The “Oil Change Due” message illuminated on the CX-9’s dashboard shortly after it reached the 7,000-mile mark, which follows Mazda’s “flexible” maintenance interval (the owner’s manual “severe diving conditions” schedule recommends 5,000-mile oil changes). We placed a call to Neftin Westlake Mazda, in Westlake Village, California, and made an appointment.

Arriving at 7:45 a.m., we were greeted by a friendly service advisor who grabbed the keys and checked the vehicle’s mileage. We asked for just the oil change – everything else appeared to be working perfectly – and said that we’d be waiting. The wait would be an hour, unless we wanted the Mazda washed, which would add another 20 minutes. A sparkling-clean Mazda sounded appealing, so we opted for the additional wait.

We were shown to a waiting area with a desk and free WiFi. About 70 minutes later, earlier than expected, the service was complete.

Also: See the 12 Kelley Blue Book Best Buys of 2018

According to the receipt, the “Minor Service” and “Full Circle Inspection” included draining the engine crankcase and replacing the oil filter. The new fill was six quarts of full synthetic Castrol Edge 5W-30. The tires (“good” at 7/32” or greater tread depth) and battery (“good at this time”) were also inspected. The brakes were also checked (“good” at over 5mm), and the tire pressures brought up to 36 psi at all four corners.

The total invoice was $156.35, but they had us sign an oil rebate form (they took the refund) so our total bill was $89.60, including tax.

Overall, the service was effortless – no upsell or pressure to do maintenance work that wasn’t needed. Our only curiosity was with the sticker that Neftin Westlake Mazda put inside the front windshield that indicated our next visit was due in just 5,000 miles – that’s following the “severe” schedule. Most owners, especially those in temperate Southern California, won’t need to follow that aggressive program that adds another 30 percent to maintenance costs. 

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