2016.5 CX-5 Transmission fluid change questions

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2014 mazda cx-5 touring FWD
Db ---awesome job,pix and detailed info.This is an outstanding contribution to this topic!Yourself and yrwei52 are really digging in to this and deserve to be commended.

I would like to add these comments.

1) A good sealant any day of the week for a tranny pan if that's what the OEM recommends .Over the years with different vehicles and numerous trans services,I 've had exactly one (1) where it didn't leak after time and retorquing.
2) Auto trannys when getting broken in generate metal and friction material "junk" and sometimes a lot of it. Normally grey sludge.You just don't want chunks of steel,bearing pieces and brass chunks.Bigger stuff.I had a GM 4T65E trans that made lots of junk (nature of the beast) and the magnet was completely covered at every service and the tranny lived a long life.So it goes.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
So I poured in (5) quarts of ATF FZ back into the vehicle, turned it on for about 3 minutes and checked the dipstick 3-4 times and I did not see any leaks coming from the bottom of the pan at all. The fluid looked much more clear/blue than before so that's definitely a good sign.

Oh also, two dumb mistakes I made:
  1. I turned my car on by accident with the remote start and turned it off immediately. Hopefully I didn't damage anything but I would advise anyone to disconnect the negative battery cable if you're clumsy like me.
  2. I found my crush washer at the bottom of my food storage container and didn't realize it until I was cleaning up everything so I may have to purchase another 4 bottles of ATF FZ and do another drain and fill. I thought it was stuck on the drain hole because it looked exactly like the crush washer.
Hopefully you guys learned from my mistakes :D

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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Just a few observations:
  1. The car definitely feels a lot better when it's shifting in gear. It's buttery smooth now. I did not notice this during the 2nd drain and fill but after dropping the pan/cleaning things up and changing the filter, I definitely notice the difference. Just something to keep in mind.
  2. I used about (3) different OBD II tools and I still couldn't see the ATF Temps on Torque Pro so I don't know if it's something wrong with my car or if these OBD II readers just don't have the sensors built in. I did check the sensors in the adapter settings as well and they were not listed so I'm guessing the only way to see the actual ATF temps is by using an expensive bidirectional scanner or having the Mazda IDS software.
  3. Since I'm planning to do a 4th drain and fill because I made a mistake, I'll keep you guys updated on how the driving feels to see if it would be worth to do more than (3) or if it would be past the point of diminishing returns.
  4. For anyone planning to recycle the old ATF fluid, you most likely have to keep the OEM containers as I just attempted to recycle (13) of the Mazda bottles + (1) plastic soda bottle but they wouldn't take the soda bottle.
  5. The ATF fluid has a sweet aroma to it, not sure if something is wrong with my nose but it definitely has a pleasant smell.
Things that I may do next time:
  1. Install a Fumoto Drain Valve + Cover to prevent accidentally activating the lever so I don't need to keep using a drain bolt/new crush washers.
  2. Use #0000 Steel Wool/5000 grit sandpaper to buff off the oxidation off of the transmission mating surface/old transmission pan. I plan to replace the transmission pan on my next drop because I notice rust starting to form on the bottom of the pan.
Question(s) for anyone who can answer:
  1. Does anyone know the thread size for the transmission drain bolt and also the oil pan drain bolt?
  2. Has anyone successfully installed a Fumoto valve on their CX-5/vehicle and how has it held up so far?
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
So it looks like I messed up the RTV application process and the ATF FZ is leaking out from the corner. I noticed a puddle when I decided to inspect the bottom of the vehicle just to double check. I guess I'll be redoing the RTV after all, but I'm going to use the Permatex Automatic Transmission RTV Sealant (3 oz.).

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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
So it looks like I messed up the RTV application process and the ATF FZ is leaking out from the corner. I noticed a puddle when I decided to inspect the bottom of the vehicle just to double check. I guess I'll be redoing the RTV after all, but I'm going to use the Permatex Automatic Transmission RTV Sealant (3 oz.).

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Yes, switch to a different RTV. And try to follow the procedure from Mazda FSM.

7. Apply a light coat of silicon sealant (TB1217E) to the contact surfaces of the oil pan and transaxle case.

CAUTION:

  • Clean any remaining silicone sealant on the contact surface of the transaxle case and oil pan, and degrease the sealant area. Otherwise, oil could leak.

