Monthly Archives: January 2016

Where to get genuine Mazda 0W-20 GF-5 synthetic oil

Recently, I was prepping for my 2016 MX-5’s first oil change, and I noticed something slightly annoying: most US Mazda dealers don’t use genuine Mazda oil anymore. Mazda uses this oil from the factory, but in the US manuals for most of its vehicles, says Castrol 0W-20 is just fine, too. By no small coincidence, Castrol is what most US Mazda dealers use – probably 99% because it’s much cheaper for them to purchase in bulk.

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The thing is, the Castrol has nowhere near the molybdenum content of the Mazda synthetic (650ppm), and the Mazda owner’s manual states quite clearly that optimum gas mileage is only guaranteed if you use the Mazda synthetic oil (i.e., not Castrol).

Luckily, I located an online seller of the genuine Mazda stuff: Avondale Mazda, an Arizona dealership. At the time of my writing this post, it was $9.99 per quart with free shipping (Avondale Mazda has since, apparently, reconsidered and now prices it at an astronomical $13.99 per quart – you’ll have to buy the 12-pack for any sort of remotely worthwhile deal). Avondale sells it by the case (12 quarts) for the equivalent of about $9 per quart, right here. While that may be a bit higher than what you pay if you put in an order at your local Mazda dealership, this is definitely a bit more convenient. Avondale Mazda generally seems to get good reviews on Amazon, too, so I’m guessing they’re pretty trustworthy.

How good a price is this? Very, actually. I called up my local Mazda dealership, a major outfit here in Los Angeles (Galpin), and they wanted $9.50 per quart or $103.20 per case (12qts, $8.60/qt) for the pleasure of going and picking it up myself. Considering that’s around a 30 mile round trip, with gas the difference is a whole couple bucks more to have it delivered to my front door. I’ll take the latter, please.

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CES: where “eco-friendly” tech goes to die.

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For being one of the most “green” industries, the tech business really has no problem being flagrantly wasteful at major trade shows like CES. I’m far from the most eco person on the planet, but the level of waste at CES really burns me up.

Take this flash drive. A metal flash drive with swivel action, in two layers of foam padding, in a metal case, with a plastic window.

The flash drive has four gigabytes of capacity. Four gigabytes. Its purpose? Storing some pictures of products that could have just as easily been stored on Dropbox, Google Drive, or one of many hosting services. But “what if a journalist doesn’t have easy internet access?” My god, is it 2003? I think anyone worth their chops can get access to the internet for the purpose of doing their job in 2016. If you can’t manage that, what does that say about you?

This really is shameful, and it’s the tip of a gigantic plastic/metal/paper waste iceberg at shows like CES. I left, I kid you not, at least a couple of pounds of CES swag-junk in my hotel room in the hope that maybe the staff there might have use for it, instead of just throwing it in the trash or recycling bins. Between the pens, flash drives, notebooks, and – yes seriously – printed press releases, it makes me fume that it’s all acceptable in the name of business.

The CTA (the body that organizes CES) really should set an example for the industry and ban flash drives, promotional pens, printed press releases, and notepads. Swag like this is just plain wasteful. If people are attending a show for free pens and flash drives, maybe the show should be reevaluating its priorities.