Tag Archives: Mobil 1

Mazda MX-5 Miata Maintenance Day

Today was a good day!

After the post maintenance test drive my toddler nephew exclaimed: “Oh look it’s Mia and Tia!”

Last week at the Woodcliff Lake Cars & Coffee my buddy Bill with the NC1 Copper Red Soft Top said he needed an oil change, so I volunteered to do it for him. Great! Today was the day to do it, perfect weather… lots of time since it’s the weekend, and besides the oil change we flushed the rear diff too.

Bill’s NC is pushing 104k miles, so it’s got a few more than mine. The area where the trans pairs to the engine was a bit covered with oil, which I guess may be normal for that age. It certainly looks similar as my high mileage Ford Explorer that my mom drives. There was also a lot of grime on the engine cover so I spend much of the time cleaning as the actual oil change took very little time. Actually, it took us the longest to figure out where to jack the car up correctly since his has an Appearance Package with side skirts that stick out beyond the pinch welds that I normally jack my car by.

Here’s some pix:

(first shot with my new Samsung Galaxy J3 6 “budget” smart phone)

Bill’s Miata:

The dreaded Sports Appearance package side skirts… look good from a distance, make the car seem lower to the ground, but a bit tough to work with especially when jacking the car up (and having to remove the jack leaving jack stands in place to lift the other side).

I don’t know if these openings are supposed to look like that or the previous shops/mechanics cut a piece out to get to the jacking point

The wet spot at the joint of transmission and engine

Bill lowered his car 1 inch with Flyin’ Miata Stage 2 kit, so we definitely had to use 2×4’s to get the front high enough for my jack to slide under

All done, first test drive to Advance Auto to recycle old oil and to buy gear lube to flush the rear differential.

Thanks to the great deal at Advance Auto I posted about earlier I got a chance to use both Castrol EDGE and Castrol EDGE Extended Performance + K&N HP-1002 filters on Bill’s oil change and mine…

Back in the air and leveled for the diff flush.

I was hoping that the Castrol Syntrax I used in my car’s last diff flush was going to work out but it seems to me that the quality of Mobil 1 is better so I recommended Bill get Mobil 1 instead.

Discovered one of Bill’s end links had broken off it’s mounting point to the sway bar, so he is going to order some new ones. These are the same pieces that make the clunking sound on my car ever since we replaced my stock shocks with OEM Bilstein’s.

Off on another test drive to get a feel for the rear end of the car… all Good!

Thansk for stopping by Bill!

My car is next, this time I tried the Castrol EDGE Extended Performance to see how it compares to Castrol EDGE I used for the past two oil changes. I’m assuming there will be no difference because I really don’t intend on running the car for 15k miles before the next oil change. In fact I was about 500 miles short of 5k on this one and I have no regrets, I’d rather change it more frequently then less…

This is my 3rd oil change this year, not sure if one more will be necessary before winter time… depends how many races I volunteer.

Mazda MX-5: Diff Fluid Change With Castrol Syntrax 75W-90 Synthetic

Another unseasonably warm day this February with tropical like heat wave weather so I did some more maintenance on my Miata in preparation for the Road Trip to Florida next week.

Was the gear oil due for a flush? Nope… not necessarily. I was about 9k miles short of the scheduled change. However, I thought I heard a little whine coming from the rear end on a recent trip down the Jersey Shore for the Millenials Miata meet, so I decided to flush out the Mobil 1 I put into the diff at the end of 2015 and replace it with Castrol Syntrax 75W-90 synthetic.

As usual this was a two step process. Once I decided on the Castrol (and part of my decision was based on the engine oil I just started using – Castrol EDGE… not that engine oil has anything to do with the diff, I figured I’ll keep things consistent), I researched where I could buy it. First I found O’Reily Auto Parts sells it for about $14 bux but we don’t have any of those stores around here. Pep Boys and Advance Auto did not advertise it on their web site, Walmart could place an order for me for about $13 but surprisingly Auto Zone had it in stock for $9.99! I still wanted it cheaper, so I went on CardBear.com researched AutoZone gift cards and bought one from Raise.com saving about $3 bux! The gift card showed up in just a few days since I ordered it and as soon as it arrived I rushed out the door to my local Auto Zone to pick it up.