8. Install the oil pan with new bolts before the applied sealant starts to harden.

  • Tightening torque8—10 N·m {82—101 kgf·cm, 71—88 in·lbf}
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Yes, switch to a different RTV. And try to follow the procedure from Mazda FSM.

7. Apply a light coat of silicon sealant (TB1217E) to the contact surfaces of the oil pan and transaxle case.

CAUTION:

  • Clean any remaining silicone sealant on the contact surface of the transaxle case and oil pan, and degrease the sealant area. Otherwise, oil could leak.

8. Install the oil pan with new bolts before the applied sealant starts to harden.
  • Tightening torque8—10 N·m {82—101 kgf·cm, 71—88 in·lbf}

I think I'll try that but the question is, do I smudge it all over the surface or do I just apply a small continuous bead? In addition, I watched a few more YouTube vids and there's this guy that is showing what Felix Dan did in his transmission video (#3) which is smudging the RTV over the pan surface instead of applying a continuous bead. In one of the comments, they mentioned that doing so would cause air pockets so it's best to apply in a continuous line but this method definitely seems the easiest to reproduce.
  1. How to use RTV and properly make a gasket
  2. 1995 Lexus ES 300 /Toyota Camry How to Reseal Leaking Oil Pan Gasket using FIPG Sealant
  3. 41TE or A604 Transmission pan seal with RTV, the right way, Trans service
I think the reason why my pan was leaking at the corner may have to do with the fact that I either:
  1. Didn't apply enough RTV at that area
  2. Smudged the RTV against the underbody mounting surface by accident
#2 seems the most likely though but I'll definitely apply more than I did before just to be certain. Also, given that I don't have time constraints, I can take my time and carefully go around all of the bolts


I think this video below does a good job in showing how it's done.
Transmission Pan Gasket, Filter and ATF Replacement - Chrysler PT Cruiser Part II

I thought of a few options:
  1. Spread a thin layer using my finger onto the transmission mating surface + Apply a continuous bead to the pan surface
  2. Spread a thin layer using my finger onto the transmission mating surface + Spread the RTV onto the pan surface using my finger
  3. Apply a small continuous bead around the transmission mating surface + Apply a slightly thicker continuous bead to the pan surface in and around the bolt holes (my original plan)
  4. Apply a slightly thicker continuous bead to the pan surface in and around the bolt holes (my original plan)
I can definitely see why Mazda would not recommend the tranny fluid change now, especially the RTV portion of it. Seems like there's many ways of doing it and the only correct way would be to experiment as everyone seems to have a different method. Safest best seems to be following the manufacturers instructions which is applying the continuous bead 3 - 6 mm in/around the bolt holes and maybe using my finger to apply a light layer onto the mating surface (#1).

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I was browsing another forum and there's definitely some good points being made by mrblaine. Seems like not everyone can agree to the consensus of smearing/beading LOL :LOL:

RTV Bead or Smear?
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
I think I'll try that but the question is, do I smudge it all over the surface or do I just apply a small continuous bead? In addition, I watched a few more YouTube vids and there's this guy that is showing what Felix Dan did in his transmission video (#3) which is smudging the RTV over the pan surface instead of applying a continuous bead. In one of the comments, they mentioned that doing so would cause air pockets so it's best to apply in a continuous line but this method definitely seems the easiest to reproduce.
  1. How to use RTV and properly make a gasket
  2. 1995 Lexus ES 300 /Toyota Camry How to Reseal Leaking Oil Pan Gasket using FIPG Sealant
  3. 41TE or A604 Transmission pan seal with RTV, the right way, Trans service
I think the reason why my pan was leaking at the corner may have to do with the fact that I either:
  1. Didn't apply enough RTV at that area
  2. Smudged the RTV against the underbody mounting surface by accident
#2 seems the most likely though but I'll definitely apply more than I did before just to be certain. Also, given that I don't have time constraints, I can take my time and carefully go around all of the bolts


I think this video below does a good job in showing how it's done.
Transmission Pan Gasket, Filter and ATF Replacement - Chrysler PT Cruiser Part II

I thought of a few options:
  1. Spread a thin layer using my finger onto the transmission mating surface + Apply a continuous bead to the pan surface
  2. Spread a thin layer using my finger onto the transmission mating surface + Spread the RTV onto the pan surface using my finger
  3. Apply a small continuous bead around the transmission mating surface + Apply a slightly thicker continuous bead to the pan surface in and around the bolt holes (my original plan)
  4. Apply a slightly thicker continuous bead to the pan surface in and around the bolt holes (my original plan)
I can definitely see why Mazda would not recommend the tranny fluid change now, especially the RTV portion of it. Seems like there's many ways of doing it and the only correct way would be to experiment as everyone seems to have a different method. Safest best seems to be following the manufacturers instructions which is applying the continuous bead 3 - 6 mm in/around the bolt holes and maybe using my finger to apply a light layer onto the mating surface (#1).

