2018 CX-5 110k mi Valve Lifter Tick Camshaft Damage? (w/ pics)

Last year I started noticing what I've now learned to be valve lifter ticking coming from the engine. It has been getting worse and it usually happens not on startup, but after 10 mins or so if the temps are 30F-55F. It doesn't seem to happen as often when it's consistently warm or very cold. I've been consistent with oil changes, always using Castrol GTX 0W-20, every 6k-7k miles, and recently I even used the Mazda brand oil w/ moly.

I just accepted a job out of state and want to get any major issues fixed before moving and so, I started trying to diagnose the issue. First I thought a VVT issue or the Oil Control Valve(OCV), as I've also noticed the car running rougher at around 1200 rpm under load. I changed the spark plugs in February at about 95k miles.

I removed the valve cover to my engine and checked the OCV and the tiny screen filter that feeds it. Both were clean, and I tested the OCV/ VVT solenoid for operation - all good. However, I noticed one of the cam lobes has a mark going right down the center (see pic below). This sounds about where the ticking has been coming from...
20221127_145531.jpg


I've also come across this relevant service alert:

It seems the Hydraulic Lash Adjuster is likely defective and should be replaced, and is the culprit of the sound and also the mark on the camshaft lobe.

I plan to take my car in to get the HLA replaced, but do I need to replace my camshaft now too? I look at that mark and worry that now it's been damaged to the point that a new HLA won't resolve things completely.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any input
 
:
Northeast
:
2020 CX-5 Tour
My primary thought is the $$$ they're going to hit you up for, but perhaps you've already prepared yourself for that. One thing that's odd about your pic is that the mark is on an inside cylinder lobe, instead of an outside 'deactivation' cylinder, where all of the problems with the switchable HLAs have been documented in the TSBs. Not that one of those inside cylinder HLAs can't have a problem, just that it's somewhat unexpected to see.
 
My primary thought is the $$$ they're going to hit you up for, but perhaps you've already prepared yourself for that. One thing that's odd about your pic is that the mark is on an inside cylinder lobe, instead of an outside 'deactivation' cylinder, where all of the problems with the switchable HLAs have been documented in the TSBs. Not that one of those inside cylinder HLAs can't have a problem, just that it's somewhat unexpected to see.
After some research tonight, I too was surprised that the mark is on the inner lobe, but maybe it's just a weird anomaly. And and unwelcome one at that.

As far as the $$$, I'm debating leaving the engine apart and towing it to a trusted independent mechanic my family has used for years. Since I'll already have it halfway disassembled that should help with costs :).

Some recommendations I've seen are to replace all the HLAs as a precaution but I wonder how necessary that is.

Do you think the camshaft will still be fine since a new HLA will theoretically operate properly and not suffer from the decreased pressure that's befalling the current HLA?
 
:
Northeast
:
2020 CX-5 Tour
According to what Mazda wrote in the TSBs, they identified a physical issue with the switchable HLAs and fixed the problem with a redesigned part. So based on that, I'd tend to lean towards replacing all of them if it's already partially torn down. But that's JMO, and you'll of course make your own decision on that.

The cam is a more difficult call, because it's hard to say (for me anyway) if the current damage will eventually snowball and become worse. You might want to try getting an opinion from engine rebuilders, or maybe older machine shop guys who probably have a good feel for something like that.

In any case, the immediate consideration for you is to make sure you can source all of the HLAs (and possibly a cam as well), because it's impossible to know what will be needed, until it's fully torn down. In this brave new world of massive parts unavailability, nothing is for sure these days until you're holding it in your hand.
 
:
18 Mazda CX5 AW
Last year I started noticing what I've now learned to be valve lifter ticking coming from the engine. It has been getting worse and it usually happens not on startup, but after 10 mins or so if the temps are 30F-55F. It doesn't seem to happen as often when it's consistently warm or very cold. I've been consistent with oil changes, always using Castrol GTX 0W-20, every 6k-7k miles, and recently I even used the Mazda brand oil w/ moly.

I just accepted a job out of state and want to get any major issues fixed before moving and so, I started trying to diagnose the issue. First I thought a VVT issue or the Oil Control Valve(OCV), as I've also noticed the car running rougher at around 1200 rpm under load. I changed the spark plugs in February at about 95k miles.

I removed the valve cover to my engine and checked the OCV and the tiny screen filter that feeds it. Both were clean, and I tested the OCV/ VVT solenoid for operation - all good. However, I noticed one of the cam lobes has a mark going right down the center (see pic below). This sounds about where the ticking has been coming from...
View attachment 314377

I've also come across this relevant service alert:

It seems the Hydraulic Lash Adjuster is likely defective and should be replaced, and is the culprit of the sound and also the mark on the camshaft lobe.

