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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 23126
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 17 years dealership experience
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I have a 2010 Mazda CX-7 Touring 4 cylinder turbo with 95K

Customer Question

I have a 2010 Mazda CX-7 Touring 4 cylinder turbo with 95K miles. The turbo charger started making high pitched whining noises and failed at 80K miles. The local Mazda Service Department took my CX-7 for one week. The new turbo charger was $1,200, but my total 3 page invoice was $2,900. Mazda even changed my spark plugs???
After picking up my CX-7, my wife drove it for another 12,500K miles back and forth to work on the interstate. The turbo started making the same whining sounds again. Not only did the turbo charger fail, but this time the dip stick blew out of the engine compartment and most of the oil spilled out of the engine. Needless to say, the engine seized. The "Check Engine" light never activated.
Not only was the new turbo charger out of warranty by 500 miles, but now I need a new engine.
Now the problem...The authorized Mazda Service department NEVER changed the old oil, oil filter or air filter from the original turbo failure. I blew a gasket when I found that out. That's like changing a babies diaper and not wiping it's butt. Are you kidding me!!!
The service manager told me the only responsibility they had was to "Top Off the OLD NASTY Oil with New oil". OMG!!!
The Mazda CX-7 has a bulletin out that warns of oil sludge in the 4 cylinder turbo engine that leads to turbo failure. I know what happened...the poor design of the PCV valve on my engine type, gets sludge so bad, the oil cannot reach the turbo charger and causes it to fail. My oil sludge problem was so bad, the compression in the engine built up and the dip stick was ejected from the engine and most of the oil was spilled out.
Mazda denies doing anything wrong and it's my fault for not changing the oil before 12,500 miles, even though I thought they changed my OLD NASTY PARTICLE INFESTED oil with new synthetic oil after replacing my blown turbo. It's all the same eco-system. OMG!
I used this pay for answers service before and I was sent the below procedure for replacing a defective/blown turbo. I didn't notice that the mechanic like yourself, gave me the print out for a turbo diesel and not a gas turbo. I KNOW THAT DOESN'T MATTER...but the Mazda Service Department told me they always change the oil on a turbo diesel when the turbo charger fails, but not on a gas engine. OMG! OMG! OMG! REALLY???
See what I received below when I first paid my $20 on this site...
Mazda's procedure for replacing a defective diesel engine turbo:
Before fitting your new Turbo, you must Replace Components listed below...
OIL FEED PIPE (from engine to top of turbo)
replace banjo bolts and oil drain
Replace Turbo oil drain hose (check clear / check no damage to pipe)
Oil and oil filter (correct grade as per manufacturers recommendation)
Air filter
Gaskets and washers, O rings
Diesel Particulate Filter liquid level sensor topped up with fluid level
Clean or Replace
Diesel Injectors – Clean, Test, Replace
Air box and air intake hose to turbo (Pressure Test)
Oil cooler/ intercooler/ hose, from turbo to intercooler (damage or air leak).
Get Pressure Tested
E.G.R VALVE – Check correct operation, clean or replace if necessary
Breather system, cam cover (rocker cover) – check for blockage
Clean Inlet/exhaust manifolds, check for carbon deposits/cracks/clean head faces/replace gaskets
Ensure the exhaust and/or catalytic converter/diesel particulate filter (DPF) are not fully or partly blocked
Before fitting Turbo – check no debris enters turbo, check all gaskets fit with gas tight seal
Flush Engine
Fit and Test Turbo
Check OIL PRESSURE is within manufacturers Tolerances
Start engine and allow to idle for 3-5 mins before driving (do not let engine idle unnecessarily)
Check for Oil/Gasket/Air Leaks, All OBVIOUS locations on engine
Plug into diagnostic machine to check for any fault codes (rectify or repair as per diagnosis, before road test).
A professional mechanic or turbo tuning shop is only recommended for the turbo fitting job of your car. The external influence on the failure of the turbo is not included in the warranty. And only with the turbo properly fitted, you will have your car return to the road earlier.
That Mazda Service department says there is no procedure for changing the old oil when replacing a defective turbo charger. EVERY other mechanic shop, YouTube video, google search says to replace the old oil and flush out the system, before installing the NEW replacement turbo. This has been going on for over one year and so far the Mazda Service Tech, Mazda Service Manager, Mazda Regional Service Manager and the Attorney General's Office in Oklahoma said there isn't enough evidence to hold Mazda responsible for my blown engine and 2nd blown turbo. Are you kidding me???
EVERY Mazda shop says they would change the old oil 100% of the time, but no one can produce the written procedure for a gas engine with a turbo, just the diesel engine with turbo. HELP!!!
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mazda
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome to Justanswer!