View attachment 227343

I was browsing another forum and there's definitely some good points being made by mrblaine. Seems like not everyone can agree to the consensus of smearing/beading LOL :LOL:

RTV Bead or Smear?
IMO, your leak is caused by wrong type of RTV been used, especially yours is a fast-drying one. Looks like Permatex Automatic Transmission RTV Sealant should be a better choice than Permatex® the Right Stuff® 1 Minute Gasket™ GREY Gasket Maker. As far as on applying method, I personally would prefer method #3 you mentioned above. Also, clean any old silicone sealant, which should be a bit easier since it’s fresh. And degrease the sealant area on the contact surface of the transaxle case and oil pan.

I would use a new drain plug washer for this drain-and-fill just in case. Drain plug on ATF pan is the same as engine oil pan drain plug with 8-mm hex hole. And make sure the factory drain plug washer is not stuck on the drain plug as both of drain plug and washer were painted black and they are easily to be seen mistakenly as one piece.
 
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Mazda CX-9 Signature
Fyi my experience with the transmission rtv was difficult. It was hard to squeeze out, so one continuous bead was not possible for me. My advise is to lay quarter inch bead as far as you can and if you stop, just overlap and continue. Any location that might look too thin, just glob on top.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Fyi my experience with the transmission rtv was difficult. It was hard to squeeze out, so one continuous bead was not possible for me. My advise is to lay quarter inch bead as far as you can and if you stop, just overlap and continue. Any location that might look too thin, just glob on top.

You are honestly 100% correct about the RTV being extremely hard to apply. I just used the non-c02 powered one and it was a PITA. It requires someone with vise grip fingers in order to squeeze it out as my fingers were going numb. I went over some areas twice and I went back and put more on top.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
9/28:
So after taking apart the pan, I honestly don't even see anything wrong with the way I applied the RTV. Everything seems fine in my opinion as the RTV made its way all around. In fact, I would say that I did a way better job the first time applying the RTV two days ago than I did today with the Permatex Automatic Transmission RTV since it came out at a much more consistent and even pace and I didn't need to squeeze for dear life to get even a tiny bit out. Honestly, the only thing that I can think of is that the RTV got stuck on the tip of the new bolts and this caused the room to be taken up and then the bolt did not fully compress all the way into the hole.

In addition, somehow (6) quarts of fluid came out instead of the usual (5) quarts for the pan drop. I'm not sure if it's because I drained it last night and came back this morning and opened the plug again + dropped the pan but there is definitely (6) quarts, not including the amount that leaked out on my driveway.

This article honestly illustrates what I am talking about perfectly if anyone wants to have a read.

Transmission pan leaks

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For the second time, I cleaned up the bolts with all that extra RTV but I probably still made the same mistake of contacting the RTV on top of the bolts. It was getting extremely late and I had to start putting it all back together as I did not want the transmission to be exposed to the elements any longer due to being already open during the rain. I did not take any pictures since it was dark outside and I did apply a thicker layer on the transmission pan and also, I rubbed some RTV on the mating surface this time. So in about 48 hours, I'll post an update and let you guys know everything goes.

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Funny thing is, this area in red that seemed to have a light amount did not leak at all.

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The area in blue is where the ATF FZ was leaking from and if you look at the RTV, there is no breaks so the only conclusion I can come up with is that the bolts on that area had extra RTV on the top of it which made the bolts not compress all the way in.

Also, I'm going to rate the (2) two RTVs I've used so far if it helps anyone:

1 (Low) - 5 (High)
NamePermatex 81180 Automatic Transmission RTV SealantPermatex 25238 The Right Stuff Grey Gasket
Applicator14
Texture (Removal)Unknown1
Cure Time24 hours24 hours
Return Vehicle to Use24 hoursImmediately
Price$9$15

Review
1. Permatex Right Stuff:

So after applying the Permatex Right Stuff RTV about two days ago, I decided to remove the RTV today because there was a leak on the corner. I did my best to scrape off every single little bit of the RTV but the texture of this material is truly awful. Unlike the OEM one that was applied, this texture did not come off in long chunks, but it came off in little tiny pieces, almost like crumbs. I had an extremely difficult time trying to remove it so I had to use some scotch brite non-scratch to aid in the removal + scotch roller sheets and the scotch brite did help for the pan but caused some scratches. I probably won't ever use this RTV again in the future and the only good thing was the applicator.

