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So this might come off as sounding stupid, but I want to avoid actually being stupid...

I have not done my own oil changes in a car I have owned in decades. Also, I never did engine maintenance on a vehicle with computers controlling important things. So, now that I have had a 2016 Mazda for a few years, and no longer have pull with my local dealer to get oil changes free (it was fun while it lasted) I need to start doing these myself again.

Is the process still as simple as: remove old filter, drain, add couple of quarts back in, replace filter, let engine run about 5-10 minutes, drain again, new filter, new oil, done?

Is the flushing step of adding and running might not be needed anymore? I'm pretty sure my car has only had Synthetic since the start, so I also need to make sure I keep same or better quality oil in - but any recommendations?

Mazda6 Touring with 35k
 

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Yes the flushing method is not needed for our cars.

Just drain it, swap the filter and refill with full Synthetic.
I still buy the Mazda filters, but have thought about switching to Wix.

its all very easy, just take your time.
 

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Yes the flushing method is not needed for our cars.
Good to know, I hoped as much. I also figure if it stays changed regularly (~5k miles, right?) Flushing should not be any real need.

Just drain it, swap the filter and refill with full Synthetic.
My dealer has always used Castrol. Not sure if there is any more option beyond regular and high mileage. Which I shouldn't need yet. What about any additives or cleaners? Anyone recommend product beyond the new oil?

I still buy the Mazda filters, but have thought about switching to Wix.
Yea, forgot this angle - been so long since i've had to shop for a filter I didn't realize there was this much choice now. Maybe I just was blinded before.

its all very easy, just take your time.
Definitely, It's a lot easier to stay clean than clean up spilled oil in the garage!
 

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Make sure to warm up your engine for 5-10 minutes to thin the oil a bit as it will drain better, more completely and quicker...just be careful of the warm/hot oil once you remove the plug. You can use the plastic grocery bag trick over the filter when removing to eliminate even more splatter. Technically, per the Mazda specs, you need to replace the crush washer each time so you should inspect. I don't know many/any who do but they do eventually leak after multiple changes. You will need to check the exterior of 8MM drain plug for potential stripping caused by the slipping of hex tool from the previous oil changes...otherwise you will have difficulties removing plug in the future.

Yes, you will only use Top Rated Full Synthetic oil only as it is an absolute required spec in practically all of today's engines and any non synthetic oil can cause oil filter media to disintegrate. Again, don't go cheap on the filter either, but the one's usually included with the oil deals are highly rated and constructed well. There are several youtube videos on oil filter quality and types. Not all oil filters are created equally.

Some day, you may even get crazy and install a Fumoto valve which is discussed and debated on several threads here.

Again, oil is debated here all day long. Castrol is certainly one of the recommended specs by Mazda depending on region. There are several top shelf oils on the market. I just used the Valvoline Full Synthetic Modern Engine Oil on my most recent change a couple of weeks ago. It's their newest oil.

I wouldn't use any flush/detergents on newer cars these days like I have in the past. Again, another debate, but many highly recommend against them as they suggest it causes more damage than may help. AND definitely no engine additives as you might in an older engine...Big NO NO as engine tolerances are so tight these days that they are not needed.

I do put in Gumout All in One in my gas tank every 5K miles. The biggest issue with today's GDI engines is the eventual and almost guaranteed buildup of carbon no matter what you do...even as wonderful and efficient as the engines are. I would use the gumout or another gas treatment to help mitigate the issue for as long as possible. Of course high rated gasoline helps as well.

I tell you these things because we only buy a new car every 7 to 10 years. What was good 10 years ago doesn't apply today let alone 20 years. I really needed to be careful and not assume what I knew worked in my 2005 Acura which was an absolute great car applied in my 2017 Mazda...including simple things like coolant. In our day there was just one coolant...green and then came orange that lasted 5 years and now there are several coolants with different specs and many colors...it's like that...don't assume and don't necessarily trust the guy at the auto parts counter to know either.

And most importantly be safe and follow all the safety rules when jacking up your specific car...It's not like old cars where the whole underside was reinforced and you could lift from anywhere. Again you can't just place a jack where you think it looks strong because you might crush the metal or poke a whole thru the metal...Mazda's have very specific lift points.
 

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I purchased a 5-quart jug of Idemitsu ZEPRO Advanced Molybdenum 0W-20 Synthetic from Amazon, it's supposed to be what Mazda re-brands for their own oil. Unfortunately, it is now priced about $5 higher than when I purchased; I'll have to keep an eye on it and buy a few when the price drops. Pair that with either a Mazda oil filter or the Wix 57002.
 

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oil is debated here all day long.
Yeah, "best" engine oil is extremely subjective. Take a look at the "bob is the oil guy" forum, dedicated almost strictly to engine oils. https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=cfrm
So much info and differing opinions to make your head spin.


And most importantly be safe and follow all the safety rules when jacking up your specific car...It's not like old cars where the whole underside was reinforced and you could lift from anywhere. Again you can't just place a jack where you think it looks strong because you might crush the metal or poke a whole thru the metal...Mazda's have very specific lift points.
I strongly recommend using ramps instead. Much safer and easier, IMO. I use a pair of Rhino ramps. Not that expensive. I also chock the rear wheels, leave the car in gear, and use the parking brakes just to be even safer.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone, a lot of good info. It's nice to go back to such a 'basic' question and know there is always something new to learn.
 

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I do put in Gumout All in One in my gas tank every 5K miles. The biggest issue with today's GDI engines is the eventual and almost guaranteed buildup of carbon no matter what you do....
It's too bad that these additives to your gas tank does very little to the buildup on the valves and ports.
 
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