Mazda Skyactiv-G 2.0 Engine Problems: The 3 Most Common Issues

Mazda Skyactiv-G Engine Problems

For 2012, Mazda introduced the Mazda3 with a 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine for the first time. To this day, it’s found in a small number of Mazda models, most notably the Miata MX5. It’s not very powerful for a NA engine, though. Despite this, it’s still a good fit for many of Mazda’s small, light-weight cars.

The 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engines, while less powerful, are incredibly efficient and dependable. That said, no engine is perfect, and the Mazda 2.0L engine is no exception. There are a few common problems with the Mazda 2.0 Skyactiv engine, as well as general reliability, that we’ll go over in this article.

What Cars Use the Mazda 2.0L Engine?

Models using the Mazda 2.0L Skyactiv-G include:

  • 2012-present Mazda3
  • 2013-present Mazda6
  • 2013-present Mazda CX-5
  • 2013-2018 Mazda Biante
  • 2013-2015 Mazda5
  • 2015-present Mazda CX-3
  • 2016-present Mazda MX5 Miata

155hp and 148lb-ft of torque are available from American engines. Later MX-5 Miata models have a more powerful 181-horsepower engine with a higher redline of 7,500 revolutions per minute (RPM). A larger intake manifold, higher-pressure injection, and a performance exhaust are all part of these Mazda 2.0L engine upgrades.

The amount of power available today may not appear impressive by today’s standards. The 2.0 Skyactiv-G clocks in at less than 3,200 pounds in many models, however.

In the city, the 2.0 Skyactiv-G engines achieve over 30 mpg, while on the highway, they achieve over 40 mpg. The Mazda 2.0 gets great gas mileage even with heavier footing. Fuel economy could be improved even further by people with lighter feet. These impressive figures show that the Skyactiv engine is an excellent choice for saving gas and reducing emissions.

3 Common 2.0 Skyactiv Engine Problems

2.0 Skyactiv Engine Problems

The Mazda 2.0 Skyactiv-G engine is prone to a variety of problems, including the following:

  • Low oil pressure
  • Carbon build-up
  • Nothing

The remainder of this article will cover the previously mentioned subjects. In any case, now would be a good time to make a few quick observations. Up to this point, the Mazda 2.0L engine has proven to be extremely dependable in our tests. There’s a reason these are referred to as the MOST common issues.

The fact that they’re not universal doesn’t mean that they affect a large number of 2.0 Skyactiv engines in particular. Instead, these are a few common places where issues arise when they do occur.

There aren’t many issues with the Mazda 2.0, but this is the first time we’ve encountered it. As a result, in the third section, we’ll just touch on a few broad concepts related to trustworthiness. Whatever the case may be, the Skyactiv 2.0 engine appears to be one of the most dependable ones we’ve ever reviewed.

1) Mazda 2.0 Skyactiv Low Oil Pressure

The most common issue with the Mazda 2.0L engine is low oil pressure. Even so, it’s possible that only a small percentage of Skyactiv engines have problems with low oil pressure. It primarily affects Skyactiv-G 2.0 engines manufactured in the years 2012-2014. Low oil pressure is almost always the result of a malfunctioning oil pump. An object or debris has become lodged in the oil pump’s pressure relief valve. To fix this issue, Mazda released a technical service bulletin (TSB).

Most of the time, it appears to be a non-issue because the oil pressures only deviate slightly from normal. When this occurs, long-term dependability shouldn’t be a problem. However, if too much pressure is lost or the problem is not addressed quickly enough, it may be cause for concern. Long-term use of low oil pressure can lead to premature wear.

When the 2.0 Skyactiv loses too much oil pressure, the main bearings and rod bearings take the brunt of the abuse. Short-term problems are unlikely to arise. Bearing wear, on the other hand, may result in an early engine failure. Oil pressure problems are rare, and severe pressure loss is even rarer. This is not meant to scare anyone.

Skyactiv-G Low Oil Pressure Symptoms

The following are signs that the Mazda 2.0L engine’s oil pressure is too low:

  • Check engine light (MIL)
  • Codes P0015 and/or P0524

Unfortunately, there is no oil pressure indicator on the dashboard for the Skyactiv-G engine. If the oil pressure falls too low, the computer will turn on the check engine light. When your car’s check engine light comes on, Mazda calls it MIL (malfunction indicator lamp). DTC P0015 and/or P0524 will be attached to this.

Mazda 2.0L Oil Pump Replacement

Mazda recommends swapping out the oil pump when the 2.0 Skyactiv engine experiences low oil pressure issues. The oil strainer should be replaced, and the oil pan should be cleaned. As long as there’s no more debris in the way, this should help prevent problems from arising again.

