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Thread: Transmission fluid change "How To"

  1. #31
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    2010 CX9 GT Silver/Blk

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    Quote Originally Posted by blink_me192 View Post
    We've got about 36,000km on our CX9 and dads becoming a bit worried that the transmission fluid hasn't been changed yet. But the service handbook doesn't state it anywhere.

    So was just wondering, should it be done or not? For those who have had the ATX fluid replaced, was there any noticeable difference in the way the car responds? It is usually noticeable when the engine oil is replaced. Im also a little sceptical of our dealership because im not sure if they'd know much about the CX9 at all, because since it was launched, I've only ever seen 2 other CX9's driving around.
    Where are people getting these ideas that ATF needs to be routinely "flushed" or replaced? The Mazda manual doesn't mention it. Don't you think they would for a car with an extended powertrain warranty if it was necessary?

    Has anyone submitted an ATF sample for lab testing after 50,000 or 100,000 miles? Wouldn't you think that would be more reasonable (and cheaper) than paying some rip off artist to change fluids just so he can make an extra $100 off you? Come on folks, where is the evidence this practice makes sense? Do you also change the air in your tires every 10K miles? If the manufacturer doesn't recommend it WTF are you doing it for?

    I'm thinking this is just a dealer/garage scam to jack up maintenance fees. I can understand for a vehicle doing heavy towing but the CX9 has a wimpy towing rating so that is not a likely scenario with our cars.

    Where is the freaking evidence that this practice makes sense. Please do not quote evidence from Jiffy Lube or your local garage. What do the engineers say and what data do they provide to back it up?

  2. #32
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    For what it's worth, here's my question to Mazda USA and their reply back to me...

    MY INQUIRY
    To : MazdaCustomerAssistance@mazdausa.com
    > Subject : Ownership & Maintenance - Service
    & Maintenance
    > Date : Sat, 26 Feb 2011 19:14:13 GMT
    >
    >
    > The Mazda maintenance schedule and manual for my 2009 CX9 doe not mention anything about changing or flushing the transmission fluid. The dealer tells me it should be changed every 30K miles, or when dirty. What is Mazda's official recommendation on proper transmission fluid maintenance? Leave it alone since it's not mentioned in the maintenance schedule or owners manual (even if it looks dirty), or have it changed when it appears dirty (no longer pink like new fluid)? I don't want to spend $150 every 30K if I don't have to. Thanks for the information.

    REPLY
    Hello,
    Thank you for contacting Mazda. I understand you are inquiring about the transmission fluid for your 2009 CX-9. Mazda would advise to have your tranmission fluid checked two times a year. Like for instance Spring and Fall. If at the time of inspection the color of the fluid has changed or there is burnt material Mazda would recommend replacement. Miles or time is not a factor in the replacement. Thank you for your time.
    Regards,
    Jennifer Cota-Robles
    Mazda Customer Assistance, Representative

    Anyway...thought I'd put it out here so people know Mazda's "official" recommendation on the matter (or at least that of the customer service rep that relied to me, which I would assume is representative of their "official" recommendation).

  3. #33
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    Mazda CX-9 Touring

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    To island tractor? When do you think the trans fluid should be replaced? They usually say that when the fluid is dark in color that the fluid should be replaced in the tranny. On an older car that i owned the fluid was still red when they did a drain, replace pan filter and refill but that transmission was not electronic. On my windstar the fluid gets very dark after 20k miles which is why i always replace it. The same thing is starting to happen to my cx9 and since i keep my cars for a long time i would rather change it out than wait for something bad to happen. If anyone here has more info i would greatly appreciate it if they shared with us.

