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Mazda CX-7 Maintenance

General topic for prospective or current owners performing maintenance on their CX-7s...

There is a discussion in the October 2006 "Road & Track" magazine regarding exchanging the CX-7's cartridge-type oil filter for a standard spin-on filter with Mazda3 parts:

Mazda parts needed:
Filter Mount L301-14-311
Filter Mount Gasket LF01-14-342
Oil Filter LF10-14-302

Haven't tried it myself, but it sounds cool!


  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I've seen a few complaints about availability of cartridge type oil filters in a few of the consumer reviews of various Mazdas (don't recall the models off-hand). Maybe someone has experience with easily finding replacements at outlets other than the dealer?
  • Purolator has two filters available. P15505 and their premimum (PureONE) PL15505 both available a Pep Boys.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    We don't have Manny, Moe and the other brother out here and Schucks won't let me search by part number. But NAPA has the PureONE in stock for $4.99.

    Now we need a report from someone on how easy it is to change in the CX-7. Thanks Zoom!
  • Someone else shared their lessons learned after changing the oil in their CX-7, but I haven't been able to find the post again. After working on my own car today, here's my thoughts. (The drain plug on my car was 17mm; the 8 bolts holding the splash shield were 10mm. The oil filter wrench (socket type) is 76mm/14 flute - I used a RiteFit A251)

    1. You don't have to remove the mega-splash-shield completely to drain the oil, but you have to do it to get at the oil filter, so removing the whole shield ends up being step #1.

    2. The cartridge oil filter wasn't a big hassle, but it ends up being messier than a can-type filter would be, I think.

    3. The Mazda oil filter comes with the required o-rings, but my dealer didn't give me a new aluminum washer for the drain plug. I've always been told that the aluminum washers need to be replaced every time, so remember to ask for it specifically.

    4. The owner's manual says the oil capacity is 6.0 US quarts of oil with a filter change, but I didn't find that to be the case. The dummy that I am, I trusted the manual and refilled the car with 6 quarts. That put the oil level uncomfortably above "max" on the dipstick, so I had to drain some back out. Overfilling isn't good for the engine or catalytic converter - and draining it back out is un-fun, and was an expensive lesson for me, considering I've moved to Mobil 1. My M.O. from now on will be to start with 5 quarts and work my way up.

    All told, changing oil on the CX-7 is not too bad. I'll continue to do it myself rather than take it somewhere.

  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    Good post! You obviously enjoy tinkering with cars. Me? I can't be bothered. Changing oil is drudgery and messy, plus you have to worry about disposal. You might be able to save a few bucks on labor, but its a HECK OF LOT EASIER just to take it to Mazda and pay the $35 to get it done. No muss, no fuss, plus lots of more free time!

    I hope you enjoy those oil changes!

  • Yeah, I'm a bit of a nut when it comes to working in the garage... :D I've often joked that I would do my own maintenance, even if it was provided free by the manufacturer... Part of the reason I do my own oil is because of the liability factor - if someone is gonna forget to tighten the drain plug, I'd rather it be me. Then again, I know there a lot of people who have the exact opposite approach, and refuse to touch their cars. Good times, either way. :shades:
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    Don't know if Edmunds has a forum for this topic, so I'll post here for the time being.

    This query concerns vacuum cleaning.

    I live in a condo complex that has no exterior 120 volt outlets, so using any vacuum cleaner using a/c power is out of the question. That leaves me trying to find those coin-operated vacuum cleaners, that require lots of quarters for minimal usage time. To top it off, they frequently either have inadequate nozzels or insufficient suction power.

    My question: are there any really good vacuum cleaners, preferably with a power brush, that can plug into the CX7s 12v power points? I'm not interested in those cheapo units found in Walmart or Costco.

    Ideas? :confuse:

    Thanks, Vince.
  • There are a lot of aftermarket vacuums that plug in for the car. I'm leaving work at the moment, but I'll take a quick look-see online to see if I can provide a link or two for you.

    Most of them are decent, but obviously won't have the power of one of those that 'suck up' all of your quarters.
  • OK, the first link is from Dirt Devil.

    The next is from

    Finally, this last one is a sampling from Nextag.

    I hope this help you in the right direction.
  • OK, I need help again. My CX-7 has almost 2300 miles. When should I do the first oil change? Should I have done so already?

    When I picked the car up, the sales rep mentioned a specific type of oil to use, but of course I can't remember. I could call him, but what are you folks out there using?

    Finally, how often should the oil be changed, assuming the car is running fine and there are no performance issues (knock wood).

    Thanks for the input.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    What sounds like a simple question isn't. :shades: You can check your manual or the Edmunds Maintenance Guide
    for what Mazda recommends, but whether you consider your driving "severe" and thus should change the oil more frequently or whether it's worth it to use synthetic oil drives entire discussions around here.
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    My dealer recommended first change at 3700 miles, but I had my first oil change at 4300 miles. Instead of standard 10w30 oil, I opted for Mobil 1 synthetic. Costs more, but provides more protection and a miniscule improvement in MPG, also you can go longer between oil changes. Instead of the standard 3000 mile interval, he suggested 6 - 7 K. I'll problably shoot for around 5K between changes. I paid about $65 for the oil change and new filter.

  • Did you have a new filter put in because the technician told you you needed one, or did you just tell him to do so? I've always wondered about that.
  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    It's always wise to replace the filter and the oil at the same time. Cost of the filter is minimal. The filter does get clogged over time with sediment and gunk - that's how the oil stays clean. But even over time, residue accumulates in the oil and the oil breaks down, due to being subjected to high heat all of the time.

