2016.5 CX-5 Transmission fluid change questions

:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
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.
I did my best to torque them in a star pattern at random bolts left-right/top-bottom after finger attempting to finger tighten them. This is for the Permatex Right Stuff which dries in 5 minutes. Not sure how head/intake manifolds work so I can't comment on that.

For the Permatex ATF RTV, I finger tightened them/used a ratchet but used my finger to turn the ratchet. I then waited an hour and came back to torque them at a star/random pattern followed up by going in a circle to make sure I did not miss anything.

I won't find out if the second attempt was successful until tomorrow morning. I'm planning to put in 4 quarts as a test to see if it'll leak first and then proceed to put in the rest of the 2 quarts after a few hours.
 
:
'15 6, '06 5
If you look at the video, the guy’s CX-5 diesel has only 13,121 km / 8,153 miles, and the magnetic has similar amount of metal shavings like your transmission with 63K miles. Those metal shavings should have been there since early stage of the transmission life.
That is precisely why _all_ gearboxes, including A/Ts, get an early oil change in my household. It is only after that early initial change that I extend drains to factory (or other suitable) change interval.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
I did my best to torque them in a star pattern at random bolts left-right/top-bottom after finger attempting to finger tighten them. This is for the Permatex Right Stuff which dries in 5 minutes. Not sure how head/intake manifolds work so I can't comment on that.

For the Permatex ATF RTV, I finger tightened them/used a ratchet but used my finger to turn the ratchet. I then waited an hour and came back to torque them at a star/random pattern followed up by going in a circle to make sure I did not miss anything.

I won't find out if the second attempt was successful until tomorrow morning. I'm planning to put in 4 quarts as a test to see if it'll leak first and then proceed to put in the rest of the 2 quarts after a few hours.
Any update?
 
:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Any update?
It doesn't look like it's leaking after putting about 5.8 quarts in there. However, I think I may have overfilled it previously so I may need to wait till tomorrow to siphon out some fluid, drive it off my driveway and then reassess.

This makes me wonder, could the puddle I have previously be due to overfilled ATF. Does the transmission have a overfill valve somewhere? I was reading other articles and forums and they mentioned that newer cars have a passageway that allows extra fluid to spill out.
 
:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Curious why you think you have over filled
So after warming up the car and measuring the first few times, it looks like I had the level correct or at least closer to the center. The issue arose when I took out the dipstick and the fluid dripped onto the outer lip of the drain hole and every time I put it back and clicked it back into place, the fluid would compress onto the dipstick measuring area and then obfuscate the true fluid level.

This was made worse because the color of the fluid is no longer a golden brown/amber color but a very light blue/transparent color so it's not as obvious where it lies on the stick between Low - High. After re-adjusting the fluid and looking at the dipstick, the level lies exactly on the max line and this is after putting in 4-6 ounces. I noticed that this was an issue after comparing the front of the dipstick to the back of the dipstick where there wasn't any drips.

Silly mistakes but easily fixable, I guess I just wasn't being patient with the amount of fluid I was adding back and also not being cognizant of the extra fluid touching the lip of the transmission dipstick hole so I need to go back and readjust tomorrow but I learned something from this experience.

I'm not really a huge fan of the transmission dipstick on the CX-5 personally. It's very inconvenient because it's stuck all the way down and there's no way to take it out without putting your whole arm in with a paper towel or going under. I feel like they should've used used the same length dipstick as the engine oil. Would've made it extremely easy to service the tranny but that's just me lol
 
Last edited:

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
It doesn't look like it's leaking after putting about 5.8 quarts in there. However, I think I may have overfilled it previously so I may need to wait till tomorrow to siphon out some fluid, drive it off my driveway and then reassess.

This makes me wonder, could the puddle I have previously be due to overfilled ATF. Does the transmission have a overfill valve somewhere? I was reading other articles and forums and they mentioned that newer cars have a passageway that allows extra fluid to spill out.
Since you have picture recorded about 5 quarts been drained out in the first pan drop, do you remember how much ATF did you pour in after the first pan drop?

