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Old 04-14-2016, 12:36 PM   #1
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Default If you do your own oil changes, you have to keep good records

I have a 2015 mazda3 2.5L manual with about 18k miles on it. It started making a ticking sound at light throttle load, it does it at almost any RPM, the noise is truly tied to a narrow range of light throttle (on the edge of cruise) and it isn't something like a heat shield rattle. I brought it into my dealership to have them look at it, they determined the noise is internal to the engine but haven't investigated beyond that. They want to put a new engine in, and now Mazda wants me to show them proof of all my oil changes.

I spent the last hour talking to different autozone offices to try and retrieve a record of oil purchases I have made - No luck. My last oil purchase was from this dealership, and I do have a receipt along with an empty bottle of mazda 0w20 but it only specifies a cash total. Aside from that I have a receipt from rosenthal for bulk purchase of oil filters from when I did the first change on the car (it has had 3 oil changes):
http://i.imgur.com/5xBa2yb.png

I am hoping the mostly empty bottles from two changes plus the documentation from this recent oil purchase + my bulk purchase of filters is enough but I suspect I am going to have to lawyer up. If you chose to do your own oil changes, keep receipts in a binder and it probably wouldn't hurt to take an oil sample each time and keep it along side the oil purchase receipts.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:03 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by asmasm View Post
I have a 2015 mazda3 2.5L manual with about 18k miles on it. It started making a ticking sound at light throttle load, it does it at almost any RPM, the noise is truly tied to a narrow range of light throttle (on the edge of cruise) and it isn't something like a heat shield rattle. I brought it into my dealership to have them look at it, they determined the noise is internal to the engine but haven't investigated beyond that. They want to put a new engine in, and now Mazda wants me to show them proof of all my oil changes.

I spent the last hour talking to different autozone offices to try and retrieve a record of oil purchases I have made - No luck. My last oil purchase was from this dealership, and I do have a receipt along with an empty bottle of mazda 0w20 but it only specifies a cash total. Aside from that I have a receipt from rosenthal for bulk purchase of oil filters from when I did the first change on the car (it has had 3 oil changes):
http://i.imgur.com/5xBa2yb.png

I am hoping the mostly empty bottles from two changes plus the documentation from this recent oil purchase + my bulk purchase of filters is enough but I suspect I am going to have to lawyer up. If you chose to do your own oil changes, keep receipts in a binder and it probably wouldn't hurt to take an oil sample each time and keep it along side the oil purchase receipts.
Dealerships. They wanted $350 to press out diff bushings on a case that was already off the car. Pounced them out with a hammer and chisel in 15 mins.

Is this warranty work you're trying to get done? Did you do so much as modify a single bolt on the car?
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:04 PM   #3
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Warranty work - 100% stock car.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:16 PM   #4
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It's scary to think about something like that happening, definitely not something you expect to happen on a new car. I always do all my own work and suck at documenting stuff. I guess it's a good thing I always buy cheap cars that are well out of warranty anyway. I'll definitely keep that in mind if I ever purchase something new.
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Old 04-14-2016, 03:53 PM   #5
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I don't buy new vehicles because they screw you even if there are no problems.

Surely you used a credit card for some purchases from auto parts stores during that time period, oil filters or something else. Produce the credit card statements and highlight the parts stores.

If there has been no teardown, there is no way to ascertain the root cause and you cannot be found at fault for an assembly error or material defect.

Mazda and the dealer have financial incentives for not covering anything under warranty. Make it clear to the dealership that you will not be purchasing an engine from them if they determine it is not a warrantable failure. Tell them you will find a low-mile salvage engine and have it installed by an independent shop if necessary. That means they will only make money if they replace it under warranty. Tell them you bought the car from them and would like to allow them to do the warranty work if they are interested. But if they aren't willing to work on your behalf to get it warrantied by the manufacturer, you can't in good conscience spend any more money with them.
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:00 PM   #6
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I used a debit card for the purchases but the bank information has no detail about what I bought and I have ~20 autozone purchases in this time frame. The impression I get is the dealer wants to do the service. If I don't get covered, I will take it elsewhere or do it myself and then seek compensation from mazda through an attorney. Im not sure how hard mazda makes it to swap a skyactiv. My limited experience with my shitbox mini cooper suggests modern cars have your vin coded into every part and you need to pay a dealer $$$ to have it flashed.

I have documentation for two out of the three oil changes I have done, one of which is just oil filters and a crush washer, but who buys a 5 pack of oil filters and then doesn't use them?

