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Taking my car in for its first service, they will check tranny fluid but not top off if low

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
If the trans fluid is checked 'by the book' it's done from the topside and involves removing a bunch of stuff. Done from underneath doesn't require the removal of said junk.

My suggestion is to not have the dealer do this, do it yourself.

Your service manager sure sounds clueless, he should know what's what by now after being there so long. Not very confidence inspiring.
Are you (a) saying that an official Mazda Service Manual instructs you to pull the dipstick from topside, or (b) are you saying that this is the way it's been done ever since there have been automatic transmissions? I'm just curious if there's an official step-by-step out there that instructs how to get to the thing in the first place.

Regarding dealer competence...I'm gonna throw this out and take my chances here...

After owning my Mazda for a year, I've been frustrated at the gap in information available. This includes basic things that are not in the Owner's Manual. Long-time owners here have acknowledged that this is a Mazda "trademark"...that's it's a known Mazda short-coming. I'm thinking that Mazda dealers are also subject to this lack of communication.

So if:
>The brand has always had sealed transmissions
>Dealers are instructed by the factory to not service them, so never have
>Dipstick are suddenly incorporated with no communication ('cause it's Mazda)
>You can only see the dipstick if you're looking for it in an obscure place, and you've been told to not touch the transmission in the first place
>Dipsticks are only on recent models (I assume), so long-term experience is not relevant

Then:
>It's understandable that the dealer might not be aware that they exist
>It explains the continued "it's a sealed unit" response
>>After all, they've been rightly denying the "please check the transmission fluid" for years

Thoughts?
 
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Gozo

2020 Mazda6 2.5T
Anyone have a picture of where the dipstick on the turbo is? I looked and couldn’t find it.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
⋯ I'm just curious if there's an official step-by-step out there that instructs how to get to the thing in the first place.
I posted official ATF adjustment instruction for CX-5 by Mazda which includes ATF level measurement in post #25. And here’s the official ATF inspection instruction by Mazda, and both from Anchorman:

99EB65E0-0EA9-412C-AC9D-857D0A979C17.jpeg

AF4B164B-CCA6-4A3E-885D-6785C7CF204F.jpeg
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Anyone have a picture of where the dipstick on the turbo is? I looked and couldn’t find it.
You couldn’t see it because the ATF dipstick is blocked by additional turbo plumbing.
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
I posted official ATF adjustment instruction for CX-5 by Mazda which includes ATF level measurement in post #25. And here’s the official ATF inspection instruction by Mazda, and both from Anchorman:

View attachment 223729
View attachment 223730
Thanks.

I actually grabbed that and saved it a while ago. Looked right past "Remove front under cover 2." I was looking for a pic.

Do you know when (and in what model) Mazda introduced the tranny dipstick? I'm curious ho long it's been out there.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
⋯ Do you know when (and in what model) Mazda introduced the tranny dipstick? I'm curious ho long it's been out there.
My 2016 CX-5 is our first Mazda, so I don’t know the answer. But this SkyActiv-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission was designed with new SkyActiv Technology for 2013 CX-5 and other Mazda models. And Mazda designed a dipstick for ATF measurement which is a nice touch, better than not to have one. I believe traditionally most Japanese vehicles have one like my1998 Honda CR-V and CX-5; whereas most European vehicles don’t have one like my 2000 BMW 528i and 2001.5 VW Passat.
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
To button this up...

I took the car in this morning. The woman at the counter was the same one who earlier told me "We don't do that" and then said "Part of the standard service."

When I check in today, she recognized me and said "Was part of the standard service." Rather than argue or debate, I said, "Yeh, the guy said he would check it again for me." As I stated before, the service manager didn't even know they had dipsticks until he and I spoke the other day and he pulled the service manual by my VIN while I was on the phone…and even then he said "Must just be in the turbo." So it's obviously not "standard service." It’s never been any service as far as that department’s manager is concerned.

When done, they said that the level was OK. I did not ask to see the dipstick or speak directly with the tech. As others have said, I still need to look at it myself.

I continue to believe that Mazda Corp. might have fault in this for not communicating the addition of a dipstick (and it not being readily visible to the techs during routine R&M), since others in this forum have said they have had struggles getting the fluid checked by their dealers...seems to be a universal lack of understanding.

If their HQ's Customer Service guy calls again to see how it went, I'll post back. This location still has an issue with the front desk person and their service manager on this subject. I may call the local dealer’s GM on this (and maybe the Customer Service guy) just to let him know.

Man, what a stupid thing to go through so much for.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
To button this up...

I took the car in this morning. The woman at the counter was the same one who earlier told me "We don't do that" and then said "Part of the standard service."

