Author Topic: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?  (Read 5353 times)

therethere

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Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« on: July 07, 2016, 02:28:20 PM »
2 oil changes ago the guy at Midas said the oil pan threads were strip. I'll admit my husband frequently would take the car to Jiffy Lube (despite my hatred) so I wasn't very surprised to hear it. He installed a oversized drain plug. Fast forward a year, less than 3k miles, and we get another oil change at a mechanic (first time at this one as my regular mechanic moved away). They note the same about the oversized plug being in and that its a temporary fix that typically stops working randomly. Now, two months later <100 miles added on the car, we move it to the garage for a 2 week vacation. Not sure if its pertinent, but the garage likely reaches 100F+ during the days as its in direct sunlight, no insulation, and we have 95+ degree days in Denver. We come home to a huge oil patch in the garage and oil level now is not even on the dipstick. As a last ditch effort last night we tried to hand tighten the plug in case it had loosened and 3/4" ratchet was what fit the best. So I think the oversized plug last installed is 3/4" (or some slightly smaller metric equivalent).

Calling for quotes and from the few who answered its a $850-$950 job. Requiring 6 hours of labor and an AC recharge. This seems insane for something that's bound to happen over the life of a car when you're using a steel bolt on aluminum threads!

To make it more complicated we were waiting to sell the car to see where DH would accept a new job. Of course he accepted the job right before vacation which would confirm we could get by on one car. KBB says the car is worth 5,500 in "Good" condition which I expect we could get if it wasn't leaking all over! We weren't in a hurry to sell it since its not worth a lot and we might need it someday if we move out of the downtown area. And its convenient and 5k in the bank isn'tWe haven't done too much to it other than an engine mount and some other plastic part. So we haven't done timing belt, pumps or any of that major stuff that I assume may be coming as its at 105k miles.

Could the oversized plug been installed incorrectly originally, thus leading to the quick failure?
Should the oversized plug have failed so quickly at so little miles or is that not really a factor?
Do they make an oversized plug that would be reliable in the already enlarged hole?
Would I have any chance selling it for a reasonable price on craigslist with it leaking the way it is? Say a mechanic who can spot easy money?

Longer term... If I fix it with another oversize plug should we just sell right away? Should we keep it around in case we need it later knowing we've had the vehicle since new? Would you change your answer if we spent the full amount and got the oil pan replaced?










guitar_stitch

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2016, 03:06:58 PM »
This seems insane for something that's bound to happen over the life of a car when you're using a steel bolt on aluminum threads!

No it's not "bound to happen".  It happens because grease monkeys overtighten the drain plug, usually because they don't change the crush washer.

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Could the oversized plug been installed incorrectly originally, thus leading to the quick failure?
Should the oversized plug have failed so quickly at so little miles or is that not really a factor?
Do they make an oversized plug that would be reliable in the already enlarged hole?

An oversized plug is not the solution unless the hole was drilled and tapped out for the new plug.  It doesn't sound like that has happened so far.

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Would I have any chance selling it for a reasonable price on craigslist with it leaking the way it is? Say a mechanic who can spot easy money?

Longer term... If I fix it with another oversize plug should we just sell right away? Should we keep it around in case we need it later knowing we've had the vehicle since new? Would you change your answer if we spent the full amount and got the oil pan replaced?

Whether you fix it or not, you should disclose the problem history to a potential buyer.  There are a number of options that a mechanic may use to fix it other than a drain pan replacement.

If there's nothing else wrong with the vehicle and you would end up getting another vehicle anyway, I would keep this one.

Stop paying people for simple maintenance you can do yourself.  *points to subforum title*  Nobody cares as much about your assets as you do.

Jack

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 03:17:16 PM »
2 oil changes ago the guy at Midas said the oil pan threads were strip. I'll admit my husband frequently would take the car to Jiffy Lube (despite my hatred) so I wasn't very surprised to hear it.

