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Mazda CX-7 Maintenance

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  • The Cx-7 has a chain drive. Not much service is required on that. Mainly, it would be important to change the oil every 3750 miles, change the transmission fluid, air filter every 20 to 30,ooo and keep the tires at the proper psi level.
  • None of your mileage intervals are even close to what Mazda recommends. They are much more conservative. Is this your professional opinion because you are an auto mechanic and want to hold on to your CX-7 for 30 years, or are you making this up?

    No offense intended, just trying to learn why you would change the oil or transmission fluid so often. I've been caring for cars for more than 20 years, and most of them were a lot less reliable than my Mazda - and I've never had any problems related to changing the fluids based on what the manufacturer told me to do.

    If you want to be conservative, I'd switch to synthetic oil because this is a turbo and change it out every 7,500 miles per Mazda. As for the transmission, I'd have to go look at the manual, but I'd be surprised if the interval was less than 60,000 miles. Many manufacturers are up to 100,000 miles these days.

    The manufacturer (dealer, at least) stands to make more money off service if they give you conservative intervals, so there's no reason to not trust the guys who engineered the vehicle when it comes to changing fluids.
  • Anyone that goes 60,000+ between transmission fluid changes is asking for trouble down the road. If you are leasing the vehicle, then of course that is another matter, you for the most part don't have to change anything. The vehicle is given back in 2~3 years. However, if the driver plans on keeping the vehicle, regular maintenance is a must. I'm no auto mechanic, but have seen fresh tranny fluid compared to some at 40 ~50,000, and the difference is amazing! I used to drive an Audi A6, and the factory even stated "lifetime" on the tiptronic transmission fluid. The factory is wrong. Every Audi mechanic I conversed with recommends regular (every 30 to 40,000) mile changes. They are seeing trouble with these transmissions at the 60 to 80 mark with unchanged fluid. Why would the Mazda be any different?

    As far as oil, using synthetic is always a good idea, I would agree. Considering the cost ratio, changing the standard oil at a more frequent rate should come out about the same. Any good mechanic will tell you that the oil should be changed BEFORE it gets dirty. Here in Minnesota, with cold and short tripping, changing at about 4,000 miles is just plain good maintenance.Oil changes are the least expensive most effective way to prolong engine life, no matter how frequent.
  • Fair enough. But I still say it's overkill for anyone purchasing a car and keeping it for a reasonable period. My personal experiences following the factory bear that out. I almost bought an A4 back when they looked decent, but otherwise never touched an Audi.

    And sure, in a perfect world, all the fluids in every car would be pristine every time you started it up. But that ain't practical. And just because there is a visible difference between new fluid and old doesn't mean it's destroying engine/tranny components. A lot of times in life, "less than perfect" is good enough for what we need.

    If you can afford to stick by the schedules these "good mechanics" are feeding you, more power to you. Good luck.
  • Anyone that can afford a 28,000+ MAzda Cx-7 can afford to spend $35.00 to change the oil every 4,000 mil;es or so and can afford a $100.00 transmission flush every 25 to 30,ooo miles.

    Of course, it is impossible to keep the fluids perfectly clean at all times, relatively inexpensive regular changes will help prolong the life of the vehicle.

    I drove an Audi for 6 years/100,000 miles and it really was a maintenance nightmare. Hoping that my new Cx-7 will need much less the next 6+years. At 2700 miles, no problems to report except the gas cap replacement. Just filled up with fuel yesterday and achieved 18.61 mpg at 100% in town driving.
  • "Anyone that can afford a 28,000+ MAzda Cx-7 can afford to spend $35.00 to change the oil every 4,000 mil;es or so and can afford a $100.00 transmission flush every 25 to 30,ooo miles."

    That's a kind of judgmental generalization, and I disagree. But we're not gonna convince each other. So... I'll volunteer to be your control group. (and I'm sure you can find others as well) I'll follow the manufacturer's recommendations religiously (although I've already admitted that I'm using Mobil 1) and let's compare notes in 5 years, and then again at 10. If my CX-7 transmission goes south or my engine bombs, I'll send you a gift card for a dinner.