When I check in today, she recognized me and said "Was part of the standard service." Rather than argue or debate, I said, "Yeh, the guy said he would check it again for me." As I stated before, the service manager didn't even know they had dipsticks until he and I spoke the other day and he pulled the service manual by my VIN while I was on the phone…and even then he said "Must just be in the turbo." So it's obviously not "standard service." It’s never been any service as far as that department’s manager is concerned.

When done, they said that the level was OK. I did not ask to see the dipstick or speak directly with the tech. As others have said, I still need to look at it myself.

I continue to believe that Mazda Corp. might have fault in this for not communicating the addition of a dipstick (and it not being readily visible to the techs during routine R&M), since others in this forum have said they have had struggles getting the fluid checked by their dealers...seems to be a universal lack of understanding.

If their HQ's Customer Service guy calls again to see how it went, I'll post back. This location still has an issue with the front desk person and their service manager on this subject. I may call the local dealer’s GM on this (and maybe the Customer Service guy) just to let him know.

Man, what a stupid thing to go through so much for.
Yeah if you bother this thing that much, just go ahead to check it by yourself. In the mean time you may be able to tell by all the signs if the dealer really had checked the ATF level.

BTW, other than engine coolant level, you definitely want to check the rear differential gear lubricant if you have an AWD.
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
BTW, other than engine coolant level, you definitely want to check the rear differential gear lubricant if you have an AWD.
Really?? Is this another "Possibly low from the factory" thing?

I guess as long as I have it up on ramps so that it's level for the tranny fluid check, it's in position to check the rear diff fluid.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Really?? Is this another "Possibly low from the factory" thing?

I guess as long as I have it up on ramps so that it's level for the tranny fluid check, it's in position to check the rear diff fluid.
Yeah everyone who has bothered to check, it’s way low from factory, especially if you follow the official instruction to fill the gear oil to the brim of the fill-hole. Read the thread listed in my old post and it has all information you need. Unfortunately many valuable pictures are gone after the website update.

If you want to do rear differential, might as well do the front transfer case at the same time with the same Mazda Long Life Hypoid Gear Oil SG1. You do need more than 1 quart of SG1 for both changes, although the specs say you need 0.48 (front) + 0.37 (rear) quarts for gen-2 CX-5. In reality the rear would need at least 0.75 quarts.

Measure the used gear oil and report back how much the real differential is under-filled from factory. (uhm)

Heres an excellent thread for all of your questions. Although its for gen-1 CX-5, but everything should be applicable to gen-2 CX-5 other than rear differential gear oil capacity from specs.

Rear Diff and Transfer Case Fluid Change: tools parts and links
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
Thanks for posting that.

Looks like I need to get some shallow sockets. I wonder if my auto parts store is open...we're under "Stay-at-Home" here until June 10. o_O Time to check out Amazon.

The loss of legacy pics is a little frustrating. I've been saving links to How To threads since I joined. They still have value, just slightly diminished.
 
:
Fredericton Canada
:
2018 CX-5 GT
Had my CX-5 in for a motor vehicle inspection today and asked the service manager about low fluid levels in the diff and transaxle. He said that he is aware that the levels are a bit lower from the factory, BUT, after a new vehicle arrives on their lot and just before the customer takes possession they do a "Dealer Prep" which involves, amongst other things, topping off all the fluids including the diff and transaxle. In addition I asked about the presence of a transmission dipstick, and his understanding is that Mazda did away with any dipstick or at least one that is readily accessible as there were too many issues arising from backyard mechanics who added too much transmission fluid and blew out seals or did transmission flushes that caused the transmission to fail (even while still under warranty I assume).
 
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Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
In addition I asked about the presence of a transmission dipstick, and his understanding is that Mazda did away with any dipstick or at least one that is readily accessible as there were too many issues arising from backyard mechanics who added too much transmission fluid and blew out seals or did transmission flushes that caused the transmission to fail (even while still under warranty I assume).
That's about why my dealer said. But I've never heard such stories of that happening in any car, other than the risk of draining/flushing/filter-changing at high mileage. Just sounds so silly...transmission dipsticks have been there for a reason for a very long time, just as crankcase ones have. Their logic is illogical.

Maybe our complaining that Corporate does such a poor job of dealer communication finally took hold, and everyone got a copy of The Great Transmission Story.
 