I plan to take my car in to get the HLA replaced, but do I need to replace my camshaft now too? I look at that mark and worry that now it's been damaged to the point that a new HLA won't resolve things completely.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any input
Thanks for posting this. This noise has been bugging me since I bought the vehicle.

My CPO 4 year old Mazda CX5 has a loud ticking noise. After i purchased the vehicle , I mentioned to my mechanic and dealer and they waved it off as normal injector noise. But I said "it's loud" especially for under 30,000 miles . My Ford V6 never ticked and I've owned little 4 pot VW rabbits and Toyota Corolla that weren't this loud. They still said it's normal. That newer cars fuel injection sounds louder. So after your post, found YouTube video of valve lift ticks that sounds exactly like mine. I'll have to post video later

My next step is to stop at dealer and listen to mine side by side with a new CX5. If they sound the same them I'll just ignore it. If mine is alot more noticeable , then I'll document by contacting Mazda corporate website in writing.

Last case scenario will be to have an independent engine rebuild guy look at it.

Thanks again for the post as it's very informative.

If it is the valve lash and/or lifters, I'm just surprised neither dealer nor local mechanic realized the problem, especially when they listen to engines every day.
 
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According to what Mazda wrote in the TSBs, they identified a physical issue with the switchable HLAs and fixed the problem with a redesigned part. So based on that, I'd tend to lean towards replacing all of them if it's already partially torn down. But that's JMO, and you'll of course make your own decision on that.

The cam is a more difficult call, because it's hard to say (for me anyway) if the current damage will eventually snowball and become worse. You might want to try getting an opinion from engine rebuilders, or maybe older machine shop guys who probably have a good feel for something like that.

In any case, the immediate consideration for you is to make sure you can source all of the HLAs (and possibly a cam as well), because it's impossible to know what will be needed, until it's fully torn down. In this brave new world of massive parts unavailability, nothing is for sure these days until you're holding it in your hand.
Yeah I hear you on the part scarcity.

I just talked with the local dealer and they quoted the HLAs at $67 each. Quite a sticker shock, not gonna lie. It wouldn't be that big a deal if I knew for sure which of the HLAs were bad, but I would rather replace all of them. And luckily the local dealer has them in stock.

Does $67 ea seem high? I see on Rock Auto some aftermarket ones for $23 ea, but I'm unsure if this is a part I'd want to go aftermarket for. Also, looking at this TSB: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10168140-0001.pdf

The HLA on the outer cylinders are different from the inner cylinders. Do you think that by ordering a set of (8) they would include the two different types of HLA or if it's just the adjustable ones?
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA

Thanks in advance for any input
Your decision has to be based on how long do you want to keep your 110K-mile 2018 CX-5 and how much money do you want to spend to fix the HLA noise problem. You still can live with the noise and use thicker 5W-30 oil for as long as the engine can run as is. In fact that may be what I’d do as that costs me almost nothing at this time. And the noisy HLAs should be fine for the time being even if you plan to drive a long distance soon for your new job IMO.

My second choice if I were you is to trade in the car and find another new or used with fewer miles at the earliest convenience. In other words I won’t keep a vehicle whose engine has problematic cylinder deactivation for very long as I simply don’t trust the longevity of an engine with CD.

With 110K miles, you might also consider getting a used engine instead of fixing the HLA noise problem although people have found the price on used engines have been increased more than twofold due to the severe inflation in recent years.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
After some research tonight, I too was surprised that the mark is on the inner lobe, but maybe it's just a weird anomaly. And and unwelcome one at that.

As far as the $$$, I'm debating leaving the engine apart and towing it to a trusted independent mechanic my family has used for years. Since I'll already have it halfway disassembled that should help with costs :).

Some recommendations I've seen are to replace all the HLAs as a precaution but I wonder how necessary that is.

Do you think the camshaft will still be fine since a new HLA will theoretically operate properly and not suffer from the decreased pressure that's befalling the current HLA?
Since you have a 2018 CX-5 which has cylinder deactivation, the HLA noise problem can be complicated. The original 2.5L with CD came out in 2018 from Mazda were suffered fallen rocker arm problem on cylinder 1 and 4 with cylinder deactivation feature. Mazda issued a recall and changed the oil pressure to these switchable HLAs with software updates. My feeling is the oil pressure change could affect the original design functions on these switchable HLAs, and cause undesired HLA noise which may need the revised version of HLAs to run them smoothly. I’d get ALL original HLAs replaced if I plan to get new HLAs for noise problem, and make sure your CX-5 has the updated PCM software from the recall.