2. Permatex Automatic RTV Sealant
I used this RTV sealant today and when I was trying to squeeze out the RTV from the tube, I had to use every single muscle in my finger and both hands to even consistently apply anything without breaking the bead. This is actually impossible unless you have vise grips or a pair of pliers and by the time I was almost done applying the last side of the pan, my hand/fingers were extremely sore to the point where I couldn't hand tighten the bolts so I had to use a ratchet and tighten it that way instead.

I don't know what the texture for the Permatex Automatic RTV Sealant is so I can't really comment but I don't want to find out. All I can say is, if you plan to do this yourself, do not get the squeeze tube unless unless you want to use vise grips/pliers.
 

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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
there's lots of dried RTV in the screw holes. did you degrease the surfaces before applying?

Yes, I don't think its's due to not degreasing it but probably because I only had a limited amount of time to apply the right stuff (dries in 5 minutes) and I had to put everything back together immediately. The bolts most likely contacted the RTV when I was installing it and caused the RTV to compress inside of the bolt hole.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
I had a few questions for anyone that can answer. So let's say that the RTV is already cured and I see some leaks on the floor still:

1. If it's caused by the RTV being stuck on the bolts still, would I be able to clean the bolts off and then torque to spec or is it too late since the RTV is already cured?

2. If you take the bolt off on one side, would it compromise the integrity of the RTV?
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
9/28:
So after taking apart the pan, I honestly don't even see anything wrong with the way I applied the RTV. Everything seems fine in my opinion as the RTV made its way all around. In fact, I would say that I did a way better job the first time applying the RTV two days ago than I did today with the Permatex Automatic Transmission RTV since it came out at a much more consistent and even pace and I didn't need to squeeze for dear life to get even a tiny bit out.
Thanks again for the update.

Honestly, the only thing that I can think of is that the RTV got stuck on the tip of the new bolts and this caused the room to be taken up and then the bolt did not fully compress all the way into the hole.
IMHO the problem of your leak most likely is the degreasing the sealant area on the contact surface of the transaxle case and oil pan. The reason by comparing your ATF pan taken faience with factory RTV, and the pan with Permatex® the Right Stuff® 1 Minute Gasket™ GREY Gasket Maker:

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We can see the Permatex® the Right Stuff® does sealed every area properly including the leaking corner evidenced by the sign of metal-to-metal contact is made. I don’t believe the extra RTV pushed into the bolt hole would cause the bolt couldn’t be seated properly.

May be I should try ThreeBond 1207C Liquid Gasket Reddish Brown or OEM RTV as it looks like more easily to apply? (Or could be the guy in the video has good art skill?)

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In addition, somehow (6) quarts of fluid came out instead of the usual (5) quarts for the pan drop. I'm not sure if it's because I drained it last night and came back this morning and opened the plug again + dropped the pan but there is definitely (6) quarts, not including the amount that leaked out on my driveway.
6 quarts of ATF with pan drop was also reported by Boland01. So 5 ~ 6 quarts of ATF with pan drop is needed.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Thanks again for the update.


IMHO the problem of your leak most likely is the degreasing the sealant area on the contact surface of the transaxle case and oil pan. The reason by comparing your ATF pan taken faience with factory RTV, and the pan with Permatex® the Right Stuff® 1 Minute Gasket™ GREY Gasket Maker:

View attachment 227361
View attachment 227362

We can see the Permatex® the Right Stuff® does sealed every area properly including the leaking corner evidenced by the sign of metal-to-metal contact is made. I don’t believe the extra RTV pushed into the bolt hole would cause the bolt couldn’t be seated properly.

May be I should try ThreeBond 1207C Liquid Gasket Reddish Brown or OEM RTV as it looks like more easily to apply? (Or could be the guy in the video has good art skill?)

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6 quarts of ATF with pan drop was also reported by Boland01. So 5 ~ 6 quarts of ATF with pan drop is needed.

