Turbocharger Replacement



I just wanted to let you know you are a smart man.
You know what I learned the hard way. I created a case with Oklahoma’s Attorney Generals office against Bob Moore. It’s no surprise that a guy from Arkansas who reached out for help from the Oklahoma AG, received no satisfaction regarding my claims about what an Oklahoma business with 17 dealerships statewide, did to contribute to my $15k loss. Not to mention the $500 car payment I now have, when my completely paid for Mazda CX-7 blew up.
Isn’t he Attorney General a political position???
Things That Make You…Hmmm!-------- Original message --------From: ok4450 cartalk@discoursemail.com Date: 12/27/2016 11:54 PM (GMT-06:00) To: kevin.weisinger@gmail.com Subject: [Car Talk Community] [Maintenance/Repairs] Turbocharger Replacement


          December 28

In OK either or both parties may have an attorney present during a small claims case.

No matter; the failure to change the motor oil had zero, zilch, nada to do with the turbocharger and engine failure.

I will also say this. Bob Moore is a very well known and long established auto dealer with big bucks. Even if the assumption is made that their actions contributed to any and all failures here that does not mean the judge will rule against them.
OK has more than their share of biased and/or moronic judges.

If the judge drives a car purchased from Bob Moore or shares a tee time with some of the management odds are you will be toast no matter what.

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Kevin … not sure if you are aware of it or not, but your recent posts are amended with repeat posts of others you’ve replied to. Makes your posts confusing to read and clutters your thread.


He is having comments sent to his email and responding that way and yes it is rude and irritating.


Just my 2 cents; I don’t think you have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning a suit (small claims or district court) although you can certainly give it a shot.

A few words of caution. You refer to bringing up the BBB reports and AG, Quite often, doing so will alienate a judge so it may be best to not even mention it.

At this point the engine is wiped and the turbo is no doubt wiped for the same reason the engine is; lack of oil.

Earlier I had asked about how often the hood came up to check the oil level and I don’t believe this was addressed.
So that begs the question; what was the oil level at the point the engine died?


On Dec 24th, Kevin wrote:

I’m the only owner.
Almost all interstate in Central Arkansas.
I use a synthetic blend oil
Change oil every 7,500 miles.
Only needs 1/2 quart between oil changes.
My wife drives the SUV 150 miles, to and from work daily…all interstate driving.

I know I’m in the minority on this, but it appears Kevin followed the Mazda maintenance schedule for his car, and yet some here are still critical of his actions.
What am I missing?


Maybe that 7500 miles oil change interval is simply not often enough based on other factors which I mentioned earlier. That would include time, humidity, dust, state of engine tune, fuel quality, and so on.
I can’t speak for some of those but but the dust and humidity are in abundance in Arkansas.

I’ve mentioned this in prior threads but here goes again. As a mechanic I’ve had to deal with customers who lost their turbochargers and/or engines due to engine oil sludging or coking.
Some of those were under warranty and coverage denied. Some were at very low miles; as in 20k, 25k, 30k, and so on. All failed due to engine oil sludging or coking.

Most were very upset. Most often the other factors part of this and “severe service” disclaimer can be difficult or near impossible to find.

Prime example. A customer wanted a new Subaru in a color we did not have. The regional office had one so they sent an employee up on a 500 miles drive to deliver the car. The car was dropped off and the SOA employee was gone in a heartbeat due to his eagerness to get to the airport for the ride home. We soon discovered why he was refusing a free lunch and in a hurry to get out of Dodge…

The car was brand new and had about 550 miles on it. It would barely run and the turbocharger was barbecued. The oil (both in the turbocharger AND the engine itself) was coked or sludged. Coked means oil that is fried; much like grease in a pan left on a burning stove.
Even the paint on the hood above the turbocharger was cracking and blistered.

If this can happen on a 550 miles car (not to mention other 20-30k miles cars) I see no reason why it can’t happen here.


From the description of the environment in Arkansas I believe schedule 2 is appropriate, change oil and filter every 4 months/5000 miles.

Follow Schedule 1 if the vehicle is operated mainly where none of the following conditions
l Repeated short-distance driving
l Driving in dusty conditions
l Driving with extended use of brakes
l Driving in areas where salt or other corrosive materials are used
l Driving on rough or muddy roads
l Extended periods of idling or low-speed operation
l Driving for long periods in cold temperatures or extremely humid climates
l Driving in extremely hot conditions
l Driving in mountainous conditions continually
If any do apply, follow Schedule 2 (Canada and Puerto Rico residents follow Schedule 2).


