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Mazda MPV: Care & Maintenance

zzoom1zzoom1 Posts: 31
edited March 2014 in Mazda
11,000 miles with no problems other than 2 dealer recalls. I have noticed that my 2.5 tends to use a little oil, a little less than a quart between changes at 3 to 4k intervals. So keep an eye on oil level. I have also heard that Purolator or Motorcraft filters might be best for the 2.5 duratec due ot the presence of an anti-drain back device. No big deal as Purolators are easy to find and generally only about 1 or 2 bucks more than a Fram. Other than that, just a lot of fun driving.


  • camlamarcacamlamarca Posts: 40
    I've got 26k miles on my (7/99 mfg) 2000 MPV LX. Toyo Tires 205/65/15, are already shot. I received a recall sticker for the tire specs, and am now confused. Did I get bad tires? What am I supposed put on? I know the size, but am concerned about the P in front of the 205, and the 92H or 94H spec. I don't want to thrash another set so soon because they are under speced.

    Of course, I am also wondering if a wider 215/60/15 would be more appropriate. The edges wore especially bad, even after a warranty alignment.
  • gagpgagp Posts: 32
    Don't worry, "P" only stands for "Passenger". You'll get all the information you need just by clicking on the link below:

    Silver (but no passenger) Driver
  • camlamarcacamlamarca Posts: 40
    Are you the same Silver Driver I remember from way back in Oct - Dec 1999 when the 2000MPV discussions started? You've been around long enough, how did your tires do? Did you get noticeable wear on the outside edges? Because I've had mine aligned and toe checked, I'm attributing it to the small width on a tall vehicle putting above expected pressue on the sidewall. Hence, I'm considering a wider tire.

    Thanks for the link. What I still don't understand is the Load Index 92 vs 94. The "P" tires commonly stocked and cheaper have 92, but the new spec is 94. Do you know what this means?

    I'm going to understand this before the sales guy sells me something that fits, but wears poorly.
  • cutter44cutter44 Posts: 42
    Just curious. I notice that many of the owners here have switched to synthetic oil.Does it really make a difference when you change it every 3-5k miles? Also, are you changing your own oil? If so, how do you deal with the waste oil? I know service stations are supposed to take it, but don't you feel awkward bringing them used oil after doing your own oil change? And if you don't bring it to them, what do you do with it? I remember in my youth (when I didn't know any better), just burying it in the back yard, but nowadays, that could get you a visit from the DEP or worse.
  • dougseydougsey Posts: 20
    Our town's transfer station has a container where you can dump your used oil. They in turn give, or sell it to a recycler.

    I am also having the synthetic/plain oil debate in my own mind. I've always used plain oil and changed it every 3k but that was on used cars. I've only got 300 miles on the MPV so I've got a couple weeks to decide :@).
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    I think the decision to use dyno oil (from dynosaurs) or synth oil is more important to some than others. Personally, I like using the synth oils because they give much better performance in the cold weather we have up here. If you leave 10-30wt oil outside at, say -10F, and open the can and pour it out, it'll come out like honey or like playdough. With a synthetic oil, it flows to much lower temperatures, giving better protection. Just think how hard it would be to pump playdough up through your engine before the lack of lube destroys the moving parts.

    There are many advantages of synthetic oils, imo, flow characteristics, resistance to heat breakdown, lower friction levels. A drawback to synth oil is that if you have a tiny oil leak, then, synthetic oil will leak better than dyno oil.

    IMHO, using synthetic oil is just cheap insurance for keeping your engine running well.

  • cinka1cinka1 Posts: 30
    Since you are using the syth. oil, how long do you go in between changes? The manual recommends 7,500 for my driving conditions (Normal) but everyone - even the Mazda dealer - says 3,000.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Hi Cinka1!

    I'm a worry wart, so I still change oil every 3mths/3,000 miles even with synthetics. I only do this for 2 reasons: a)Dear-ol-Dad taught me that way, and 2)It's common practice with turbo-charged cars, and that's what I'm used to. This usually comes out to be every 2200 miles with the amount of driving in our household. I'd say it's overkill, but figure it's cheap insurance. There's prolly nothing wrong with going 5k to 7.5k on synthetic oils unless you're either towing or driving the car hard.

    my 2.6cents. ;-)

  • j2kbarlowj2kbarlow Posts: 89
    This may be a little old, but I'd thought I'd put a little wisdom in.

