Oil Leak in 2008 Mazda CX-7 - how urgent is repair?

I have a 2008 Mazda CX-7, I take it in routinely for oil changes. somewhere between oil changes, there was an oil leak that had developed. no warning lights came on - no check engine light or oil light but the levels were low. I have no idea how long it was leaking for, there was never any oil in the driveway or garage.

anyway, I took it to my dealer when diagnosed it with a dye test and told me that I needed to replace the oil filter, gasket and the entire oil cooler to properly fix the leak - setting me back over $800.

My question is for an opinion as to how urgent this repair is or if I should try and take it to a local mechanic, not my dealer. I have to say my dealer’s service is less than desirable anyway. I have been checking the oil levels since I had it in on the 20th of January and it has not gone done. there are small spots on occasion on the driveway but nothing too major and I have not had to add oil to it since I had it looked at.

Thoughts? because I really do not want to pay $800 at the moment.

My other thing is that I have looked online and the problem is common for these cars however everyone seems to think you can replace just the seal/gasket on the oil cooler for less than $20. My dealer said they can’t order the part, however I seem to have found it ok on ebay. I just don’t know of anyone that can put it in, that’s the problem. are they ripping me off or is this right?

First of all taking an eight year old car to the dealer is silly. The dealer can’t do patch repairs because of liability and the manufacture guide lines they have to follow. Find an independent to look at it. An independent garage can also source salvage yard replacements where a dealer can’t.

How much is it leaking?
How bad is that oil cooler leak? That would be the one that would worry me. Oil coolers are essentially small radiators, and once they develop a small leak the leak usually grows rapidly. It’ll either be from corrosion or from a failing joint, and neither is a stable condition.

I’d recommend you monitor your level closely and get a second opinion on the oil cooler leak ASAP. Once it’s repaired, which will probably require a new oil cooler, you’ll want to get in the habit of checking your oil level regularly. You do not want to rely on only the check done when the oil change time rolls around. If you are using oil, that’ll be too late.

it isn’t leaking much - I checked the oil level every few days since the last time they did the diagnosis and have not had to add anything to it yet. that was 3 weeks ago. it appears to be a leak around the gasket on the oil cooler, not the oil cooler itself but I think because they are saying that cannot order just the gasket that’s why they need to replace the whole thing. there is nothing apparently wrong with the oil cooler itself.

I’d get a second opinion.
Can you post a photo of the leak area?

They All Do That!
At Least That’s How It Appeared When I Googled 2008 Mazda CX7 oil cooler leak.

Check it out.

For small leaks, just put a cookie sheet with kitty litter on the garage floor under the leak. I’ve done this for years with American cars which always developed leaks as they aged.

Most engines eventually develop seepage past gaskets. Gasket materials take a “set”, the material “cold flows”, or reforms over time to conform to the cavity that they’re in… losing the compression by which they seal. Elastomers also dry and shrink. Compare a used gasket to a new one and the new one will usually have a whole lot more abundant “cross section”.

If the OP’s problem is a gasket, I’ve never seen a gasket that couldn’t be replaced. The question is usually whether it’s cost-effective to do so.

This Was Apparently A Design Flaw On These Cars. Mazda Says The Seal Is Not Available Separately.
The Japanese Redesigned A Replacement Part, But From Mazda It Is Several Hundred Dollars.

The oil seeps from the seal when the motor is running, that is when the oil is under pressure and flowing through the oil cooler. You won’t see much oil under the parked car. If you take a long trip check the oil every time you take a rest stop and carry a quart of oil in the back. If you need to add 1/2 quart in a 500 mile trip then I feel you have a significant leak that needs repair.

A good shop can handle this job. No need for a new cooler. But sometimes the fitting can break off at the cooler when they attempt to loosen and remove the fitting. And some oil coolers can be clogged so you might have to replace the cooler too. The dealer is just going with a new cooler to save time for the tech and make a bit more profit.

Is this it? Found the seal on Amazon. https://youtu.be/fhzeCwzFfi8

Excellent find, knifenmore! A tip of the hat to you!

Lordy, what a mess!!


Yes that’s it! I saw that video too but apparently most dealers will tell you they can’t buy the part separately. I am more than willing to buy it online if I can find someone willing to try it. Obviously $10 is better than $460 :slight_smile:

It does appear very common however Mazda won’t own up and fix it so a lot of people are probably in the same boat

There is an independent mechanic near me I am going to take it to next for an opinion and will let them know what is out there online to see what they say they can do.

If Mazda knew anything about customer service…they would mail this improved oil seal to every owner of the CX-7 today.

Dealers generally go straight for your wallet. And they assume you’ll believe whatever they tell you. Unfortunately, most people do.

Check your oil every fuel fillup or possibly every other and you’ll likely be fine till you want to get it repaired.

Curious if anyone heard about the replacement or fix on the oil cooler? I just got my quote from Mazda today for $750. I’ve been just adding oil between oil changes, but forgot this last time. I only drive my car short distances, as it is over ten years old now. I’ve owned it the whole time, and have taken care of it. But this cars blue book value has dwindled, and curious if a different mechanic would be able to fix the leak as said above versus replacing it. Thanks!

I got a 2009 Nissan altima that started pouring oil and transmission fluid I found that it had a oil cooler and it was leaking bought new seal and gasket put it on my self and that fixed the oil leak when I bought the car it was in bad shape the transmission was all busted leaking every were and the engine would not hardly run I went to the junk yard and bought a core transmission that had a broken steel belt and bad valve body so I took it apart and cleaned it put the belt and valve body in it that came out of the busted leaking transmission cleaned up the engine put new gaskets on it and pvc valve and even took the exhaust system off and cleaned it now the car runs and drives great the moral of the story is you can do anything you set your mind that was a very expensive job I done it all for less than 600.00 dollars

Now that you have saved money of a vehicle repair you can now afford a new key board that has a space bar and punctuation keys.