8 Common Mazda 2.5 Turbo Skyactiv Engine Problems

Are you interested in buying a Mazda with a 2.5L turbo engine and want to learn more about the Mazda 2.5 turbo Skyactiv engine problems? If that is the case, you are in the right place. In this article, we are going to cover all of the issues with this engine.

Doing your own research is important in order to get the grasp of knowledge needed before you buy a car. And this is mandatory for every aspiring new Mazda owner. This is the case because every engine carries some problems. Some engines are more problematic, while some are less problematic. Your task is to find the least problematic engine, and that’s why we are here to help you out.

First, we are going to cover the basic specs of this 2.5L engine and then we will discuss the Mazda 2.5 turbo Skyactiv engine problems. Then we will cover the applications of this engine, and also we will answer some frequently asked questions. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

Basic Mazda 2.5 Turbo Skyactiv Specs

The Skyactiv engine is a fairly new family of engines that Mazda released on the market. This engine replaced the L and Z family of engines.

This engine got the name Skyactiv because it implements many of the new technologies that Mazda introduced to maximize fuel efficiency. 

The first Skyactiv engine was released in 2012 and these engines are still being produced. There are a variety of different displacements. But we are interested only in the 2.5L turbo engine.

This 2.5L engine is an inline-4 engine that was mainly produced for the Mazda6. This engine was first introduced in 2013 and is still in production until this day.

The design features an all-aluminum block with an aluminum cylinder head with double overhead camshafts Since 2018 the engine also features cylinder deactivation. In addition, the 2.5L engine also features a special intake manifold with butterfly valves that open and close at a certain time to reduce turbo lag. Overall, a pretty revolutionary engine in terms of technology.

When it comes to the numbers, this engine is rated at 137-141 kW (184-189 hp) @ 5,800 rpm and 251-255 N-m (185-189 lb-ft) @ 3,250 rpm depending on the variation.

Common Mazda 2.5 Turbo Skyactiv Engine Problems

Now let’s briefly list the common problems with the 2.5L turbo Skyactiv engine.

Common problems with the Mazda 2.5L Turbo Skyactiv engine include:

  • Cylinder Deactivation System Problems
  • Valve Stem Seal Failures
  • Cracked Cylinder Head
  • Low Oil Pressure
  • Failing Ignition Coils
  • Water Pump Leaks Coolant
  • Carbon Buildup
  • EGR Not Closing

We briefly listed the common problems with the engine, now let’s further elaborate on them in detail and learn when and how these problems develop.

Cylinder Deactivation System Problems

There was a problem with the software reported. This problem was connected to the cylinder deactivation system.

262,000 vehicles were recalled for this matter and the software was updated by Mazda.

Issues that can often appear when this problem occurs are engine misfires and check engine light. The problem could also lead to a stall of the engine.

All affected engines were produced after 2018 when this cylinder deactivation system was first introduced in the market. 

Make sure that in case the engine was produced between 2018 and 2019, the engine was properly recalled.

Valve Stem Seal Failures

Some of the 2021 Mazda models equipped with the 2.5L turbo are notorious for burning engine oil. This is reportedly caused by poor valve stem seals.

As you probably know, there are valve stem seals on each of the valves. These rubber components prevent engine oil from coming down into the combustion chamber.

What happens to a lot of these engines produced in 2021 is that they come with defective valve stem seals and the car starts to drink a lot of engine oil.

There was a technical service bulletin issued by NHTSA on how Mazda should tackle this problem. We will attach a link to this bulletin and there you can see which VIN numbers are affected by this problem.

Cracked Cylinder Head

Another serious problem with this engine is the cracked cylinder head. The cylinder head on this engine can crack and cause all sorts of issues.

Namely, there will be coolant leaks around the exhaust manifold. These cracks develop usually around the stud bolt hole. This problem reportedly is caused by an issue during the casting process and also by stress that often occurs on some of the areas in the cylinder head that are rather weak.