Not a problem! I don't agree with the degreasing part as I did use 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol on both the transaxle case and the pan itself so there should be no way that there's still grease. I have another theory though. It could be I did not wait a full 24 hours before re-applying the ATF fluid but that can probably be thrown out the window because "The Right Stuff" packaging/instructions did mention that it can be "put back in service right away."

If there was still grease left on the pan surface itself, I would assume that the RTV would've floated away after being compressed but in the picture that I've taken, everything looks symmetrical. Not saying you're wrong but it doesn't seem likely in my opinion. I think having that extra few mm of RTV on top of bolts definitely did hinder both surfaces from fully compressing and this probably created a gap big enough for the pan to leak out fluid. I honestly wish I knew the answer to this because it cost me a lot of time and money LOL...

May be I should try ThreeBond 1207C Liquid Gasket Reddish Brown or OEM RTV as it looks like more easily to apply? (Or could be the guy in the video has good art skill?)

On the official Three Bond website, the spec sheet doesn't list "Transmission" under 1207C. I think Three Bond 1215 is the one you're looking for but I could be wrong since the guy in the video is using 1207C.

Honestly, I have no idea on other brands as I've only used Permatex so far. Maybe other brands may have better consistency when being applied. Only way to find out is to test it but there's no denying that guy definitely has good skill :D

https://www.threebond.com.au/liquid-gaskets.html

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6 quarts of ATF with pan drop was also reported by Boland01. So 5 ~ 6 quarts of ATF with pan drop is needed.

I think it would've been (5) quarts if I left it alone and did it not drain at during the middle of the night. Would've saved $14 if I knew that would be the case

Here's a compiled list of probable causes that could've caused the pan to leak based on what I think happened.
  1. Extra RTV on top of the bolts around the corner allowing an extra gap for the ATF FZ fluid to spill out.
  2. Not tightening & torqueing the bolts before the 5 minute mark and by the time it was tightened, the RTV hardened up and did not become effective.
  3. ATF FZ fluid may have dripped onto the newly applied RTV while I was attempting to re-install the pan rendering the RTV ineffective/not curing.
  4. Not enough RTV being applied to the surface causing a small gap.
  5. Not waiting 24 hours for the cure time before pouring in new ATF FZ fluid
  6. Pan was moved during the installation process
  7. Did not smear a layer of RTV onto the mating surface
 
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2017 Mazda 6 Sport
Look at the RTV diagram posted. The bead runs on the inside of the screw holes only, not completely surrounding them. Could that be an issue?
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Thanks again for the update.


IMHO the problem of your leak most likely is the degreasing the sealant area on the contact surface of the transaxle case and oil pan. The reason by comparing your ATF pan taken faience with factory RTV, and the pan with Permatex® the Right Stuff® 1 Minute Gasket™ GREY Gasket Maker:

View attachment 227361
View attachment 227362

We can see the Permatex® the Right Stuff® does sealed every area properly including the leaking corner evidenced by the sign of metal-to-metal contact is made. I don’t believe the extra RTV pushed into the bolt hole would cause the bolt couldn’t be seated properly.

May be I should try ThreeBond 1207C Liquid Gasket Reddish Brown or OEM RTV as it looks like more easily to apply? (Or could be the guy in the video has good art skill?)

View attachment 227367
View attachment 227368
View attachment 227369



6 quarts of ATF with pan drop was also reported by Boland01. So 5 ~ 6 quarts of ATF with pan drop is needed.

I took a look again at the picture of the Three Bond. It doesn't look like he used the continuous "bead" method but the "smear" method. Reason being that the lines look too perfect so it looks like he just traced the pans lines using his fingers. For example, in the below picture, there is no RTV but you can see the indentations.

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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Look at the RTV diagram posted. The bead runs on the inside of the screw holes only, not completely surrounding them. Could that be an issue?

I don't know if that would be a cause for concern but I would think having RTV around the bolt holes would provide additional coverage when it is being compressed. For the second time I applied the RTV last night, I didn't go on the outer edges of the bolt holes. I simply remained on the inner portion of the bolt holes so hopefully it makes a difference. I mean the Permatex TDS recommends to apply around the bolt holes but in the diagram from Mazda, they skipped the outer portion...

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2014 mazda cx-5 touring FWD
When torquing the pan bolts, did you tighten them in a proper pattern and in a couple of steps leading up to final torque? Like doing head or intake manifold bolts for instance.
 

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