Thanks for reporting back. If I understand you correctly, you did 3 quarts drail and fill at 50K with Mobile 1 ATF and again 3 quarts drail and fill at 115K with Mobile 1 ATF (you also dropped the pan to replace the filter), is that correct?I did a partial change using the trans drain plug at 50k and refilled with Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF. The next change wasn't until 115k and I did a full change with the filter. My wife drives the wheels off the van and is probably 75% highway. Given our moderate temps in SoCal I wasn't surprised to see the fluid had good red color the second time, definitely darker than the new stuff but not black. With 120k now the trans shifts great, I used an autozone filter but be careful it lists the filter for the 4 speed auto in their computer. Make sure you cross reference for the 5 speed auto.
I might still install a cooler when I get the time.
Don't spill any of that fluid though, it took 2000 miles for the smell to go away from the teaspoon I spilled on top of the transmission.
Changed the ATF today (looked but not done the cooler or filter). Started late and decided to drop the pan and replace filter. Ran into a little snafu where the tip on 8 (of the 20) bolts got cross threaded when they came out but didn't realize till I was trying to button her up. Didn't want to force them back in and tried looking around local big chains but of course none of them has the required bolt and I am not about to improvise (genric bolt + washer). Will need to dop by Mazda in the morning to finish the job. More to come along with some surprises
So just two others that are qualified except the Mazda one?
See above - Valvoline Maxlife ATF and Castrol TRANSMAX IMPORT MULTI–VEHICLE are also ok for use as seen by their respective vendor data sheets. Vavoline datasheet above, Castrol data sheet @ http://www.castrol.com/liveassets/bp_internet/castrol/castrol_usa/STAGING/local_assets/downloads/p,q/pds_ImportMV.pdf
I saw that Castrol at my local Walmart but on the back of the bottle they did not list M-V in the long list and did not mention anyting about Mazda at all, so that put me off.