Has this incident finally taught your husband to quit going to Shitty Lube?

therethere

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2016, 04:09:06 PM »
Yeah I doubt they installed the oversized plug properly with a cleared hole and rethread. The only charges were for the drain plug and no labor. So maybe I'll investigate if a real mechanic can do it properly and see if it holds before going through drastic measures. I'm not sure what else is nearing failure on the car other than new brakes (they said rotors too but I'm skeptical) and AC recharge. But I was planning to have them do a quick run through in that regard when I brought it in. So I'm not sure. If we sold the car we may end up needing a replacement car in a year or two if we move at the end of our lease or one of us changes jobs.

I don't even think my husband connects Jiffy Lube or any quick place with this issue. It doesn't occur to him that he would need an oil change unless its the afternoon before a long drive and then he goes to whatever he spots first as frantically as possible. Seriously, I'm sure he's probably gone 10k between oil changes before and he once drove to work with the car in the red heat zone and thought it was fine to drive home too (maybe we should sell hah!). Ignoring it is his MO and when you don't need the car its easy to just put it off until the next street sweeping day when all you need is to move it a block over. We get into an argument if I even mention we should attempt to fix anything ourselves on the car as it would "waste our entire weekend" regardless of how much money it would save. So if I were to mention doing oil changes ourselves yeah not gonna happen. Its easier to just print out a coupon to the dealer and tell him to go there and say no to anything they recommend.

Sorry for the rant. I just hate dealing with car crap. Everything to do with cars just makes me feel like I'm getting ripped off and inadequate that I can't/won't take the chance on learning and fixing it myself.  DH can be absolutely zero help sometimes unless I put my foot down and keep pushing him to do it.  On a positive note, he did willingly learn to replace the headlights on the other car which go out all the time.


Jack

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2016, 04:18:02 PM »
I don't even think my husband connects Jiffy Lube or any quick place with this issue. It doesn't occur to him that he would need an oil change unless its the afternoon before a long drive and then he goes to whatever he spots first as frantically as possible. Seriously, I'm sure he's probably gone 10k between oil changes before and he once drove to work with the car in the red heat zone and thought it was fine to drive home too (maybe we should sell hah!).


ncornilsen

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2016, 04:31:16 PM »
Yeah I doubt they installed the oversized plug properly with a cleared hole and rethread. The only charges were for the drain plug and no labor. So maybe I'll investigate if a real mechanic can do it properly and see if it holds before going through drastic measures. I'm not sure what else is nearing failure on the car other than new brakes (they said rotors too but I'm skeptical) and AC recharge. But I was planning to have them do a quick run through in that regard when I brought it in. So I'm not sure. If we sold the car we may end up needing a replacement car in a year or two if we move at the end of our lease or one of us changes jobs.

I don't even think my husband connects Jiffy Lube or any quick place with this issue. It doesn't occur to him that he would need an oil change unless its the afternoon before a long drive and then he goes to whatever he spots first as frantically as possible. Seriously, I'm sure he's probably gone 10k between oil changes before and he once drove to work with the car in the red heat zone and thought it was fine to drive home too (maybe we should sell hah!). Ignoring it is his MO and when you don't need the car its easy to just put it off until the next street sweeping day when all you need is to move it a block over. We get into an argument if I even mention we should attempt to fix anything ourselves on the car as it would "waste our entire weekend" regardless of how much money it would save. So if I were to mention doing oil changes ourselves yeah not gonna happen. Its easier to just print out a coupon to the dealer and tell him to go there and say no to anything they recommend.

Sorry for the rant. I just hate dealing with car crap. Everything to do with cars just makes me feel like I'm getting ripped off and inadequate that I can't/won't take the chance on learning and fixing it myself.  DH can be absolutely zero help sometimes unless I put my foot down and keep pushing him to do it.  On a positive note, he did willingly learn to replace the headlights on the other car which go out all the time.

