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MazdaSpeed 3/6 - Troubleshoot/Diagnostics MazdaSpeed 3/6 - Troubleshoot/Diagnostics - Have a problem with the car? CEL Code? Want to discuss other issues? Come on in!


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 Old 10-04-2019, 01:55 PM   #1
 
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Default Excessive Oil Consumption - Not turbo

My car has been burning a ton of oil. The dealer checked the turbo when I had the VVT replaced at the beginning of the year and they said it still looked good. They put 5w30 and it was being burned at a rate of about 1qt per 500miles. I didn't even notice until I was about 3 qts low!

It has always burned oil but I could usually get by without refilling before an oil change at 5000 miles. The only difference is I have been using Rotella T6 5w40 for the past 6 years or so. I refilled with the rotella but it still seems to be burning oil very quickly. I'm not sure the rate but at least 1qt per 750miles.

I never had any smoking from the turbo like a lot of people here do, but I thought maybe it was still the turbo so I got an oil restricter bolt. It did not seem to help with the oil consumption unfortunately.

I have also noticed a lot of hesitation/jerking when I feather the gas, but it drives fine at WOT. I brought it back to the dealer but they couldn't find anything wrong with it. No CELs and my car is stock. I mentioned the oil consumption and the master tech said it was probably the oil rings. I asked about a compression check but he thought it would come back normal if it were the oil rings.

I will probably do a compression check myself anyway but I went ahead and checked the spark plug gap over the weekend to see if that was the cause of my hesitation/jerking issues and the gap seemed ok but the plugs were toast. See attached. I went ahead and replaced them and gapped at 0.032 but it didn't seem to help the hesitation much though it does run better overall.

My question is, does it seem like it is the oil rings? I've also read about it possibly being cracked ringlands. Either way, that is a rebuild. If that's the case, how long can I drive like this (while adding oil) before the engine craps out? Would thicker oil like 15w50 help? I live in Florida so I'm thinking I might get by with thicker oil. The car is my DD.
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 Old 10-04-2019, 09:54 PM   #2
 
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You can try gaping the plugs at .026.. You can let the car idle for 10 to 15 minutes and if it starts smoking while idling for so long then the turbo seals are shot. Have you checked the PVC? I thought if the rings were worn then the compression results would be bad but maybe someone with more knowledge can answer that.
Im not much help but i hope you find the issue. Good luck
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 Old 10-05-2019, 04:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by danb View Post
You can try gaping the plugs at .026.. You can let the car idle for 10 to 15 minutes and if it starts smoking while idling for so long then the turbo seals are shot. Have you checked the PVC? I thought if the rings were worn then the compression results would be bad but maybe someone with more knowledge can answer that.
Im not much help but i hope you find the issue. Good luck
You could get decent numbers from a compression test if the top 2 compression rings were ok, even if the bottom oil ring was no good. However, low numbers on compression and leakdown tests could help you decide if the motor is terminal.

Thicker oil probably wont net much, thicker viscosity will possibly disappear slower, but it also changes the lubrication properties of the oil on all the other "still working" parts, ie: bandaid.

Are the pics of the same spark plug? Better or worse than the rest?
I see you have some ash deposits on the electrode and ground strap, but the porcelain appears very white. A little less ash and a light brown colour over the entire business end of the plug is normally prefered.

Based on your post, in 99% of cases if the motor is losing oil and its not ending on the ground, its not good and the life of the engine is a wildcard.
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 Old 10-05-2019, 05:51 AM   #4
 
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A few thoughts:

1. Some will say that one quart per thousand miles is the maximum allowable and if you can get consumption down to that with a high mileage engine live with it as long as possible, if compression is still ok. New Ford V8 Coyote engines, especially those with the highest output, use a quart per thousand from the factory. So does the 2.0T VW/Audi or close to it. We don’t, but you might be able to live with it, but not a quart per 500.

2. Do a static compression test. A good engine will be in the 165 psi or better. Some, even with over 150,000 miles, are in the 185-195 psi range. The service manual says 130 is the minimum. Check with all plugs removed and keep cranking until the gauge stops climbing. If a cylinder is low, go back and do a wet test on it by squirting some fresh engine oil in the cylinder and retesting to see if you get a significantly higher number. Record all those numbers by cylinder and report them here. Wide variation is as important as absolute values.

