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You can, but it's tough. For something that needs replacing every 3000 miles, Mazda didn't make it very easy to access, huh?
The easiest way is to do it from underneath. If you're under the car with your head toward the rear end(front end jacked or ramped), it's to the right of the engine, about 1/2 way up, behind the axle. You'll see it.
Once you find it and change it once, it's a cakewalk.
It helps immensely to have one of those oil filter sockets. I usually jack up the passenger side of the car to help with access (a must now that I have lowered the suspension). Just know that when you break the seal there will be a little oil that comes out of the filter, so don't be directly under it!
you can get to it from the top (on my msp anyway, much hard on my auto ES), just not as easy, i just drive mine up on ramps and get to it from the bottom, and def. watch out for the oil that comes out when you take it off
you were right. i did get trapped down there. i mean, not all this time, but it was a very tight squeeze.
And thanks for the warning about the oil that comes pouring out of the filter. I wish i had waited until i received your warning, however.
I got a hot load of dirty oil jizz right on my chest. good thing i was wearing my old "oil changer" shirt. Well, that's what it's called now.
I was lucky that i could loosen it with my hands. I tightened it by hand, too. I think it's best that way.
Hey, i used the mazda oil filter for the protege. I noticed that it was not from Japan, though, but from their European parts center. Does anyone know anything about these filters?
I also bought a couple of purolator pure one oil filters today, because with the coupon and mail-in rebate, they come out to cost only $0.01!!
Thanks for the help
If you were able to loosen the old filter by hand then it wasn't on good enough. The factory filter says to put it on 1 1/6 turns after the gasket makes contact (there are six dots spaced around the filter to make it easy). You should be able to do this part by hand, it is hard getting a good grip for leverage with where the filter is located but it can be done. All filters specify this sort of tightness. This ensures the gasket is seated and you won't have any leaks. If done properly then you will need some sort of wrench to get it off the next time (due to heat cycling of the filter). You don't want to overtighten it or you can distort the filter housing and cause yourself problems.
I used to use aftermarket filters, some of them tout having better filtration abilities than anyone else but I am not sure how accurate that is. With the drop in price of filters at most dealers today I just go ahead and buy the factory ones. You can sometimes get a deal like buy three get one free which drops the price even more.
Damn...I've been screwing up for years. I always hand tighten the thing so I can get it off later. A dab of oil on the rubber gasket seems to help the filter seat correctly too. Oh-well it's never leaked, so I guess I ain't changing my technique.
zillah: OEM filters are great, and so are Purolators, WIX and Mobile1. Stay away from FRAM and pennzoil.
It is correct to lubricate the O-ring with some oil, it will keep it from sticking to the housing when you take it off and allow it to stay pliable so it can seal. For proper sealing of an O-ring it needs to be compressed (hence tightening the filter more than one turn once the O-ring contacts). If it's worked for you then great, everyone's hand meter is different so you might be putting it on enough. I'm an (****) engineer so I do it by the instructions.