The time it takes to build a particular model varies from 1.5 hours to 4 hours depending on the model. Mazda3 models from 2012 and 2013 are faster, while those from 2014 take more time to produce. The price of the parts will also rise by a few hundred dollars. To put it another way, expect 2.0 Skyactiv-G oil pressure issues to cost somewhere between $400 and $800 to fix.

2) 2.0L Skyactiv-G Carbon Build-Up Problems

2.0L Skyactiv-G Carbon Build-Up Problems

Okay, now we’re on to something that we don’t consider to be a real problem. There is a risk of carbon accumulation on the intake valves on direct injection (DI) engines such as the Skyactiv-G 2.0. Every engine has a certain amount of oil blow-by that makes its way into the inlet ports.

Fuel is sprayed into the intake ports during port injection, which aids in the removal of any deposits that may have formed. DI, on the other hand, sprays fuel directly into the Mazda 2.0 cylinders, meaning the ports and valves aren’t wiped down. Carbon deposits can form when oil adheres to surfaces over time. Direct injection has a lot of advantages, but there is one minor disadvantage.

Modern engines, on the other hand, are equipped with excellent PCV systems that help minimize oil splatter. Even though carbon buildup isn’t completely eliminated, this does help to slow it down. Around 80,000 to 120,000 miles of driving is when you should expect problems due to carbon build-up.

But it’s not an emergency. Some 2.0L Skyactiv engines can operate without cleaning the intake valves for the duration of their lives. However, for the Mazda 2.0 Skyactiv engine, carbon deposits can cause a few symptoms and drivability issues in some cases.

Mazda 2.0 Carbon Build-up Symptoms

Excess carbon build-up in the 2.0-liter engine can manifest as a variety of symptoms.

  • Misfires
  • Rough idle
  • Power loss

As carbon deposits accumulate, the cylinders’ ability to receive fresh air becomes impeded. Engine misfires, rough idle, hesitancy, and other symptoms can result as a result of this. The 2.0 Skyactiv engine will have less power if it accumulates carbon. Even so, it’s likely that you’re not even aware of it because it happens slowly over time rather than all of a sudden.

Skyactiv Engine Carbon Build-up Fix

Intake valves and ports can still be cleaned most effectively with walnut blasting. The walnut media shells and a heavy-duty shop vac are required. Accessing the ports requires removing the 2.0L Skyactiv intake manifold. Once inside, cleaning the valves can take anywhere from an hour to two hours, depending on how bad they are.

Regardless, the cost of walnut blasting a Mazda 2.0 is primarily labor-intensive, with most shops charging between $300 and $600. The use of chemicals in the intake and an oil catch can are two options some people choose. If there is too much carbon buildup, walnut blasting will get the job done most effectively.

3) Mazda 2.0 Skyactiv-G General Considerations

There isn’t much else to say about the 2.0 liter engines in terms of known problems or design flaws. The power of many modern engines is derived from turbochargers or by extracting every ounce of efficiency possible from a naturally aspirated design. Modern technology is used in abundance by the Mazda 2.0 Skyactiv-G engines, but the output per liter is quite low.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s one of the main reasons why the 2.0L Skyactiv is so dependable and efficient. We only mentioned low oil pressure as a real issue in this article.

Mazda 2.0 Skyactiv-G General Considerations

Although it’s still a rare occurrence, Mazda has published a Service Bulletin on the subject of low oil pressure. Other than that, carbon build-up is a minor inconvenience compared to the benefits of direct injection.

We could have found a third issue with Mazda 2.0 engines, but there haven’t been many people reporting it. Cars and engines, on the other hand, utilize tens of thousands of different parts, all made by different companies. On rare occasions, a car will go the full 15 to 20 years and 150,000 miles without developing a problem or two.

To put it another way, the 2.0 Skyactiv engine isn’t impenetrable and error-free. Regardless, it’s an incredible piece of machinery all around. It’s possible that as older models begin to show signs of natural wear and tear, more problems will surface.

Mazda 2.0 Skyactiv Engine Reliability

The Mazda 2.0L engine’s reliability has been questioned. We haven’t hidden our enthusiasm for this engine, that much is clear. The 2.0 Skyactiv engine, in our opinion, gets far better reliability ratings than the industry average. Please bear with us as we get to the end of this section.

It’s true that no mass production engine has ever been perfect, but the Mazda 2.0 is right up there. It’s free of serious design flaws and a slew of other issues. The 2.0 Skyactiv-G engine requires minimal maintenance for a small NA engine.

Mazda 2.0L Skyactiv engine reliabilities can vary depending on the year and mileage of the vehicle. Owners do have some control over some aspects of the business, however, such as maintenance.

Take good care of your 2.0 Skyactive – use only high-quality oils, replace fluids as needed, and address any issues as soon as they arise. Do this, and you’ll find that the Mazda 2.0 engine delivers a satisfying and dependable performance for the vast majority of users.

Which Skyactiv-G engines have you used? Are you thinking about it?

If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments below.

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