It was definitely convertible weather today!

It took no time to jack the car up and get it leveled to do this job, but once it was in the air I could not (for the life of me) find the necessary 23mm and 24mm sockets to do the actual job! Fucking hell…. I searched everywhere, wasted more than an hour looking to no avail. So I went to the local Lowe’s to pick up two sockets so I have them for the future. I stopped by my local Sears to see if they had Craftsman in stock since I have some Shop Your Way rewards points to burn but the 23mm socket is a high commodity only available for online orders… the price for the 24mm socket was $12 or $13, I picked up both sockets at Lowe’s for under $10! I think they were $4.88 each plus tax which seems very reasonable. (Though I’m sure I could have bought them for way less if I had the luxury of time).

Anyway, the job itself took no time. Very easy to undo the top bolt, then the bottom to drain the diff. Cleaned everything up. Put the bottom bolt back on. Jerryrigged a device to pump the new fluid into the diff, and then tightened both the bottom and top bolts. Surprisingly I was able to pump almost the entire bottle in this time, I think I pumped less with Mobil 1 a year ago, but I could be wrong.

So there it goes. Easy job. I’m hoping this one lasts more than 20k miles before the rear end starts making whining noises again. I should mention I was very surprised how dark the Mobil 1 gear oil got… many of you will remember I said the same thing about my Mobil 1 engine oil the first two oil changes I did. I just don’t know what makes that oil turn so dark so soon.

Some people claim that the oil is so good it takes all the dirt out of the system that’s why it turns so dark. And that the other oils I use are not as good and therefore not as dark when I flush them. But I call BS on that! There’s no reason why the rear diff fluid should be this dark at just 20k miles. I think it should have lasted longer. I guess time will tell when I flush the Castrol Syntrax for a direct comparison.

I took a short 2 mile drive down to the local Advance Auto to responsibly dispose of the used oil, and the diff feels just fine. Nothing to talk about… it’s smooth, there’s no noise. It’s good!

Will follow up again when it’s time to flush it in 30k miles.

Mazda MX-5: Oil Filter Options for NC Miata

If you’ve come for a scientific comparison for the “best” oil filter to use on your next Miata oil change… you’ve come to the wrong place.

The goal of this post is to illustrate, side-by-side comparison between some of the oil filters I’ve already used on my car and some I intend to try. I have used the Mobil 1 M1-102 filter with my Mobil 1 oil changes when I first got the car in 2015. In 2016 I switched to a K&N HP-1002 filter that features a 1 inch nut on the bottom of it for easy removal. And in 2017 I purchased a cheaper version of the K&N called PS-1002 that doesn’t feature a nut on it, and is apparently of lower quality (also Made in China, not in USA like the Mobil 1 or K&N HP-1002). That said the K&N HP-1002 filters I sourced from Walmart recently must be old stock. I used a K&N filter last year sourced from Advance Auto that was made in South Korea, I believe. So these filter options are always evolving.

Here’s some side-by-side shots:

K&N PS-1002 (Pro Series)

K&N HP-1002 (High Performance)

Mobil 1 M1-102

Notice it doesn’t come with the plastic wrap to keep the dust off.

The M1-102 and HP-1002 are very alike, directly comparable, while the PS-1002 is clearly of cheaper quality. The can has a flimsier feel to it though it still has a plastic cover to prevent dust getting into the filter while its in a box.

Price wise I have purchased the Mobil 1 for around $10 from Amazon. My latest K&N HP-1002 I sourced from Walmart for under $10 apiece. I bought 4 of them to get FREE shipping. Before that I purchased the HP-1002 from Advance Auto as part of the oil deal, they were included free in the purchase of a 5QT jug of Pennzoil Platinum 5W20 oil and a rebate from the store. The PS-1002 I just bought from AutoZone who had a $3 OFF promo, the filter came out to $3.50 apiece with FREE shipping. The boxes arrived directly from K&N manufacturer in Riverside, California even though I ordered on the AutoZone web site.