The wear mark on that particular cam lobe shouldn’t affect the new HLA as it touches only the rocket arm, not the HLA.
 
:
18 Mazda CX5 AW
Your decision has to be based on how long do you want to keep your 110K-mile 2018 CX-5 and how much money do you want to spend to fix the HLA noise problem. You still can live with the noise and use thicker 5W-30 oil for as long as the engine can run as is. In fact that may be what I’d do as that costs me almost nothing at this time. And the noisy HLAs should be fine for the time being even if you plan to drive a long distance soon for your new job IMO.

My second choice if I were you is to trade in the car and find another new or used with fewer miles at the earliest convenience. In other words I won’t keep a vehicle whose engine has problematic cylinder deactivation for very long as I simply don’t trust the longevity of an engine with CD.

With 110K miles, you might also consider getting a used engine instead of fixing the HLA noise problem although people have found the price on used engines have been increased more than twofold due to the severe inflation in recent years.
Do you think the newer models with cylinder deactivation are a problem as well ?? Or are you surmising better to trade in/get the turbo or just walk away from Mazda altogether?
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Yeah I hear you on the part scarcity.

I just talked with the local dealer and they quoted the HLAs at $67 each. Quite a sticker shock, not gonna lie. It wouldn't be that big a deal if I knew for sure which of the HLAs were bad, but I would rather replace all of them. And luckily the local dealer has them in stock.

Does $67 ea seem high? I see on Rock Auto some aftermarket ones for $23 ea, but I'm unsure if this is a part I'd want to go aftermarket for. Also, looking at this TSB: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10168140-0001.pdf

The HLA on the outer cylinders are different from the inner cylinders. Do you think that by ordering a set of (8) they would include the two different types of HLA or if it's just the adjustable ones?
If you look at this thread where a Mazda dealer replaced all HLAs for Thejas’ 2018 CX-5 GT:

Transmission issues (Loss of power)?

You’ll see 2 part numbers for standard HLAs p/n: PYFA-12-100A and switchable HLAs p/n: PYFA-12-1A0. If you search the part numbers online, they cost only $26.20 / $48.54 each.


8EABB055-4EE8-44EE-A06C-1587431E47CC.jpeg


Service Alert No.: SA-012/19 VALVE TAPPING OR KNOCKING NOISE HEARD FROM CYLINDER HEAD

TSB No.: 01-006/20 TAPPING NOISE FROM ENGINE
 
:
Northeast
:
2020 CX-5 Tour
Yeah I hear you on the part scarcity.

I just talked with the local dealer and they quoted the HLAs at $67 each. Quite a sticker shock, not gonna lie. It wouldn't be that big a deal if I knew for sure which of the HLAs were bad, but I would rather replace all of them. And luckily the local dealer has them in stock.

Does $67 ea seem high? I see on Rock Auto some aftermarket ones for $23 ea, but I'm unsure if this is a part I'd want to go aftermarket for. Also, looking at this TSB: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10168140-0001.pdf

The HLA on the outer cylinders are different from the inner cylinders. Do you think that by ordering a set of (8) they would include the two different types of HLA or if it's just the adjustable ones?
$67 is a typical price for these HLAs:rolleyes:

If they have a good stock of them at your dealer parts dept, then you shouldn't need to order anything in advance, and just buy as needed.

Backing up a step, @yrwei52 gave you some really good advice in post #8 IMO, particularly about trying some higher viscosity oil, and just gutting it out with the noise. I had considered saying something similar, but figured you were full speed ahead on the repair. But I have to say that if I were in your shoes on this, I would definitely try to live with it, at least for some short period of time.

Did your guy give you any clue on the possible cost of this repair? It's a fairly complex and time-consuming job, and I'd be guessing somewhere around $1.5-2K, unless he either works for less than average, or would be giving you a 'friendly break'. And for that amount of $$$, you could even possibly consider the used engine option, should that ever become necessary down the road. Ok, I've made my pitch, and will just wish you good luck, regardless of what you decide to do.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Do you think the newer models with cylinder deactivation are a problem as well ?? Or are you surmising better to trade in/get the turbo or just walk away from Mazda altogether?
I can’t comment on that as I really don’t know how Mazda handles the problems, HLAs、 cylinder head crack、etc., internally on its 2.5L with CD. But I personally have been staying away from any engines with CD, and may be turbo, considering mainly on long-term reliability. Hence after I got my 2016 CX-5 GT AWD and 2018 Toyota Yaris iA which is a Mazda2 in disguise, I suggested my daughter to get a 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE with Dynamic Force 2.0L, as the preferred hybrid or Prime PHEV will take possibly 2 years of wait time to get without a trade-in.
 
