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Discussion Starter #1
What's the consensus here? Is there any benefit/detriment to going to a 3rd party lube place (like KwikKar or Walmart etc.) versus going to a Mazda dealer?

My 3 is about due for a 5K mile oil change, but I'm extreeeeemely hesitant to go back to the dealer that sold it to me (even though I've got 2 years of free oil changes) because of the damage they've already caused (that's in another thread). I'm willing to shell out the $70 for the synthetic oil change just to avoid that dealer!
 

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WOW. $70 for an oil change? even if it is synthetic, that's high, even our high cost of living down here.

you'll run into the same issue any oil change place you go: whether they actually changed anything or not. the easiest way to avoid this, aside from doing it yourself, is to check the dipstick before you hand over keys and before drive it away. i'd suggest taking pictures, in case they wanna argue with you. clean and dirty oil look very different. as far as the oil filter, put a small, inconspicious mark on it. again, take pictures for evidence, and, again, check it before you drive it off the lot.

or you could always just ask if you can watch, but i doubt they'll allow this and pull out some kinda "it's against our insurance policy" excuse or some bullshit.
 

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Neither...do it yourself and be sure that it's done right. I don't go to the dealer because of the outragous prices they charge and all the extra unneeded stuff they try to stick you with.

On the rare occasions that I can't do an oil change myself, I go to a Valvoline place up the road from my house. It is one of those pull-through type of places and they let you stay with your car the entire time. I like being able to watch every step they make so I know they do things like put the drain plug back in...
 

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It should be "Dealer vs. Do-it-Yourself" ........


having it done at a quickee lube place should be ranked somewhere around 343rd, right after "Blindfold yourself and take potshots at your new Mazda with a handgun"......

a pimple-faced twenty-something making barely above minimum wage has no business molesting your car....

at the very least, investigate reputable independent auto repair shops that do lubrication work....check with BBB, co-workers, friends, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Enlightening responses, to say the least. All my years, all my cars, I've been going to Kwik Kar or some other quick lube place. I never once considered doing it myself. Where might one find such a "how-to" for our lovely Mazda 3???
 

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I took my 3 in for her first oil change to the dealership. It was a little over $30, but the customer service wasn't very good!

I'm going to start doing it myself and most likely will go synthetic! Oil changes are easy and from what I understand it is really easy in the 3!!!
 

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How To Change the Oil in a Mazda 3 (2.3 and 2.0 Models) | Mazda3Revolution.com


This is a good beginning primer....your particular Mazda may be slightly different but the basic principles are the same.

Buy quality oil in the correct viscosity and a good quailty filter. (Your owner's manual is your friend here....learn the recommeded fluids and capacities) ***NOTE "Fram" is most assuredly NOT a 'quality' filter***

Invest in some modest hand tools and ramps or a 3-ton floor jack plus jackstands. Don't work under your car EVER with it supported by just a jack of any kind. Never support the car on concrete blocks or bricks or masonry of any kind. Not safe at all.

Buy a oil drain pan and recycle big plastic bottles from household products like laundry detergent to store the drained old oil. Most auto parts stores will take recycled oil off your hands. Also check with your local community recycling programs for info on proper disposal of auto fluids.

Learning to perform small maintenance tasks like changing your fluids, filters, etc. can save you money, give you a real feeling of satisfaction in a job well-done, provide confidence and attenuate your awareness of potential problems developing as you learn your car's various systems and how they interact, and possibly pique your interest in potential do-it-yourself performance or appearance modifications.

Not a bad return on a modest investment of your time and money.
 

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For the 2010, it's WAY easier than that how-to from the previous generation (at least for my 2.5) ...

1) get the front end up 6 inches or so (jackstands/ramps)

2) 17mm wrench or socket to remove drainplug. Drain oil.

3) Remove/replace filter.

4) Add 5.3 quarts oil (may vary by engine size?)

You do NOT have to remove the engine cover or the lower tray... The tray has a cutout to access the filter, and ends just in front of the drainplug. :yes:

One of the EASIEST cars I've ever changed oil in...:thumbup 1:
 

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I'm with most of these guys, change your own oil.

Where might one find such a "how-to" for our lovely Mazda 3???
There is not too many differences between changing the oil on our car vs. any other car. The main differences are type of filter, location of filter, location of drain plug, etc... Here are some standard steps to change you own oil. **You're going to run across some different views here, but I prefer to change my oil when it is warm. There are good arguments both ways, "if the oil is warm, it flows easier" vs. "if the oil is cold, that means it is all sitting down in the oil pan and not up in the engine." It really comes down to personal preference on this one.
  • Jack up car and support with jackstands. NEVER work under a car being held up by just a jack!! You can also use ramps
  • Remove oil fill cap (this helps this oil flow out of the engine easier)
  • Locate drain plug (pretty easy to find once you get under the car)
  • Position oil catch pan underneath drain plug and remove drain plug
  • Allow engine oil to drain, then replace drain plug
  • Locate filter (there is a hole in the plastic guard under the car that you can pull the filter out from)
  • Remove filter (careful, it is full of oil) and make sure that the rubber gasket comes off with it
  • Clean the metal where the gasket sits, put a thin layer of oil on the gasket, fill the filter with oil, and screw on the filter
  • Add 5.3 quarts of oil (if you have the 2.5L)
I think I got everything, but someone please let me know if I missed something.
 