As part of the same AutoZone $3 off deal, I ordered a longer K&N PS-2009 filter. I had researched on forums that the PS-1002 and PS-2009 are identical except for the volume of oil they contain. Presumably higher volume filter does more of the filtering, while flowing the oil better through the system. Or some-such… ¬†There’s a longer oil filter option for the NA & NB Miata’s but not so for the NC. People claim that the longer filter will not fit into the tight space on my Miata. At $3.50 a pop I was willing to buy one to try it for myself. Though I have to admit that I believe the people claiming it won’t fit because my 2007 Miata has been around for ten years already, the NC was made from late 2005 to 2015, so I’m sure if they fit someone would have tried it and would have been offering them for sale to make money on this “better” option product. But again, I’ll find out for myself during my next oil change in about 5k miles.

Here’s the pix for comparison:

K&N PS-2009

And more side-by-side:

So far I have no complaints using Mobil1 M1-102 or K&N HP-1002.

Support Motorsport Sponsors?

This post is about motor oil and the holiday season shopping, shall we say- opportunities? Yes! It’s all about great deals on products from companies that support Motorsports through their sponsorship. I don’t know about others but when it comes to effectiveness of Motorsport advertising, I’m a sucker for buying things that are promoted on race cars. In this case it is Castrol EDGE motor oil for my Miata. I think I actually bought too much!

A little back story… I have been posting a lot of Miata.net about what oil is recommended for our MX-5’s. The answer is – surprising! People say it doesn’t really matter what you use in the car as long as it is changed regularly because most modern oils sold in the US right now are “good” and therefore no one is better than the other. That said many on the forums use Mobil 1 in their cars. And Mobil 1 sponsors quite a lot of Motorsport. So like sheep I went ahead and bought two 5QT jugs within the first year of ownership of my car and that is what I used. Until I became puzzled by the dark/black look of that oil when I changed it at 5,000 mile intervals. It did not seem right to me especially since Mobil 1 advertised the oil is good until up to 15,000 miles. Yikes!

The two Mobil 1 5QT’s that I bought were mysteriously priced low, at just $5 a jug… which is ridiculous. Normally the price is $25 at Walmart and $35 everywhere else from AutoZone to Advance Auto Parts. My alternative to Mobil in the second year of ownership turned out to be even cheaper to source. I decided to go with Pennzoil Platinum because again Pennzoil sponsored a lot of racing, some people on the forums swore by it (although there weren’t too many of those people, not nearly as much as Mobil 1 evangelists) and it was fairly cheap! Regularly priced at $25 to $30 from Walmart to the parts stores, but constantly on sale and with promotions from both Pennzoil and other sources that at some point cost me as low as $4 for a 5QT jug or in one case, I basically was paid to take the 5QT jug from the store after all the promos and rebates. (Pennzoil is famous for it’s $10 rebate or rather $2 per QT rebate up to $48 per calendar year, which is a lot of jugs). In 2016 I used Pennzoil Platinum exclusively. I liked it so much that I even got the Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage ATF for my JWS-3309 Aisin Transmission. Mostly 5W-20 felt amazing during the spring, summer and fall months. But using 0W-20 in the winter made the engine sound louder, which really perplexed me. I bought another 5W-20 jug to use later but also started considering alternatives, and now decided to start sourcing Castrol EDGE to try next.

There is a post I made two years ago after my last Mobil 1 oil change that I was contemplating trying Pennzoil Platinum and Castrol EDGE, and sharing that plan in a post created a goal which I am now going to meet. In 2017 I will run Castrol EDGE exclusively in my car and I’ve already sourced enough oil for 3 oil changes which is basically the 15,000 miles I plan to do in the coming year. I decided to go with the 5W-20 weight standard black bottle and not the gold extended performance bottle since I am only daily driving the car and not tracking it or using it in any kind of extreme situations. I do plan to make several trips to Florida which will rack the mileage up quickly, but also probably won’t require me to make as frequent changes as short trips in New Jersey would require with stop and go traffic, cold weather, etc. I am very much looking forward to giving this oil a go, and seeing how I like it compared to Mobil 1 and Pennzoil Platinum I already used. So far the standard has been set pretty high, but I have heard nothing but good things about Castrol and they are one of the big sponsors of the IMSA Mazda Prototype program which makes me feel like I’m supporting it directly now.