There was also a recall issued on this problem by the NHTSA. Most affected models are the ones produced between 2016 and 2020.

There are separate VIN numbers that are affected by the issue. In the link, you can check the service bulletin issued by the NHTSA on how to handle the problem and what VINs are affected by the issue.

Low Oil Pressure

The next common problem with this 2.5L Mazda engine is the low oil pressure light that often occurs to turn on.

This problem can be attributed to two factors. The low amount of oil was caused by either bad valve stem seals that we discussed previously, other oil burning issues, or possibly because of a bad oil pressure switch.

The oil pressure switch was reported to fail on these engines, especially in cold climates. The oil pressure switch is basically a sensor that checks the oil pressure inside the engine.

And if this switch notices an abnormality, the oil light will turn on. In the case of the 2.5L turbo, this switch can start to leak oil and cause problems like this. So, if you notice grease spots around this sensor, make sure you replace it.

Failing Ignition Coils

Ignition coils are also notorious for failing on these engines. The ignition coil is a component that is found on top of the spark plug.

Modern engines are using individual ignition coils. In total, there are four of these ignition coils on this engine.

What can happen is that they can often fail and cause running issues. You will get the check engine light and there will be frequent misfires.

In addition to these symptoms, the engine will run really rough, and fuel economy might worsen. The way around this problem will be to replace the affected coils with new ones.

Water Pump Leaks Coolant

Another very common problem with this engine is water pump failures. Water pumps are components that are circulating the coolant around the cooling system. Every engine has one water pump for this purpose.

Sometimes these pumps can fail and cause a lot of problems. More specifically, the water pump on the 2.5L engine tends to leak coolant.

The only way around this problem would be to replace the water pump with a new unit. This is not a very expensive job but it is still a headache for a lot of owners.

If you notice some leaks developing around the water pump, make sure that you replace this component as soon as possible in order to avoid complete failure and engine overheating.

Carbon Buildup

Carbon buildup on this engine is also a very common occurrence. This is the case because this engine is running direct injection.

This way of injecting fuel does not allow the intake valves to be properly cleaned and by doing so, you will end up with carbon deposits on the intake valves.

These deposits can become very excessive and prevent the valves from opening and closing correctly, allowing problems to develop. The solution for this problem is to do a walnut blast and clean the ports in order to prevent further issues.

Rough Idle Due To the EGR Valve Not Closing

Another common problem with the 2018 and 2019 models is the issue with the EGR valve. This problem was reportedly occurring because of an EGR valve that did not want to close.

Symptoms associated with the problem include rough idle, engine misfires, and check engine light.

There was another service bulletin issued by the NHTSA on this problem with the repair procedures. More on the technical bulletin can be found in the following link.

Which Models Have The Mazda Turbo Skyactiv Engine?

Now let’s take a look at which models have the Mazda 2.5 turbo Skyactiv engine.

  • 2013-Present Mazda6
  • 2014-Present Mazda3
  • 2016-Present Mazda CX-4
  • 2013-Present Mazda CX-5
  • 2018-Present Mazda CX-8
  • 2016-Present Mazda CX-9
  • 2019-Present Mazda CX-30
  • 2022-Present Mazda CX-50
  • 2022-Present Mazda CX-60 / CX-60 PHEV
  • 2023-Present Mazda CX-90 PHEV


What Are The Common Problems With the Mazda 2.5L Skyactive Turbo?

Common problems with this engine include cylinder head failure, valve stem seal failure, and cylinder deactivation failure. All these problems affect different VIN numbers. The most problematic are the model years between 2018 and 2021. Older engines do not have these issues. Other problems include carbon buildup, coil pack failures, and EGR issues.

Is The Mazda Skyactiv 2.5L Turbo Engine Reliable?

In general, the engine is reliable. Even though it has some serious issues between the years 2018 and 2021. We would advise that you try to avoid these model years. Or at least make sure that the specific engine is not affected by one of the serious issues that we listed. You can check that by the VIN number of that car.

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