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I have 2017 Mazda3 sport and I don't drive much (3000 miles a year!). AFAIK I need to follow some maintenance schedule that Mazda suggests in order to not hurt my warranty (and the car). The maza dealership wants me to come in every 4 months or 5000 miles whichever comes first which I think is too frequent ($) given my usage of the car.

The driver's manual has two schedules for North America (I'm in TN) a fixed schedule and a flexible one. The flexible schedule mentions a max interval of 7500 miles or 12 months. Do you think it is safe if I just follow that and don't have it change every 4 months, both warranty wise and for the car? which means basically change once a year.



 

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Mazda "E" Division
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It's regional - Hot climates / cold climates - it falls under severe conditions. Mazda is sticky on motor oil changes.

It can break down or sludge up:

Oil can reach very high temperatures for a very short time in the hottest parts of engine (around piston rings). For non-synthetic motor oil, the traditional approach is to try to hold oil temperatures between 230 and 260 degrees F. For full synthetic motor oil, maximum can exceed 300 degrees
 

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'18 M3HGTP Eternal Blue
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So, your warranty is going to run out with 9k miles on the car... that's, unusual

For the car, so long as you are getting the engine oil hot enough for long enough (full temp for 20 minutes minimum, so a 25 min drive in the summer an closer to 35 in the winter) once every 4~6 weeks, you'll be doing the only Active thing possible to help. This will neutralize naturally occurring acids in the oil AND cook off naturally occurring water/condensation ~ both of which will drastically shorten engine life (from maybe 500k to 400k or so ~ just to give this some perspective). At 3k year, you're probably doing Very short trips, which is also bad for the engine. The 2 things you can do to mitigate that is to use a coolant/block heater (pre-warms the engine, most commonly found in extreme cold climates and on diesel vehicles), these need about an hour to do their thing and work best if you're on a set schedule OR always have an hours notice before leaving home. The next is to not idle the engine, get in, start up and drive away. If you are doing short trips, more frequent oil changes are actually Better for the engine ~ just more costly.

Now, the tricky part is the Mazda warranty. They can't deny warranty based on doing your own work, but when you're not accruing the miles to easily cover the specified schedule it gets tricky. I'm Technically over as well (5k mile intervals take me 5 months), but doubt that Mazda could prove in court that my going 1 month over their 4 month recommendation was the cause of any warranty/failure. And that's the bottom line to understand, if you need warranty, it is on Mazda to prove that you were the cause of the failure. If they can't prove that (to a judge/in court), then they can't deny your claim. Mind you, defending yourself in court costs a whole lot more money than the $70/per oil change (3 times a year by 3 years is only $630). Once out of warranty, follow your own gut. My last car I did 12 month oil change intervals, and that was occasionally as many as 23k miles (wife traveled for work for awhile, 90% highway miles). Sold the car with zero issues and 320k miles on it... still regret that too.
 

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I don't drive a lot but to have me get a full synthetic oil change every 6 months or 8,000 km is a rip off; not to mention bad for the environment.
 

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Basically what has already been said. If you follow the maintenance schedule in your owners manual, they cannot deny warranty. You'll have to decide if you fall under the severe schedule, unfortunately most of us do.

I do my own maintenance as is specified in the warranty document. I keep paper records (dated with time of day), my receipts for supplies and parts, and then I use my phone to video tape the maintenance for evidence that I did the job correctly. They tried to argue with me once. Then they saw my documentation and I didn't get any more trouble. I also showed them the self maintenance section from the warranty document. They backed off pretty fast.

All that being said, you may want to consider some maintenance beyond your schedule. For example, its hard to argue a trans fluid flush if you're driving auto or an oil change if you're driving stick. These items are not on the schedule. Brake fluid flush is a good idea as well. I like to do those around 80k miles give or take. Considering how little you drive, maybe every 3 or 4 years? These are not items that need to be done yearly unless you're driving a lot.

As far as persuing Mazda legally if ever necessary, I would argue to the contrary of it being expensive. Generally, these are small claims court cases. In the event of warranty denied, you'd pay for the repair and later take them to small claims for the cost. Usually small claims isn't expensive. You'll also find that the threat of small claims (as in they have been served papers) will usually make them more willing to talk. Mazda would have to send a lawyer with a high chance of losing the case. It costs them less to make a deal out of court. With small claims you would want aa paralegal if you need help. Its not something a lawyer would usually handle as it is not worth it to them or to you with the cost.
 

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Lets tone this one down a bit. Personally here, the biggest problem I see you having with infrequent driving is gonna be the battery and moisture buildup in the oil and dryrot in the tires. If I were you, I'd probably use the best synthetic I could once a year. Check it every once in a while and make sure it's still clean. If all looks good, sounds good, keep on going. `Get some tire protection spray that specifically protects against the sun while restoring the rubber spray. Put that on the tires every month.

Yes, it's a if it's not broken don't fix it thing. But the sheer number of miles is so low, that if you drove 6k in two years. Then, I really don't think it's gonna hurt a premium synthetic oil unless you do a lot of idling.

The biggest thing is get your first 3 oil changes done within a normal schedule anyways to clear out the factory startup base stuff. So the first year, do it every 6 months then 1 more time the following year and once each year after that.

The likely hood of you actually developing a problem is extremely low. But the car seeing maintenance at least once a year is just a good idea in general even with the low number of miles. Try to get a longer highway trip in there once a year to.
 

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I've never ever had any problem with dealership in doing my own oil/filter changes during the warranty period. However, I've never had any warranty issues dealing with the engine or drive train to get into that in 50 years of driving. Just keep a maintenance booklet, not necessarily that thing they gave you when you bought it. I usually buy a little 3x5 spiral wound notebook and keep all my fuel, oil and maintenance stuff in it.

Ralph
 

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For full synthetic motor oil, maximum can exceed 300 degrees
Hey, just want to clarify and learn a thing. Does this mean the maximum temperature our synthetic oil should peak at is 300degree Fahrenheit?

Max I've seen by car get to was around 210degrees, which I thought was high. Just wanted some further clarification or if I should be concerned.

Thanks!
 

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Mazda "E" Division
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Hey, just want to clarify and learn a thing. Does this mean the maximum temperature our synthetic oil should peak at is 300degree Fahrenheit?

Max I've seen by car get to was around 210degrees, which I thought was high. Just wanted some further clarification or if I should be concerned.

Thanks!
Most cars usually operate in the range 220-260F.

Engine oil needs a temperature of 220 F to burn off all the deposits/water and at (non-synthetic) 275F starts to break down. It's more of a issue in very hot climates, but regular oil changes will reduce by-product sulfur-acid.

Full-synthetic 300F / racing synthetic oil 350F +

The engine combustion process also generates a pound of water.

That's why people with a turbo cars would be better off with synthetic .
 

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The standard service schedule in the UK for Mazda and most other cars is a service every 12 months or 12000 miles whichever comes first. I didn't realise the North American climate was so severe to require so many services.
 

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The standard service schedule in the UK for Mazda and most other cars is a service every 12 months or 12000 miles whichever comes first. I didn't realise the North American climate was so severe to require so many services.
Depends on where you live. Some areas more south in the US aren't so bad. More north, you can have the yearly temperature go from over 30C in the summer to below -30C in the winter. Couple that with lots of snow and salt on the road and it isn't pretty.

For those of us in Canada, we have our own specific maintenance schedule which is basically a modified severe use schedule. The flex oil change isn't even an option here.
 
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