I don't know the year of your mazzda 3, but guessing by the value, charging for an AC recharge is a rip-off and un-needed.
http://www.mazda3forums.com/109-powertrain-technical-information-faqs-how-tos/391268-$860-put-new-oilpan-2004-2-3l-does-sound-right.html

therethere

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2016, 04:48:26 PM »
Its a 2007. I've had two people now say it was needed. But it could just be that is what is written in whatever manual they use to estimate jobs. Really I have no clue about cars. To me it seems like an oil pan should be on the bottom of the car. Clear oil, unbolt, swap out pan, lube gasket, rebolt, fill with oil. But every estimator online or quote I've gotten is for 6-7 hours. Ugh if its the same as that thread you posted though now I feel its excessive again and will waffle on getting it fixed.

Maintenance or upkeep of anything (not just cars) is not my husband's strong suit. Neither is foresight about how minor things can cause bigger problems if you consistently do something wrong. And that is a major reason why we do not own a house because I would be overwhelmed with having to look out for and do everything. He's great for other things, like not being overly analytical and critical like me. He can actually make a decision and go with it which is what I need!

v8rx7guy

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2016, 04:59:45 PM »
Replacing the oil pan on a Front wheel drive car is usually a lot more work than just draining the oil, bolting off and re-installing.  There is often a engine support crossmember or motor mounts that need to be removed to access all of the bolts which means the engine needs to be supported while performing the operation and making it take a lot longer.  Not sure if this is the case for Mazda 3's or not, but a lot of the cost may be the pan itself which can cost a few hundred dollars, plus a new gasket, etc. etc.  You would also need a torque wrench and the know-how on how to use it.

An oversized plug should theoretically been a decent fix, but if the new threads werent cut quite right I could see it easily leaking.  A cheating fix might be to install some high temp RTV silicone on the threads of the plug and put it back in.  That should keep it from leaking... probably something you should discose to a potential buyer, however.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 05:33:18 PM by v8rx7guy »

Syonyk

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2016, 09:03:53 PM »
Calling for quotes and from the few who answered its a $850-$950 job. Requiring 6 hours of labor and an AC recharge. This seems insane for something that's bound to happen over the life of a car when you're using a steel bolt on aluminum threads!

Sounds reasonable enough for a shop.  It's a FWD car, so at a minimum, you're likely to need to disconnect most of the wiring and plumbing from the engine (which is where the AC recharge comes in - the AC compressor is on the engine, with lines going to the car, though you might be able to avoid it by removing the compressor), pull the engine from the transmission, and either find an opening to work on it (possible but unlikely), or pull the whole engine.

Oil pans on FWD cars are a non-trivial thing to replace.

And... no offense, but it's not "bound to happen."  I've never seen a stripped drain plug.  I've owned a lot of vehicles with 200k+ miles on the odometer.  Leaking oil pans, yes - but from failed gaskets around the drain pan to car, not from the drain plug.

I also regularly change my own oil, install quick drain plugs on vehicles where it makes sense (so I'm never having to remove the plug after that), and I use a wrench to tighten the plug to something resembling torque spec.

It's not uncommon to need to use a jack to pop the drain plug free on a new car, if the previous owner has had a habit of using shops for oil changes.  Every damned quick lube place out there puts about 5-10x the torque on the drain plug it needs.  If they bother to reinstall the thing at all.

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So we haven't done timing belt, pumps or any of that major stuff that I assume may be coming as its at 105k miles.

Your car is not worth what you think it is.  You'll either need to find a sucker, or lower your asking price significantly, if you want to sell it.

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Could the oversized plug been installed incorrectly originally, thus leading to the quick failure?

It's an ugly hack of a solution for a problem that shouldn't happen, so... who knows.  There's a normal seating area for the drain plug, and an oversized plug involves drilling and tapping that.  Did it stay in the drain plug area or expand into the thinner oil pan metal?  No idea!

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Should the oversized plug have failed so quickly at so little miles or is that not really a factor?

It depends on how well it was done.  You said Midas did it, so I'm going to guess it was poorly done by someone who may or may not have ever done that before.

