First Gen mazda 3 with 2.3l recommended service approaching 160k km

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Hello all, new member here, I just recently picked up a 2006 Mazda 3 with auto trans and 2.3L engine. I don't know much about the maintenance info on it but want to start doing some preventative maintenance pretty soon. Sorry I am not a mechanic so I will try my best. I checked the fluids in the car and as far as I can tell and based on the service records I could find, the following are all new: trans fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, brakes, engine oil and filter, and air filter. so on a fluid side of things I am already on a good start. seems like mazda forums are mostly dead for the gen 1, so I thought I would ask what I should do for maintenance for my gen 1 mazda 3 with the 2.3L. Here is a list of things, let me know which ones I should do, and which I should skip. Car is almost at 150,000 km which is almost 100k miles

1. spark plugs - will have to see if they have been changed before I do them
2. belts
3. Water pump and thermostat - as far as I read it seems like most people only do the water pump when it starts to leak, but I assume thermostat is preventative maint?
4. Alternator - is this done when it dies or is it kinda a preventative maintenance
5. O2 sensors ?
6. suspension wise car seems fine but will check the shocks and etc
7. Clean maf/throttle body
8. fuel filter?
9. Fresh coolant? I assume just drain the rad and fill it to refresh the fluid?

please let me know which of the following you would for sure do and which you would wait on, also feel free to ad on if i am missing anything

**just added pic of the owners manual, i know some people just follow the owners manual and some dont so i wanted some advice cuz sometimes the owners manual can be overkill**




thank you all so much!
 

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Definitely check the spark plugs since it’s coming up to 100,000. And the coolant flush would be good. Cleaning the MAF isn’t a bad idea but the rest of the stuff I do when it stops or breaks. The serpentine belt replace if it’s worn though. Suspension stuff I usually do with age unless it fails first.
 

mazda3lover

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Definitely check the spark plugs since it’s coming up to 100,000. And the coolant flush would be good. Cleaning the MAF isn’t a bad idea but the rest of the stuff I do when it stops or breaks. The serpentine belt replace if it’s worn though. Suspension stuff I usually do with age unless it fails first.
sounds good thanks a ton! yeah i guess the cleanings don't hurt, and for the coolant i assume just dump out whats in the rad and refill? or does a flush go further then that?

another q, if i wanna see how clean or whatever the fluid is, do i just check the resevoir overflow tank and see the color and condition? or does that not really cycle with the fluid in the rad


thanks!
 
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sounds good thanks a ton! yeah i guess the cleanings don't hurt, and for the coolant i assume just dump out whats in the rad and refill? or does a flush go further then that?

another q, if i wanna see how clean or whatever the fluid is, do i just check the resevoir overflow tank and see the color and condition? or does that not really cycle with the fluid in the rad


thanks!
Yes check the reservoir some of it goes into the reservoir when you shut the engine off so it should be the same color as what’s in the radiator.
 
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I bought the same car at around the same mileage. I did an oil change, air filter, cabin air filter (Its a real pain to do on these cars mine was likely original and stank), belts, tensioner pulley, spark plugs and changed the coolant. I also checked the brakes. Nothing else really needs to be done unless you just want to. The spark plugs are so easy and cheap (I put in denso platinum TT's) I wouldn't bother to take the old ones out without fresh ones to go back in.
 

mazda3lover

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I bought the same car at around the same mileage. I did an oil change, air filter, cabin air filter (Its a real pain to do on these cars mine was likely original and stank), belts, tensioner pulley, spark plugs and changed the coolant. I also checked the brakes. Nothing else really needs to be done unless you just want to. The spark plugs are so easy and cheap (I put in denso platinum TT's) I wouldn't bother to take the old ones out without fresh ones to go back in.
thanks for the reply! what coolant did you use btw? yeah the only reason i wanna check is maybe they were done 10-30k km ago

ty
 
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That engine has one belt; if you buy good one 80K miles easily
spark plug replace every 70K miles with NKG or Denso only
belt tensioner need to be replaced sometime
keep ye on oil and ATF
use Mazda extended life coolant, it will get you another 100K miles
the fuel filter is in the fuel tank, inside fuel pump

you'll love the car I'm sure, easy to maintain and very well build
 

mazda3lover

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That engine has one belt; if you buy good one 80K miles easily
spark plug replace every 70K miles with NKG or Denso only
belt tensioner need to be replaced sometime
keep ye on oil and ATF
use Mazda extended life coolant, it will get you another 100K miles
the fuel filter is in the fuel tank, inside fuel pump

you'll love the car I'm sure, easy to maintain and very well build
thanks! yeah i believe the coolant is the fl22 type, ill see if i can get my hands on it
 

pbm

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If you can't get the FL-22 coolant....Pentosin A2 concentrate is similar....for that matter...any Asian P-HOAT is similar enough. I'd even use PEAK 10X after a good distilled water flush (2 or 3X)...
 
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thanks for the reply! what coolant did you use btw? yeah the only reason i wanna check is maybe they were done 10-30k km ago

ty
Pretty sure I put in the universal 'any make any model' green stuff from Advance.. Haven't had any issues in the 2-3 years since. I know I didn't seek out any sort of special coolant for it. Engine has 2 belts btw the A/C has its own dedicated belt and its one of those stretch fit ones that you have to cut off and use the special tool (or get creative) to get the new one on.
 

mazda3lover

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If you can't get the FL-22 coolant....Pentosin A2 concentrate is similar....for that matter...any Asian P-HOAT is similar enough. I'd even use PEAK 10X after a good distilled water flush (2 or 3X)...
i assume most likely ill do a drain and fill for the rad, so ill probably want the same fluid or very similar fluid eh?
 
