Risky purchase: Mk3 first service @30 months.

I recently bought a '08 Mk3 RC 2.0 Sport and unfortunately hadn’t properly looked through the service history before buying (lesson learned…).

I’ve now noticed (and verified with the 1 previous owner) that its first service (treated as a 2-year service by the Mazda dealer) was at 30 months (3 months ago) with 16.5k miles on the clock. That’s well overdue based on the 12.5k/12month cycle suggested by Mazda: no doubt the oil wasn’t doing the engine many favours by that point.

The car itself is in very good condition and has behaved itself absolutely fine with no unusual noises or behaviour since I bought it. However I am concerned about any issues which may be on the way due to the past underservicing. What sort of things should I look for? Is there any type of check which can be done to determine whether any serious damage has occurred? I’m guessing that trying to fix things now will be easier than waiting for something to go wrong. Or should I just sell it on immediately?

On the other hand, I’ve heard of some cars (MINIs?) lasting 2 years/ 20000 miles between services: so maybe it’ll be OK…



I think it’ll be fine douglasc, just look after it from now on and there should be no harm done. These are tough and well proven engines with plenty of built in “compliance”. I suggest that you change the oil and filter more frequently than 125000 miles anyway (say, 10000 max) for peace of mind. Enjoy your '5, kind regards, Kev.

I’m certainly enjoying it: it has been great for the 500 miles my girlfriend and I have managed in the last couple of weekends! I intend to change the oil/filter half-way between scheduled services (as I did with my last car), which will hopefully keep it happy.

Having driven more, I’ve noticed is that the change between 1st and 2nd isn’t exactly smooth when the car is started cold (once warmed up it’s fine). I have seen this documented elsewhere on the site and may take it to the local dealer to see what they say (before the warranty expires…)

 You should be fine as others have said change the oil a bit early. Since the car hasnt really done a lot of mileage it should be ok.

The stiff 2nd gear is normal on the Mk3. Im sure any mk3 member will tell you the same. It does get easier when the box warms up.

 Yes it’s over .But it’s interesting what you say re the mini .I changed from a Cooper to the Mx5 (no regrets )I had the Mini from new .Was concerned re oil and asked if I should change ."No "came the reply as it was all monitored .After 25,000 miles it was the break fluid change time that caused the car to go in and not the oil.


Having said that I will doing very little mileage in my MX 5 probably 5000 or less it’s only done 9000 now on an 07 .Fortunately it went in religiously for dealer services even though it would appear to have been a summer car judging by the service record .There are records of oil changes at under 1000 mile intervals so I think I got myself a good one .

I hope there aren’t any rules against thread resurrections - I stumbled across this in my mailbox and thought it could be fun to post an update.

9 years on, I can report that the MX5 mentioned above performed perfectly. We’ve had some fantastic road trips e.g. NC500, Alps, French Riviera. The car only needed expected servicing/tyres/brake maintenance until last year when the centre section of the exhaust and some drop links were replaced. Now on 122,000 miles and still going strong!