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Do they make an oversized plug that would be reliable in the already enlarged hole?

Depends on why it's leaking.  It could just be loose.  It could be that it needs a new copper crush washer (which should be replaced every oil change, and realistically needs to be replaced every few or you're going to have leaking issues).  It could have cracked the pan if it was poorly done and stressed.  Without more details, it's impossible to say.

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Would I have any chance selling it for a reasonable price on craigslist with it leaking the way it is? Say a mechanic who can spot easy money?

No.  Based on your reported maintenance history of "Ignore it, it's probably fine," anyone halfway competent should be able to tell it's a rolling pile of shit that's been neglected, and run for the hills.  You might be able to find a sucker, though.

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Longer term... If I fix it with another oversize plug should we just sell right away? Should we keep it around in case we need it later knowing we've had the vehicle since new? Would you change your answer if we spent the full amount and got the oil pan replaced?

If you get it to stop leaking, you can probably lower your asking price a bit, sell it, and make it someone else's problem.  If it were just the drain plug, I'd say a new oil pan would fix it, but the other maintenance history you report says it's likely to be a problem in the future.

Yeah I doubt they installed the oversized plug properly with a cleared hole and rethread. The only charges were for the drain plug and no labor.

It should take some labor to do it properly... so I have no idea what they even did.  If it was "Find a bigger plug laying around and jam it in," I'm not surprised it's leaking.  May very well have cracked the pan over time.

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So maybe I'll investigate if a real mechanic can do it properly and see if it holds before going through drastic measures. I'm not sure what else is nearing failure on the car other than new brakes (they said rotors too but I'm skeptical) and AC recharge.

Why are you skeptical about the rotors?  100k miles is reasonable enough to need rotors.  Are you skeptical because you've actually gone in there and measured the rotors, or because you just think the shop is out to try and get more money from you?  I know you haven't gone in with a set of calipers to measure the rotors and compare them to the wear limit, though.

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Seriously, I'm sure he's probably gone 10k between oil changes before and he once drove to work with the car in the red heat zone and thought it was fine to drive home too (maybe we should sell hah!).

So... low coolant?  Failed radiator fan?  No idea and it just went away?  Sustained overheating on modern engines often causes head gasket issues (those, too, are expensive to replace).  A modern car should not overheat unless something is significantly wrong - they're tested in insane thermal extremes during development, so you should be able to run a car at 130-140F, in the sun, with the air conditioner blasted, without overheating.  Pressurized coolant systems are one hell of a drug. :)

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We get into an argument if I even mention we should attempt to fix anything ourselves on the car as it would "waste our entire weekend" regardless of how much money it would save. So if I were to mention doing oil changes ourselves yeah not gonna happen. Its easier to just print out a coupon to the dealer and tell him to go there and say no to anything they recommend.

I don't mind "wasting a weekend" to save a few grand. :)  I do my own oil changes, obviously, but I also do a lot of my own work, because I can, and it's cheaper.  YouTube makes it easy to learn how to do pretty much anything on any reasonably common car (which yours is).  It's a lot more interesting when you've got a car that was imported for just a few years, has no user community, and you can't even get half the parts.  That's not a problem for you.

But, seriously, even a few hours on a weekend to do an oil change for the first time with YouTube will teach you a lot.

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Sorry for the rant. I just hate dealing with car crap. Everything to do with cars just makes me feel like I'm getting ripped off and inadequate that I can't/won't take the chance on learning and fixing it myself.

A basic set of wrenches is sufficient to change oil.  You might need an oil filter wrench if it's particularly tight.  And a drain pan.  Start there and go!

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DH can be absolutely zero help sometimes unless I put my foot down and keep pushing him to do it.  On a positive note, he did willingly learn to replace the headlights on the other car which go out all the time.

... why are the headlights going out all the time?  That's not a thing that should happen more than once every few years.