Even if you overfilled with 6 quarts based on how much ATF you drained out in the second pan drop, I wouldn’t consider it’s severely overfilled. If there’s an overflow valve somewhere, and I’ve never been aware there’s one for SkyActiv-Drive transmission, it shouldn’t leak out ATF through overflow valve like your pictures shown with 1 quart of extra ATF. And you’d also checked the ATF level and it was on the mark although it’s hard for me to read from your picture.

IMHO the leak in your case is caused by improper fast-drying RTV been used, Part of RTV had past proper 5-minute curing time which makes sealing function failed.

This’s also why I always use OEM parts even though they’re more expensive. Because sometimes the non-OEM parts may cause some unexpected issues, which will cost my time and money. And I learned this from my many years of DIY experience.
 
:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Since you have picture recorded about 5 quarts been drained out in the first pan drop, do you remember how much ATF did you pour in after the first pan drop?

Even if you overfilled with 6 quarts based on how much ATF you drained out in the second pan drop, I wouldn’t consider it’s severely overfilled. If there’s an overflow valve somewhere, and I’ve never been aware there’s one for SkyActiv-Drive transmission, it shouldn’t leak out ATF through overflow valve like your pictures shown with 1 quart of extra ATF. And you’d also checked the ATF level and it was on the mark although it’s hard for me to read from your picture.

IMHO the leak in your case is caused by improper fast-drying RTV been used, Part of RTV had past proper 5-minute curing time which makes sealing function failed.

This’s also why I always use OEM parts even though they’re more expensive. Because sometimes the non-OEM parts may cause some unexpected issues, which will cost my time and money. And I learned this from my many years of DIY experience.
In post #83, I poured in (5) quarts after the first pan drop. After I noticed it was leaking the same day, I went back under the car and drained about (4) quarts at night with no pan drop and capped the drain plug. The following day, I opened the plug again and dropped the pan, yielding about roughly (2) quarts. This does not account for the amount that leaked into the driveway. The only reason why I think it is about (6) quarts would be:
  1. The rest of the ATF from the torque converter/somewhere else above drained downwards
  2. Overfilled ATF previously
For the (5) minute drying time, I was reading more about it on other forums and a few people mentioned that it is actually (15) minutes but I can't confirm on that but upon taken the pan apart in the previous photos, the RTV looks perfectly fine which confuses me.

I don't think the problem is using OEM RTV as they all serve the same purpose which is to form a seal between two surfaces to prevent leakage after curing but moreso the users experience level. I won't say that about OEM hardware however since it's more obvious whether something fits or not. The Permatex RTV isn't cheap either, it's about the same price as the Mazda RTV and the reason why I didn't use the Mazda RTV was because they don't really specify when to torque down the bolts unlike Permatex which specifically states to "Torque them down immediately/within 1 hour" upon inspecting the packaging.

The full amount is just slightly below the (6) quart line but this picture was taken to give you an idea since this fluid was drained during the following morning of the leak.
1601593580139.png


Here's a video that I took of the measuring stick the same day after I poured in the (5) quarts. This is for the first pan drop I did. It's very hard to tell by the color because it is transparent.

 
Last edited:

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
So after warming up the car and measuring the first few times, it looks like I had the level correct or at least closer to the center. The issue arose when I took out the dipstick and the fluid dripped onto the outer lip of the drain hole and every time I put it back and clicked it back into place, the fluid would compress onto the dipstick measuring area and then obfuscate the true fluid level.

This was made worse because the color of the fluid is no longer a golden brown/amber color but a very light blue/transparent color so it's not as obvious where it lies on the stick between Low - High. After re-adjusting the fluid and looking at the dipstick, the level lies exactly on the max line and this is after putting in 4-6 ounces. I noticed that this was an issue after comparing the front of the dipstick to the back of the dipstick where there wasn't any drips.

Silly mistakes but easily fixable, I guess I just wasn't being patient with the amount of fluid I was adding back and also not being cognizant of the extra fluid touching the lip of the transmission dipstick hole so I need to go back and readjust tomorrow but I learned something from this after analyzing.

