Mazda Skyactiv-G 2.0 Engine Problems, Reliability & Specs

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With its announcement and release in 2012, the Mazda 2.0 engine was featured in many vehicles, and it is still used today.

The engine, in no way, is a high performer. It has been designed for normal and light usage and is perfect for the task.

Although the engine is good, there are some drawbacks that you should know about.

Let’s outline some of the Mazda Skyactiv engine problems:

  1. Sudden Drop In Performance
  2. Damaged Pneumothorax Valve
  3. Low Oil Pressure
  4. Carbon Build Up

As you may have already seen, all of these problems are quite serious, and I listed them in order of how important they are.

We will discuss all four of these issues in detail and how a person can fix them. So, let’s get right into it!

The 4 Most Common Mazda Skyactiv-G Engine Problems

You can find some cons of having the Mazda Skyactiv engine by reading my guides

As promised, all of our focus will be on the problems I outlined above.

I advise that you read through this article thoroughly, or else it could mean serious bad news for your Mazda 2.0 engine.

1. Sudden Drop In Performance


This issue can become quite serious if not treated. Users complained that their engines stopped producing enough HP, and the overall performance dropped drastically.

Many of you may already know about the gradual loss of power, but this is a different scenario.

The Problem

After a lot of research, I finally found the answer to this problem. It turns out that the intake system is not as durable as it should be.

For those who don’t know, the intake system is responsible for taking the air, which is needed for fuel combustion.

Users complained that the intake developed a leak within the first 100000 miles. Now, with a leak, the intake will not perform the one job it is built to do.

With the combustion process not taking place properly, the Mazda Skyactiv engine performance will drop rapidly.

Symptoms And Repair

The thing is, the leak starts as micro-cracks on the surface of the intake manifold. They are so minor that most people miss them. Well, they can quickly escalate into proper cracks.

This does depend on the environment you drive in, and an environment that has more granulated particles will have more effect on how quickly the cracks develop.

Well, when it comes to repairing, the only option is to get the whole part replaced. The intake manifold needs to be taken out, and a new one should be installed.

The process should not be delayed unless you can live with the very low performance.

If you don’t get the issue repaired, you can also run into problems like:

  • Quick overheating of the engine.
  • The vehicle rough idles.
  • There are unexpected backfires.

All of them will affect your driving ability. So, you should get the issue diagnosed and the intake system repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

2. Damaged Pneumothorax Valve


This second problem is the most difficult one to diagnose on this entire list. The thing is, many people don’t even know about the existence of the valve.

Well, the manufacturer has not confirmed the function of this valve, which makes recognizing its faultiness a lot difficult.


Some users did extensive research to find out symptoms that may occur once the valve fails.

There are two symptoms that are associated with this failure:

  • The engine operation is louder than normal.
  • There is oil in the intake system.
  • Knocking sound from the engine.

These are the only two symptoms of this problem. I must clarify that both of these symptoms can be caused by other underlying issues too.

So, you should not take them as confirmation that this is indeed the issue.


Now, this is the trickiest part of all. As there are many mechanics who are not aware of this sensor, they don’t follow the correct protocol to get it fixed.

They are not to be blamed because the manufacturer should clarify this issue. Regardless, as people normally do, they try to work according to the symptoms.

Mechanics try to fix the knocking issue by checking and replacing the spark plugs and then trying to replace the knock sensors.

The fact that they go in blindly won’t help in this scenario.

So, if you are planning to buy this Mazda Skyactiv engine and want to make sure that this problem is treated properly, then you need to get a probe, which will cost you around $200.

Although this is expensive, it is a lot better in situations where parts are just changed blindly.

The probe will be used to check if there is any oil in the intake. If it is present, then you have your answer.

3. Low Oil Pressure

This third problem is the one that was reported the most by Mazda users.

Although the issue affects a very small percentage of the Skyactiv engine, it is, by far, the most reported problem out there. That gives you a glimpse of how reliable the engine is.

Why Does It Drop

Now, the question arises, why does the oil pressure drop in the 2.0L engine? Well, there is only one possible reason for it, which is the failure of the oil pump.

After much speculation, Mazda confirmed the existence of this issue when they issued a technical bulletin, or more commonly known as a TSB.

The company stated that it could either be debris or some sort of obstruction in the pressure relief valve of the engine.

Effect On Daily Driving

There were very few people who complained about this problem being of high severity. Most users saw a slight deviation in oil pressures, but it was nothing out of the ordinary.

There is a very small chance of the issue actually affecting your daily driving. You may notice a higher than usual engine temperature, but it ends there.

There may be some unique cases where the oil pressure drop is too significant to be ignored.

In such cases, there might be a possibility of engine overheating and wear and tear due to friction.

You really don’t want the latter to happen as it will reduce the engine life significantly.

Symptoms And Repair

As the engine does not have an oil pressure light, you will have to rely on other methods to confirm the existence of the issue:

  • Turning on the check engine light.
  • P0015 OR P0524 error codes.

The first symptom could be caused by a variety of issues but losing oil pressure is also a possibility. The second one, on the other hand, confirms this issue.

Oil pressure could be lost due to a leak or due to an obstruction. The chances are that the latter will happen more than the first one.

4. Carbon Build Up

The carbon build-up is an issue that plagues all direct injection engines.