Maintenance or upkeep of anything (not just cars) is not my husband's strong suit. Neither is foresight about how minor things can cause bigger problems if you consistently do something wrong. And that is a major reason why we do not own a house because I would be overwhelmed with having to look out for and do everything. He's great for other things, like not being overly analytical and critical like me. He can actually make a decision and go with it which is what I need!

If he refuses to maintain a car, and doesn't understand that minor problems need fixing before they cause major problems (if that drain plug failed on a long drive and you didn't notice it, would he have stopped driving at the oil light, or waited until the engine sized?), and you aren't willing to do it, might I suggest a new car lease?  It's financially painful, but you'll have a vehicle you can safely ignore for three years or so.

therethere

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2016, 09:10:20 AM »
Thank you so much for the detailed replies! I really appreciate that you took your time to write it up. The main reason I thought we could get a little under KBB is because it has brand new tires and a lightly used set of snow tires on separate wheels which is pretty much required for this car and the windshield is not cracked. So at least it has the stuff done where the cost isn't based on labor? No one has mentioned anything else that's wearing out, but I agree trips to real mechanics have been pretty sparse with this car. Are you saying its only worth like 2-3k? I find that disheartening. But if that's the case maybe we will just be keeping this money pit around and drive it until we kill it or hope some driver totals it while it is parked on the road!

We did fix the engine overheat issue and it really was only driven that one time. Some plastic solenoid broke which we replaced ourselves after much discussion. Luckily we have set up our lives not needing any car right now if we got a little more badass (like actually biking instead of driving the car 4 miles). We only have two out of laziness and the 2nd car is in really good shape. The car is known to have headlights go out often and I leave them on all the time because I'm used to cars with automatic headlights. I've definitely driven without them on before and not noticed until the highway so its cheap insurance to me! $20 a year in headlights is fine by me.

Oil changes would still be hard since we have a garage but it holds our camper. This was actually the first time we even parked a car in it. Otherwise, I'd be doing an oil change on city streets and I think the neighbors would steal anything I left out for 5 minutes.

I'm skeptical about rotors because every single time I've ever gone for new brakes they say "and new rotors". To me its the easiest thing they can just tack on to brakes that people would not check into and just accept. I've been suckered by that line before. All women (or men with no car knowledge) going into auto shops that you don't know are going to feel like they are getting suckered into things. Seriously last time I brought the 2nd car in the guy must have just seen the mileage on the car and said he noticed I desparately needed a new timing belt, struts, and some other major thing. I laughed in his face when I said I had all that work done 2 weeks prior and it was all brand new.  If its possible to check with engineering type calipers without having to lift the car or take the wheels off I can do that this weekend. I was actually thinking of going to a free 2 hour class at a DIY shop nearby just on brakes but its not my ideal Friday night.

My second biggest money mistake in life after college was buying a brand new car. I actually had more maintenance issues with the new car and felt so relieved when I sold it. I'm never buying new again so I will have used cars the rest of my life. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to look for affordable classes that I could start learning the basics on how to check certain things in the car other than Youtube? I'm thinking mainly brakes (which I would be set on it I go to the class I found) but also timing belts and all the fluids, and other main stuff that I'm not even aware of yet. I want to be able to at least understand what they are talking about and be able to check it myself to verify something is wearing out or needs to be replaced.  Would community college classes be the way to go? Community Rec center classes maybe?

Syonyk

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2016, 09:28:36 AM »
Thank you so much for the detailed replies! I really appreciate that you took your time to write it up. The main reason I thought we could get a little under KBB is because it has brand new tires and a lightly used set of snow tires on separate wheels which is pretty much required for this car and the windshield is not cracked. So at least it has the stuff done where the cost isn't based on labor? No one has mentioned anything else that's wearing out, but I agree trips to real mechanics have been pretty sparse with this car. Are you saying its only worth like 2-3k? I find that disheartening. But if that's the case maybe we will just be keeping this money pit around and drive it until we kill it or hope some driver totals it while it is parked on the road!