I'm not really a huge fan of the transmission dipstick on the CX-5 personally. It's very inconvenient because it's stuck all the way down and there's no way to take it out without putting your whole arm in with a paper towel or going under. I feel like they should've used used the same length dipstick as the engine oil. Would've made it extremely easy to service the tranny but that's just me lol
Wait until any CX-5 2.5T owners who are interested to DIY on ATF drain-and-fill, or simply just do an ATF level check. Those would be an impossible task for our DIYers unless you’re willing to taking apart the turbo unit! Then how do you check the ATF level with the engine running?

Yeah almost transparent light blue fresh FZ ATF would be hard to read on the gray-color dipstick. Dipstick aside, I wish Mazda can give us a specific drain-and-fill quantity on ATF, not a wide range. Honda gives me 3.1 US quarts from specs on ATF drain-and-fill for my 1998 Honda CR-V AWD. I put in the exact 3.1 quarts Honda ATF at room temperature after the old ATF drained, and I’d get the ATF level in range of the dipstick consistently, no hassle, no fuss! And I can find all detailed info of such task in my owner’s manual!

6DC5BAED-B637-4DC2-BE23-983465786D0D.jpeg

E886AD6E-76C0-4CD9-9B7B-4FBF8F76BBD1.jpeg
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Hey Guys,

I just received my ATF analysis back from WIX. I also posted it in the BITOG forum as well:

2016.5 Mazda CX-5 Touring 64.1k Analysis (WIX)

View attachment 227476
Looks like the contents of aluminum and cooper are higher than others, hence the “torque converter / pump wear indicated“, and “cooler core leaching / clutch pack wear indicated” comments. May be it’d be worth it to send another sample next time you do the ATF drain-and-fill?
 
:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Looks like the contents of aluminum and cooper are higher than others, hence the “torque converter / pump wear indicated“, and “cooler core leaching / clutch pack wear indicated” comments. May be it’d be worth it to send another sample next time you do the ATF drain-and-fill?
I'm not sure, could be a normal thing for Mazda engines but hard to say since I'm not well versed in fluid analysis. Typically, most of the break in and metal shavings occur during the first few thousand miles of the car so what we're seeing could be just that and maybe nothing alarming. I'll do another analysis with another lab as well next time to confirm maybe at the next 10-20k miles. I don't think I'll be doing another pan drop anytime soon though until maybe 120-150k since it's very annoying and time consuming to know whether or not it will leak.

So far, it's been about 2 days with no leaks and I adjusted the fluid level today. Now it's touching the center point line perfectly. I poured in about 5 quarts and 26 fl oz (0.81 quarts) of fluid previously and today, I extracted about 4 fl oz back out (0.125 quarts) giving a total of 5.69 quarts.

6th Container (Few days ago):
This bottle wasn't fully utilized

1601754564765.png


Container (Today): I used this bottle to pour back in the extra fluid
1601754683716.png


Observations:

So far, the throttle response seems much better and crisp. I only have one issue so far but I'm not sure if it's related to the ATF fluid change. When I have the car in sport mode and I rev around 2-3k RPM, I hear some weird noise. Sounds like a metal noise or a clunk, can't really tell. It can be replicated over and over again if I keep revving around that range. I can't identify what it is but it sounds to be coming from the outside (bottom) of the vehicle or maybe it's from my trunk....If I figure it out I'll let you guys know but hope it's nothing serious. What if it wasn't the ATF that was leaking previously but the front differential fluid LOL:eek:

I have an extra bottle of opened ATF fluid that's just sitting here and I'm not sure what to do with it. It also appears that once the ATF fluid is opened, it'll start to leak for some reason even though the cap is tightly closed. Maybe I should just extract one quart out of the dipstick hole and then pour this underutilized ATF after driving a bit longer?