Price wise though I think the retailer is losing money selling me the oil because I’ve been taking advantage extensively of the Sears/Kmart ShopYourWay rewards program. Every time they sent me 5,000, 6,000 or 10,000 in points (where 1,000 points = $1) I immediately redeem them for another 1QT bottle or 5QT jug of the Castrol EDGE oil which they have in stock. Regular price for the 1QT bottle is $7.99+ tax. (Which seems ridiculous) Last one I bought with the 6,000 surprise point redemption only cost me $0.87 cents. Before that I redeemed 10,000 points and $5.50 for two bottles. The 5QT jugs which Kmart sells for $37 regular price I paid about $7 bux out of pocket after purchasing it in store on sale for $22.99+ tax, and redeeming some regular points and 4,000 surprise points. All in all an oil change will cost me under $10 for the oil and another $9 for the K&N HP-1002 filter which I sourced from Walmart. The good part about the four K&N filters I bought they were still Made in USA and not the newer style which are made in Korea (and for some reason people are complaining that their quality has dropped).

Now all I got to do is keep driving more so I can use up the oil quickly. 2017 is going to be an awesome year…

I should mention some of the other companies I support by using their products thanks to all the Motorsport advertising I’ve been exposed to:

  • BFGoodrich tires – I have two sets, one summer one winter
  • Sunoco Ultra 93 fuel – official fuel of NASCAR & IndyCar
  • BP 93 Ultimate – I know they sponsor loads of Rally racing
  • Mobil 1 lubricants in rear end, power steering, etc.
  • K&N oil and air filters, also official sponsor of NASCAR
  • Bilstein shocks – huge sponsor especially during Nurburgring 24h

I’m sure there’s more that I’ve used or will use in the future.

For those of you that support Motorsport sponsors in your shopping – kudos to that! If you don’t, and use the argument – why pay more when there are cheaper options? Well, as I’ve demonstrated above, it is possible to use brand name and pay less, way less. You just need to shop around… for me it’s a challenge that I enjoy! I especially like buying branded gift cards, like those from BP, ExxonMobil or Sunoco with 5% to 10% discount for each dollar spend, making my expensive Sunoco Ultra 93 fuel (which is typically more than a no name brand) a bit cheaper… considering fuel is about $2.60/gal at the moment, I’m paying 26 cents less a gallon, which brings the price right down to a low-cost option, and I’m buying a better product! That makes me feel good.

Support Motorsport Sponsors, please ūüôā

BMW Z4: Oil Change with Castrol Edge 0W-40 Euro & Mann HU 816 X Oil Filter

Today’s little project was an oil change on my former bosses BMW. This particular Bimmer was my only chance to drive a manual / stick car in the US and I’ve had the privilege of running some errands in it since it was new in 2007. In fact this Bimmer inspired me to buy my Miata, not that the Mazda is in any way better than the BMW, it’s just something that I could afford. And the reason for me doing the oil change and not a local shop that I took this car to yesterday was also cost… I was quoted $124 all in at an oil change joint while the DIY cost me less than $50 bux!

To start I went on the forums to research what oil to use, how the oil change should be done, etc… The forums were a fucking mind fuck! Holly shit… do these people get carried away with their bullshit and without really answering the questions presented to them. So the purpose of this blog post is to share what I’ve done to my friend’s car and hopefully it will help someone in the future with a similar project on their car.

So BMW recommended Castrol in 2007, says so on the oil cap. I searched for the Castrol products. BMW Z4 takes 5W-30 oil weight and boss wanted synthetic. Great… I searched around, WalMart was cheapest at $25 for 5 quarts and another $7.50 for the 6th quart (of which the engine apparently takes between six and seven)… and all was good. Once I picked up the oil at the store and looked on the back, nothing was mentioned about BMW certification. So I searched for the “German Castrol” that everyone recommended on the forums. Luckily WalMart carried Castrol Edge European Formula (Made in Germany as opposed to Made in USA) but only in 0W-40 weight. I searched the forums again to see if it would work. Reached out to a few people I know who own or work on BMW Z4’s and they said that oil will work. The in-store price of the oil was even cheaper at $22.97 a jug! (Whereas Advance Auto Parts or AutoZone sell the same thing for $35+). I did order a Mann Oil filter from Advance using their famous 20% discount coupon to buy the Mann HU 816 X for just $9.99 plus tax.