3. When you remove the intercooler for the compression test, look to see if there is oil in it or the couplers. If the source of the oil is from the turbo, it often gets to the compressor wheel area from the center bearing seals and ends up being pushed out into the intercooler. If it’s leaking from the turbine/exhaust side you get blue smoke at idle.

4. .032” is too wide on the plugs. While you have them out for the compression test, regap to .026-.028.

5. Yes, go back to Rotella T-6. It may take one oil change interval for you start seeing better oil control. Watch your dipstick regularly. I’m worried that it got 3 quarts low. While I doubt any damage was done, that certainly did not help.

6. You have no evidence of a physical oil leak, right? Park the car the same place at night and no oil spot? Any oil on the undertray?

7. Something as simple as a bad PCV valve could explain the oil consumption. You are not getting any blue smoke out of the tailpipe?
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 Old 10-05-2019, 06:06 AM   #5
 
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We had a very similar issue and were burning oil at about the same rate (or even a bit higher!). No visible signs of oil burning or leaking, no blue smoke out exhaust, no oil in intercooler, etc. We replaced PCV, put in oil restrictor bolt, Rotella 5W-40, even a new K04 to no avail. A mechanic in Denver who knows these engines well said a compression test might not tell you anything but he suspected valve seals or rings, of course. In the end we just rebuilt the engine and had a lot of fun and learned a lot doing it, but I realize that's not for everybody. But like the posts say above, try a new PCV (a relative PITA because you need to remove the IM, or have really tiny hands), maybe an oil restrictor banjo bolt, and see if that improves anything. If those don't work then it's probably engine internals and you need to decide if it is worth it to fix that.
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 Old 10-05-2019, 06:22 AM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by erudus View Post
We had a very similar issue and were burning oil at about the same rate (or even a bit higher!). No visible signs of oil burning or leaking, no blue smoke out exhaust, no oil in intercooler, etc. We replaced PCV, put in oil restrictor bolt, Rotella 5W-40, even a new K04 to no avail. A mechanic in Denver who knows these engines well said a compression test might not tell you anything but he suspected valve seals or rings, of course. In the end we just rebuilt the engine and had a lot of fun and learned a lot doing it, but I realize that's not for everybody. But like the posts say above, try a new PCV (a relative PITA because you need to remove the IM, or have really tiny hands), maybe an oil restrictor banjo bolt, and see if that improves anything. If those don't work then it's probably engine internals and you need to decide if it is worth it to fix that.
Yes, replacing the PCV valve is no fun. I had to remove the intake manifold. Later, when I thought it was failing again, I found that I could get to it from below (I have small hands) but it was very difficult to make sure it latched in place securely. You are working blind and have to work totally by feel. It did, but were I do do it again, I’d remove the IM so I could see what I am doing. I’m sure a dealer would do that.

If going to that trouble, you or your dealer or mechanic should clean the intake valves. You’ll be looking right at them. It would be a shame not to.

But, OP should run the diagnostic list I supplied above first. I listed the PCV valve last for a reason.
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 Old 10-06-2019, 03:44 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by danb View Post
You can try gaping the plugs at .026.. You can let the car idle for 10 to 15 minutes and if it starts smoking while idling for so long then the turbo seals are shot. Have you checked the PVC?
I've never seen smoke at idle. Are you saying narrowing the gap would cause smoke? I haven't changed out the PCV yet because it seems to be a PITA.

Originally Posted by SyntheticAtmosphere View Post
Are the pics of the same spark plug? Better or worse than the rest?
I see you have some ash deposits on the electrode and ground strap, but the porcelain appears very white. A little less ash and a light brown colour over the entire business end of the plug is normally prefered.

Based on your post, in 99% of cases if the motor is losing oil and its not ending on the ground, its not good and the life of the engine is a wildcard.
That was the same plug I took from different angles. I think I still have the others I could take pictures of. But basically they all pretty much looked that bad. Those plugs are only 3 years old.

Originally Posted by MSMS3 View Post
3. When you remove the intercooler for the compression test, look to see if there is oil in it or the couplers. If the source of the oil is from the turbo, it often gets to the compressor wheel area from the center bearing seals and ends up being pushed out into the intercooler. If itís leaking from the turbine/exhaust side you get blue smoke at idle.

