OIL LEVEL CHECK
See Figures 1 and 2
Check the oil level, on all models, with the engine cold or as the last procedure at a fuel stop, to allow the oil time to drain back into the sump (about 10 minutes). The engine is equipped with an oil level sensor which signals, through a light on the instrument panel, when oil level is low. If the light comes on while driving, stop the engine and check the oil level immediately.
- Remove the dipstick and wipe the oil off of the end using a clean, lint-free rag.
- Insert the dipstick all the way into its tube.
- Remove the dipstick and hold it level, so that the oil won't run up or down the stick and give a false reading. Note the oil level. It should be between the L and F marks. If not, fill the engine with clean oil until it is level with or near the F mark. Do not overfill the engine.
By nature, the rotary engine uses oil. In fact, there is a small pump on the engine which mixes a small amount of oil with the fuel to lubricate the gas seals in the engine. Normally, the rotary engine consumes about one quart of oil every thousand miles, although one quart every five hundred miles is not unheard of.
OIL AND FILTER CHANGE
See Figures 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8
You will need a large capacity drain pan, which you can purchase at an automotive store. Another necessity is containers for the used oil. You will find that plastic bottles such as those used for bleach or fabric softener, make excellent storage jugs. One ecologically desirable solution to the used oil disposal problem is to find a cooperative gas station owner who will allow you to dump your used oil into his tank.
Change the oil and filter at least every 6,000 miles. The car should be driven about 10 miles in order to get the oil hot immediately before draining it.
There is considerable debate in the auto industry about how frequently the oil filter should be changed. Note that the recommendation of both Mazda Motor Corporation and the editors of this information is that the filter be changed at every oil change. This not only ensures adequate filtration even if the car is driven short distances in cold weather, but removes dirty oil from the filter and oil galleries, permitting more effective removal of acids and abrasive materials.
- Park the car on a level surface. Set the parking brake and block the wheels.
- Working from underneath the car, remove the oil pan drain plug. Have a large, flat container of sufficient capacity ready to catch the oil.
- Allow all of the oil to drain into the container.
On rotary engine cars, the oil filter is easily accessible; it is located on top of the engine, next to the oil filler tube. On cars with piston engines, it is located on the right side or rear of the engine.
- Use a band wrench to remove the oil filter. Note that on the diesel, there are two oil filters: a standard, full-flow oil filter and a bypass oil filter. The bypass filter is replaced at the same interval and in the same way as the standard filter.
Place a container underneath the filter as it will leak oil.
- Clean the oil filter mounting flange with a cloth.
- Lubricate the oil filter O-ring and the mounting surface of the filter with engine oil.
- Install the filter, being careful not to damage the O-ring.
- Tighten the filter by hand, approximately 3 / 4 turn after the gasket contacts the sealing surface. Do not use the band-wrench to tighten it. On diesel engines, tighten the bypass oil filter 2 / 3 turn after the gasket contacts the sealing surface, using a band wrench only if necessary.
- Wipe off and then install the drain plug, using care not to damage its threads.
- Working from above the engine, remove the oil filler cap and add the specified amount of proper viscosity oil through the filler opening. (If the filter is being replaced in conjunction with an oil change, be sure the crankcase is refilled with the specified total oil capacity, as indicated in the Capacities chart.)
- Start the engine without applying throttle and idle it until a few seconds after the oil light goes out. Stop the engine and allow it to sit for five minutes or so until all oil has drained back into the crankcase. Then, check the oil level with the dipstick and replenish as necessary. Check for leaks around the drain plug and the filter sealing surfaces.