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Problems with engine failure in my 2010 Mazda 6

Asked by Peter

I own a 2010 Mazda 6 2.2L turbo-diesel wagon. The vehicle is in excellent condition, has always been serviced regularly and was running without issue. Approximately one month ago, the car was being driven home by my partner when it suddenly stopped without any warning. Thinking it was an electrical issue, the car was taken to an auto electrician. It was not an electrical issue but diagnosed as engine failure.

The oil was drained and the sump was removed. A vast amount of metal shavings in the oil and bottom end was found. It was conveyed to me by the technician that this type of failure was a known problem with this particular Mazda engine. Having done some research, I see that other owners have suffered premature engine failures, with metal shavings and a blocked engine oil strainer common themes.

I find it highly irregular that a vehicle that has been well looked after and maintained, has suffered this type of failure after only 10 years and that Mazda mechanics did not see any problems when they changed the engine oil on the last service. The last oil change for this vehicle was just under 10,000 kms ago as per the service schedule. I have read online that Mazda mechanics were told to check these engines regularly for issues that would lead to an engine failure. If this is correct, it would appear that these checks have not been carried out. What can I do here?

Answered by CarsGuide

8 Feb 2021 David Morley

This is a known problem in the Mazda turbo-diesel, and many owners have suffered similar failures. The problem begins with the formation of hard, carbon deposits in the top end of the engine which eventually find their way into the engine’s sump and block the oil pick-up. When that happens, the engine can’t pump oil efficiently and some parts of the engine become oil-starved. That’s when a build-up of friction and, therefore, heat, will cause a catastrophic failure with the attendant metal shavings that were subsequently discovered in your engine.

So why was the problem missed? An enthusiastic mechanic will always have a look at the oil that comes out of an engine, looking for just the symptoms you’ve noted. A really keen technician will sometimes even cut the old oil filter open to check for anything that shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately, in the context of a busy workshop with price-conscious customers, this doesn’t always happen. In the Mazda’s engine, the normal practice should be to check the strainer that covers the oil pick-up, but, again, that may not have been the case with your engine. If the workshop you used was a Mazda dealership, I’d be asking management why that process wasn’t followed. Even then, it’s difficult to say whether this check would have saved your engine, as the damage may already have been done.

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