    May the best person win... ;)
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,209
    I bet your odds of winning would be just as good running regular oil too. :D

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  • I don't have any doubt that synthetic is an excellent way to go, especially with the turbo.But INMHO, changing more frequently with standard dino oil, changing the oil/filter BEFORE they get too dirty, is also an effective maintenance tool. Remember, even with synthetic , the filter can become ineffective and need changing before the 7500 mile mark.

    Would be interesting if Mazda or others would install a sort of "filter gauge" to test how clogged it really is at a specific mileage point.

    I agree with your test report idea about 5 and 10 years out. That J.D. Power stuff about the "first 90 days" of ownership is mostly fluff. Let J.D. poll owners who have driven for 3 years, 5 years and 10 years, (does anyone keep a vehicle for 5 years, much less 10 years, anymore?) and see what the driving impressions are at that time.

    I'll be keeping my Cx-7 for atleast 6 years, it will take that long to pay for it!

    I did more than follow manufacturer guidelines on my Audi A6, and it still fell apart. 2800 trouble-free miles on the Cx-7 so far (purchased 10.24.06), only the gas cap replacement issue, just 97,000 miles to go.
  • astegmanastegman Posts: 171
    Yesterday in the mail I received a reminder from Mazda that my CX-7 is due for its 7500 mile servicing (they were pretty close; I've got 7380 miles as of this morning!).

    Has anyone done this service? What does it entail? The service department of my dealership isn't open on Saturdays (grr!! :mad:), and they're an hour from my place of work. I want to take the best care I can of the car and will likely "sacrifice" an hour of work to have the car serviced, but I'm just curious if anyone's done this yet. I had the first oil change done back in October at 4200 miles, so should I have them change it again as long as I'm there? Any input, thoughts are appreciated!
  • wjbushsrwjbushsr Posts: 135
    I seem to recall them doing a full inspection of the entire car, including checking the computer. The print out was extensive, and mostly under the hood stuff.

    On a side note, waiting til 4200 to have the oil changed the first time was risky at best. {lots of metal particles that needed to be flushed out} Mazda and the other builders use your oil change intervals as a way of shooting down warranty claims.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,209
    You may want to check what the dealer recommends vs what Mazda recommends for the service - the Edmunds Maintenance Guide will tell you what the manufacturer recommends at various service intervals.

    Some dealers like to pad the service with stuff that you may not think is needed right now, especially if the service reminder came from the dealer and not MazdaUSA.

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  • cxrabbitcxrabbit Posts: 134
    The book says every 5000 miles if you do a lot of around town or rough driving, and every 7500 miles if you do a mix of highway and city and aren't too hard on the car. I'll be doing mine every 5000.

    And you should have had your first one at 1000 miles to get rid of the "break-in oil". My dealer scheduled me for my first oil change (at 1000 miles) the day I picked up the car.
  • astegmanastegman Posts: 171
    Thanks for the input. I'll have the servicing done. When I picked up the car, no mention was made of having anything done at the 1000 mile mark. Car's been running beautifully (other than the 4 CEL's and that I'm on my 3rd gas cap). The reminder notice came directly from my dealer and not from Mazda USA. When I take the car in, I'll ask them beforehand what they'll be doing to the car and if it seems excessive, I can handle it then. Thanks again for the feedback!
  • It is called Mazda "full cicle" service.
    Whenever you bring the Cx-7 in to the Mazda dealer, they check:
    1. windshield washer fluid
    2. auto matic transmission fluid level/condition
    3. brake fluid level/condition
    4. power steering fluid level/condition
    5. coolant level/condition
    6. transaxle, transfer case fluid/condition
    7. windshield for cracks/pitting
    8. operation of horn, interior/exterior lights
    9. washer spray/wiper operation
    10. cooling system leaks
    11. oil leaks
    12. cv drive rubber boot condition
    13. exhaust system
    14. drive belts
    15. steering linkage/wheel end play
    16. suspension
    17. brake lines/hoses
    18. battery terminals
    19. tire pressures
    20. tire tread life
    21. brake linings
    22. battery performance

    .....and charge accordingly!
  • astegmanastegman Posts: 171
    Yes, the 4 times my CEL went on, and I brought the car in for it, they performed the "full circle" check (or so said the printed report). Wasn't charged anything, though.

