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Hello,
Sorry if this is a little lengthy, I just wanted you to get the whole story.

A little history about my car. I have a 2004 Mazda 6i 2.3L MTX with 98,000 miles on it. This is the first car that I’ve purchased brand new. Since 2005 I’ve started to do my own regular maintenance. I know just enough about cars to perform basic maintenance. A couple years back, the check engine light started to come on for a couple days and then go off for a few weeks. I decided to take it to a mechanic. It was when the CEL was off. He said that his computer was not getting an error code. Without that, he could not repair it. He ran it on the streets a little bit and he said it seemed like it was running fine. He charged me for his time and that was that. It left a very bitter taste in my mouth that he said he couldn’t do anything . Since then, the check engine light would come on here and there but then go off after a couple days.

I use Mobil1 5w-30 Synthetic and have been almost the entire time I have been doing my own maintenance. I started to notice a couple years ago that my car was starting to go though more oil. I would put in 4 qts and 5000 miles later I would get about 2-2.5 qts back. I did research on this form and saw that some people were talking about their engine burning oil too and just thought it was something that was “normal” for this engine. I started to check the oil more frequently and tried to add an extra quart when needed.

A few months ago, I was driving on the streets when I felt a sudden jerk (as if I was just learning how to drive a stick shift again) and the check engine light came on. Later on that day it went away. Its been doing that more frequently. I also started to hear a rattle coming from the engine starting at about 2000 rpms. A few times when at a stop, idling, the car was rev up to 1500 – 3000 rpms for a few seconds then stop by itself. A couple Friday’s ago, I went to go start my car in the morning and it started and was idling fine. I put it in gear and give it gas but the car didn’t move. I gave it a little more gas, RPMs increased and the car barely started to move). I turned the car off, then back on and tried it again but no success. I got a ride to work and looked at the car later that day. Tried it again and the car was now moving but as I was giving it more gas, the engine was sounding really rough and the speedometer was bouncing. The speedometer would not increase in speed smoothly. It would jump up for a split second and then come back down to the current speed. I also noticed the check engine light was now starting to blink. I did research on this forum and decided not to drive it.

I had it towed to a mechanic. He saw the rattle starting at 2000 rpm and saw that the oil was low about 2.5 qts . He said that based on what he examined so far, he feels it’s the connecting rod bearing. To confirm it, he needs to drop the oil pan which will cost about $500 in labor. From there they can confirm it is the connecting rod bearing. He can try to install a new bearing from there but if he cannot it will be another $1,000 in labor costs to take the engine apart. In other words, possibly $1,500 to replace a $10 part. Best case, $500 to just drop the oil pan and get to it from there.

I’ve talked to a lot of people this weekend and did some research on this forum but I don’t know what to do. Some have suggested to just trade it in for whatever I can and get a new or used car. Others have said, go to the actual dealer or another shop for a second opinion. My brother mentioned finding a place that sells used/rebuilt engines and asking them to swap the engine out.
I’m turning to the wisdom of the forum to ask for help…please. In hindsight, there are a few things I should have done differently (checked oil more frequently, taken it to the mechanic sooner, etc) but it’s too late for that. Do any of these issues sound familiar to anyone? Has anyone experiencing something similar? Any suggestions/advice? Thank you for your help.
 

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i just don't get how it's $500 to drop the pan? i can drop the pan in 20min or so, including draining the oil, though i don't have the skid plate under the car....maybe he's never worked on the car, cause it just sounds pricey.

there are several things it could be, and most aren't fun. if you are ready to get rid of the car, it couldn't hurt. it will be cheaper to fix it than get a new car obviously, but you'd be putting money into a car that is only worth twice what you are paying for the engine in many cases. but you'd still have your 6.
 

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Thank you for your response MrTea.

I removed the skid plate on my 6 a while ago when I saw it really wasnt needed. He is a mechanic in Fullerton. I did my research on him and he had good reviews online. He is also conviently located within walking distance from my work. Bad thing is it seems like his shop is swamped with work. He said it would be about 5-6 hrs of labor to drop the oil pan and confirm its the connecting rod bearings. I really dont think he wants the job.

Could you suggest what else it might be? Any tests I can run? Right now Im planning to have the car towed to a guy in Rancho. There is a guy out there that, hopefully, take the engine apart and change the connecting rod bearings (along with anything else that might need replacing) for a fraction of the price. My uncle has used him a few times in the past and says he does really good work. My 6 only has 98000 on it, Im not ready to give up on her yet.

Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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i've told a couple other people, but you might be able to contact Randy who works with F2. Not sure if he still works at the Puente Hills Mazda dealer at all, but he used to and used to do side jobs as well.

He's done A LOT of engine stuff with Ricardo and F2, let alone what he's done with Mazda, so he's go the experience, i just don't know about the time?