4. .032Ē is too wide on the plugs. While you have them out for the compression test, regap to .026-.028.

5. Yes, go back to Rotella T-6. It may take one oil change interval for you start seeing better oil control. Watch your dipstick regularly. Iím worried that it got 3 quarts low. While I doubt any damage was done, that certainly did not help.

6. You have no evidence of a physical oil leak, right? Park the car the same place at night and no oil spot? Any oil on the undertray?

7. Something as simple as a bad PCV valve could explain the oil consumption. You are not getting any blue smoke out of the tailpipe?
There is a slight amount of oil on the turbo side of the intercooler but not much. Not enough to drip out when I turn it on its side. The dealer's master tech said the amount of oil he saw in the turbo and around the intercooler was within normal limits. He checked for blue smoke as well and didn't see any. I still have both cats so I'm assuming they are covering up any smoke I might have. I've never seen any puddles on the ground but I had him check for oil leaks but he didn't find any. He thought the oil consumption was probably the bottom ring(s) but didn't really want to investigate further because "it is running fine".

For some reason I've always had my plugs gaped at .032. I wonder if that would have caused any problems? I though smaller gaps were for above stock boost. I will try to regap next weekend and do a compression test.

Originally Posted by erudus View Post
We had a very similar issue and were burning oil at about the same rate (or even a bit higher!). No visible signs of oil burning or leaking, no blue smoke out exhaust, no oil in intercooler, etc. We replaced PCV, put in oil restrictor bolt, Rotella 5W-40, even a new K04 to no avail. A mechanic in Denver who knows these engines well said a compression test might not tell you anything but he suspected valve seals or rings, of course. In the end we just rebuilt the engine and had a lot of fun and learned a lot doing it, but I realize that's not for everybody. But like the posts say above, try a new PCV (a relative PITA because you need to remove the IM, or have really tiny hands), maybe an oil restrictor banjo bolt, and see if that improves anything. If those don't work then it's probably engine internals and you need to decide if it is worth it to fix that.
How much did you spend on the rebuild? If it comes to it I'm trying to decide if it's worth it. I already spent $1200 replacing the VVT. I only have 95k miles but my car is almost 12 years old now.

BTW, I've already tried the banjo bolt but it didn't seem to make a difference.
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 Old 10-06-2019, 04:04 PM   #8
 
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Mazda revised the plug gap recommendation a number of years ago to .026”-.028”. This has nothing to do with your oil consumption, but you should have them in spec. and your engine will run better. .032” is not that far from .035”, the point in which many get a boost spark blow out misfire under high boost.

I was never able to get more that 15,000-20,000 miles on a set of plugs, but I was running a tune and catless dp/rp.

You really need to have a current compression test.

PITA or not, if you have good compression, chances are it is the PCV valve.
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 Old 10-09-2019, 02:58 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by MSMS3 View Post
Mazda revised the plug gap recommendation a number of years ago to .026”-.028”. This has nothing to do with your oil consumption, but you should have them in spec. and your engine will run better. .032” is not that far from .035”, the point in which many get a boost spark blow out misfire under high boost.

I was never able to get more that 15,000-20,000 miles on a set of plugs, but I was running a tune and catless dp/rp.

You really need to have a current compression test.

PITA or not, if you have good compression, chances are it is the PCV valve.
I had some time today to regap the plugs and check compression.

I got 165-145-145-175.

Does that seem ok or does it indicate a problem?
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 Old 10-09-2019, 07:15 PM   #10
 
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My car has 80K on original stock motor. I have only recent been learning the car and paying attention. For years when I would bring it in for the 3000-3500 oil change with regular oil I would always be told that there was hardly any oil in the car. I never had a problem and never thought much about it.

Recently learning the car and adding some items I started to pay attention to the oil more. I am now using T6 and checking the oil. The car sounds very much like the OP. No signs of leaking, no smoking and the car seems a kind of jerky when feathering the gas petal. Although I did a few mods to the car including new tune.

I'm going to buy myself a compression test kit and do the same as the OP and keep an eye on this thread. I too have read the PVC may need to be replaced but I really have no clue what that does but have read it a few times when researching.
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 Old 10-10-2019, 05:41 AM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by shawnmos View Post
I had some time today to regap the plugs and check compression.

I got 165-145-145-175.