If the turbo physically failed then most likely the dipstick blew out because the turbo pressurized the crankcase. Engine sludge wouldn't cause compression to enter the crankcase unless there was physical damage to a piston or cylinder wall.

Changing the oil is not part of the written procedure to replace the turbocharger but if there was metal contamination in the oil then the oil should be changed at the least, if not remove the oil pan to check for/remove metal debris.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Below is my question, but please read everything...*How could the New "replacement" Turbo Charger fail in just 12,500 miles after installation, (500 miles out of warranty) if they checked to see why the original turbo failed at 75K miles the first time???Please read below...
This is a nightmare! Now I'm out a replacement Turbo and an engine. Mazda will not accept ANY responsibility. I'm just regular Mazda customer. What could I have done differently? I told them to service everything. They say..."No you did not!", but they changed my spark plugs? but not my nasty ass oil...Really???100% of mechanics I talk to, youtube videos, Honeywell turbo charger manufacturer (Director) ALL say to ALWAYS change the oil when replacing a failed turbo charger, but this Mazda Service Shop didn't even check to see why the turbo failed in the first place. (I quote the Honeywell Director..."It's like changing a babies diaper and not wiping the babies ass") Why else would the replacement turbo fail again in just over 12K miles? All Mazda did was PLOP A New TURBO in, topp off the contaminated oil with a little fresh new oil and charged me $2,900. The turbo was$1,200. I wanted my CX-7 serviced completely, since the dealer was going to have my vehicle the entire week. I live in Arkansas and my CX-7 died in Oklahoma City. Why change my spark plugs and not my nasty oil? Someone at Mazda needs to step up and admit the shop screwed up. All Mazda, the Regional Service Manager, Dealer Service Manager, Service Tech and CEO of Bob Moore Mazda have done is try and cover their butts and told me to go screw myself. Did I mention Bob Moore has a "D" Minus rating with the BBB? The Honda dealer where I just purchased a brand new 2016 Honda Accord coup touring model ($38K) to replace my dead (Paid-off) CX-7 sitting in my driveway, had an "A" plus rating with the BBB. How am I responsible for this catastrophe???
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 11 months ago.

The replacement turbo most likely failed due to lack of lubrication due to sludge/oil degradation or coking of the drain line. I wouldn't have a way of verifying how or why it failed without being at the vehicle, and even then it may not be something that can be determined.

What could have been done differently on your end was keeping up on the periodic maintenance before and after the turbo was replaced. If they hadn't changed oil with the turbo then you could have asked them to or gone to any other shop in the mean time; the oil should have been changed twice at the least in the mileage put on since the turbo was replaced.

Unless the repair was done under warranty then the corporation wouldn't be involved in the situation.

You're responsible for the repair because the vehicle is not under warranty and the failure of the turbo was not due to incorrect installation of the part itself. It appears from the little information I have without being at the vehicle that the engine may have been sludged due to poor maintenance.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I used synthetic oil and they were supposed to change the oil with synthetic oil which would not have damaged my turbo or engine in 12K miles. You didn't answer the logic of changing my spark plugs but not my oil?
Why do that if I didn't instruct those liars to service everything?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 11 months ago.

