Wrong Kind of Oil? - 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 Long-Term Road Test

2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Long-Term Road Test

2010 Mazdaspeed 3: Wrong Kind of Oil?

October 18, 2010


Last Friday I took our Mazdaspeed 3 in for its 20,000-mile oil change and tire rotation service. The resulting blog post was pretty routine until the post's comments section where I answered a question about whether we used regular oil or synthetic. I wrote synthetic and "5W20," which was listed on the service invoice. Well, liquoredonlife and ms3fun both caught this as the incorrect recommended oil for a Speed 3.

In fact, the recommended oil is 5W30 (the "30" meaning it has a higher temperature threshold). I looked in the manual to make sure. 5W20 is the recommended oil for regular Mazda 3s, but not the Speed. Then the question was: did the dealer use the right oil in the car and just misprint it on the invoice? After all, "5W30" is printed on the oil filler cap and the Speed 3 has a big, honkin' intercooler on the top of the engine to remind people it's no ordinary 3.

So I called the dealer and talked to the service advisor who wrote me up. He said he didn't know but would find out and call me back. OK, I said. I waited for about 30 minutes. Mentally, I was preparing for the situation where he might say that they did in fact use the right oil. But that was going to be unacceptable in my opinion; given the disparity, it seemed to me that the oil should be changed no matter what. Thankfully, when he did call back he said they did use the wrong oil. He apologized and asked when I could bring the car back. I'll be taking it back tomorrow.

It's annoying and a hassle. But I'm glad some owners caught this. Even if I owned our Speed 3 and knew 5W30 was the right oil, I might not have actually looked at the paperwork. Another reason to change the oil yourself?

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 20,422 miles

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