Recommendations:
  • If you're planning to do multiple drain/fills + a pan drop, I would probably recommend to do the pan drop first because you could end up like me and mess up the RTV process near the very end and have to purchase more ATF to correct your mistake.
  • I would suggest to have a syringe handy with long clear plastic tubing at least the 100-150 ML ones in case you mess up and overfill your ATF. This way you can still extract the extra amounts out.
  • Make sure to use the front and the back of the dipstick as a guide to double check if the fluid level is correct as the front of the dipstick can be tricky if you have very transparent fluid like me and it touches the lip of the dipstick hole.
  • If possible, keep the drain plug open and let it drain overnight so once you take the pan off, clean everything up and then get to the RTV portion, you don't have ATF still dripping down because it'll ruin the whole entire process and you'll need to start from scratch.
  • Definitely get a measuring container to see how much fluid drained. Yes, I know it's expensive for a 12 quart container but it'll save you a lot of trouble.
  • I would recommend to apply some RTV to the transaxle case as the RTV on the transmission pan will most likely adhere better and not slide off once it touches the bare aluminum surface and this creates a nice seal..
  • Take your time with cleaning up the surfaces/prepping, it's definitely a chore and there's no time limit. It took me about 2-3 hours for each surface and I did the best I could. It's not 100% cleaned but it's good enough that there shouldn't be leaks.
Lastly, here are some troubleshooting tips that may help:
  • Even after applying the RTV, do you have a leak/puddle on the floor?
Possibilities:
a.
Some ATF dripped onto your RTV when you were installing the pan back
b. You did not degrease the pan/transaxle surface
c. You may have a dent/bent pan lip/bolt hole so it isn't sealing properly and may need to hammer it back to make it even
d. You did not wait 24 hours or whatever the instructions says for the full cure time
e. Not all of your bolts were tightened/torqued correctly
f. You may have extra RTV on the tip of the bolts which caused there to be a gap between the pan surface/transaxle surface
g. The old RTV wasn't fully/properly cleaned off the surfaces
h. You applied too little RTV or there was a gap which caused a poor seal
 
Last edited:

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
I'm not sure, could be a normal thing for Mazda engines but hard to say since I'm not well versed in fluid analysis. Typically, most of the break in and metal shavings occur during the first few thousand miles of the car so what we're seeing could be just that and maybe nothing alarming. I'll do another analysis with another lab as well next time to confirm maybe at the next 10-20k miles. I don't think I'll be doing another pan drop anytime soon though until maybe 120-150k since it's very annoying and time consuming to know whether or not it will leak.

So far, it's been about 2 days with no leaks and I adjusted the fluid level today. Now it's touching the center point line perfectly. I poured in about 5 quarts and 26 fl oz (0.81 quarts) of fluid previously and today, I extracted about 4 fl oz back out (0.125 quarts) giving a total of 5.69 quarts.

6th Container (Few days ago):
This bottle wasn't fully utilized

View attachment 227494

Container (Today): I used this bottle to pour back in the extra fluid
View attachment 227495

Observations:

So far, the throttle response seems much better and crisp. I only have one issue so far but I'm not sure if it's related to the ATF fluid change. When I have the car in sport mode and I rev around 2-3k RPM, I hear some weird noise. Sounds like a metal noise or a clunk, can't really tell. It can be replicated over and over again if I keep revving around that range. I can't identify what it is but it sounds to be coming from the outside (bottom) of the vehicle or maybe it's from my trunk....If I figure it out I'll let you guys know but hope it's nothing serious. What if it wasn't the ATF that was leaking previously but the front differential fluid LOL:eek:

I have an extra bottle of opened ATF fluid that's just sitting here and I'm not sure what to do with it. It also appears that once the ATF fluid is opened, it'll start to leak for some reason even though the cap is tightly closed. Maybe I should just extract one quart out of the dipstick hole and then pour this underutilized ATF after driving a bit longer?