I don't know what you could actually sell it for, but based on the history of the car and the lack of general maintenance, I wouldn't buy it for much, and I've spent a lot of my life driving beaters.

You can try, just expect a lot of people to look at it and be less interested.  If you did want to sell it, wash/wax/detail, and hope nobody goes poking around under it.  You might find the right buyer.

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We did fix the engine overheat issue and it really was only driven that one time. Some plastic solenoid broke which we replaced ourselves after much discussion.

Ok.  If it's not going through coolant, then it's probably fine.  It's hard to tell how overheated things got based on the gauge - loss of coolant tends to lead to the engine getting *really* hot before anything shows on the gauge.  If it wasn't circulating properly, that's less-bad.

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Oil changes would still be hard since we have a garage but it holds our camper. This was actually the first time we even parked a car in it. Otherwise, I'd be doing an oil change on city streets and I think the neighbors would steal anything I left out for 5 minutes.

Would they steal it if you were there?

You can also look for "DIY Garages" in your area.  They often have oil change specials, supply tools and experience, and are nice places to learn.

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I'm skeptical about rotors because every single time I've ever gone for new brakes they say "and new rotors". To me its the easiest thing they can just tack on to brakes that people would not check into and just accept.

That's fair, though rotors are usually in pretty bad shape and are one of the things I replace when I get a new-to-me car...

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If its possible to check with engineering type calipers without having to lift the car or take the wheels off I can do that this weekend. I was actually thinking of going to a free 2 hour class at a DIY shop nearby just on brakes but its not my ideal Friday night.

I don't know if it's possible to check with the wheels on or not.  Not familiar with that particular car, sorry.  Some cars it is, some cars have dust shields that mean you have to pull the wheel.  You'll probably have to pull the wheel to find the thickness marks on the rotor anyway, and also to inspect the surface - it should be smooth and not pitted.  Grooved is normal, though if it's really deep, you should also replace the rotors.

Ah, you do have a DIY shop nearby.  Go there for an oil change!

And going to learn about brakes seems a useful thing.

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Does anyone have any recommendations on where to look for affordable classes that I could start learning the basics on how to check certain things in the car other than Youtube? I'm thinking mainly brakes (which I would be set on it I go to the class I found) but also timing belts and all the fluids, and other main stuff that I'm not even aware of yet. I want to be able to at least understand what they are talking about and be able to check it myself to verify something is wearing out or needs to be replaced.  Would community college classes be the way to go? Community Rec center classes maybe?

No idea, but the DIY garage would be a good place to look.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2016, 10:50:50 AM »
If this car were mine and I wanted to avoid pulling the oil pan in order to replace it, I'd probably try this  (CAVEAT:  if this doesn't work, you're definitely going to be replacing the oil pan) --

1) I'd pull the oil drain plug, allow all the oil to drain for a long time -- like overnight -- to get every last drop out possible, and be able to clean the drain plug threads completely free of any oil residue.  (i.e. wipe clean with brake cleaner or degreaser of your choice)

2) I'd install a Fumoto valve, using JB Weld on the threads, in order to permanently "glue" the Fumoto valve in place.  This assumes that you have at least some threads left on that oil pan.  Let the JB Weld cure completely, before refilling the motor with oil.

http://www.fumotousa.com/

3) To the O.P. -- if you're going to continue to go to crappy quick oil change places like Jiffy Lube, be certain to tell them to use the valve when draining oil, and NEVER ATTEMPT TO UNSCREW THE VALVE FROM THE OIL PAN.

I've used the Fumoto valves for a long time, no problems with any malfunction or leakage from the valve.  Makes DIY oil changes faster, although oil does drain a bit slower through the valve vs. removing a drain plug.

