Oil Changes: Why you should do them.

Two weeks ago I spent the weekend back at home in Detroit working on a 2004 Mazda3 I bought. The problem: Blown motor.

Now, blown motors are nothing new to me, in fact the first car I ever drove around had a blown motor when I bought it. This motor though… definitely something I have never seen before.

Image

In this photo, the motor looks pretty much intact, and had the symptoms of almost every blown motor i’ve had to deal with. It starts, it makes some NASTY rod knock, and has no power.

When I started to dig into the motor more, the worse it got. First I took off the starter, only to find this behind it:Image

Hmm.. that interesting. Holes in blocks, not TOTALLY out of the question.

As i started to dig into the motor more and pull more things off getting it ready to be taken out of the car, I removed the alternator and had a piece of connecting rod fall into my lap. This exposed yet another hole. Two holes, two sides of the motor. Good god, that’s pretty nuts.

Finally got the motor out and had it hanging on the engine hoist. I removed the AC compressor and flipped the motor around and BOOM!

Image

Three holes. One the size of a small fist and on different sides of the block. Cylinders one and four were obviously not very happy campers.

Now, I haven’t dug more into the block to be able to use my industrial autopsy experience to make a statement on the cause of death, but I can tell you one thing just based on the color of the oil that spewed out, and the profound smell of the entire engine. The oil wasn’t changed very often.

So please, take these pictures to heart when your 3k, 5k or 10k or whatever the manufacturer suggest as an oil change interval rolls around. $80 in oil over the course of 10 years is a much smaller price than over $1500 for an engine replacement.

More on this later when I have the chance to dig into it more.

-Garrett

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