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Keys to a high mileage engine
Here are some things that I have done to have a 190K+ mileage V6 engine. I have not babied my engine at all except the first few thousand miles since new and do drive quite aggressively. After reading so many horror stories, I decided to give some advice to all those that have this engine.
1. If new (probably does not apply any more), vary engine RPM for the first 500 or so miles. This will help break the engine in.
2. I have used Mazda filters and went to Mazda dealerships for oil changes for first 15K miles oil (free oil changes came with the car). After that, I have been using Pureone oil filters with either Amsoil 5W20 or Mobil 1 5W20 fully synthetic every 5K miles.
3. Replace my PCV valve every 20K or every year. They are not that expensive. I also replaced the PCV hose at around 150K. It is a revised design. I seems thicker and sturdier compared to the old one. I noticed that the old one would get compressed as if someone were squeezing it at idle (highest engine vacuum). Don't know if this leads to oil being sucked into the engine as well since the hose has a smaller opening now causing increased pressure in the hose.
4. Check your oil regularly (every few days, week, or gas fill up). Also check it on a level surface. Your readings will vary if you're on a hill or sloped street.
5. Get those flashing check engine lights taken care of quickly. That usually means you have an engine misfire. This will cause unburnt gas to enter the cats and cause the internals to melt, then eventually breaking down and getting sucked into your engine. I did get the misfire CEL at around 105K and did not drive it at all. Had it towed to the dealership where they raped me for changing all the spark plugs and coils. I was gonna do it myself, but too cold out.
6. If you get the precat check engine light, you need to replace the cats ASAP! Try not to drive the vehicle. Either replace with OEM cats or MSDS or CPE headers. I currently have MSDS headers with a high flow cat using stock cat back and have had them since 123K miles. I believe there is a federal warranty that requires the dealership to replace them even after the standard warranty is overdue.
7. Fix any oil leaks (oil pan gasket, front crankshaft seal, rear main seal)
8. Replace your spark plugs and coils. I replace my spark plugs with stock ones every 60K miles. I currently have NGk iridiums though.
9. For those with the top end ticking noise, I have had that since day 1.
10. I have used Techron , Seafoam and BG 44k fuel additives once in a blue moon.
11. I always if possible fill up at a major chain gas station....except BP
12. I always warm up my engine when starting from cold. I wait at least until the temp gauge starts moving and/ or around 1K rpms. Some others wait a bit longer. I keep the rpms below 2K while driving till the engine warms up fully.
My current oil consumption is 1-1.5 quarts every 5K miles. If I missed something, please add on.
2003 Mazda 6s- Konis all around, Progress Rear Sway, Hid in Lows, Brembo blanks w/ Hawk Ceramics, PIAA 1000XT's, 225/45/17 Dunlop Signatures, Continental Extreme Contitacts, MSDS headers w/Magnaflow spun metallic cat w/stock exhaust, Street Unit Wishbone Mount, AWR Tranny Mount, K & N airbox filter