How Often Should You Service A Mazda 3? [Inc. Oil Change]

Have you recently purchased a Mazda 3, and you’re now wondering how often should it be serviced? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question and have the best answer for you.

At a minimum, your Mazda 3 should receive full service every 12 months, whenever the wrench indicator lights up, when you receive a maintenance reminder on the instrument panel, or every 10,000 miles—whichever of these comes first.

In addition to regular servicing, there are service activities that do not fall under this schedule—like replacing air filters or engine coolant. We will discuss all of this in detail in the succeeding sections. Read on!

Mazda 3 park on the street with beutiful orange building in the back, How Often Should You Service A Mazda 3? [Inc. Oil Change]

How often should you service a Mazda 3?

Following the recommended servicing schedule of your Mazda 3 will help ensure that it will continue to serve you for a long time. A well-serviced Mazda 3 has been known to last at least 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

Additionally, all the recommended schedules should be cut in half if you often drive short distances or often drive at low speeds. This includes the recommended schedule in the previous section.

Engine oil and filter

Auto mechanic with dirty hands and oil filter

Engine oils are used to lubricate internal combustion engines and are enhanced with additives like antiwear and dispersants. It reduces friction on the engine’s moving parts. Thus, reducing wear and the force needed to move the pistons.

The engine oil and the oil filter should be replaced during the service schedule that we mentioned above. Then check the oil pressure after changing the oil and oil filter.

Spark plug

Mechanic holding spark plug

Spark plugs deliver electric current into the engine's combustion chamber to ignite the fuel and air mixture. The spark plugs on your Mazda 3 should be replaced every 75,000 miles.

Inspect them every year to make sure that they are still in good condition. Platinum and iridium spark plugs are advertised to last longer, but it is still a good idea to check them annually.

You might be interested in our article on checking a Mazda 3 that wouldn't start.

Engine air filter

Your engine needs air for combustion, and it is the engine air filter’s job to catch any debris that could get into the engine. Dirt and debris accumulate on the air filter, and it clogs the passage of air the more it gets dirtier.

Your engine is forced to work twice as hard if you keep using a dirty air filter. Additionally, a dirty air filter can cause dust or debris to get sucked into the engine.

The air filter should be replaced every 30,000 miles. However, it is a good idea to inspect it every 10,000 miles and check if it is still usable. Driving on dusty roads can make the engine air filter dirty faster.

EPAuto's Rigid Panel Engine Air Filter replacement is for Mazda 3 SkyActive. Check it out on Amazon.

Cabin air filter

The cabin air filter is responsible for filtering air that enters your Mazda 3 through the air conditioning and heating system. It is an important piece of equipment that maintains the quality of air inside your Mazda 3, keeping out dust, pollen, mold, and pollution.

It is recommended that you replace your Mazda 3 cabin air filter every 30,000 miles. Inspect your cabin air filter every 10,000 miles to make sure that it is still usable and replace it as needed.

Dirty air clean filter for car

Drive belts

The drive belt—also called the serpentine belt in Mazda 3—is responsible for providing power for important systems like the power steering, alternator, air conditioner, and water pump through the crankshaft.

Getting exposed to the heat of the engine plus friction causes wear and tear of the drive belt. Once it breaks, steering becomes difficult. If it also powers the water pump, your engine can overheat once it breaks.

The drive belt can last anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 miles. However, since the engine's heat is a major contributor to drive belt wear, it can get worn faster if your engine often gets hotter than normal.

Inspect the drive belt each time you replace your oil. Look for signs that it needs replacement.

The drive belt needs to be replaced if you see three cracks (of any size) or more in any inch of the belt’s length. If you’ve noticed that it has become more difficult to steer your Mazda 3, then it could be a sign of a drive belt that has worn out.

Smoke or steam coming from the hood could also indicate a worn-out serpentine belt. Another sign is a squealing or flapping sound from under the hood.

Replace the drive belt when you see these signs, even if it hasn’t reached 60,000 to 100,000 miles from the last time that you replaced the belt.

Transfer case fluid

Front-wheel drive is standard in Mazda 3. However, all Mazda 3 trims—except for the base sedan trim—can be upgraded to an AWD.