    Don't listen to the oil change centers, car dealerships, etc. in determining your oil change intervals, They'll always chant their mantra - 3k miles. The reason? You'll see them more often and therefore give them more money! Each engine is different - some cars require the 3k interval (turbos, 4 cylinder engine, high-rev engines), but most don't (including V-6's and V-8's). It's safe and advisable to follow the manufacturer's recommendation in your owner's manual (according to many studies). It also produces less waste and is a better management of our natural resources. If you're still concerned, follow the "extreme conditions" intervals rather than the "normal conditions". I plan to change mine every 5k after the first so it's easier to remember!
  • I totally agree with you. I used to be very, very anal about over maintaining my car. Now, i've taken a little less stressful approach.
    I read a study done by Consumer Reports- which tested the difference b/w oil changed taxis in NYC (each w/ a newly built engine).
    One car changed their oil every 3K
    Another- every 7K (or something like that)
    The Bottom line, not a very noticable difference... very insignificant difference in engine wear (tiny)

    I always held the same sentiment as j2kbarlow... how the garages/oil change centers always say, "of course you need to change your oil every 2500 or 3000 miles"... we want YOUR MONEY!!!!

    I'm settlin' for about 5K to be somewhere in the middle.


  • cutter44cutter44 Posts: 42
    While looking through the dealchat forum this morning, I came upon a thread about oil changes (we've been known to go off topic sometimes) and I thought of the folks here who also seem quite knowledgeable. You may find it interesting. Here's the link:
  • toby_laitoby_lai Posts: 22
    Hi there,

    Just picked up my '01 MPV yesterday, and now I have this question...

    I've been reading the discussion "2000+ MPV problems" on the vans forum the past few days, and saw a lot of post were concerned with the oil leaking/filter problem with the MPV. I've always changed the oil myself on my cars, whenever possible. After reading those posts, I'm having second thoughts about doing it myself. For those of you doing the oil change yourself, are you doing anything differently on the MPV compare to other cars? For example I normally just tighten the oil filter by hand, and I heard that for the MPV you need to tighten it with a wrench, and things like that. I don't want to risk doing it myself and having some sort of filter blowout and burn up the engine.

    TIA for any advice, and I apologize if this post is too long.
  • mwrigh1mwrigh1 Posts: 3
    I cant seem to find the cabin air filter on out 2000 ES. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  • msgjvhmsgjvh Posts: 196

    You have to remove the glove box. This will take a little bit of muscling of the box to the left I believe then pulling. You also have to get it past the stops, but it is double. Once you remove it you will see a small door to the AC unit. You open that door and the air filter actually wraps around the a squirrel cage.

    A new filter will cost you about $35-40 bucks.

  • dougseydougsey Posts: 20
    I did my first oil change about 3 weeks ago. Used the filter wrench and cranked the new OEM filter 1 full turn after gasket contact. So far all is well! (knock on wood) :@>;
  • toby_laitoby_lai Posts: 22
    Thanks for the info. The owner's manual and the engine oil filler cap both specify the type of motor oil to be used is 5W-20, is that the required type of motor oil, or can I also use 5W-30 or 10W-30? Thanks.
  • msgjvhmsgjvh Posts: 196
    The 5-20 requirement is mainly so that Mazda can say they pass California emissions. My dealer has assured me that running 5-30 will not void any warranty. Again, it depends on your particular area. 5-30 is a good all around oil to use.
  • drrocketdrrocket Posts: 67
    While I can't say I've noticed any difference switching to synthetic motor oil, I CAN say I've noticed an appreciable difference since switching to synthetic ATF. Of course it's subjective, but the shifts do seem to be smoother. Based on my very limited experience (my switch to synthetic ATF took place only this afternoon), I would highly recommend the upgrade, especially if rough shifting perturbs you.
  • toby_laitoby_lai Posts: 22
    So did you bring the van to the dealer for the sync ATF change (well do they endorse it in the first place)? And what's the mileage when you did that? Thanks.
  • drrocketdrrocket Posts: 67
    I purchased the synthetic [Red Line Oil D4] ATF on my own and brought it with me to the dealership when I went there for my 22500 mi oil change (also synthetic oil). But, although I had a case of D4 ATF (12 qts) with me, to my surprise the mechanic claimed I'd need more like 15 to 16 qts for a thorough flush and replacement of the ATF.

    So I had to go back to my [Red Line Oil] synthetic ATF source (it's hard to find that brand) to purchase four additional qts, and then make another visit to the dealership for the switch. The procedure ended up requiring only 15 quarts, so now I have one qt left over if I ever need to add a little.

    The dealership was fine about doing the conversion to synthetic. I noticed they now even carry Castrol Syntec synthetic motor oil, since some of their customers prefer to use synthetic. I suspect they also carry synthetic ATF, but I wanted to use Red Line Oil because I had read many good things about the quality of their products.

    I don't know whether it was the mechanic's running some cleaner through during the flush stage, or whether the improvement is attributable solely to the synthetic ATF, or whether it's a combination of the two, but the transmission does shift smoother now. Of course it helps to have lived with the previous rough-shifting to appreciate by comparison the relative smoothness now, otherwise the improved shifting could easily have been taken for granted, or even still complained about.
  • That 3000 miles thing is bunk. I have two Ford trucks, a '90 F150 and a '91 Bronco, both with 302 engine. I have owned the F150 since new and the Bronco since '93 when it had 44K miles on it. The F150 now has 215K and the Bronco 195K miles. Both still have the original engines in place. I have always changed my own oil on these trucks at 5K miles. I treat the F150 especially rough, towing a lot of stuff like a tractor, boat, assorted old trucks, etc. I think the 3000 mile rule is antiquated as hell and only perpetuated by oil change places who want to make more money. I use Exxon dyno oil on both trucks, by the way.