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I always chuckle at the "fast-lube phobia". Honestly the dealer and a place like Jiffy Lube are pretty much the same, only the dealer will keep your car for a few hours, charge you more, and still be just as likely to mess it up. If you can do it yourself, great. If you can't/don't want to, then thats great too. the vast majority of cars that get damaged are buckets. Brittle toyota light housings, aluminum oil pans (stupidest f*cking idea ever, btw) and other awful engineer ideas are equally problematic to anyone working on them.

Signed,
A
pimple-faced twenty-something making barely above minimum wage that has no business molesting your car
(3 years Jiffy Lube experience, only one legitimate damage claim)
 

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the vast majority of cars that get damaged are buckets. Brittle toyota light housings, aluminum oil pans (stupidest f*cking idea ever, btw) and other awful engineer ideas are equally problematic to anyone working on them.
I'm going to disagree with you there. Someone tightening the drain plug on an aluminum oil pan that cares about whether or not the oil pan breaks has a far less chance of breaking it.

I'm not ragging on you and saying that all Jiffy-Lube employees suck at/don't care about their job. I'm sure there are quite a few that do a wonderful job. With that being said, I would not want to take a gamble on whether or not you get the "good apple" to change your oil. For what it's worth, I would not go to a dealer for the same reasons.

I like doing it myself and knowing it was done correctly.
 

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nah, regardless, the threads in the aluminum pan will wear out before too long. It's a horrible design and whoever thought it up should be tarred and feathered. same with some of these oil filter locations.
 

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i take mine to the dealer cause im to lazy to do it myself, and they wash the car for free.:yes: id never take it any where else
 

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nah, regardless, the threads in the aluminum pan will wear out before too long. It's a horrible design and whoever thought it up should be tarred and feathered.
I'm still not buying it. What did you guys use to tighten down the drain plug? I would assume an air drill/ratchet? If you don't over tighten the drain plug (or cross thread it), the oil pan will be fine for many, many oil changes.

same with some of these oil filter locations.
Now that I will agree with you on. I've seen some pretty ridiculous locations for filters.
 

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a normal box end 6 point wrench, except for difficult/tricky plugs, then the ratchet comes out. After having worked on more volkswagens than there are minutes in a day (slight exaggeration, maybe), I guarantee that no matter how careful you are, those pans are complete and total garbage.

edit: and if you don't tighten them "enough" then the customer complains, or when they take it to Walmart or somewhere then their techs tell the customer that the drainplug was loose. There really is no easy answer.
 

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My Mazda 3 S Sport 6 manual had it's oil changed at my independent mechanic. I've been a customer for a few years and they took good care of my 2002 Mazda Protege ES 5 spd. I like having a mechanic that I trust and the info below shows what they provide me.

They jacked up the car (another car was on their lift) and took off the lower tray. The mechanic checked the diff oil (that's why he took the tray off) and did a oil and filter change while I watched. I was able to see thet whole process and ask questions. I pay more than the dealer charges, but I get to see the process and sit in the garage. The diff oil check was part of his procedure (unlikey to be low this early but I like that he checked).

I also had a discussion about synthetic with the shop owner. It's not recommended for Mazda because of the oil pump they use. I know other folks use synthetic, but I will not be. We also talked about 5w20 oil and he said to use what Mazda reccomends. If you use a heavier oil and the holes that flow oil are to small it may cause problems.
 

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As far as aluminum oil pans go, there is nothing wrong with them, all you have to do is not crossthread or over tighten. I had an Olds Achieva with H.O. Quad Four, Cast Pan, 200,000 miles and 10 years with no problems.
I also had a discussion about synthetic with the shop owner. It's not recommended for Mazda because of the oil pump they use.
This I would definatly like to know about, I have never heard of such an issue. Is there anything out there to qualify this other than a shop owners say so ? I have never heard of an engine being damaged solely on the use of synthetic oil.
 

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I used to go to the mazda dealer near my house.. until i found out that they really dont take that much good care of the cars (scratches) so i take it to CT dealership and its fine.. but since my friend works at the ford dealership 5 min from me! and he drives an rx8 we go there and he does it for free.. oil and all LOL!
 

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Buy quality oil in the correct viscosity and a good quailty filter. (Your owner's manual is your friend here....learn the recommeded fluids and capacities) ***NOTE "Fram" is most assuredly NOT a 'quality' filter***

Invest in some modest hand tools and ramps or a 3-ton floor jack plus jackstands. Don't work under your car EVER with it supported by just a jack of any kind. Never support the car on concrete blocks or bricks or masonry of any kind. Not safe at all.

Buy a oil drain pan and recycle big plastic bottles from household products like laundry detergent to store the drained old oil. Most auto parts stores will take recycled oil off your hands. Also check with your local community recycling programs for info on proper disposal of auto fluids.

Learning to perform small maintenance tasks like changing your fluids, filters, etc. can save you money, give you a real feeling of satisfaction in a job well-done, provide confidence and attenuate your awareness of potential problems developing as you learn your car's various systems and how they interact, and possibly pique your interest in potential do-it-yourself performance or appearance modifications.

Not a bad return on a modest investment of your time and money.
This is a great post and good advice. I'm teaching my 16 year-old daugther basic car care for the reasons you list above. One of my first lessons was to take her to Wal-Mart and my fall back Valvoline place and show here the insane prices they charge for simple stuff like replacing wipers and bulbs.

Her second lesson was to replace the battery in her car, and she'lll be changing her own oil of the Christmas break.

I don't go nearly as far as many of the seasond wrench turners on this forum, but I can do fluids, filters, bulbs, wipers, and rotate the tires. I also replace some simple easy to get to parts like plugs.
 
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