    Edited to add: I just called the dealer to ask exactly what they do for the 7500 mile service - the oil is changed, the tires rotated, and then there's a laundry list of all the other stuff they do. Their charge is $119.95. I guess I'll do it - I do want an oil change, and tire rotation is a good thing.
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    You might consider using places such as Jiffy Lube for your normal, routine oil and filter changes, air filter changes and tire rotation. Those minor maintenance items. I find them very reliable, very quick, inexpensive, and convenient.

    I'll defer to Mazda service for those important service intervals such as 15K, 30K, 45K, and 60K miles and of course, for those all too frequent CEL occurences. :)

    Vince.
  • wjbushsrwjbushsr Posts: 135
    Last time I checked, the local Jiffy Lube didn't have the filters for the CX-7, have they released them to the masses yet?
    Also, I'm leary about the way you have to take all of the underarmor off just to change the oil and filter, otherwise I'd do it myself.
    I'll just throw another 10 bucks at the dealership for that extra piece of mind. ;)
    Besides, if you're not careful, they may stick a generic oil filter on it that doesn't do the job as well as a Fram or other top name. {had that experience with my Millenia}
    As for tire rotaion and balancing goes, Discount Tire here I come! :P
  • Unfortuneately, I would NEVER bring my Mazda to a "fast-oil change" type place, because for the most part, the employees working there know nothing about cars! I have had my car nearly ruined by those franchised type of so-called quick service establishments.

    The Mazda dealer probably has the most up to date information on servicing the Cx-7. $120.00+ tax/shop supplies/environmental fee to change the oil and rotate the tires sounds a little high , but maybe they perform some other services that make it worthwhile.

    You don't want an amateur working on your car! If you are comfortable with the Mazda dealer,nothing wrong with that. I use a local independent shop that charges less than the Mazda dealer, but is a real pro and gives the same or maybe better service. For example, I'll be charged about $65.00 for the oil/tire rotation. As far as the rest of the "full circle" stuff,most drivers could check many of the items themselves.
  • astegmanastegman Posts: 171
    Regarding tire rotation, has anyone had it done yet at someplace other than the dealer? In the past, I've had such trouble finding a place to rotate the tires. My last car was a Lexus RX300, and I went to 4 different oil change places - none of whom were able to rotate the tires, because they claimed my car did not fit properly on the hoist and would result in damage underneath! So, I had to have the dealer do it, which needless to say, was more expensive. Now I'm leery of having a non-dealer handle the tire rotation, especially since the CX-7 is a new car and as yet, sort of unknown.

    For run of the mill oil changes not tied to a milestone servicing, I would be willing to try a non-dealer. So far I've only had one oil change and it was through the dealer, but I'm game - I think!
  • You bring up a good point about oil filters. The "fast lube" places use the cheapest available. I always use a factory type filter and purchase ahead of time. Simply bring the filter to the independent shop and I know the job is done right. You can't compare the work of long-time employees of a reputable local shop compared to the fast lube people. I can't repeat enough times how bad those places really are and how you are playing roulette every time a vehicle is brought there for something as routine as an oil change.
  • Many of the fast lube places don't have hoists. They use "pits" from down below to do the oil change. If the places you went to did have a hoist, and they couldn't put a Lexus 300 up, did a big favor by turning you away. If you don't know a good local shop, use referrals to get established with one. Bringing your vehicle to the same place for service on a regular basis works out the best.
  • astegmanastegman Posts: 171
    No, I definitely do not know any local mechanics. My husband belongs to Angie's List, so perhaps that would be a good way to get reliable referrals. There used to be one local guy in our town who did oil changes and the like, but (1) he did some major damage to my husband's car as the result of a routine oil change, and (2) he ultimately closed down. So, I'll have to do some detective work. I'd love to find one place that can get to know the CX-7 who isn't a dealer.
  • cxrabbitcxrabbit Posts: 134
    Just had my 1,000 Mile oil change today. They checked all fluids and changed my oil.