  4. #34
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    2010 CX9 GT Silver/Blk

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    The point here is that Mazda engineers do not recommend "routine" changing of the ATF. Some people have, apparently on their own, started doing these changes but if neither Mazda nor the transmission manufacturer recommend that practice then it seems silly. expensive and wasteful. Sure, we all want our transmissions to last 300,000 miles but one should always consider the downsides of extra maintenance too. Every time you do something there is a chance of a problem. Garages make a lot of money on "flushing" transmissions but there are reasonably documented cases of transmissions actually failing right after a flush. If there is a chance of harm and if the manufacturer says don't do more than just check periodically, then why ignore what the manufacturer recommends? Changing fluid by draining it doesn't really change all the old fluid out anyway. Flushing is expensive and sometimes leads to transmission failure. Seems like a no brainer to me: do what the manufacturer recommends. My last vehicle was a Mercedes SUV, I never changed the ATF (you cannot even check it without a special tool) and the tranny was fine at 160,000 miles when I traded it on the CX9. These are modern electronic transmissions with modern high quality ATF. Whatever habits people remember from dealing with their old Chevy are not relevant and sometimes doing "extra" maintenance is useless or worse.
    Last edited by IslandTractor; 02-28-2011 at 10:34 PM.

  5. #35
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    Well i agree with you on the flushing of the tranny. The one place where i take my windstar just exchanges all of the old fluid for new fluid which i think is better. When i was checking the dealers service for this they supposedly powerflush the tranny. I am not too thrilled at all about this. I would rather they just exchange all of the fluid without back flushing the tranny.

  6. #36
    Registered Member ceric's Avatar

    2008 CX-9 GT AWD, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback

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    IMHO, if you did transmission flushing regularly (says every 30K), it should not cause any problems.
    If you haven't for 90K, and all of a sudden you decide that you should do it.
    Good luck with that!

    Flushing might cause large debris to get caught up among moving parts. That is just pure physics.
    Why such large debris exist in the first place?
    Usually, if not always, the owner has neglected the transmission for a long time.
    If you did not flush transmission regularly, drain and refill will be a safer bet, in my opinion, to
    make it last as long as possible before it dies.

    Wasteful maintenance? That is personal financial decision to make.
    Last edited by ceric; 03-01-2011 at 03:08 PM.
    2008 CX9 GT AWD + Assist Pkg + Moonroof Pkg + BSM
    ....Stormy Blue Mica / Beige
    2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback
    ....Soul Red Metallic / Almond

  7. #37
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    2010 CX9 GT Silver/Blk

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    Ceric,

    I understand your points but as you note they are based on "IMHO" not on recommendations from the Mazda or Aisin engineers. I just don't subscribe to the conspiracy theories suggesting that they don't care about longevity. The Mazda recommendations are also essentially consistent with what Mercedes, Toyota and other companies are doing. Check the fluid regularly but don't change it unless it is clearly "abnormal" as defined by burnt smell etc. I don't trust local garages or dealers opinions as they have very clear incentives to get you to pay them to do more work with flushes or even just transmission oil changes. Many dealers after all continue to suggest 3,000 mile engine oil changes when that is an absolute scam and waste of both money and natural resources. I think the transmission oil thing is a parallel situation.

    There must be data on this issue or the car companies would not be in agreement. I presume there must be position papers by some society of automotive engineers too but I've never bothered to track them down. Seems to me it is the responsibility of those who advocate something other than what Mazda recommends to provide evidence rather than just opinion. No one is saying an individual can't do as they please but if making contrarian recommendations on a public forum please back it up with evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by ceric View Post
    IMHO, if you did transmission flushing regularly (says every 30K), it should not cause any problems.
    If you haven't for 90K, and all of a sudden you decide that you should do it.
    Good luck with that!

    Flushing might cause large debris to get caught up among moving parts. That is just pure physics.
    Why such large debris exist in the first place?
    Usually, if not always, the owner has neglected the transmission for a long time.
    If you did not flush transmission regularly, drain and refill will be a safer bet, in my opinion, to
    make it last as long as possible before it dies.

    Wasteful maintenance? That is personal financial decision to make.

  8. #38
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    Mazda CX-9 Touring

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    Davicho

    You used toyota t4 transmission fluid when you did a complete fluid change. How is the transmission acting? is it shifting the same as when you got it at the beginning. Some other websites say to just use the manufacturers fluid to be safe. I figure that if it is not harming your car then i will use the same fluid for my cx9. Thanks in advance for any updated info you can give me.