Since you have a 2018 CX-5 which has cylinder deactivation, the HLA noise problem can be complicated. The original 2.5L with CD came out in 2018 from Mazda were suffered fallen rocker arm problem on cylinder 1 and 4 with cylinder deactivation feature. Mazda issued a recall and changed the oil pressure to these switchable HLAs with software updates. My feeling is the oil pressure change could affect the original design functions on these switchable HLAs, and cause undesired HLA noise which may need the revised version of HLAs to run them smoothly. I’d get ALL original HLAs replaced if I plan to get new HLAs for noise problem, and make sure your CX-5 has the updated PCM software from the recall.

The wear mark on that particular cam lobe shouldn’t affect the new HLA as it touches only the rocket arm, not the HLA.
I did get the recall software update a few years ago right when it came out so that's at least taken care of.

When you say to get ALL original HLAs replaced, are you referring to just the adjustable ones on cylinders 1 & 4? Or are you including the ones on cyl 2&3?(non CDA)
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
I did get the recall software update a few years ago right when it came out so that's at least taken care of.

When you say to get ALL original HLAs replaced, are you referring to just the adjustable ones on cylinders 1 & 4? Or are you including the ones on cyl 2&3?(non CDA)
IMO I wouldn’t spend big money to repair an engine with cylinder deactivation. In your situation you can just switch to thicker 5W-30 oil and see if the valve noise reduced. Remember 5W-30 oil is Mazda recommended viscosity for the 2.5L worldwide.

But if you really want to spend money, you should replace all 16 HLAs, switchable or not. Just look at the TSB, and the repair invoice via the link above, Even Mazda seems to replace all 16 HLAs for the problem. Consider the huge labor cost you’re going to spend for the job, $26.20 x 4 + $48.54 X 4 is only a small portion for the total repair cost.
 
IMO I wouldn’t spend big money to repair an engine with cylinder deactivation. In your situation you can just switch to thicker 5W-30 oil and see if the valve noise reduced. Remember 5W-30 oil is Mazda recommended viscosity for the 2.5L worldwide.

But if you really want to spend money, you should replace all 16 HLAs, switchable or not. Just look at the TSB, and the repair invoice via the link above, Even Mazda seems to replace all 16 HLAs for the problem. Consider the huge labor cost you’re going to spend for the job, $26.20 x 4 + $48.54 X 4 is only a small portion for the total repair cost.
Now I'm concerned since I was only able to get the switchable HLAs. I tried to order the non adjustable last week in preparation for the repair next week, but they unexpectedly cancelled the order. Not sure if it was due to supply issues or credit issue, but my current situation is that I'll only be getting the switchables replaced so fingers crossed.

I'm hoping this could be a cause of the rough idle I've also been experiencing along with this fluttering, thumping noise that occurs when coming to a stop and the engine is at low revs, or when shifting into reverse and the engine revs low. The thumping is rhythmic such that I believe it's one of the cylinders.

My gas mileage dropped significantly last December when it started getting cold to about 27 mpg. Typically in the warm months(I live in central Wisconsin) it's around 30-32 mpg. I also took off the manifold to inspect the valves and cylinder 4, which seems to also be the one where the HLA tapping is most prominent, had the most carbon buildup compared to the other cylinder valves. What's more, the spark plug from cyl 4 had more black residue on it compared to the other cylinders as well as wetness. See below(Cyl 4 = Top. Cyl 3 = Bottom)
20221201_105003.jpg


The spark plugs were replaced for the first time this March so it concerns me that only Cyl 4 seems to be having issues compared with the others. Bad ignition coil?

My indie mechanic thought carbon buildup or there's not a proper seal being formed during compression.

It seems like all my current issues (automotive ones), are localized to Cylinder 4.

Thoughts?
 
:
Northeast
:
2020 CX-5 Tour
Your OP didn't seem to indicate a significant performance issue, but what you just posted now makes it appear quite a bit more troublesome, and certainly sounds like it needs to be addressed and corrected. Did you try checking the HLAs by pushing down on them, so see if they compress (move) at all under pressure? It's the test specified in the TSB you posted, except they didn't describe the complete procedure.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Now I'm concerned since I was only able to get the switchable HLAs. I tried to order the non adjustable last week in preparation for the repair next week, but they unexpectedly cancelled the order. Not sure if it was due to supply issues or credit issue, but my current situation is that I'll only be getting the switchables replaced so fingers crossed.

