Mark 3 NC Oil filter & Drain Plug Access - Any Pics?

Hi Folks,

Can anyone share photo(s) of which plate to remove to get at oil and filter change points on a mk III 2008 car please?

I dropped the engine under tray thinking the filter would become visible, but found it was lurking farther back.

I presume the one or more of the bolt on metal covers at rear of engine must be removed to give the access - would just like to see any pics of what I am aiming for as I will be working at a stretch no doubt.

Also am I correct to assume that there is another drain plug for the transmission oil near to the engine sump plug that I want to avoid.

Is there a decent vid on you tube or anywhere?

Thanks in advance.

Mark T

Working off a driveway/garage floor you need to jack the left front of the car up at the jacking point. When supported by an axle stand you can then change both the oil and the oil filter without the need for further jacking any other part of the car.
The bad news is the oil filter is a bit of  a fiddle/faff to get at and also if it’s been over tightened you need to get enough purchase on it to remove, the corect tool comes in handy
The filter itself is located above the cross member that sits just behind the sump, you can only get one hand up there. To get to that I usually remove the whole plastic cover plate behind the cross member, it does have a small drop down flap for access to the filter but this is virtually useless, 10mm bolts hold the cover in place.
Before your fight with the filter you can move to the front of the car right side and have enough room to get to the drain plug, there is a cut out on that side, you will notice the drain plug and an angle, should have enough gap to get an ordinary wash bowl under there to catch the oil.

Same side LH you can also see the gearbox fill and drain plugs, both looking of a similar size if 6 speed, the 5 speed has a different fill plug with a square head not the hex head, rather like the old radiator plug. Best to axle stand the front and back for the gear oil change.


Google Mazda mx-5 NC oil oil filter/drain plug for pics, for vids same but Youtube, plenty on there.


In this picture the plastic cover panel has been removed, spot the filter and drain plug locations. when removing that filter theres not a a great deal of room to bring it out and that cross memeber catches an awful lot of oil when it’s removed, cloths at the ready.

There is also a thin copper tube sitting there, do not damage it. A bit of a pain to get at even with a two post lift.

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You can get the bottom half of a 2l milk container around the filter once you have loosened it enough to turn it by hand. This should catch most of the oil that comes from the filter and fitting. Still needs cloth for final drips and any overflow though. It’s a messy job so get some cardboard to catch the drips. I use one of those three prong grippy things which just fits around the filter for initial loosening after the garage has over tightened it.

Thanks guys,
I also found this on YouTube -

if you ignore the suicidal working under a precariously raised car I think it shows a few of the things I can expect to find under there.

Not happy that the chassis member appears to be right under where the oil filter has to come off - leading to an oil mess !!!

Just spotted the comment re. 6 speed box - yes I got one of those so will note what is mentioned.


I took the wheel off, removed the black plastic cover then drove a screwdriver through the filter to turn it. Crude and messy but it worked ! 

The filter is a bit of a PITA unfortunately. Once you’ve done it and freed off the massively overtightened filter the first time, future changes shouldn’t be too bad. The five small bolts holding the cover on under the filter aren’t too bad to undo and then you have slightly better access. Not for the filter but the drain plug, I bought and fitted one of these kits. One less thing to have to deal with once fitted 

Left permanently installed, just push the tube on, open the valve and direct the old oil into a container of your choice!


Just noticed where they jacked up the car initially in that video, right in the middle of the sill. It was obviously strong enough but a no no all the same.

That filter came off easily after I guess they had initially loosened it, what with? They are a pig to get a hand grip on, always need a three claw tool for mine, other members have used differing tools.


I always use the triple claw device on mine - it seems too awakward for the strap wrench, but you have to be very careful of the adjacent pipe.

Like the idea of the drain valve. However I’m finding a suction pump handy on my wife’s skoda, to save hours spent removing the undertray (the oil filter on that car can be got at from under the bonnet), may try that on the Mazda next time unless I fit one of those handy looking valves. They should be a standard fitment!

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