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I've got a 2011 Mazda 3 4-Door, 2.0L

I'm not worried about improving the speed of this car, ever since my car crash, I drive really slow anyway.

What I wanted to know was is there any mods that can help expand the life of this car?

For example, are the factory intake very restrictive? thus using a Short-Ram Intake will make the engine breathe better?

Get a cat-back for less restrictive release?

I'm not sure but do you guys have any recommendations? Or leave everything at stock?
 

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Usually modding a car and having it last longer don't go hand in hand. Just doing meticulous maintenance and reading the owners manual on what to replace when will make your car last longer than others (hopefully)
 

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A lot of people use and recommend the Oil Catch Can to prevent engine wear and contamination.
Just about the only "mod" that will extend the life of your car. For the most part modifying means making compromises, and that usually means sacrificing a bit of reliability. If you really want to make your car last as long as possible then NEVER skimp on the maintenance. Don't cut corners because of cost. OEM is almost never the cheapest, but honestly, it quite often is the best for reliability.

There's an old saying when it comes to maintenance: you either pay a little more now or you pay a lot more later.
 

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Stay on top of ALL the fluids. Oil is obvious. But don't neglect the power steering, brake, coolant and tranny/gearbox oil. Even monitor the H2O in the battery. Not sure what suspension components are serviceable but I love to see grease fittings under the car.

And take care of any paint flaws (chips, scrapes, etc) ASAP. Do not let rust get a foothold. On that note wax it 2x/yr if is garage kept and 3x/yr if it is always outside. Don't forget to wax the clear cover lenses and wiper blade arms while you are at it.

On my last car I would use a commandeered turkey baster and suck all the reachable power steering fluid out of the reservoir when I changed the engine oil. I could not get what was in the pump but a new 4-5 ounces in the upper tank twice a year adds up. 16 years and 153K later the power steering was working perfectly.

I flushed the brakes and changed out the coolant every 2-3 years. My last car being an auto I dropped the pan and changed the tranny fluid & filter 5-6 times during the life of the car. I now have the MT so I'll do the gearbox oil at around 40K. I drove that car up to the dealer lot to trade it in and felt a bit guilty since it was still driving so nicely when I parked it for the last time.

Beyond maintenance, the next best thing to do to a car is drive it. Use it or lose it. As cars age sitting still becomes more and more of a death sentence. So keep driving it and it will never quit.
 

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Investing in an Ultragauge would be something that could contribute to longevity, wrt being able to detect when dozens of parameters leave normal range. This would give you very early indicators of when things are starting to go, before any error code would be tripped. By catching them earlier you can address them before they get worse and potentially more damaging.
 

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Also throwing the car up to redline at least once a week or more is a good thing. Helps to burn some build up off. Run some iso-pure through a tank of gas will help as well
 

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Spencer made a good recommendation, oil catch can. In addition, I think doing a EGR delete would be good too, don't need to recirculate that nasty exhaust soot back into the intake. Of course as everyone else have mentioned, maintenance is key. Educate yourself about all the fluids (engine oil, coolant/antifreeze, transmission oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid).

Just have this back of your mind too, anything that moves & spins will break down at some point, just matter of time really.
 

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I always install a magnetic drain plug, and I also magnetize the oil and transmission dipsticks if possible whenever I get a new car. I know there is debate about how much good it does, but I figure every little bit helps. Plus the cost is very cheap, so why not? Local auto parts stores like Advance have the magnetic drain plugs, and you can get a Tool Magnetizer / Demagnetizer on eBay for less than $5 including shipping.
BTW, I also magnetized the dipstick of my lawnmower since it does not have an oil filter, and every time I check the oil level, the rag shows a silver-grey streak where I wiped the dipstick off.
 

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Magnetizing the dipsticks will catch some of the very fine metal particles that might otherwise pass through the oil filter. I do this to every car I work on. Takes about 2 minutes tops.
Note that some Toyota cars have dipsticks that are made of a metal that won't magnetize, and Honda is using all plastic dipsticks in some of their cars, otherwise it will work on just about any engine with a metal dipstick.
 

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I've destroyed a few hard drives (to eliminate the data) before throwing them away. They have very high powered magnets inside them. Put a pair of them together and then try pulling them apart and you will see what I mean. Better yet, watch your kids do it. They make insane refrigerator magnets too but I digress.

I started slapping one of these magnets on the lowest point of my oil filters for the various engines I own. Just swap it over to the next filter when you change it. Never bothered to cut open a filter to inspect for metal gunk buildup where the magnet sits but I assume something is there.
 

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I was wondering if placing a universal fuel filter in between the valve cover and the throttle body would keep some oil mist from entering the throttle body? I can always buy an oil catch can and do the same thing, but thought the fuel filter would do the same thing for a fraction of the price. Plus I can always install the oil catch can later if required. I would appreciate anybody's thoughts on doing this.
 

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I have been spraying Mercury Marine Carbon Remover into the throttle body every time I do an oil change to try and clean the intake valves. I don't have an aftermarket intake, so I can easily remove the tube coming from the valve cover that goes into the rubber connector between the throttle body and "mostly stock" airbox. (see Cheap Cold Air Intake thread for my intake mod.)
Since this port is located after the MAF sensor, I don't have to worry about the spray affecting or possibly ruining the MAF sensor. I let the spray soak while I do the oil change to try and clean any deposits that may have accumulated before I installed an oil catch can on the PCV line.
 

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Here is what I have done to filter the crankcase vapors from the back of the engine to the throttle body. I got a blue machined aluminum fuel filter with a sintered bronze filter on eBay for $10.50 including shipping. Then I used a piece of 3/8" I.D. fuel line hose and formed a small circle to keep from kinking the original hard plastic tube. So the crankcase gases go from the back valve cover through the original short vapor hose into the fuel filter, get filtered, and then go through the fuel line hose into the original hard plastic tube that goes into the air intake connector just in front of the throttle body. This may be overkill, but no doubt the air to the intake valves will be clean! I think this would be especially important the longer it goes into the oil change interval. The bronze filter can be cleaned in gas, or replaced with gauze-type breather filter material available at any auto parts store.
 

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Here is what I have done to filter the crankcase vapors from the back of the engine to the throttle body. I got a blue machined aluminum fuel filter with a sintered bronze filter on eBay for $10.50 including shipping. Then I used a piece of 3/8" I.D. fuel line hose and formed a small circle to keep from kinking the original hard plastic tube. So the crankcase gases go from the back valve cover through the original short vapor hose into the fuel filter, get filtered, and then go through the fuel line hose into the original hard plastic tube that goes into the air intake connector just in front of the throttle body. This may be overkill, but no doubt the air to the intake valve will be clean! I think this would be especially important the longer it goes into the oil change interval. The bronze filter can be cleaned or replaced with gauze-type breather filter material available at any auto parts store.
Definitely like the idea, and the price point!
 

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Last night I checked the Oil Catch Can I installed about a month ago, and was surprised at the goop that was in it!!!
I am really glad I installed one, and urge everyone to do likewise. The Oil Catch Can was full of what looked like coffee with creamer. (Sorry, can't tell you what flavor, 'cause I didn't try drinking the stuff!) Ha!
Seriously though, it was some pretty nasty stuff. I figure it's a combination of water, oil and a little gas.
Damn glad it isn't going into my engine though! I didn't think about taking a pic before emptying it out, but I will do that in about 2 weeks when I empty it again.
 
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