I'm hoping this could be a cause of the rough idle I've also been experiencing along with this fluttering, thumping noise that occurs when coming to a stop and the engine is at low revs, or when shifting into reverse and the engine revs low. The thumping is rhythmic such that I believe it's one of the cylinders.

My gas mileage dropped significantly last December when it started getting cold to about 27 mpg. Typically in the warm months(I live in central Wisconsin) it's around 30-32 mpg. I also took off the manifold to inspect the valves and cylinder 4, which seems to also be the one where the HLA tapping is most prominent, had the most carbon buildup compared to the other cylinder valves. What's more, the spark plug from cyl 4 had more black residue on it compared to the other cylinders as well as wetness. See below(Cyl 4 = Top. Cyl 3 = Bottom)
View attachment 314424

The spark plugs were replaced for the first time this March so it concerns me that only Cyl 4 seems to be having issues compared with the others. Bad ignition coil?

My indie mechanic thought carbon buildup or there's not a proper seal being formed during compression.

It seems like all my current issues (automotive ones), are localized to Cylinder 4.

Thoughts?
I assume you own this 2018 CX-5 since new, and have been keeping up the oil change until now at 110K miles. Does the engine consume any oil? I feel if you really want to pursue a fix to your engine, you should do the compression and leak-down test making sure the cylinder #4 (and cylinder #1) has good compression like all others. Your problem seems to be consistent with all other engines with CD, and those CD cylinders will suffer more on premature wear-and-tear problems.

Again, based on the TSBs and posts, I believe you should wait until you can get all 16 HLAs for the fix if you want to do it. In addition, unless the turn-out on compression test is satisfactory, you really shouldn’t go for the HLA replacement at this time.
 
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I assume you own this 2018 CX-5 since new, and have been keeping up the oil change until now at 110K miles. Does the engine consume any oil? I feel if you really want to pursue a fix to your engine, you should do the compression and leak-down test making sure the cylinder #4 (and cylinder #1) has good compression like all others. Your problem seems to be consistent with all other engines with CD, and those CD cylinders will suffer more on premature wear-and-tear problems.

Again, based on the TSBs and posts, I believe you should wait until you can get all 16 HLAs for the fix if you want to do it. In addition, unless the turn-out on compression test is satisfactory, you really shouldn’t go for the HLA replacement at this time.
Bought the car certified pre-owned with about 22k miles on it early 2019, and I've been religious about oil changes.

Update: took the car in to my mechanic and they found one of the HLAs was indeed bad. I watched them push it down with almost no effort so at least there's a clear problem identified there. It was one of the HLAs on the intake side of cylinder #4.

The compression test was strange; all cylinders except cylinder #4 checked out. Cylinder #4 had HIGH pressure compared to the other cylinders. Compression pressure for cyls 1-3 was about 200 psi, but cyl 4 was at 260 psi. What to make of this? This was also the cylinder that had the dirtiest intake valves with lots of carbon build up and the wettish looking spark plug. Oil entering cylinder 4 somehow? Could it be a gasket or piston ring issue? Or oil vapor entering from the intake? Can this engine control airflow to individual cylinders? I'm just confused as to why it would only be one of the cylinders experiencing greater oil exposure.
 
:
Northeast
:
2020 CX-5 Tour
Must be something in the cylinder - heavy carbon build up would be my guess, but your mechanic could scope the cylinder to find out exactly what and how bad it is. Not that it matters much though, because it will need to get cleaned out in any case, assuming that your goal is to keep this vehicle long-term.

The lifter could normally be replaced without pulling the head, but with this extra bit of bad news, IMO the head is going to need to be removed in order to clean #4 properly and completely. Yes, you could try to give it a chemical bath with the head still on, but once that stuff gets baked on in layers, it doesn't dissolve very easily. Very unfortunate development for you.
 
Must be something in the cylinder - heavy carbon build up would be my guess, but your mechanic could scope the cylinder to find out exactly what and how bad it is. Not that it matters much though, because it will need to get cleaned out in any case, assuming that your goal is to keep this vehicle long-term.

The lifter could normally be replaced without pulling the head, but with this extra bit of bad news, IMO the head is going to need to be removed in order to clean #4 properly and completely. Yes, you could try to give it a chemical bath with the head still on, but once that stuff gets baked on in layers, it doesn't dissolve very easily. Very unfortunate development for you.
Unfortunate indeed. I'm moving out of state for a new job next week and was hoping to get this all taken care of this week.

I'm still wondering why only the one cylinder would be suffering from carbon buildup more than the other cylinders. I checked my pcv valve too and it seemed to be fine. When I removed the intake manifold to inspect the valves there was some oil in the manifold. Is that typical for a car with 110k miles on it?