2007 Mazda 3i Engine getting louder, slight ticking this morning

Year of vehicle: 2007
Make of vehicle: Mazda
Model of vehicle: 3i Touring
Mileage/Kilometers: 80,000+ Miles

Hello! Thanks for taking the time to read this! My Mazda 3i has been acting up a bit lately, where the engine has been getting louder (particularly in 4th gear, though it’s a pretty quiet car so I might not be able to tell in lower gears). This morning, there also was a faint ticking, 1/second or so that went away once the car warmed up.

Recent work that has been done to it: Brakes replaced, Oil changed, fluids topped off.

Any idea what’s going on? Thanks!

Have you checked the level of the engine oil?


Oil was just recently changed. Dealership put in 5w-20 which is supposedly the recommended kind.

Have you opened the hood of the car and verified the oil level yourself? Dealerships and mechanics can make mistakes.

For example, I picked up a 2003 Ford Taurus recently. According to the window sticker the oil had been changed less than 500 miles previously. I checked the oil level anyway, it was ~2 quarts overfilled, in addition the oil filter was not tightened properly and the filter gasket was leaking.

Ed B.

Check the oil level yourself. I can’t tell you how many screw ups I’ve heard. Either they don’t fill it up or the leave the plug loose or even not put th fill cap back on.

I believe the valve lash CAN be adjusted on this engine

If I’m not mistaken, it’s a real ordeal, as the buckets themselves must replaced, if the valve lash is out of spec

I just checked the oil levels last night, and I’m pretty sure they did indeed overfill the oil. They only put in 5 quarts (according to the paperwork given to me afterwards), but the dipstick is showing the oil level past the measuring portion…so my guess is the overfilled engine oil is giving me problems. I’m going to take the car to a shop today to make sure no damage has happened to the engine and then I’ll see if this Mazda dealership will make it up to me somehow if any damage is indeed found as a result of overfilled engine oil. Thanks guys.


I’m going to be frank with you

If the crankcase is SEVERELY overfilled . . . I’m talking a quart or two, or more, overfilled . . . that might explain the ticking

However, if it’s only a quarter of a quart overfilled, it’s probably not the cause of the ticking

Like db4690 said, there is overfilled and then there is OVERFILLED. If you want to know if your are OVERFILLED (i.e. by too much), one thing to do is pull the dipstick immediately after having driven a decent distance (enough to get the car all the way up to temperature and a little beyond that). If there is any sign of bubbles/foaming then it is dangerously overfilled.

On the other hand, a lot of shops do a slight overfill - because they know that many people don’t bother to check their own oil. In the event that the car is losing oil, the slight overfill provides some extra protection against getting blamed by that customer who runs low on oil - because they don’t check it themselves. A slight overfill is not a problem.

Beyond the most recent oil change, what has been your basic pattern for oil changes? A little lax? Or religiously on schedule?

The distance from the “full” mark to the “add” mark is typically one quart.
Compare that to how far the level is above the full mark.
You can pretty well estimate how much over it is.