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07 Mazda 6 - Flickering Oil Light, now CEL,. Please help!

Hey guys,
I recently bought an 07 Mazda 6 with 117000 miles on it. Only paid 2k so was glad to get something to drive for cheap as i had no car before this. I understood id have to end up doing some maintenance tasks on the vehicle eventually.
Fast Forward to now.

It has been really cold here in NY. When i start up the car and turn on the heat, the oil light would flicker, sometimes stay on for about 3 or 4 seconds. I would turn the heat off, and wait for the car to warm up a little and than use the heat, and usually the oil light would stop coming on. Now all of the sudden my CEL is on, and im getting a rattling sound under the hood when accelerating. Not sure if the two are related but im going to guess they are. After some research ive heard about possible broken heat shield, oil pumps and others, but im not very car savvy so i have no idea.

What do you guys think???

The first question is have you checked the oil level ? That is something you should do at least once a week . Second have a place like AutoZone read the codes and post them here as the codes give good clues as to the problem.

Yes, just got an Oil change 2k miles ago, and checked the dip stick and levels were fine. my next step was to go to autozone to get the code read. Thanks.

An engine rattle lead with a flickering oil light leads me to believe there is an oil pressure or supply problem.

Ignore the codes and head to an auto repair shop to have the oil pressure tested, the codes read and hope your $2k car isn’t about to blow the engine.


I’d say it likely isn’t the oil change place. I suspect the previous owner knew the car had a problem, added a heavier weight oil (15W50 maybe) to the the engine to keep the pressure light off while selling it cheap. You then had the oil changed to the correct weight oil and now you know why they sold it cheap.

Not to be snarky, but you just got a $2,000 lesson in used car buying. Sorry. Sell it for scrap, you might get $500 back.

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Apologize for the language…I bought the car back in June…would you make anything of it lasting this long? why all of a sudden, and the rattling just started today, and within a day its just done/. :frowning:

The engine could be gunked up from lack of oil changes. Your nice, clean, fresh oil may have dislodged some sludge that found its way into an oil passage that fed one connecting rod bearings that then started to rattle from oil starvation.

If the oil change place screwed up, you have learned about it within a hour or 4. NO oil in the engine because none was put in - you checked, level was OK. OR the filter had 2 gaskets on it and blew all the oil out - same answer. OR the oil plug fell out and drained the engine - same answer, you checked the level and it was OK. That pretty much covers the failures we’ve seen here from Quickie-Lube places. You could get the wrong oil but it would have to be REALLY wrong - like putting axle lube in for engine oil - to destroy the engine like this.

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Ok pal, Thanks for all your help and knowledge.

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Sorry it had to be bad news. Maybe since you got the car cheap, your mechanic could install a used engine at a reasonable price and get it back on the road. Might be worth it is the rest of the car is still nice.

about how much would that run me you think???

Cost will have to come from a shop that will source and install the used engine .

alright thanks. he told me to start looking for a new car :-/ the thing that sucks is, im 31, just getting my life back together, so i dont have established credit long enough. i only work part time, so i dont have a ton of money saved up…this is a real blow

Like someone else said, if the rest of the car is in good shape, check into getting a new/used engine put into the car. You might be surprised how much it costs, in a good way. I’d guess a couple thousand dollars… but that’s cheaper than a(nother) new car.

Good luck.

Something is not tight? Does this mean that all of the oil has leaked out of the engine? Why does he think that the oil change was the cause of the engine failure 2,000 miles later?

Expect to pay about $3,000 to have a used engine installed.

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It sounds like this car was run low on oil in the past, and then something was done in order to keep the engine quiet long enough to sell it to you. Most likely that “something” was the use of a higher-than-recommended viscosity oil, or an oil additive made to quiet a worn engine. Once the quick-lube place changed the oil, and put the correct amount of the recommended oil, the additive wore away, and now you’re hearing bad bearing(s) or a worn timing chain.

The smart thing to do at this point would be to keep an eye on the oil level, top off as needed, and make sure to always have money (or funds available on your debit/credit card) to pay for a tow and a ride home if/when the engine gives up the ghost. I would keep driving it though, because it’s worth scrap value at this point, so you might as well squeeze out every last mile.

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