Mazda MX-5: Oil Change at 5,000 miles with Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 and K&N Filter HP-1002

Update: (Feb 2017) I wasn’t sure what was causing the car to act weird after this maintenance session at Chris’s house. Now that some time and mileage have passed I think I figured it out. And the result is a few issues. 1). part of the problem was the fact we overfilled the transmission fluid during the flush. There was an issue we found with proper checking of the level (which required running the car to get it warm, and then opening the check valve). 2). my car doesn’t seem to like 0W20 weight oil. I posted a few times that I don’t like Mobil 1 and now I can add Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 to the list. Both Mobil 1 and Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 turned real dark at just about 5k miles which shouldn’t happen. This makes me believe I should totally stick to 5W20 from now on. I’ve changed out the Pennzoil from this post with Castrol EDGE 5W20 and car feels absolutely perfect!


I don’t think I’ve ever had an oil change party with friends until this weekend, where my buddy Chris with a 2008 Silver NC1 GT PRHT offered to help me flush most of the fluids on my car while performing the same service on a bunch of cars in his household.

The plan was to flush the power steering fluid and fill it fresh with Mobil 1 ATF. Flush the Automatic transmission fluid with Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage ATF, and finally change my oil with Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 that I’ve had sitting at my home since about this time last year when I got the crazy deal from Advance Auto on two sets of oils (one 5W20 which I used up during spring, followed by two more Pennzoil Platinum 5W20 changes that I bought during the summer and now for the winter decided to go with thinner 0W20).

I’ll make separate posts for each maintenance item, so click on whatever interests you most:

I must admit that after doing all these fluid changes the car feels a bit weird and I can’t really pin point what the issue is. I’m sure it is fluid related because there’s a faint drone coming from either the engine or the transmission. Note to self: next time do one fluid flush at a time so if there is an issue like this it is easier to narrow down.

But back to the oil change party at Chris’s house.

The day started with a trip to the Subaru dealership to pick up an oil filter for his XV… then Chris changed his ’08 NC’s oil using Castrol Edge 5W20 Extended which I’d like to try in my car at some point in the future once Pennzoil stops being so cheap with all of their promos. While Chris’s brother Eric did an oil change on his Mazda RX-8 Rotary with Castrol Edge 10W30.

My car was last and oil was basically the last thing we did to it, but since it was the easiest job I’ll write about it first.

I was curious to see how Chris does his oil changes and for someone so meticulous as he is, he does it very differently than I do. He jacks the front, keeps the oil cap on, undoes the drain plug, the filter, and re-installs the drain plug with a new bolt that I picked up at a local Mazda dealer for $7.99 accompanied with a $1.65 crush washer. In all the oil changes I’ve done to my car to date I never changed the nut and the washer, but since Chris was doing my car for me, I had him do the same thing he does to his car, so mine also received the new bolt and crush washer. I typically jack the car up and put it on jack stands and when the fluid drains, I lower the passenger side so more of the dirty oil comes out. Chris doesn’t do that himself, which I found to be pretty interesting. Chris was surprised that his car took more Castrol Edge oil than it normally does using Mobil 1 oil which he has used in the past. Mine took the standard amount of Pennzoil that I typically use, which is just above 4.5 QT.

Some pix from the day:

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My supplies, Pennzoil Platinum 0W20, new Mazda bolts and washers and a K&N HP-1002 filter.


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Chris’s supplies Castrol Edge 5W20 Extended Performance oil with Mobil 1 M1-102 filter.


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Eric’s choice: Castrol Edge 10W30 Extended Performance oil.

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Seeing the RX-8 up close and personal made me appreciate that car a bit more, it’s surprising how massive it is compared to the Miata

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Also pretty incredible how tiny yet thirsty the Rotary engine is.

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It felt good to finish up the day with the easiest job of the evening, the oil change… (which happened around midnight… Yikes!)

Now if only I could figure out why is my engine running louder on 0W20 compared to 5W20 and why there’s this faint shimmy going on that I could feel at highway speed which seems to come from the front of the car, around the engine area. (or possible the trans).

Click here to read about the tranny fluid flush or here for power steering fluid flush.