I can't explain why they replaced the spark plugs as I was not there.

The service interval for oil change is 5,000 miles. 12,500 miles is without a doubt harmful, especially if it was not being checked and topped off regularly.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If my CX-7 was properly diagnosed and repaired the first time by the Mazda Service Department (Not just replace the defective turbo) and they had used synthetic oil as I requested, NOTHING CATASTROPHIC WOULD HAVE HAPPENED WITHIN 12.5K miles as long as the oil level was correct! NOTHING!!! Please don't give me the 7.5K synthetic oil change story, because it might not be the best for my engine long term, but my engine would not blow at 12.5K miles if everything was repaired correctly the first time.Why would a dealership replace a turbo and not mandate the oil be flushed and replaced? VW sent out a bulletin mandating the oil be flushed 2 times when a turbo is replaced. (My neighbor is a master VW mechanic and shares the MAZDA service shop in Little Rock. By The Way...the local Mazda service manager told me this Thursday, they NEVER replace a turbo without flushing the oil system, because it's all part of the oil eco-system.)The dealership would have to give me a free turbo if it fails within the warranty period. Why would they take the risk? ...for $40 or $98? Especially since I have to pay for it...NOT THEM! My GOD! I just spent $2,900. Do you think anyone would bitch about a few extra dollars given the choice and the situation explained to them? REALLY?? Were they waiting for me to teach them how to replace a defective turbo? REALLY? The turbo was $1,200 and they charged me $2,900 to fix it and THEY DIDN'T CHANGE MY OIL or even ask me about it? EVERY Mazda dealer I asked and I asked at least 10 different Mazda service shops about flushing the oil when replacing a defective turbo and NOT ONE tops off the crappy oil.I sent you the process that was sent from one of your Mazda Master mechanics, but it was for a turbo diesel. Are you telling me a diesel is different from a gas turbo??? Go back and read my original post, because he sent it to me and it SAYS change the oil, oil filter and air filter. Maybe you didn't bother to read my entire post thinking you knew what I was going to ask???? PLEASE READ IT!
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 11 months ago.

The oil change interval is 5.000 miles. Going 12,500 miles one time isn't going to cause catastrophic damage but I'm assuming oil change habits have been similar throughout the vehicle's life.

Unless there was metal contamination in the oil from the last turbo failing then not changing the oil didn't cause the problem your'e facing now, and again it was due for multiple oil changes since then. If there was indeed metal contamination from the last turbo then the oil pan would have needed to come off to remove it. Metal contamination would have caused oil pump and possibly crankshaft damage but would not have caused damage to this turbo. The turbo receives filtered oil - but if the filter becomes restricted enough from lack of replacement then it will go on bypass and no oil will run through it.

As I mentioned changing the oil could be considered good practice but it is not part of the turbo replacement procedure in the service manual. Even if it were it was still due for two oil changes since the turbo was replaced. There is no way the shop can be liable for the turbo or engine failure based on the fact that they did not change the oil when the turbo was replaced.

The replacement procedure for the turbo on another engine is irrelevant to your case. I referenced the factory service information for this vehicle and replacing the oil is not a required part of the procedure.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Mazda was responsible for correcting the defect that caused the turbo to fail initially.They would have cleaned out the sludge that built up in the engine/PCV Valve by flushing the system and replace the sludge oil with new oil. End of storey!
no-one replaces parts without determining why it failed. If they did that, my car works be fine today.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 11 months ago.

If there was an oil supply issue to the turbo that existed when the first one failed then the replacement shouldn't have lasted that long. It would have failed in short order because the same condition existed that damaged that one (if that was even the cause of the failure)

In any event, there isn't a way to prove the internal condition of the engine at the time that work was done unless you have pictures and documentation to prove it. If the engine was sludged at that time then engine replacement would still have been your financial responsibility.