This is where the transfer case becomes a critical component. It is a drivetrain component responsible for distributing the engine torque from the transmission to all the axles.

The transfer case fluid gets contaminated by carbon buildup. The carbon buildup is the result of cooling hot drivetrain components. A low or contaminated case transfer fluid can lead to differential failure.

It is recommended to change the transfer case fluid every 30,000 miles. However, if the transfer case gets submerged in water, the transfer case fluid needs to be replaced immediately.

Engine coolant

Pouring coolant

The engine coolant or antifreeze is responsible for keeping the engine of your Mazda 3 within acceptable temperatures. It prevents your radiator from freezing in winter and prevents it from overheating during warm months.

The radiator is responsible for taking the excess heat (a byproduct of combustion) out of your engine and cooling it. Temperatures that are too high will cause irreversible damage to the engine of your Mazda 3.

Try Genuine Mazda Gold Premium Fluid Coolant with Bittering Agent. Check it out on Amazon.

Safety precaution

Check the engine temperature before replacing or checking the coolant. The cooling system is pressurized. Opening the coolant reservoir while the engine is hot can cause it to spray hot liquid that can cause injury.

Also, take note that coolants can damage the paint of your Mazda 3. Wash any areas exposed to the coolant immediately after exposure.

Engine coolant level

Coolant temperature gauge on a car's dashboard

Always check the coolant level each time you replace your engine oil or every year—whichever comes first. The coolant tanks in most modern cars like the Mazda 3 have a coolant level indicator.

Maintain the coolant level at full or the “F” level.

Coolant replacement

The coolant of your Mazda 3 should be replaced after the first 120,000 miles or 120 months—whichever comes first. After the first replacement, it should be replaced every 60,000 miles or every 60 months—whichever comes first.

When replacing the coolant, it is important to use a coolant that is recommended by Mazda. Using a different coolant can damage the cooling system.

The Mazda 3 cooling system uses an ethylene-glycol-based coolant to protect the cooling system from corrosion. Never use coolants that contain alcohol, methanol, borate, or even silicate.

Mix coolant with distilled water on a 1:1 ratio. Never use tap water.

Brake and clutch fluid

The brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that transfers the force of your foot on the brakes into the brake lines of your wheels. The clutch fluid works the same way, but it is used on the clutch pedal. Clutch pedals are only present in manual transmission vehicles.

It is recommended to change your brake and clutch fluid every 30,000 miles or 2 years, whichever comes first. If you drive short routes often or do a lot of braking, like whenever you’re in traffic, you’d need to replace the brake and clutch fluids more often.

Brake pads and rotors

The brake pads and rotors are responsible for slowing down your Mazda 3 and keeping it in place.

Brake pads should be replaced every 25,000 to 65,000 miles. The rotors, on the other hand, should be replaced every 30,000 to 70,000 miles. You need to replace the brake pads and rotors more frequently, if you often travel short distances.

Tire rotation

Rotating your tires regularly is an important element of maintaining tire safety and upkeep. Some warranties require that you rotate your tires regularly.

Tire rotation is the periodic changing of the position of each tire. This creates more even wear on your tires. Moreover, evenly worn tires reduce the stress on the drivetrain of an AWD Mazda 3.

Tires should be rotated every 10,000 miles. Although, most drivers rotate their tires whenever they replace their engine oil.

There are several patterns for tire rotation. Which pattern to use depends on your Mazda 3.

Rearward cross

This tire rotation pattern is recommended for AWD Mazda 3. Rear tires are moved to the forward axle on the same side. The front tires are then moved to the opposite side of the rear axle.

X pattern

This tire rotation pattern is recommended for FWD Mazda 3. The rear tires are moved to the front axle on the opposite side while the front tires are moved to the rear axle on the opposite side.

Forward cross

This is another pattern for FWD Mazda 3. The front tires are moved to the rear axle on the same side while the rear tires are moved to the front axle on the opposite side.


Regular maintenance of your Mazda 3 ensures that it will give you many years of service.

Ever wondered if electronic cars need to change oil or routine maintenance? Read our article here.

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