Although the technology has proven itself to be very successful, this issue has some people doubting if it’s good for the long run.

Just to clarify, there are no long-term implications of this issue.

How It Happens

So, how does carbon build-up happen?

Well, it is quite simple to explain. Those engines that use direct injection spray fuel directly into the valves.

Naturally, there is some degree of blowback. The fuel that does not go in travels through the intake tracts and settles in the intake ports.

There is something I need to tell you. The majority of users have never had carbon build-up interfere with their driving ability.

There are very rare scenarios where the build-up is so worse that the engine performance is affected.


The problem is expected to show up when the Mazda 2.0 engine has been driven for around 100000 miles. After this time, you may see a drop in the performance of your vehicle.

There are some symptoms that you can observe to eliminate other possibilities:

  • Unexpected misfires.
  • The engine rough idles.
  • Power loss while driving.

All of these symptoms may indicate that there are deposits in the intake tract of the engine, but they don’t confirm it.

It would be better to get your vehicle professionally inspected to rule out other issues.


So, how can the deposits be cleared from the engine?

There is only one way to do this, and that is walnut blasting. Walnut blasting uses walnut media shells to get the job done.

If the mechanic has some, then he will also offer chemicals that will reduce the chances of deposit formation in the future.

You should definitely opt for that as you may save a lot of time and money.

What Is The Mazda Skyactiv-G 2.0 Engine?

The 2.0L is a fairly recent engine. With its unveiling and general availability, to consumers, in 2012, the engine is still deployed in many vehicles as of 2021.

The engine has been designed for light usage and for daily driving.

With 155 HP and 148 lb. ft of torque, the power output is certainly not impressive but is more than enough for most people who do not use their vehicles for heavy-duty uses.

The newer variants of the engine, exclusively in the US, can produce 181 HP, which is a very decent upgrade.

This is possible, thanks to the use of a wider intake system and by opting for performance exhaust.

Is The Mazda Skyactiv-G 2.0 Engine Reliable?

Now, this is an excellent question. I can assure you that the Mazda Skyactiv-G 2.0 engine is extremely reliable.

Now, how can this be concluded?

This can be seen by the fact that most of the above problems are ones that can happen in other vehicles.

The pneumothorax valve issue is one that I have not heard of before, but others, like the carbon build-up and the oil pressure reduction, can happen to any vehicle.

So, it can be concluded that the engine is extremely reliable. It is not perfect, by any means, but it is a decent engine because it has no design flaws.

What Cars Use The Mazda Skyactiv-G 2.0 Engine?

The first and the only vehicle that debuted alongside this engine was the Mazda3 in 2012. 2013 saw two more vehicles join the ranks, which were the Mazda 6 and the CX-5.

All three of these vehicles still feature the same engine under the hood as of 2021. 2013 saw two more vehicles ship with the same engine, but they didn’t last as long.

The Biante utilized this engine until 2018, while the Mazda 5 used it for only two years until 2015.

The CX3 was unveiled with this engine under the hood in 2015, with the MX5 Miata following in 2016. These vehicles still ship with the very same engine.

Mazda Skyactiv-G 2.0 Engine Specs

Cylinder block composition Aluminum
Cylinder head composition Aluminum
Fuel Gasoline
Fuel injection type Direct injection
Arrangement Inline
No. of chambers 4
Valves in each cylinder 4
Valvetrain layout DOHC
Bore 83.5 mm or 3.29 cubic inches
Stroke 91.2mm or 3.59 cubic inches
Displacement 1998cc
Internal combustion engine (Type) Four stroke, Naturally articulated
Compression ratio 14.0:1
Power 155-162 HP @ 6000 RPM
Torque @ 400 rpm
Weight of engine oil SAE 5W-30
The capacity of engine oil 4.2quarts w/filter
Firing directive 1-3-4-2
The interval between oil change 12000 miles (20000 km) or 12 months

The Benefits Of Choosing The Mazda Skyactiv-G 2.0 Engine

  • It has a high compression ratio, resulting in better efficiency.
  • Has ion sensors in the ignition coils.
  • Has an optimized shape with lighter pistons.
  • Uses direct fuel injection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Many Miles Will My Mazda Skyactiv Engine Last?

You have nothing to worry about when it comes to the Skyactiv engine. Users have reportedly crossed the 250000 and the 300000-mile barrier with these engines.

If you keep the engine maintained regularly, then you can expect similar results.

Q2. How Efficient Is The Mazda Skyactiv Engine?

The engine delivers excellent fuel efficiency. With a compression ratio of a very impressive 14.0:1, the engine can max out on reducing fuel consumption while delivering more energy.

Q3. What Is So Special About The Skyactiv Engines?

The thing about this lineup is that it has cleaner exhaust emissions and stable performance, even at high RPMs.

The engine, overall, is very solid and pretty reliable, which can be seen when you read this article.


Choosing the correct engine for everyday usage is a much more difficult task than it seems. It looks like you don’t have to think twice if you choose to settle on the Skyactiv engine.

As seen throughout this entire article that focuses on the Mazda Skyactiv engine problems, the engine has a very small chance of getting faulty.

It does not have any major issues and does not suffer due to any design flaws. Overall, the engine is rock solid and pretty decent.

It surely will not wow you when it comes to performance, but most people, who don’t have that sort of usage, won’t complain about it.