Syonyk

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2016, 11:00:16 AM »
If this car were mine and I wanted to avoid pulling the oil pan in order to replace it, I'd probably try this  (CAVEAT:  if this doesn't work, you're definitely going to be replacing the oil pan) --

1) I'd pull the oil drain plug, allow all the oil to drain for a long time -- like overnight -- to get every last drop out possible, and be able to clean the drain plug threads completely free of any oil residue.  (i.e. wipe clean with brake cleaner or degreaser of your choice)

2) I'd install a Fumoto valve, using JB Weld on the threads, in order to permanently "glue" the Fumoto valve in place.  This assumes that you have at least some threads left on that oil pan.  Let the JB Weld cure completely, before refilling the motor with oil.

http://www.fumotousa.com/

3) To the O.P. -- if you're going to continue to go to crappy quick oil change places like Jiffy Lube, be certain to tell them to use the valve when draining oil, and NEVER ATTEMPT TO UNSCREW THE VALVE FROM THE OIL PAN.

That's not a bad idea, though I wouldn't trust an oil change place to not just put a wrench on it and crack it free.  I hadn't thought about JB Weld - that stuff really is useful, though.  Even if the pan is cracked, if you clean it up and rough it up a bit, you could get some JB Weld to stick to it.  Worth a shot...

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I've used the Fumoto valves for a long time, no problems with any malfunction or leakage from the valve.  Makes DIY oil changes faster, although oil does drain a bit slower through the valve vs. removing a drain plug.

I love mine.

I've got, oh, 13-14 quarts to drain out when I change my truck oil.  Fortunately, I can fit a 5 gallon bucket under it with it on the ground.  The valve takes forever, but as long as the oil is hot, I can go drink a beer while it's draining and be fine.

It also neatly avoids the "Fishing the drain plug out of elbow deep hot oil" problem that would be an issue were I to try it with the normal drain plug.

sokoloff

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2016, 11:30:44 AM »
I'm a believer in top-side oil changes (vacuum extraction via the dipstick hole) on cars that permit that. Avoids all the drain plug dramas. I bought a MityVac brand extractor and it really makes the job easy and clean. And yes, I've checked that it gets "all" the oil out by doing the extraction carefully and then pulling the drain plug. Zero drops on both cars.

If your car permits top-side changes, you could weld up the oil pan hole entirely, or what I'd actually try is welding it up enough to re-tap it, and if that failed, just weld it up entirely. Assuming an aluminum pan, you'd need a moderately skilled TIG guy, but most any machine shop could tell you who they use for aluminum cylinder head work. JB Weld is OK in this application if you can get the metal clean and oil free for it to bond. That's going to be tough with the oil sitting in the pan behind it. (You need it clean for TIG welding as well, but only for a few seconds rather than a few hours while the epoxy sets.) Obviously then, you need to do top-side oil changes from then on if you weld it shut.

PS: I'm not sure that Midas is leagues better than Jiffy Lube. They may have a slightly better reputation, but you're subject to the same issues with them as with JL, IMO.

Syonyk

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2016, 11:53:10 AM »
Anyone who buys the car will then hate you...

TOgirl

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2016, 08:12:06 AM »
This might be related, and might not be...

We had a 2004 Mazda6 until this year, and began to experience oil leaking, just as you mentioned. We had several repairs done to fix the leak, and each time was expensive in my mind. Each time, a few weeks later, the leak would come back. Each time we took it back, the leak was now coming from a new spot - each getting more expensive to fix. Ended up with us going to a Mazda dealership to have it looked at. They did a VERY expensive repair, and obviously it started leaking once again. The shop foreman came out and said "well, it's a 2004, it's just going to leak until it dies"...needless to say, we had lots of back and forth with the head office and were reimbursed for most of the work.

We ended up selling it - disclosing the leak issue. The day after we sold it, the new owner had the engine light come on for the catalytic converter/O2 sensors...which is apparently an issue if oil is constantly leaking/burning over time.

Syonyk

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Re: Mazda3 Oil Pan Replacement - Any other options?
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2016, 10:51:16 AM »
Leaking oil won't bother the cat.  Burning oil will.