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:
Ottawa, Ontario
:
17 Mazda 6 GT
Had my CX-5 in for a motor vehicle inspection today.
He said that after a new vehicle arrives on their lot and just before the customer takes possession they do a "Dealer Prep" which involves, among other things, topping off all the fluids including the diff and transaxle.
Ya right, like we all believe they actually do that stuff during the pre delivery prep.......you know, like checking tire pressures. We all know how diligent dealers are in checking that......lol
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
Ya right, like we all believe they actually do that stuff during the pre delivery prep.......you know, like checking tire pressures. We all know how diligent dealers are in checking that......lol
The Service Manager at my dealer didn't even know they had dipsticks until we spoke on the phone and I told him I had the document right in front of me. He then looked up the service info for my VIN and still said "Must just be the turbo." So I know that they have never checked the transaxle fluid...they never knew it was possible.
 
These service writers sure like to make things up. I guess being comfortable lying to people’s faces is part of the job description.

Like most things out there, I’m sure it’s not all of them. So if anyone on here works in that role and is honest, please don’t be offended by what I’m saying.

No way all the fluids are checked on new vehicle delivery inspections.

And I doubt they checked your fluid, deer.
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
These service writers sure like to make things up. I guess being comfortable lying to people’s faces is part of the job description.

Like most things out there, I’m sure it’s not all of them. So if anyone on here works in that role and is honest, please don’t be offended by what I’m saying.

No way all the fluids are checked on new vehicle delivery inspections.

And I doubt they checked your fluid, deer.
I've yet to look for evidence. The only thing that may have motivated them to actually do it is (a) their HQ called them after my less-than-perfect feedback, (b) their Service Manager and I spoke directly about it, and (c) there was literally nothing else happening there due to the virus.

Regarding shops of various ethics: My younger brother was a mechanic since high school. He eventually went on to own his own business (at one point bought land and built the building...lock, stock & barrel ownership.) He had 12-15 employees at the peak.

In his early days he worked for others. He once had a motorcycle accident that laid him up for a while, and when he was in the hospital he discovered that his employer was withholding insurance premiums from everyone's paychecks and pocketing the cash...none of them had the insurances they were paying for. This is your typical shop where the owner was the on-site manager and eyeball-to-eyeball with his people every day, not some anonymous screwing.

Fast-forward to when my brother owned his own business and got written up in the local paper for being an "honest mechanic." A customer came in to get his car worked on and the mechanic discovered that the timing belt (installed by others) had not been installed properly (just off a notch or two.) The work was out of warranty. My brother picked up the phone, called the other shop, told them it had never been done right in the first place, and got them to fix it for free for the guy. The customer was so happy he called the local paper and got that article written. My brother had long-term customers who drove for miles in DC traffic to have him do their work.

Sadly, when he sold the business & retired a couple of years ago, the buyer ended up being just another shyster (but his check cleared.) All my brother's mechanics moved on to somewhere else.

I've worked directly for/directly with business owners throughout my career. I've seen paychecks in healthy businesses bounce as a matter of routine and have witnessed overt fraud. You get to where you can smell it a mile away...something about their demeanor. People like this are everywhere...people who literally believe that everything is Win/Lose. They're not the majority...maybe 5% are purely unethical. That percentage probably varies by industry. Maybe some environments make it more "normal" than others.
 
:
2019 CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve
If anyone is looking for ATF FZ, Blauparts has a sale going on using promo code "SHIFT12". Just bought 8 quarts of the Ravenol ATF FZ for about ~$12/qt.
 
:
Ottawa, Ontario
:
17 Mazda 6 GT
My brother had long-term customers who drove for miles in DC traffic to have him do their work.

Sadly, when he sold the business & retired a couple of years ago, the buyer ended up being just another shyster (but his check cleared.) All my brother's mechanics moved on to somewhere else.
That's unfortunate to say the least.
This reminds me of my own experiences.
I had an independent guy who ran his own shop with one other mechanic.
He was great. Honest to the core. I went there for years.
He eventually shut it down to take early retirement, and to this day I have not found a replacement that I trust as much as I trusted this guy.

My other experience was with a locally owned Nissan dealer.
I bought four cars from them, and regularly went back for service.
They had one tenured mechanic in particular there who was just great. Told it like it is and didn't pull any crap.
There was very low staff turnover there and it was obvious that it was a good place to work.
Not very often can you say good things about a dealership.
About five years ago the owner retired and sold the dealership to a conglomerate.
I've never seen a business go down the sewer faster than this place did.
Within six months, there was 100% staff turnover. Everybody bailed out.
It was a horrible place to visit and do business. I bailed pretty quickly myself.
The on-line reviews have been terrible the past few years as well. I don't know how they stay in business.
They actually downsized and moved to a smaller building, making things even worse.

I guess it's true: Do the work yourself if you have the skills, or if you are lucky enough to find a guy like your brother, stay loyal.
 
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