  9. #39
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    Well i had it flushed at the mazda dealer. One thing i noticed. One there idea of a flush is to circulate some type of cleaner through the tranny before exchanging the fluid. Once that was done then they filled the machine with new fluid in the clean tank to exchange the fluid out. The other thing i noticed is that they get their new fluid from a large drum. I was wondering if this is really the right fluid for the transmission. So far it shifts better. The only reason i question the fluid used is because on the bill it says 3.87 for each quart of fluid. The parts dept. sells this fluid for almost 10 bucks. So i was wondering if next time i should just buy the fluid and show them the invoice so that i can get it for 3.87 a quart.

  10. #40
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    '08 CX-9 Sport AWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by kornholio View Post
    Well i had it flushed at the mazda dealer. One thing i noticed. One there idea of a flush is to circulate some type of cleaner through the tranny before exchanging the fluid. Once that was done then they filled the machine with new fluid in the clean tank to exchange the fluid out. The other thing i noticed is that they get their new fluid from a large drum. I was wondering if this is really the right fluid for the transmission. So far it shifts better. The only reason i question the fluid used is because on the bill it says 3.87 for each quart of fluid. The parts dept. sells this fluid for almost 10 bucks. So i was wondering if next time i should just buy the fluid and show them the invoice so that i can get it for 3.87 a quart.
    I don't think there's anyway to know (now) whether they used the appropriate fluid - I think it all is typically Red in color. Let's hope the service rep used the correct stuff and they just happened to charge you for the 'regular' stuff. But from what I was told (can't be sure of accuracy) they don't produce the 'T-4' fluid in bulk, so they end up dumping individual quarts into the larger container when they flush the tranny. $10 / Qt is a rip-off......$3.87 / Qt is a steal!!!
    2008 CX-9 Sport - AWD

  11. #41
    Registered Member 100$ GUY's Avatar


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    So, has anyone else changed their trans fluid? Is it a lifetime fluid?

    To recap:

    It uses Toyota T-IV fluid, 11 quarts.
    So what about the filter? Only thing could find was something of the auto transaxle filter. But it doesn`t clearly say like in other cars, auto trans filter.

    Any tips, recommendations?


    Ain`t that gorgeous?

  12. #42
    Registered Member ceric's Avatar

    2008 CX-9 GT AWD, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback

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    I have mine replaced at 30K and 45K at local dealership.

    Mazda dealer sells a transmission maintenance kit that you will need to DIY.
    Last edited by ceric; 01-01-2013 at 05:40 PM.
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  13. #43
    Biggie T Skinny helbigtw's Avatar
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    08 CX-9 GT Fwd, Bose/Nav, BSM,Compass/Homelink, Pwr Lift,Tow

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    If the trans filter is anything like this Toureg trans filter, it looks like a not fun project. (Looks like you drop the pan, replace the filter and the trans pan gasket)
    http://www.google.com/shopping/produ...ed=0CE8Q8wIwAA

    08' CX-9 GT FWD
    Color: Gray Mica with Black Interior
    OEM Options: Nav/Bose/Sunroof/Bluetooth Phone/Rack&Crossbars/BSM/Pwr Lift/Homelink&Compass Mirror/Tow Pkg/All Weather Mats
    Aftermarket: K&N drop-in filter/Centric E-Coated rotors & Centric Posi-Quiet Ceramics /Yakima ForkLift Bike Tray / Weathertech front mats
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    Problems to date: Interior blower relays replaced once, intake manifold rear brace was missing from factory build.
    Mileage: 73k Aug/14
    Location: Lexington, KY
    Job: Auto Physical Damage Adjuster

    ... ... ...

  14. #44
    Registered Member 100$ GUY's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by ceric View Post
    I have mine replaced at 30K and 45K at local dealership.

    Mazda dealer sells a transmission maintenance kit that you will need to DIY.
    Can`t find it online. Any part number???
    What does this kit has?
    How much $?
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  15. #45
    Registered Member ceric's Avatar

    2008 CX-9 GT AWD, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback

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    This was listed on my bill of transmission flushing.
    1 M194 Flush Kit = $36.25
    10 MATF Multi ATF @$4.42 = $44.2
    + labor = $134 (after $14 discount = 10%)

    So, I am sure there is a kit that looks like looks like helbigtw's link.
    Last edited by ceric; 01-01-2013 at 09:09 PM.
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