That was yesterday. Early this morning I went to the office to pick up the Bimmer and bring it home. Figured the engine would warm up nicely while I drive it the 5 miles home… It certainly did. Perhaps even too much as everything in the engine compartment was scalding hot. And then it started raining… so my oil change was in the wet… Just my luck!

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 6

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 1

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 2

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 3

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 4

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 5

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 7

The actual process of an oil change in this car, that for some weird European or maybe German reason doesn’t even come with a dip stick anymore, is fairly straight forward and simple. Only a few steps. I started by undoing the filter which is on the top of the engine. A strap wrench worked fine while many forum posts recommended a “special” tool… old filter was pretty filthy. Popped the new filter in, changed two O-rings, put some oil on them and screwed it back in.

Getting under the car was tricky much like the Miata. But I figured using two jacks would get the job done. I used a 3 ton Sears jack to raise one side. For the other side I used a scissor jack from my Ford Explorer to raise it high enough for my fat belly to fit under the car. Once there I was expecting to find an aluminum door that covers the bottom of the drain pan… it was missing. So I had direct access to the 17mm nut which came off pretty easily. Drained the oil, put a new crush washer on the nut to tighten it back up. Filled the car up with new oil… and voila!

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 8

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 9

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 10

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 11

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 12

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 13

Next step was to reset the on-board computer so the oil light doesn’t come on. There are two buttons right above the steering wheel closest to the instrument cluster. Held one button down while turning the key one click, held for five seconds and the display changed to something I couldn’t really read. I assume it reset. Took the car for the drive back to the office and selected the “Oil” setting on the dash and the diagnostic said OK… that’s the electronic dipstick at work… but it was showing oil on the first mark, so I’ll buy another quart of oil to top it off to at least mid-point on the dipstick.

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 14

bmw z4 oil change castrol edge 0w40 mann filter 15

Easy peasy!

I had such a Jeremy Clarkson moment that “I mended something!” I decided to change the oil on my dad’s van too…

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan that now runs Mobil 1 5w-30 synthetic.

dodge grand caravan oil change mobil 1 5w30 synthetic 1

dodge grand caravan oil change mobil 1 5w30 synthetic 2

dodge grand caravan oil change mobil 1 5w30 synthetic 3

dodge grand caravan oil change mobil 1 5w30 synthetic 4

Mazda MX-5: First Diff Fluid Change with Mobil 1 75W-90 Synthetic

Another maintenance project that I completed on my own, this time it was changing the rear differential fluid in the Miata. I actually practiced the fluid change on my Ford Explorer which badly needed this fluid changed, but this post is really about the MX-5. Now I won’t have to worry about this piece of maintenance for another 30,000 miles which should take me a couple of years to accumulate.

This project, like many others, started when I was reading Miata.net forums and saw what people were doing to their cars. Someone posted about doing the rear diff fluid change and how easy and quick it was and I decided to do it myself. At practically the same moment I was thinking that, a $5 off $10 purchase coupon arrived in my e-mail from Advance Auto Parts, so I went on their web site and ordered Mobil 1 75W-90 (listed for $10.99) which the Miata guys on the forums recommended. (Ironic because I’m not the biggest fan of the Mobil 1 0W-20 engine oil having used it for the past two oil changes, but whatever). The coupon from Advance came because I just spend over $60 buying Pennzoil Platinum oil & K&N filters. Had I known I’d get $5 off for every $30 spent, I would have split my Pennzoil order in half. Anyway, after I ordered the Mobil 1 for the Miata, I realized I might as well practice on the Ford Explorer but instead of buying the good stuff, I decided to buy cheaper Valvoline gear oil for the truck. Buying it from Advance didn’t make much sense because their version is marked up to $15+ while Pep Boys down the street had it listed for $12+ and offered a 20% coupon. Fast forward to today, when I went to pick up the oils from two of the stores, the job took no time in the Explorer. Miata was next.

