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Thread: 2011 CX9 Touring Transmission service

  1. #1
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    2011 CX9 Touring Transmission service

    Just bought a 2011 CX9 Touring. Only 350miles... Trying to get familiar with the engine bay and check all fluids. I cant seem to locate the dipstick to check the fluid level in the transmission. I looked in the owners manual, but there isnt even a section labeled transmission. Am i missing something.

    Im used to servicing honda's...they have no filter to change...just drain and fill a few times every 30k miles. What is recommended for the 2011 CX9 transmission?

    Thanks for the info...

  2. #2
    Registered Member ceric's Avatar

    2008 CX-9 GT AWD, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback

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    There is no fixed schedule to replace tranny fluid on CX9. (Same tranny as Lexus/Toyota's)
    You replace the fluid when something does not feel right (according to Mazda).
    Or, the fluid gets too dirty during full-circle inspection of Mazda.

    Anyway, I personally do not buy that. I learned my lesson from BMW's life-time tranny fluid (what a joke!).
    There is a thread on this, and lots of debates also.
    I keep 30K schedule on the tranny fluid (if flushing it).
    If drain and replace (i.e. DIY), do it at 30K/15K/15K...
    My personal view of course. I am sure someone would disagree. To each one's own.
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  3. #3
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    2010 CX-9 GT AWD ; 2005 Mazda6s GT

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    I'm surprised there's no dipstick. I'll look on my 2010 tonight.
    When I was under there changing the oil I did note that the CX-9 has the same drain plug (10mm Allan wrench) as my 2005 Mazda6, so at least that hasn't changed. Maybe it has a dipstick and it's hard to find? Usually it's black and located kind of far back and low in the engine compartment.

  4. #4
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    If it is the same trans as the 2007 then it is right underneath the that plastic that comes from the air filter. It has a black rubber round piece on top. I couldn't find it at first but i kept looking until i found it and i still wasn't sure so i pulled it out and sure enough it was for the trans.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kornholio View Post
    If it is the same trans as the 2007 then it is right underneath the that plastic that comes from the air filter. It has a black rubber round piece on top. I couldn't find it at first but i kept looking until i found it and i still wasn't sure so i pulled it out and sure enough it was for the trans.
    Thanks for the tip...i'll look again tonight when my wife gets home.
    I'm sure the fluid level is correct..just wanted to check the color...its new but wanted to see how it started out.
    Thnx

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyroMark View Post
    I'm surprised there's no dipstick. I'll look on my 2010 tonight.
    When I was under there changing the oil I did note that the CX-9 has the same drain plug (10mm Allan wrench) as my 2005 Mazda6, so at least that hasn't changed. Maybe it has a dipstick and it's hard to find? Usually it's black and located kind of far back and low in the engine compartment.
    Thnx, i'll check again tonight...i may have just overlooked it.

  7. #7
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    Angry

    OK, i called my dealer. Which is a BMW/Mazda dealer..so he was used to dealing with the "BMW lifetime fluid"...

    He said that mazda recommends "Flushing" the system at 90k...(But he recommends doing this at 60k)

    Flushing-How many of you do this? I've always had honda's or toyota's...every 30k miles, just drain and fill a few times(driving in between to circulate fluid) and your done. Magnet was on the drain bolt..so you could clean off anything that was on the magnet at 30k.

    I know in my Honda's when it gets around 45k, the fluid starts to darken just a bit...so im wondering..how often is TOO often.

    I sure would love to do all the maintenance on my CX9...just how i am. But if its too complicated...i may just take it to the dealer.
    Anyone service there tranny themselves?

  8. #8
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    2010 CX-9 GT AWD ; 2005 Mazda6s GT

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    I checked on my 2010 AWD... The transmission dipstick is just to the left of the positive battery terminal, and down a few inches. It goes at a 45 degree angle and has a black rubber top. I'd recommend a long flexible or angled funnel to fill it easily. Like I noted before the drain requires an allan wrench. I had to buy the allan wrench socket for my 6, if it's the same size on the CX-9 I think it's 10mm.

  9. #9
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    cx9 drain/fill plug

    Ok...I check for a dipstick on my 2011. See pictures below.

    I found an allen bolt at the bottom of the tranny..appears to be the drain bolt.
    I looked in the same area on top for a dipstick, but only found an allen bolt in the location
    where I think the dipstick went on the 2010 and prior. If someone can verify this i would appreciate it...

    top

    top

    bottom


    Q1 is the bolt on top of the tranny the location that the dipstick used to be?
    Q2 if it is..i wonder if its possible to install a dipstick?
    Q3 if the tranny doesnt have a dipstick..how do they know they refilled the tranny correctly when servicing...i know they can measure and refill...but i'd like to know that they rechecked the fluid level once the fluid was heated up.
    Q4 if there is no dipstick...how can i monitor the color of the fluid...if its getting darker.