If the first turbo failed due to sludge then simply changing the oil at the time of turbo replacement would not clean out the engine.
Every FSM I’ve seen are “compartmentalized” when it comes to mechanical part replacement.
I.e., instructions for how to remove and replace a component, which gaskets etc. should not be reused, but nothing about searching for the underlying cause of failure.


Good point. But the FSM’s I’ve used contain more than a set of listed itemized procedures. For each major system, there’s usually some sort of theory of operation section, and often a diagnosis techniques section.


Thanks for the heads up!

Happy New Year!



That’s too bad. What does that say about the auto repair industry? What’s the definition of insanity? Doing things the same way and expecting different results. If they don’t determine why a part failed initially, it’s bad news for the customer and repeat business for the service shop. If the auto industry wants to cleanup their poor reputation for taking advantage of unsuspecting customers, diagnosing why a component failed needs to be added to a mechanics online decision tree regarding automotive repair.


What does the schedule recommend when using full synthetic oil? 7,500 miles or 10,000 miles?


You continue to have this fixation on miles only regarding motor oil. There are a number of other factors which affect and influence oil change intervals even more than the total number of miles driven.

That applies to both synthetic and regular motor oils.


4 months/5,000 miles.

Manufactures normally do not extend the service interval with the use of alternative oils. Some manufactures will cut the time/miles in half if the required synthetic oil is not used.

Did you find some information in your manual that suggests you can operate 7,500 or 10,000 miles between oil changes?


I don’t disagree with you about the difficulty I face seeking any reasonable contribution I’m seeking from the dealer, if I take my case to small claims court.

I would have thought the burden of proof would be in my favor in small claims…“Beyond the preponderance of the evidence” vs. “Beyond a reasonable doubt.”

My experience with this once in a lifetime…perfect storm of everyone not doing what they should have done (including myself) and the poor design by Mazda of the CX-7 4 cyl. Turbo, puts the burden of proof squarely on (The consumer’s) my shoulders.

In a perfect world, every car owner would change their oil every 3,500 miles and document the event. Since that’s not the case in many situations, the service industry has used that against customers to protect themselves against almost every customer complaint. Even though 3,500 Mile oil change intervals have been proven unnecessary and premature in most instances, even the new expanded oil change intervals are still very conservative. I guess “Better safe than sorry” is easier than actual diagnostic testing to determine accurate service intervals.

As long as no group is willing to challenge the automotive industry regarding guidelines and procedures in reference to accurate service intervals and repair procedures, the consumer will continue to either pay too much (Time and Money) for unwarranted service work and vehicle repairs that are a ticking time bomb to either repeat themselves or cause even greater damage the next time the same component fails.

With ALL of the things the dealer did wrong, didn’t do or should have done…the appropriate thing should have been to see why the turbo failed. Usually it’s oil starvation, so why didn’t “Captain Obvious” check for that.

I happen to know after the fact, due to my online research…the CX-7 has a design flaw in the PCV valve. Premature engine sludge buildup is a know problem with the 4 cyl.turbo engine to the Mazda Service community. That’s why the CX-7 is no more. 3, 5, 9, but no 7. The PCV valve remained clogged after the replacement of my turbocharger, which caused the compression in my motor to build up and shoot the dip stick out of the dip stick holder. All but one quart of oil remained after the other 4 or 5 quarts spilled out into the engine compartment. Lack of oil caused my engine to seize. Every time my car was started after that, the dip stick shot across the service shop bay. Duck!!!
I regularly checked my engine oil levels and added oil as needed. I had no idea as a non-motor guy, that the oil I saw on the dip stick didn’t provide a visual clue to the level of engine sludge. The oil looked good to me…not dirty…dark…or thick. Since I don’t know how to check for that, the dealer (Expert) has to do that.

All I needed from the dealer, was to know why they believe the turbo failed and what was needed to correct the problem. It may have cost me, but that’s a choice I should have been provided.

The Dealer…
*We think it’s engine sludge, but we need to do 1, 2 or 3 to determine if that’s what it is. The cost to do the diagnostics will be $$$$$. Replacing the oil, oil filter and air filter, may not correct the problem. Are you willing for us to break a few engine components down so we can confirm the issue. Even then, we may not be able to correct the damage that has been done, but we will have a better idea if you need a new engine or can live with the degradation of your engine, by you not changing the oil more frequently.

Boom! Now the monkey is squarely on my back and the shop did the right thing for me as the customer.