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 1

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 2

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 3

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 4

The most difficult part of doing anything with the Miata, especially when it comes to the bottom of the car, is getting it elevated high enough so I could squeeze in under there. I recently purchased two more jack stands from Sears for a nice $21 bux out the door after a bunch of discounts, so this was a great excuse to use them.

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 8

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 9

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 10

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 12

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 13

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 16

Once the car was reasonably high in the air it was just matter of minutes of undoing two bolts and letting the oil drain. I left it sitting for a good 20 minutes so all the fluid dripped out, and then siphoned new fluid in via a small hose. Was pretty surprised that it took almost the entire Quart bottle, but eventually oil started seeping from the fill hole. And I was done!

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 11

The bottom of the car still looks pretty good. No rust from the last winter which saw a lot of salt on the roads. And now my car is ready for another 30k interval. Easy peasy! Even dad came over to have a look at the progress…

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 7

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 5

mazda mx-5 miata rear differential fluid change 6

So hopefully this Mobil 1 product looks better with age then their engine oil does (I wasn’t too happy with how dark it got at only 5,000 miles especially since they advertise it could go 15,000).

Mazda MX-5: Oil Change at 5,000 miles with Mobil 1 Synthetic 0W-20 & M1-102 filter

File this one under the: “what have you done to your Miata today” category. I changed my oil. It was exactly 5,000 miles since the last service in April, at 37,297 miles which included several 400-500+ mile road trips Upstate New York to Watkins Glen and New England to Thompson Speedway. In fact my father and I changed the oil on both the old Ford Explorer SUV and the Miata, and I mention the Explorer for a reason, because I want to use a different oil the next time I do my service, one that doesn’t turn so dark so quickly.

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 1

I got a hell of a deal December of last year when walking into a local AutoZone I found a 5-QT jug of Mobil 1 on sale for $5. I bought two. This is the second jug being used. I was reading all about Mobil 1 on Miata.net, and so many people swear by it, but I don’t see what the big deal is, especially when you consider paying the full price which is typically around $27 to $35 depending on the store. The oil turned dark at only 5k miles, about the same shade of dark as the Explorer’s standard Pennzoil 10W-40 at 4k miles, and it’s not synthetic. The feel is about the same on the Miata as on the Explorer. Maybe I had unreasonable expectations for the feel from the Mobil 1.

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 5

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 4

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 3
Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy “Recommended for most Hondas and Toyotas”

But at any rate I think I’ll try something else in the spring time to at least make a comparison for myself. I will stick with 0W-20 weight and full synthetic, but will change the brand.

The options are:

Pennzoil Platinum or Ultra Platinum

pennzoil platinum 0w-20 or ultra platinum 5w-20

Castrol EDGE or Castrol EDGE Extended Performance

castrol edge 0w-20 or castrol edge extended performance 5w-20

I’m also thinking of replacing the Mobil 1 M1-102 oil filter with a K&N version, which seems like it’d be easier to install and remove when the time comes with the wrench instead of trying to work in a tight¬†space the way it is now. The nut seems like a great idea. The filter goes for around $10 to $15 apiece, available at Walmart but probably the most reasonably priced at Moss Miata – $9.95

K&N HP-1002 oil filter

mazda mx-5 miata K&N oil filter HP-1002 k-n

So if anyone has any personal experience with the products I’ve listed above or some other products that I haven’t considered, like for example the $37 a jug Royal Purple synthetic oil, do share your thoughts… please! I would especially be interested to hear from people with a NC Miata so I can base my decisions on something concrete.¬†A real world experience, like I got from Jason for example, Stevie – his 2009 Miata gets Pennzoil Platinum + K&N filter changed on an 8,000 mile interval. That’s impressive!