    Sorry to drag this out...just trying to get this vehicle figured out.
    Thnx K

  10. #10
    Registered Member ceric's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoxeyWeb View Post
    OK, i called my dealer. Which is a BMW/Mazda dealer..so he was used to dealing with the "BMW lifetime fluid"...
    He said that mazda recommends "Flushing" the system at 90k...(But he recommends doing this at 60k)
    Flushing-How many of you do this? I've always had honda's or toyota's...every 30k miles, just drain and fill a few times(driving in between to circulate fluid) and your done. Magnet was on the drain bolt..so you could clean off anything that was on the magnet at 30k.
    I know in my Honda's when it gets around 45k, the fluid starts to darken just a bit...so im wondering..how often is TOO often.
    I sure would love to do all the maintenance on my CX9...just how i am. But if its too complicated...i may just take it to the dealer.
    Anyone service there tranny themselves?
    As I said, I keep a 30K schedule (flushing) on tranny fluid at dealership.
    Mazda recommends "no maintenance" on tranny fluid.
    There is nothing in OM, unless he was talking about internal guidelines of Mazda.
    If you do drain and replace only, more than 1/2 oil is trapped inside the torque converter.
    The cost of flushing is about $110-$120 at my local dealer.
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  11. #11
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    Thnx for the info ceric... I think im going to stick with the 30k service also
    ------
    Ok, bear with me. haha im trying to figure this out...

    the pictures i took last night were at the front of the battery.
    i looked again this morning on the side of the battery and found a tube that is plugged or capped
    going down the rear of the engine/transmission.

    Im hoping that this is the drain/fill/check tube and all i need to do is simply buy a dipstick...
    Not sure how but i will verify this before purchasing any new parts.
    (Im starting to wonder if they did this just to save a few bucks.)


  12. #12
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    THE SAGA CONTINUES...

    I had sent an email to Mazda about the transmission and received a call back.
    They confirmed that the 2010 and 2011 transmissions are "different".
    By that they mean that it doesn't have a dipstick to check fluid levels or condition.

    I asked how am i to monitor the fluids. I was told that the system is "computerized" and that
    the car must be brought into the dealer and there computer could tell me the condition of the fluid
    and if any service is required.

    I indicated that i was not happy with this...and wanted to know if it was physically possible to have the
    dealership install a 2010 dipstick into a 2011 transmission so that i can check the level and monitor the color myself.
    ---
    The Mazda person was very helpful and understood my concerns. He is checking into the possibility of installing the dipstick
    and will be getting back to me (hopefully today).

    I discussed that i had already contacted two different Mazda service departments and was told at one to flush at 30k...
    flush at 90k at another...and read online that it is "lifetime". He is also supposed to get back with me on this..I gave him my
    email address so hopefully i will be getting something in WRITING. If so i will share with the forum.

    I'll let you know if i hear anything from Mazda.

  13. #13
    Registered Member ceric's Avatar

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    Theoretically, since tranny runs at relatively lower temp (as compared to engine oil), and if synthetic fluid
    is used, plus the magnet to trap debris, the fluid could last for a very long time. Therefore, so-called "lifetime" fluid.
    That does not mean you don't replace the fluid, but to replace it when needed only. It could be 100K, 150K, depending on
    how you drive it (highway, all local, etc.)

    As most people prefer preventive care, one can keep one's own schedule on the fluid because tranny is one
    expensive item to replace. My schedule on it is 30K. You don't need to care about what dealer thinks 'cause Mazda
    officially offer NO SCHEDULE on tranny fluid. Your tranny is not likely to fail within powrtrain warranty (60K).
    Therefore, Mazda don't care how you maintain it. We are on our own.
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  14. #14
    Registered Member kelrog's Avatar

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    With transmission fluid and newer cars, you don't need to change the fluid all that much. On automatic transmissions, there is far less possibility of syncro grinding (bad gear changing) so the intervals can go longer. OEM would think it could go for 100k + i would change it around 80k + if I were you. Also it depends on how you drive your car as well. The OEM oil is ok. but if you want to be able to run the trany with no thoughts for 100k i would change it with a high grade ATF oil like AMSoil or Mobil 1. I always use AMSoil if i can help it. On my 02 Acura RSX w/ manual 6 spd I have changed the fluid at 60k but that was because there was 2 previous users (CPO lease car) The fluid was a bit discolored but it probably would have held up longer, but then my clutch gave way at 70 so i had to get it refilled then anyways.

    As for the dip stick. I highly doubt there is one for the Transmission, It is supposed to be a closed system, hense why it is changed far less. The only thing that should be messing with the ATF oil is metal shavings from the clutch/gears and their heat.

    In the end its your car, and if you want to change the oil every 30k it is only going to cost you time and $. Hopefully that will give you the piece of mind you are looking for.
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  15. #15
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    I just received the following email from Mazda a few minutes ago...

    **************************************************
    From: MazdaCustomerAssistance@mazdausa.com
    Subject: RE: Ownership & Maintenance - Service & Maintenance [INTR:473341]
    To: ***********
    Date: Friday, August 5, 2011, 10:00 AM

    Good Morning Mr. Doxey,

    The email you sent in just surfaced this morning.

    Per our conversation, your Mazda CX-9 does not have a dipstick for the automatic transaxle fluid. The transmission is sealed and does not require the fluid to be change unless other transmission work is being performed.

    Again, thank you for contacting Mazda.
    **************************************************

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