And though i don't know how much he knows about the MZR, Mark over here in Westminster at MD Automotive is a really honest guy who is very trustworthy in my opinion.
 

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Once again, thank you MrTea for the information. I would like to try to contact Randy. I live around the Puente Hillls area and the Puente Hills Mazda closed down a little while ago. I cant find a contact number for F2. Could you please PM me a contact number for Randy? Thank you.
 

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i never use the phone, try [email protected] or jump on the forums at f2usa.com and pm him, he's "nuketech"
 

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I would put in 4 qts and 5000 miles later I would get about 2-2.5 qts back. I did research on this form and saw that some people were talking about their engine burning oil too and just thought it was something that was “normal” for this engine.
My experience is that this is not normal. My car has 70,000+ miles on it and every time I change the oil the oil level stays near same. I think loosing 2.5 qts in 5000 miles is pretty significant.

A few months ago, I was driving on the streets when I felt a sudden jerk (as if I was just learning how to drive a stick shift again) and the check engine light came on. Later on that day it went away. Its been doing that more frequently. I also started to hear a rattle coming from the engine starting at about 2000 rpms. A few times when at a stop, idling, the car was rev up to 1500 – 3000 rpms for a few seconds then stop by itself. A couple Friday’s ago, I went to go start my car in the morning and it started and was idling fine. I put it in gear and give it gas but the car didn’t move. I gave it a little more gas, RPMs increased and the car barely started to move). I turned the car off, then back on and tried it again but no success. I got a ride to work and looked at the car later that day. Tried it again and the car was now moving but as I was giving it more gas, the engine was sounding really rough and the speedometer was bouncing. The speedometer would not increase in speed smoothly. It would jump up for a split second and then come back down to the current speed. I also noticed the check engine light was now starting to blink. I did research on this forum and decided not to drive it.
You should definitely be able to get a code off the car now. Take it to autozone. They do it for free. You can also checkout a scanner from them if you dont want to drive the car. Just put a security deposit down and when you bring it back they will credit the money back. Post the code(s) on the forum when you can.

At first guess this sounds like a misfire. Pull the plugs and check if they are still good (not worn out or fouled from burning oil). Change the wires (youre due for new ones anyway).

I had it towed to a mechanic. He saw the rattle starting at 2000 rpm and saw that the oil was low about 2.5 qts . He said that based on what he examined so far, he feels it’s the connecting rod bearing.

What did he do when he did his 'inspection'? At a min he should have used a scope and found out exactly where the noise was coming from. A test that you can do (and the mech should probably have done) is to remove each of the spark plug wires one at a time while the engine is running. Doing so will cause significant loading changes on the bearings.. if its a bad bearing the noise should significantly change.
Also the 2.5 qts oil loss is not caused by a bad connecting rod. The oil empties back into the pan...infact its normal operation.

Assuming that the rattle sound isnt a blatantly obvious hard knocking sound from the bottom of the engine... im not totally convinced you have a bearing failure. I would correct the engine misfire first and see if the rattle is still problem.

To confirm it, he needs to drop the oil pan which will cost about $500 in labor.
insane
From there they can confirm it is the connecting rod bearing. He can try to install a new bearing from there but if he cannot it will be another $1,000 in labor costs to take the engine apart.
He shouldn't have any problems replacing the bearing from there.
Really the only reason I can see him needing to take the engine apart for a connecting rod bearing is if the crank bearing surface is also damaged or something else happened in the engine that caused the bearing failure.


 

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Thank you all for your help on this thread.

Mr. Tea, thank you for suggesting Randy from F2 to help with my car. She is back up and running. He did an great job and I will defenatly use him in future projects.
 

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sweet, glad it worked out.

...now he just needs to finish my car!
 

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Hello,

I know this tread is already pretty old, but I wanted to share this anyway. I also had a rattling noise in a Mazda 6 2.0 engine, engine had run with oil level below minimum and must have some internal damage. Visited several workshops for advise and repair, but didn't get a clear answer. Could be the valves (hydraulic valve lifters) or pistons, both would be very expensive to repair. Since I have some engine engineering knowledge, both lifters and pistons were not very likely to me. I decided to investigate by myself and read the info above where the conrod bearings were mentioned as possible cause for the rattling. To me this sounded very likely, since this bearing is the most sensitive for oil starvation. Also these bearings are very cheap (€30) and relatively easy to exchange (2 hours work), so last Sunday I removed the oil sump and removed the conrod caps. I found both cylinder 1 and 2 conrod bearings with severe bearing seizing damage. I replace all conrod bearings and closed the engine. Put new oil in and started the engine carefully (build up oil pressure first) and was pleasantly surprised that the rattling noise had disappeared.
Thank you all for your good advise in the discussion above, this pointed me in the right direction and saved me a lot of money. Great forum.
 
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