Recommendations:
  • If you're planning to do multiple drain/fills + a pan drop, I would probably recommend to do the pan drop first because you could end up like me and mess up the RTV process near the very end and have to purchase more ATF to correct your mistake.
  • I would suggest to have a syringe handy with long clear plastic tubing at least the 100-150 ML ones in case you mess up and overfill your ATF. This way you can still extract the extra amounts out.
  • Make sure to use the front and the back of the dipstick as a guide to double check if the fluid level is correct as the front of the dipstick can be tricky if you have very transparent fluid like me and it touches the lip of the dipstick hole.
  • If possible, keep the drain plug open and let it drain overnight so once you take the pan off, clean everything up and then get to the RTV portion, you don't have ATF still dripping down because it'll ruin the whole entire process and you'll need to start from scratch.
  • Definitely get a measuring container to see how much fluid drained. Yes, I know it's expensive for a 12 quart container but it'll save you a lot of trouble.
  • I would recommend to apply some RTV to the transaxle case as the RTV on the transmission pan will most likely adhere better and not slide off once it touches the bare aluminum surface and this creates a nice seal..
  • Take your time with cleaning up the surfaces/prepping, it's definitely a chore and there's no time limit. It took me about 2-3 hours for each surface and I did the best I could. It's not 100% cleaned but it's good enough that there shouldn't be leaks.
Lastly, here are some troubleshooting tips that may help:
  • Even after applying the RTV, do you have a leak/puddle on the floor?
Possibilities:
a.
Some ATF dripped onto your RTV when you were installing the pan back
b. You did not degrease the pan/transaxle surface
c. You may have a dent/bent pan lip/bolt hole so it isn't sealing properly and may need to hammer it back to make it even
d. You did not wait 24 hours or whatever the instructions says for the full cure time
e. Not all of your bolts were tightened/torqued correctly
f. You may have extra RTV on the tip of the bolts which caused there to be a gap between the pan surface/transaxle surface
g. The old RTV wasn't fully/properly cleaned off the surfaces
h. You applied too little RTV or there was a gap which caused a poor seal
Thank you very much for all the tips! And I agree to drop the pan in the first round of the drain-and-fills is a better idea, although I was thinking otherwise. Other than possible leak issue, it can drain the dirty old ATF out the most at the first place.

Have you sampled the fluid puddle on the ground and see if it looked like lighter ATF or thicker gear oil? They have different smell too. Front transfer case leak has been reported a couple of times before. So it’s possible but unlikely in your situation.

About higher contents of aluminum and cooper, I was comparing the same contents with other ATF UOA’s in that thread. Yours indeed are higher than every other UOA report for some reason? Driving too hard? Towing a trailer?
 
:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Thank you very much for all the tips! And I agree to drop the pan in the first round of the drain-and-fills is a better idea, although I was thinking otherwise. Other than possible leak issue, it can drain the dirty old ATF out the most at the first place.

Have you sampled the fluid puddle on the ground and see if it looked like lighter ATF or thicker gear oil? They have different smell too. Front transfer case leak has been reported a couple of times before. So it’s possible but unlikely in your situation.

About higher contents of aluminum and cooper, I was comparing the same contents with other ATF UOA’s in that thread. Yours indeed are higher than every other UOA report for some reason? Driving too hard? Towing a trailer?
Np, glad it helps! I guess it would also depend on how many drain and fills you want to do. If you wanted to get rid of most of the crud and have a fresh filter/pan, then maybe do it second last as it's very expensive stuff. Seems like 2/3 drain fills + 1 pan drop is the best.

I did not sample the fluid as it was dark and I was kinda lazy but I really hope it's not front transfer case fluid. Based on the photos that I've taken, it looks light but hard to say because I have never seen gear oil before. Do you recall what caused the leaks?

Ah, now that you put it that way, I definitely agree my analysis does seem higher than most of the analysis that have been posted. In the first 30-45k miles, I definitely didn't go easy at all as I was having too much fun so you could say that I was driving too hard :D

Speaking of differentials, I had mine changed at 42k miles and they used 0000-77-80W9-QT (SAE 80W-90 R DIFF OIL). I'm thinking, since I have 64.5k miles now, should I wait until 72k miles or should I just do it now? I think it was every 30k if I met the those list of criteria's and I did do a lot of <10 mile trips. That way I can also purchase the belt tensioner and serpentine belt in one trip instead of two.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Np, glad it helps! I guess it would also depend on how many drain and fills you want to do. If you wanted to get rid of most of the crud and have a fresh filter/pan, then maybe do it second last as it's very expensive stuff. Seems like 2/3 drain fills + 1 pan drop is the best.