hello stevie 1 mx-5 miata

Oh yes, besides the recommendations on facebook and Miata.net I am a sucker for Motorsport advertising, hence the BFGoodrich tires for my Miata just like the BFGoodrich sponsored MX-5 Cup series cars (tires might be different but whatever). So which cars use what oil in what series? Well, this Mazda comes to mind using Castrol:

lone star le mans 6 hr of the circuit of the americas 17

& this car in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge using Total:

2015 petit le mans continental tire sports car challenge mx-5 miata

Mazda MX-5: Oil Change, Wheel Swap, Miata Meet

Today was a good day to work on the car. So for the first time in my life I went ahead and changed the oil in a car: my Miata. As with anything else that I’ve done to this car so far, ¬†it took unnecessarily long. What seemed like hours. But everything was done right.

miata oil change mx5

I followed the recommendations from Miata.net and acquired some Mobil 1 0W-20 fully synthetic oil… yes the oil cap on the engine says 5W-20 and no – that’s not what I went with. I got what most people agree is the best option for the car. And I used a Mobil 1 M1-102 oil filter too, because… why not?

The funny story behind the oil is that I got it dirt cheap from a local parts store. How cheap?

mobil 1 price mistake

$5 dollar cheap… that’s a hefty discount considering Wal Mart sells the jug for $36 dollars. I randomly stumbled upon this deal and couldn’t believe my eyes. Was totally convinced it was a price mistake, asked the clerk if they would honor an obvious price mistake, but the item scanned at $5 bux. So I bought two jugs. Now I know it says 0W-30 and posting this picture on the forums resulted in comments that people would gladly use it for that price. But after about a month from the purchase I went back to the store and they happily exchanged my two jugs for the correct oil. So all was good. I bought the oil filters on Amazon for $10 bux each, or double what I paid for the oil, how ironic?

I took the opportunity while doing the oil change to thoroughly clean everything under the car including the oil pan protection plate which was covered in grime. I also noticed that a few plastic clips were missing in the shroud that surrounds the front wheels so I popped some new ones in place. Car fired up and purred like a kitten after the oil change. Drove nicely. Although when sitting at a red light the engine RPM’s drop a lot and I wonder if it’s normal.

I also took the opportunity to try out my newly purchased 16″ OEM wheels. I noticed that on the road trip I scuffed the front 17″ OEM wheels up a little so it was time to try something softer and smoother for our pot-hole infested roads. And boy did they make a difference. Granted the feeling is identical with larger pot holes, but the general crap you encounter on the main highways like the New Jersey Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway is¬†manageable. And the difference is obvious. I am liking the softer ride. I really don’t think I understand how people lower their cars and get fancy big wheels with low profile tires. It must be solely for the looks. They must not drive their car much. Or they must really like doing wheel alignment from hitting pot holes so hard their teeth chatter with a stiff suspension.

miata wheels

I am a big fan of the 5 spoke wheels, though the 10 spoke ones will go back on the car in the summer time when roads are better.

The fella I purchased the wheels from invited me to a Miata Meet his club was organizing. So as soon as I finished tinkering with the car and took a quick shower, I hit the road for Central Jersey. This month the Delaware Valley Miata Club was meeting in Freehold, NJ at Jersey Freeze burger and ice cream shop. They do this sort of thing monthly, and the mid-week afternoon event totally works for me since I can’t get off from work on the weekends. There were about twelve (12) Miatas present of which 1 NA, 3 NB’s, 4 NC1’s, 3 NC2’s and 1 NC3. It was very cool to see other Miata owners from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, especially the guy with another Copper Red Mica. I was eager to compare the rear bumpers to see if the shades are off like they are on mine. But by the time I noticed his car it was too dark outside for a good comparison. Still a nice feeling to see another similar Miata so close.

del val miata club meet freehold nj

Great crowd and very good food too.

miata meet with delaware valley mazda club

So all in all what  a beautiful day! I got to change my own oil. Change the wheels. See how the car feels with the new oil and the new wheels on a 140 mile road trip. And meet a dozen other Mazda Miata owners in New Jersey over a delicious dinner. Looking forward to more of this in the summer time!

Note to self: oil change done at 32,295 miles… when should the next one be? 5,000 miles? 10,000 miles?