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Welcome to BITOG :)

It's probably time to change the spark plugs. The job is very easy on your car, and they don't cost that much.

The belts are also worth replacing unless they look new and/or you have proof they were replaced recently.

Water pumps give plenty of warning before they fail, so you can order it when it starts weeping. They are not a regular periodic maintenance item unless the car has a timing belt (in that case, it's done along with the timing belt), but your car has a timing chain, so you can wait.

Alternators aren't regular wear items.

For the oxygen sensors, you can wait until the check engine light comes on with the code to replace them. If you experience poor fuel economy not explained by anything else, it might be worth replacing them before you get a CEL.

Most recent cars have the fuel filter integrated into the fuel pump housing. No need to replace it at regular intervals. A new one will be provided with the fuel pump if you ever need to replace it.

If you decide to replace the coolant, use Pentofrost A2 or A3, or Zerex Asian Blue, or Recochem OEM green or blue. The Lisle coolant funnel is awesome and makes the job very easy :)

Also, changing the transmission fluid is very easy because Mazda provides a drain plug. Maxlife is good. Castrol Full Synthetic ATF is good. Even the house brand multi-vehicle LV synthetic is good. Also, Ford used the same transmission but is too stupid to include a drain plug :mad:

Don't forget the air filter and cabin filter too
 

mazda3lover

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Welcome to BITOG :)

It's probably time to change the spark plugs. The job is very easy on your car, and they don't cost that much.

The belts are also worth replacing unless they look new and/or you have proof they were replaced recently.

Water pumps give plenty of warning before they fail, so you can order it when it starts weeping. They are not a regular periodic maintenance item unless the car has a timing belt (in that case, it's done along with the timing belt), but your car has a timing chain, so you can wait.

Alternators aren't regular wear items.

For the oxygen sensors, you can wait until the check engine light comes on with the code to replace them. If you experience poor fuel economy not explained by anything else, it might be worth replacing them before you get a CEL.

Most recent cars have the fuel filter integrated into the fuel pump housing. No need to replace it at regular intervals. A new one will be provided with the fuel pump if you ever need to replace it.

If you decide to replace the coolant, use Pentofrost A2 or A3, or Zerex Asian Blue, or Recochem OEM green or blue. The Lisle coolant funnel is awesome and makes the job very easy :)

Also, changing the transmission fluid is very easy because Mazda provides a drain plug. Maxlife is good. Castrol Full Synthetic ATF is good. Even the house brand multi-vehicle LV synthetic is good. Also, Ford used the same transmission but is too stupid to include a drain plug :mad:

Don't forget the air filter and cabin filter too

wow thanks a ton for the list! The main thing I wanted to ask about is the thermostat and coolant, is thermostat a preventative thing or just when it breaks? I am thinking of just doing a drain and fill rather then a flush since it looks relatively clean. Would it be best to use the mazda fluid then? i heard good things bout how the fl22 fluid that mazda has which apparently runs longer so wouldnt hurt to run that.

perfect the rest seems easy enough ahah
 
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wow thanks a ton for the list! The main thing I wanted to ask about is the thermostat and coolant, is thermostat a preventative thing or just when it breaks? I am thinking of just doing a drain and fill rather then a flush since it looks relatively clean. Would it be best to use the mazda fluid then? i heard good things bout how the fl22 fluid that mazda has which apparently runs longer so wouldnt hurt to run that.

perfect the rest seems easy enough ahah

Yes, a drain and fill is fine. There is nothing wrong with buying OEM Mazda coolant, but it does cost more. Yes, all you need to do is a drain and fill. The Lisle funnel is for when you refill the radiator after draining, to bleed the coolant and get the air out.

The thermostat isn't a wear item replaced at regular intervals, but if the job is easy on your car, it doesn't hurt to replace it. Get an OEM thermostat., if you decide to replace it.
 
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OEM coolant worked well for me - it wasn't that expensive. (Ford used to a have a version if they are closer - Specialty Green or something like that).

The thermostat is plastic - mine failed and kicked out a check engine light. It was a pretty easy fix.

I would go with the Mazda ATF (double check, but I used Ford fluid FNR5) - someone put a universal fluid in mine and it needed an early rebuild.

Plugs are easy - if you have oil in the wells, replacing the gaskets is pretty straight-forward.

Motor mounts were an issue for me (I had a Mazda 6). If you have an idle vibration - replace them with OEM, start at the engine side and move back if money is an issue. (There are 3 - the trans mount is most difficult). Don't waste your time with aftermarket - the bolt sizes are wrong, and make the problem worse.

A random one - the trans selector switch can rust up and cause gear issues. I would just hit it with some fluid film to keep it free.

It seems easy to work air into the ABS - if you brake bleed fluid, kick the ABS on Dukes of Hazzard style and bleed again.

I did clean the throttle body a few times - but didn't notice much change.

Hope it helps - I actually learned a lot messing with that motor.
 

mazda3lover

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Thanks for all the help! I need help with the coil on boots, there old and might as well replace them with the plugs. I know spark plugs are finicky and u want to run oem or something similar to oem so ill be running the oem plugs, any help on which one of these coil on boots would be best for my mazda or does it not matter? im thinking between the ngk, denso, and the delco. seems odd to me that the ngk is one of the lower priced ones, i thought ngk was basically oem and is usually expensive?


thanks!
 

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