    Now on my wife's 2000 MPV, I am still changing the oil at 5K miles but using Exxon Synthetic Blend 10-40. I use Motorcraft filters, tighten by hand only, and so far (25K miles) have had no leaks.
  • pjd58pjd58 Posts: 366
    the MPV's oil filter. I give mine an extra 1/4 turn with my filter wrench after hand tightening. Mazda recommends using a filter wrench to apply the filter. There have been a few(rare) owners who have had their oil filter come off, maybe they red lined their van.

    For normal driving conditions 5000 miles is fine for oil changes for the MPV, even with dino oil. Just make sure you use 5W, the Durtec's engine has tighter tolerances and the thinner oil is perfect for our engine, especially helpful in cold climates.
  • toby_laitoby_lai Posts: 22
    BTW, I was reading my '01 MPV's owner's manual and found that, while it gives out maintenance info on oil changes intervals, etc, it says that "changing the oil filter requires a special too, and it should be done with a Mazda mechanic, blah blah blah..."

    This sounds very interesting to me that, it seems like Mazda is not encouraging MPV owners to do oil changes themselves, not with swapping the old oil filter with a new one anyway. Is Mazda being concerned about the MPV's problem of the oil filter gets loosened on itself too easily and therefore not recommed owners to do it themselves?
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    that would require some serious foresight. The manual is writed before the vehicle hits the streets.
  • cutter44cutter44 Posts: 42
    Our '01 LX is about to turn over 10k miles and it's been great. My previous oil changes have been done at the dealership, but I bring my other car to my local mechanic who I've used for the last few years. I'm thinking of just bringing the MPV to him for service. So here are my questions:
    What specific things should I "warn" him about regarding oil changes? I'm still confused about the odd tightening of the filter, whether to go with 5W-30, or whatever. He's a Toyota mechanic, but he has also serviced our Sable, and Accord. I don't want to insult his intelligence, but if there are particular things he should know, I'd like to caution him.

    Also, based on some discussions here, I'm thinking of stretching the oil change interval to 5k miles vs 3k. I'm sticking with conventional oil, not synthetic, if that makes a difference in your opinion.

    Thanks in advance.
  • I've got an '01 LX as well and I've performed one oil change on my own. My thoughts - dino oil is fine. Don't change it any more frequently than 5k - that's the "extreme conditions" interval in the owner's manual. Anything more frequent is wasteful for this engine. 5W-30 is fine for temps above 40F per the manual. When I installed the filter, I hand tightened it 1/4 turn past contact with the block like I've done on every car I've owned. One week later, I started getting an oil leak at the filter. I tightened it up one full turn with the aid of wrench and no more leak.
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    I noticed that the maintenance book doesn't say anything about changing the transmission fluid, but recommends that the brake fluid be changed. I thought it would be just the opposite. Any comments??
  • Brake fluid is the least "stable" of all the cars fluids except for the engine oil. The reason is that it absorbs moisture from the air and thus loses its effectiveness over time. In fact, I'm surprised if 30K miles is the first replacement for the brake fluid. Usually its every 15K or 18 months (or something close to that).

    That said, I'm surprised that the transmission fluid isn't changed as well at 30K. That's pretty standard stuff...
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    You're correct... brake fluid is termed as "hydroscopic" meaning it will take on water. Water can corrode and destroy important parts of the braking system so it must be changed regularly.

    I'm surprised that more car manufacturers are not using anti-hydroscopic brake fluids... DOT5 synthetics, which don't eat the paint off your car if you drip it, can give you much longer duty-cycles on your brake fluid, and can potentially reduce maintenance costs. There are drawbacks to DOT5 fluid... esp. because you cannot mix it w/any lower rated fluids; it is partially compressable (softer pedal feel); not as readily available; is expensive.

    It is odd that alot of car makers don't specify shorter duty-cycles on auomatic transmission fluid. Some even say "lifetime" as in do not change the fluid. My Volvo's that way, but no one I know goes by that. I'd hate to rely on that "lifetime" fluid and then have a $2k- $4k bill if the tranny goes south on me. The transmission fluid in an automatic goes thru holy-heck, and can break down quickly. The best thing to do is check it from time to time and see if the fluid is turned black or smells burnt. If it does, then it's definitely time to change the fluid, and your car's shop manual will have instructions on the procedure.

    I'd recommmend changing both Brake and Tranny fluid every other year. Cheap insurance imho.

This discussion has been closed.