    You can tell the technician NOT to replace the filter, but that wouldn't be wise.

  • For the past 4 years, I've been going to a Mobil One oil change place. I think when I first started driving the Lexus (now gone), I had the first couple of oil changes done at the dealer, but at $95 a pop, that just got out of hand. The Mobil place charges about $35 for basic service. I think they do an OK job. I can't use my current Mazda dealer for oil change because the service dept is not open on Saturdays and I can't miss 2 hours of work for an oil change (the dealer is about an hour from my office). So I'm going to stick with the Mobil place, but will keep an eye on what they do...I'll make sure to tell them which oil to use. Now that I think of it, I guess they did put in a new filter each time.
  • There is a logic that says you should change your oil earlier to clear out any of the metal particles/burrs/shavings etc. of out of the engine that may have been left behind during the manufacturing process. There's a thread somewhere else under CX-7 where several people were discussing...

    Personally I changed my oil at 1500 miles for this reason and went to Mobil 1 because it is better at resisting coking under high-heat situations (turbo bearings, etc.). I ran Mobil 1 through my Honda from about the same milestone, and after 106,000 miles that engine was clean enough to eat out of. Spent a lot of money of the gourmet oil, but it convinced me. :D
  • nmknmk Posts: 111
    To All:

    I seem to have two situations:

    1- My tootsies keep getting toasted from the firewall. Does anyone else have this problem, and if so, is it a fault and how is it rectified?

    2- When at idle, the engine sounds like it is a diesel. A low key rat-ta-tata-tat. Is this too a problem or is it normal?

    All suggestions and hints are welcome.

  • You've bought a direct-injection engine, which means fuel is sprayed directly into the cylinder as opposed to ports or the intake manifold in most other FI engines. The fuel-rail pressure is much higher on direct-injection engines (as it is on diesels, too, incidentally) and they do make a little more clackety racket than a normal setup. Nothing to be worried about.

  • nmknmk Posts: 111

    Whew! Glad to know that.

    Now about my par-boiled toes, any suggestions? Please bear in mind that this is a family forum.

  • Dunno. I wear shoes. ;)

    In all seriousness, I think this model has some heat-management issues at the firewall. You can see people complain (me included) about the hot air that blows out of the vents if the A/C is not on. I haven't noticed anything down low at my feet in my car, but I don't doubt you.
  • nmknmk Posts: 111
    How can I obtain manuals for the CX-7 other than the owners manual. Just in the event that I am willing peek under the sheet metal and hood.

  • bmenkbmenk Posts: 3
    Try putting your hand on the right side of the hood, in the area where the hood becomes the fender.

    After driving a bit, let the vehicle sit for about 5 minutes. Something in that area is red hot and heats up the hood to extremely high temperatures. With no wind to dissipate the heat the hood area becomes hot, hot, hot....

    I'm wondering if this will cause paint failure over time over that part of the sheet metal.

    Can anyone confirm that this is happening on their CX-7 ?

  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Posts: 498
    I've noticed the same thing, but I'm not too concerned about it. The hood on my 04 Santa FE feels very hot in certain spots as well.

    I'm not certain where the source of the heat comes from. You may want to pop the hood and try to deduce the source.

  • How oftern are you going to change the oil on the Cx-7 and how critical is it to use synthetic concerning the turbo design?
  • My father gave me a horribly anal (and expensive) instinct for overdoing maintenance on every car like I plan on owning the thing until it falls apart. However, I have yet to keep a vehicle for more than ten years.

    That being said, I'm changing the oil every 7500 miles per the Mazda manual, but using synthetic oil because it removes all the fear of turbo problems for me personally. Maybe it's overkill, especially if you are just going to swap your Mazda in 5 years or so.

    I also drive like a maniac and treat the throttle basically as an on/off switch, so I figure treating the hard-working engine to some gourmet oil is not a bad idea.

    There are plenty of good non-synthetic oils out there that will meet the warranty requirements, so unless you are a nut like me or planning to keep the car forever, I'd just follow the book.

  • You saved me some hassle with the oil level. I filled it with 5 quarts, started the engine, then let the oil settle. It was about 1/2 quart low. Put another 1/2 quart in it and it's right on the money.

    For oil/filter change use 5 and 1/2 quarts. 6 is too much.
  • I have the CX-7 GT with HID xenon headlights and there's a really bad line between dark and light on the low beams that's really annoying. At about 20 feet out it sits about 3 feet from the ground and it's not straight - it has a severe jag in it that appears to be from the hood line. Never having had a car with these kind of headlights, is this normal for HIDs or do they need to be adjusted so the dark/light line is higher or less visible? Anyone else notice this?
  • cxrabbitcxrabbit Posts: 134
    Yes, I have noticed it, and while it took getting used to, it doesn't bother me. I don't find it inhibits visibility and apparently, I'm not blinding all the people in front of me on the road.

    You can adjust it. There's a dial on your dashboard to the left of the steering well for adjusting. Default it 0 (so if yours is already set at 0 that's the highest they'll go). 1-5 incrementally make the lights lower (and this is apparently for when you're carrying more people or a big load of cargo).
  • It's normal for the'll get used to it. The high beam on the right is slightly higher than the one on the left, hence the "jag." Only thing I can think is the right side can be a little higher to give you better vision without blinding oncoming cars.
  • Does this 2.3L engine use a timing belt or chain? What service interval if any. Thanks Ed
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