I did not sample the fluid as it was dark and I was kinda lazy but I really hope it's not front transfer case fluid. Based on the photos that I've taken, it looks light but hard to say because I have never seen gear oil before. Do you recall what caused the leaks?

Ah, now that you put it that way, I definitely agree my analysis does seem higher than most of the analysis that have been posted. In the first 30-45k miles, I definitely didn't go easy at all as I was having too much fun so you could say that I was driving too hard :D

Speaking of differentials, I had mine changed at 42k miles and they used 0000-77-80W9-QT (SAE 80W-90 R DIFF OIL). I'm thinking, since I have 64.5k miles now, should I wait until 72k miles or should I just do it now? I think it was every 30k if I met the those list of criteria's and I did do a lot of <10 mile trips. That way I can also purchase the belt tensioner and serpentine belt in one trip instead of two.
About front transfer case leak, one report here was from Germany, and the dealer there eventually wanted to replace the whole transfer case which is very expensive. As usual, the guy didn’t do any follow-ups. The other case was someone in the US, the result was similar. With the amount of gear oil leaked as described, and the capacity of the transfer case is only 0.45 quart, it’s hard to tell if the fluid was really from transfer case. But both cases the mechanic believed the leak-out fluid is gear oil, hence the leak was from transfer case. IMO the most likely location the front transfer case would leak, is the drive shaft (to rear differential) seal. But this shouldn’t be large amount leak like these two reports described.

If I were you the gear lubricant change to front transfer case and rear differential would be my immediate next project because the wrong gear lubricant was used! For 2016 and newer CX-5, Mazda Long Life Hypoid Gear Oil SG1 should be used. You need 2 bottles of SG1 for the change as for rear differential you need 0.8 quart, not 0.45 quart said in the specs. Check the gear oil level at front transfer case (and rear differential too) first making sure the leak you had is not from transfer case. It’s a good practice to loose the filler plug first anyway just in case it can’t get loosed after you’ve drained the oil. It’d be a piece of cake project for you comparing the ATF change you’ve just done! ;)

Rear Diff and Transfer Case Fluid Change: Tools, Parts and Links

I don’t believe there’s a set OCI on front transfer case and rear differential. For front only when the unit has been submerged in water; for rear when it has been submerged in water AND 30K-mile OCI with severe conditions.

Have you checked the belt tensioner yet as it’s prone to leak? You may need one already if you haven’t checked. There’s a second stretch belt for water pump. But it usually lasts longer than serpentine belt.

Belt Tensioner - Shouldn't this be a warranty item?
 
:
2018 CX-5 Sport
Maybe a tube squeezer like this would help. Tube Squeezer It looked like you used more than enough material the first application but it looked squeezed down too much, as if the gasket maker material was too thin. The idea is to not glue the parts but to squeeze a silicone bead as the bolts are tightened. Of course they do get glued together since the silicone won't be completely cured when tightening the bolts. Did you find much wet metal dust in the pan, or was it negligible?
 
:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Maybe a tube squeezer like this would help. Tube Squeezer It looked like you used more than enough material the first application but it looked squeezed down too much, as if the gasket maker material was too thin. The idea is to not glue the parts but to squeeze a silicone bead as the bolts are tightened. Of course they do get glued together since the silicone won't be completely cured when tightening the bolts. Did you find much wet metal dust in the pan, or was it negligible?
That's pretty pricey to be honest at $23 for a squeezer. I would rather just get a pair of pliers from Harbor Freight and two flat pieces of wood but good suggestion though. I didn't glue the parts together and I think what you're seeing is the lip of the pan that has an indentation being compressed against the flat surface of the transaxle which causes both surfaces to compress the RTV silicone, hence the "glued" on appearance.

I didn't find any RTV/wet material inside the pan itself actually and this would typically mean that too much RTV was being utilized. In my first attempt, I was actually pretty conservative with the amount of RTV I applied around the lip of the pan. However, in my second attempt, I followed up with a second layer of RTV and I'm hoping that the extra amount doesn't leak onto the pan itself.
 
Top