    I was also having a problem: The buttons for the radio (just the ones around the navigation screen) have been flickering, but only after I am driving the car for a while. The could not replicate the problem and didn't see any obvious issue, so no repair was done.

    BUT, they did do a PCM Flash, and the latest one indicated something like "LDP Sensor Erratic". I looked it up on Google and Rosenthal came up with a Service Bulletin. It says:

    "Some vehicles may experience MIL comes on with DTC P2407 in memory. This symptom is due to abnormal current in the LDP sensor which exceeds the threshold of DTC P2407. The design specification does not meet the market need, so the PCM software has been changed to resolve the concern."

    MIL means Malfunction Indicator Lamp.
    LDP means Leak Diagnostic Pump.

    The "abnormal current" part is what makes me hope the latest PCM Flash fixes the radio issue.
  • Obviously, even the local independent can mess your car, as well as the "fast lube" franchise. With some research, you should be able to find a non-dealer alternative that does quality work at a lower, but not lowest price. I have spent my whole adult life looking for the right person to do a specific job, and it isn't easy. When you do find that shop, stick with them on the small stuff as well as the larger repairs.
  • wjbushsrwjbushsr Posts: 135
    My experience has been great with Discount Tires here in Houston and South Texas- Louisiana for rotation and balancing of my tires with lifetime roadhazard and no pro-rating on the damaged tire.
    Check their website :Discount Tire , they may have a store in your area.
    If not, I do as my parents have always done and continue to do; I take it to Sears!
    BTW, tire rotation at Discount Tire is FREE! Balancing on the other hand is only 4.99 a tire, still not bad! ;)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,627
    while your vehicle is under warranty, having a complete 'paper trail' cannot be a bad thing.
  • I have learned the critical importance of keeping receipts, in and out of warranty. Anything related to the vehicle, (except fuel receipts) is filed in a 3 ring binder.
  • astegmanastegman Posts: 171
    I just had the 7500 mile servicing done today, which, of course, included an oil change. I noticed that the little reminder sticker they put on the windshield indicated I should have the oil changed again in 3 mos/3000 miles. Hmmm. I thought that this car didn't need such frequent oil changes. Not that it would be bad, by any means, to do it more frequently, but it's obviously more costly and for me personally, much more inconvenient since my service dept. is not open weekends (and I'd rather not go elsewhere for oil changes). Once again, no definitive answer to the age old question of how often to get the oil changed! Ask 10 people and you'll get 10 different answers! ;)
  • fonefixerfonefixer Posts: 247
    The Mazda manual states 7500 mile oil changes under normal conditions. Normal conditions are 72 F ambient outside temp on a sunny perfect day with no short tripping the vehicle. Otherwise 3750 miles under otherwise not perfect conditions sounds like a good compromise. Technically, the engine oil should be changed BEFORE it gets dirty. $35.00 every 3000 miles or so is not a bad investment in a $28,000+ vehicle to help increase engine longevity.
  • cxrabbitcxrabbit Posts: 134
    From the Manual:

    Follow Schedule 1 if the vehicle is operated mainly where none of the following conditions apply.
    If any do apply, follow Schedule 2 (Canada and Puerto Rico residents follow Schedule 2).

    - Repeated short-distance driving
    - Driving in dusty conditions
    - Driving with extended use of brakes
    - Driving in areas where salt or other corrosive materials are being used
    - Driving on rough or muddy roads
    - Extended periods of idling or low-speed operation
    - Driving for long periods in cold temperatures or extremely humid climates

    Schedule 1 states oil change every 7,500 miles (12,000 kms)
    Schedule 2 states oil change every 5,000 miles (8,000 kms)
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