Does that seem ok or does it indicate a problem?
Not great, but probably ok. I think you should replace the PCV valve. If itís not releasing crankcase pressure, that pressure is pushing oil out past seals and the oil rings on the pistons.

Canít guarantee that will fix your consumption issue, but that compression test and your symptoms point in that direction. Inexpensive mostly plastic part, but the intake manifold hides it. I had to remove it to properly get to the valve.
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 Old 10-10-2019, 06:32 AM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by shawnmos View Post

How much did you spend on the rebuild? If it comes to it I'm trying to decide if it's worth it. I already spent $1200 replacing the VVT. I only have 95k miles but my car is almost 12 years old now.
Keep in mind we did all of the labor ourselves but the machine shop work for the full engine overhaul was $1400, not including any assembly (except the head and they assembled the pistons and rods for us). You'll need to add in pistons and rings at a minimum assuming you will need to go oversize, and main/rod bearings also, and then the misc seals and gaskets. Add another $1000-$1500 for that stuff so you'd be at $2500-$3000 in assuming you only replaced what was absolutely needed. Since you just did your VVT you can leave all of that stuff alone at least.

Hope that helps and keep us posted on what you end up doing!
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 Old 10-10-2019, 06:57 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by erudus View Post
Keep in mind we did all of the labor ourselves but the machine shop work for the full engine overhaul was $1400, not including any assembly (except the head and they assembled the pistons and rods for us). You'll need to add in pistons and rings at a minimum assuming you will need to go oversize, and main/rod bearings also, and then the misc seals and gaskets. Add another $1000-$1500 for that stuff so you'd be at $2500-$3000 in assuming you only replaced what was absolutely needed. Since you just did your VVT you can leave all of that stuff alone at least.

Hope that helps and keep us posted on what you end up doing!
That's about what I figured. I would also have to pay for labor because I have a bad back and I just can't wrench on the engine for more than an hour or 2 without being in a ton of pain. Not sure if it's worth it to rebuild but I'll probably try replacing the PCV first. I'm going to attempt it myself however, because dealer quoted me $500.

Originally Posted by MSMS3 View Post
Not great, but probably ok. I think you should replace the PCV valve. If itís not releasing crankcase pressure, that pressure is pushing oil out past seals and the oil rings on the pistons.

Canít guarantee that will fix your consumption issue, but that compression test and your symptoms point in that direction. Inexpensive mostly plastic part, but the intake manifold hides it. I had to remove it to properly get to the valve.
I will try this next. Even if it doesn't completely solve the consumption issue, I think if I can get it to a more reasonable level I will probably be satisfied.

BTW, does anyone know if the PCV valves on Rockauto are any good, or should I just get the part from the dealer?

Also, I remember reading about an updated valve cover. Should I look into getting that as well?
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Originally Posted by tripppleP View Post

Recently learning the car and adding some items I started to pay attention to the oil more. I am now using T6 and checking the oil. The car sounds very much like the OP. No signs of leaking, no smoking and the car seems a kind of jerky when feathering the gas petal. Although I did a few mods to the car including new tune.
Your post reminded me that changing to the plug gap to .028 helped a lot with the jerking, like 75% reduction. I wonder if I was having spark blow out. I may try gapping down to .026 to see if it helps even further.

What's weird though is I always had the larger gap and this problem is new, so I'm wondering if there is something else going on like the o2 sensor becoming fouled because of the excessive oil consumption.

I may try changing that out as well, but I'm not sure I want to try that until I get the oil consumption under control.

Honestly though, if I had nothing to compare it to, I'd probably say the problem was cured just by adjusting the gap.
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I’d get the OEM PCV valve. It’s not expensive. I’d hate to see you have to do a pretty labor intensive intake manifold R&R twice from trying to save a couple dollars on an aftermarket PCV valve of unknown origin or quality.
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I just got the OEM PCV valve in the mail. I might attempt it this weekend if the tropical storm passes by sunday. However, if I'm taking the intake manifold off will I need all new gaskets?
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Originally Posted by shawnmos View Post
I just got the OEM PCV valve in the mail. I might attempt it this weekend if the tropical storm passes by sunday. However, if I'm taking the intake manifold off will I need all new gaskets?
If you are careful, the gaskets could be reused. The are stamped tin, not cork or paper style.

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