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Change Your Oil - Now!
Compliments of BestCS @ forum.miata.net
I notice that many of you have difficulties changing your oil, and I have decided to come to your rescue. I was motivated upon reading about some poor soul being charged $75 by a dealer to do it. However, the poor dealer ran into a lot of problems plus he was supervised by the owner which always costs extra. BTW, I'll be happy to do it for $75 too!
A couple of notes. An unlowered car will be easier than a lowered one to R&R the oil and filter. In my case, my car is lowered 1.25" in the front due to Eibach Coilovers. In the first pic, you'll see my car up on Rhino Ramps. There isn't any problem driving the car straight up on them. The plastic whatevers that hang down on each side probably scrape the ramp but they bend and aren't damaged by the trip up and down them.
Also in the pic are the tools required. I have to warn you if this is your first change, you'll likely have trouble since the filter is difficult to removed due to being screwed on extremely tight. I solved this problem by having the dealer do it. BTW, my purchase of the car included free oil changes and filters for the life of the car!
After the first change, I started doing them myself. I drive 10,000 miles or less each year, so I only change it once each year. This is more than sufficient due to using Mobil 1 5W20. BTW, I just bought a 5 qt jug for only $22 - I'm a lucky fellow!
The tools and parts shown in the pic are:
1. 12mm socket to remove plate covering up filter (second pic).
2. 17mm socket for the drain plug.
3. 3/8" ratchet with long extension.
4. Cap filter wrench.
5. Oil Drain Pan.
7. Jug of Mobil 1 5W20
Not shown but on hand several red rags to wipe up any spills.
The proceedure is very simple. Using the ratchet & 12mm socket, remove the cover exposing the filter on the driver's side. With the ratchet and long extension, attach the cap filter wrench. Place the cap over the filter and loosen it. The extension will be right up against a metal member, but there is more than sufficient room to loosen the filter.
Don't remove the filter just yet. Also make sure you have removed the oil fill cap from the engine to allow air to enter the engine cover. Positioned the drain pan. Remember the oil will arc out from the drain hole, so you'll have to move the pan off from it. Now with the ratchet and 17MM socket, remove the engine drain plug. Let the oil thoroughly drain until it barely drips. Replace the drain plug always using a new washer. Tighten it down with the ratchet - easy does it you ain't tightening your lug nuts!
Now reposition your drain pan under the filter and remove it. You likely have some spillage, but it'll easily wipe up with your red rags. Make sure the filter's gasket comes off along with the filter. Wipe off the metal seat for the filter with your red rag and smear some fresh oil on the gasket of the new filter. Screw the filter home until the gaskets just touches. I now tighten the sucker as tight as I can get it by hand.
Pour 4.5 qts of oil from your new jug of Mobil 1 into your engine. I just use the marking on the jug leaving a half qt remaining. Replace the cap.
Start the engine and let it idle. I let it completely warm up while I'm underneath checking for any leaks. I use a small pen light checking carefully around the filter.
You're done! Congratulate your helper, last pic, and drive off into the sunset!
My helper's name is Stanton. He tells me that he has relatives all over the world due to his father being a wandering sort!
I got the cap filter wrench at Wal-Mart; however, I've noticed that every Mazda dealer in the Marketplace offers a wrench to fit the MX-5 filter. I seem to remember some of them offered a free wrench if you bought a bunch of filters - you might check?
Yes you can reach the filter from behind. In fact, I believe this how the dealer does it. But I feel removing the plate is an easier approach for the novice.
Bosch oil filter part# 3330 is my preferred filter when I can't get a Mazda. Available at any Autozone.
I'd highly recommend getting a magnetic drain plug for the engine. I've had one on every car I've owned. Althought all I've ever gotten is a tiny bit of black fuzzy stuff on them, it might warn of engine bearing failure? Anyway, they look nice, and it's another wonderful way to dispose of disposable income!