The car still drives fine, no misfire, no hesitation, just that sound.
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:04 PM   #7
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whatever, they can look at your current oil and see if it's 1. full and 2. coked.
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:12 PM   #8
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Apparently I bought my first oil change's oil on amazon and I found a receipt for that. Now I have:

Receipt for 5 pack of oil filters
Receipt for first change at 6k miles
A picture of a half empty bottle of mobile 1 0w20 from the change I did at ~12k
My oil purchase receipt from the change I did 3 week ago at ~17k miles


I need to buy everything on amazon. They keep great records which is helpful at tax time and then when something unexpected like this happens.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:29 PM   #9
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I'm sorry, isn't this kindof obvious? Yes, if you buy a new car and do your own oil changes, you should keep religious records of services in the event that warranty work is required.

Mazda as a brand is very particular about warranty work. Many times, Mazda denies a warranty claim and the dealer ends up eating it because we believe it's a warranteeable issue. Your dealer CAN do this, but probably won't because well, it's a lot of money and you should have kept good records.

Just know that it's Mazda that's being particular about the service records, not the dealership.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:39 PM   #10
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let me add to that: all manufacturers are like this.
subaru, ford, mazda, just about everyone.

if they can get out of not paying huge money for a new engine, even if it's defective, they will
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:46 PM   #11
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Just as a counter point- mazda doesn't just get to deny warranty coverage because they want to. They need to explicitly show the cause of the problem and that I neglected to do the maintenance they said I needed to do. Fortunately, because I did that maintenance, that shouldn't be possible for them to prove. If they tell me no on the warranty coverage I will attempt to escalate the issue with mazda corporate, failing that I will get a lawyer. Either way, I'm not paying out of pocket for a new engine in a 18k mile car. If for some reason I have to get a junk yard engine and install it myself mazda is going to receive a small claims filing with additional damaged assessed for how much of my time they are wasting.

I can provide solid proof for two out of the three oil changes and I have good evidence in the form of empty 0w20 bottles for the third (which is a difference brand of oil than either of the two oils I have receipts for). I think it would be pretty unreasonable for them to blame oil change maintenance on me, especially without them having diagnosed what is actually wrong with the engine.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:55 PM   #12
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Indeed would be pretty unreasonable for them to deny the claim. However, they're not just denying it "because they want to". in the warranty book that is included with your new car, it states that maintenance must be performed in accordance with the manufacturer recommendations, or else your warranty is void. The burden of proof lies with YOU that you did the maintenance, not on THEM that you didn't.

I know I'm playing the devil's advocate here because people hate getting screwed. I get it, you did your oil changes. But it was pretty dumb not to document it, as you now see.

The dealership likely wouldn't try to figure out what's wrong with the engine. Mazda will pay for them to swap it out, and the engine will likely go back to Mazda and they'll do what they will with it. Trust me -- with the training and oversight these dealership technicians receive (or don't receive, more accurately), you don't want them tearing into the engine -- you want them to take it out and put another one in.
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:11 PM   #13
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Hmm, my wife's 08 crv my 06 Ridgeline came with a maintenance booklet for the owner performed maintenance, her 2016 crv did not come with such a booklet.
I refuse to take my cars to the dealer for routine maintenance, they only do aligments and recalls for me.
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:42 PM   #14
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Do oil analysis on a sample of current oil.
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:38 AM   #15
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That was going to be my recommendation.

That'll show that its fresh, and if there is metal it will show that it is infact an internal issue, on top of this it shows that you know how diagnosis of this stuff works and that you're taking your self defense seriously.

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Old 04-15-2016, 01:57 AM   #16
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You'll likely be fine. this isn't some modded out beat to death car that's never been maintained.
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Old 04-15-2016, 09:37 AM   #17
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anything you provide to mazda is only evidence against yourself for them to further deny your warranty claim.


they need to first prove the issue was the result of improper oil changes, which they havent.

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Old 04-15-2016, 09:48 AM   #18
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And now you understand why cars with a warranty I let the dealership do everything.

And my local Subaru dealer seems to be pretty cool. When I brought it in for the first oil change and switched everything over to Motul, they did the transmission and diff change for cheap.

Don't complain about the car being fairly low, rotate my tires for free, etc.

Does remind me I need to flash back to stock before I take it in for an oil change tomorrow, I'll even let them drop a new filter and wiper blades on it.
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:05 AM   #19
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I already told the dealership that if mazda says no I am coming in to take an oil sample with them present. I ordered two kits so they can have one as well. That way nobody will end up questioning the source of the sample or if it was taken correctly.

Last edited by asmasm; 04-15-2016 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:46 AM   #20
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I guess I'm lucky. When my Poncho G8GT ate its camshaft at 30K (known issue on the DOD V8s), the dealer didn't ask any questions at all . . . just did the work. It was a big job too. I'm thinking there were 2 reasons for that:

1. Known issue. Really common on truck and SUVs. That dealer had done a lot of them and had the upgraded parts in stock.

2. Car had an oil life monitor for oil changes, so there wasn't a predetermined mileage requirement. In fact, I'm shocked at how long the car goes between oil changes. I change the other cars much more frequently.

In general though, my favorite cars have always been the ones I bought for between $3K and $4K.
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