD reader. If they are telling the truth then ya, something needs adjusted. Sensors do tell you the problems and rarely lie about it.

Do you still have a Cel?
Yeah I still have the cel, I was going to clear it with my OBD II in the mail and see if the codes reset after adding some oil. I'm not against paying for tests and peace of mind. But wouldn't Mazda have seen if there was some major crack related to a sudden loss of oil?
 

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Yeah I still have the cel, I was going to clear it with my OBD II in the mail and see if the codes reset after adding some oil. I'm not against paying for tests and peace of mind. But wouldn't Mazda have seen if there was some major crack related to a sudden loss of oil?
Not if it's internal. If they didn't open the engine block, no. Which they wouldn't until they suspect it or check pressures. I'm not saying that this is the case because that would be the worst case scenario. Have you looked all over the engine block to see any dirty parts where it looks like oil could have leaked out? The oil drain plug, the oil filter? If it's super clean then the oil is either being burned off in the cylinder by leaky piston rings (blue smoke out of exhaust when running hard) or it's found a new path via a crack or leak.

Are you sure that you added the required amount of engine oil at engine oil change? Most mechanics add new oil until the dipstick marks safe, run the engine to circulate the new oil, then when the engine has settled a while check the dipstick again for new level. Best bet is to check the specs for your car and know how many liters to put in and notice how much you added.

I think some mechanics run the engine a bit after draining the oil just to get most used oil out of the system.
 

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Ok. I'll take your word on it.
Former tech here, and been working in the car business most of my life.. no one does that. 1 second without oil is enough to damage some motors, let alone a few seconds. Don't do that.

However, I fully agree you should have a leak down done and oil PSI test. At the very least, because if oil is leaking internally, you want to know about it! A head gasket is much cheaper and easier to do than a rebuild on a 3 year old car..if for nothing else, your own peace of mind.
 

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I remember one case on a friend's car where the coolant was mixing in the engine oil and it started foaming up the dipstick pipe from what he told me. If I remember correctly it was also the result of a damaged gasket. In that case he had a visual warning early enough to know that a gasket had to be changed.

In this case, a loud crack sound and loosing oil is enough to make a person justifiably paranoid when no oil is leaking outside of the block.
 
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