I know what happened…the dealer is always getting blamed for jacking up prices once they have the vehicle up on jacks. The Mazda dealer was probably such good guys, they didn’t want me to think that, so they avoided the confrontation completely. As long as dealers are afraid to do the right thing, this vicious circle of ineptitude will continue, with the customer taking the fall almost every time.


There is still a high level concern that seems to get ignored.

A customer buys a car, drives it per the Mazda’s “normal” maintenance schedule, changes the oil per Mazda’s recommended schedule, never let the oil get lower than 1/2 quart low, and uses an oil that meets the ILSAC spec required by Mazda.

Folks here seem to be blaming him for not changing the oil more often.

While I happen to agree that changing the oil more often for this care would have helped, how does my opinion and that of the rest of those here (a handful of guys on some internet website) help John Q Public with the millions of turbos they buy every year. If they can’t trust the maintenance schedule published by the manufacturer, then what?


You should realize that a PCV is considered a normal maintenance item subject to regular inspection and/or replacement; just like changing the engine oil.
I can assure you that Mazda did not discontinue production of the CX-7 because of an alleged PCV issue.

As for factory maintenance schedules, they are quite often inadequate. Not only in terms of oil change intervals but also transmission fluid service intervals, timing belt intervals, and valve lash inspections just to name a few.

As for the dealer advising the customer of any sludge issues and putting the onus on the car owner I agree with that. However, there is a caveat or two.

  1. It could be that the dealer has advised car owners of this in the past and caught hell and some blame for trying to gouge the consumer for unneeded repairs on a fishing expedition.
  2. The dealer could be afraid of being blamed for causing the problem.
  3. It could also be the tech is simply not aware that sludge/coking can be pervasive.

If they had told you at the time of the turbo replacement that you quite likely needed an 8 grand engine would you have said fine, have at it OR become combative over being told such a thing?


I agree I’m not 100% sure about the PCV valve problem, I just read about it online. I’m not sure what caused the compression in my engine to buildup to a point it jettisoned the dip stick and allowed most of my engine oil to spill out into the engine compartment.

You hit the nail on the head regarding the challenges service shops face from customers that are probably already expecting that type of response from service techs and probably ready to pounce when it happens.

Personally, I probably would have held off on the turbo repair until I got a second opinion. I don’t want to waste $3,000 dollars, when I may need to buy a new engine.

Because my son-in-law is an engine builder/drag racer, I would have towed my car back to Arkansas and let him have a go. He was involved with the Mazda shop to help out his mother in law, since she was 6 hours from home. He told me he specifically told the shop to change the oil…and they still didn’t change the oil.

He could have purchased the turbo for $650 with a lifetime warranty. Mazda charged me $1,200 for the same part, but only had a 12,000 mile warranty. The replacement turbo blew at 12,500 miles. No Warranty for me!

I would not have gotten mad at the messenger, but many would, because they are idiots. Something needs to change, because I lost a $15,000 car and have a $500 a month car payment, when I had none before. The only person that was harmed to this point is me. The shop made money on my $2,900 repair and has suffered no loss.

I have no doubt that Mazda doesn’t direct mechanics to change the oil, oil filter, air filter and fuel filter, but 99 out of 100 do it anyway. That drives me f***ing mad.

Mazda and the Mazda dealer have treated me like dirt this entire time, like it’s my fault. Shame on them. I’m just requesting they share some of the responsibility. If they don’t step up. …I’m not backing down!


As I said, the PCV is a normal maintenance item that should be inspected and/or replaced at regular intervals.
Any PCV that sticks can cause the crankcase to pressure up and do what yours did. Sometimes they just force motor oil out past the crank seals or force oil burning past the piston rings.

Again, failure to change the motor oil had zero, zilch, and nada to do with the turbo and engine failure.

You can certainly bring a suit against them but you shouldn’t hold your breath while waiting on a positive outcome.


What would you do in my situation?
If they did what they should have done, my car should not have blown the dip stick out 12k miles after I spent $3,000 to repair my car.


          January 3

As I said, the PCV is a normal maintenance item that should be inspected and/or replaced at regular intervals.
Any PCV that sticks can cause the crankcase to pressure up and do what yours did. Sometimes they just force motor oil out past the crank seals or force oil burning past the piston rings.

Again, failure to change the motor oil had zero, zilch, and nada to do with the turbo and engine failure.

You can certainly bring a suit against them but you shouldn’t hold your breath while waiting on a positive outcome.

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