Trans fluid leak question

Hi,

For a 2016.5 CX-5 2.5 AWD Auto transmission at 43000 miles, only owner . . . . . . In doing an oil change I had noticed a film of oil on the plastic cover under the engine. Pulled the cover off and there was definitely something leaking. It smells and feels like transmission fluid. Checked the motor oil pan and the area under the oil pan and def no leaks. The leak is shown in the attached pics. What kind of confuses me is that the Trans oil, from what I read, is blue, but this is a lighter colored oil (maybe dye wears off after a while?) and seems to be originating from the spot where the axle inserts into the transmission. The tranny pan and area around it and below it are bone dry.

Questions:
1) I have never serviced the tranny. Can it be possible it was overfilled at the factory or otherwise and is leaking because so? I just can't wrap my mind around this being a possibility.
2) In thinking it may be overfilled, I cannot find any literature which specifies the dipstick and what it entails, that is if I find the levels high by say a 1/4 inch over the high mark, how much do I need to suction out to correct? The oil dipstick high low marks equate to roughly 1 qt, is there anything like this for the tranny dipstick and its markers.
3) The instructions for checking say to get the tranny fluid up in the 115-130F area . Can I do that by just idling or does the car need to be driven to do so?
4) Cannot discern whether the car needs to be on during check. Seeing that the Air Filter housing needs to be removed to do so, doesn't it seem to be a bad idea to run the car with the filter housing complete disassembled?

Pics-
The pic of the plastic protective cover was taken in November. Clearly the oil residue is visible. I dropped it yesterday and the oil was only in the red circle area (forgot to take a pic so it seems to have diminished but not entirely sure).

Pic of tranny shows where the leak seems to be originating from (no oil residue above this area, so not coming from above from what I can gather.

FYI Transmission shifts perfectly, smooth as can be so no apparent transmission issues like shifting jerkiness, noice etc.

Leak is very slow I am guessing, never a wet spot under the car, and the other side of the plastic cover that faces outward was dry so not enough to seep out and drip to the ground etc. I only realized it in November because while changing the oil I was reaching in to grab a rock that had gotten in there and that's when my fingers touched the residue or else I may have never known.

Thanks.
 

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yrwei52

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

For a 2016.5 CX-5 2.5 AWD Auto transmission at 43000 miles, only owner . . . . . . In doing an oil change I had noticed a film of oil on the plastic cover under the engine. Pulled the cover off and there was definitely something leaking. It smells and feels like transmission fluid. Checked the motor oil pan and the area under the oil pan and def no leaks. The leak is shown in the attached pics. What kind of confuses me is that the Trans oil, from what I read, is blue, but this is a lighter colored oil (maybe dye wears off after a while?) and seems to be originating from the spot where the axle inserts into the transmission. The tranny pan and area around it and below it are bone dry.

Questions:
1) I have never serviced the tranny. Can it be possible it was overfilled at the factory or otherwise and is leaking because so? I just can't wrap my mind around this being a possibility.
2) In thinking it may be overfilled, I cannot find any literature which specifies the dipstick and what it entails, that is if I find the levels high by say a 1/4 inch over the high mark, how much do I need to suction out to correct? The oil dipstick high low marks equate to roughly 1 qt, is there anything like this for the tranny dipstick and its markers.
3) The instructions for checking say to get the tranny fluid up in the 115-130F area . Can I do that by just idling or does the car need to be driven to do so?
4) Cannot discern whether the car needs to be on during check. Seeing that the Air Filter housing needs to be removed to do so, doesn't it seem to be a bad idea to run the car with the filter housing complete disassembled?

Pics-
The pic of the plastic protective cover was taken in November. Clearly the oil residue is visible. I dropped it yesterday and the oil was only in the red circle area (forgot to take a pic so it seems to have diminished but not entirely sure).

Pic of tranny shows where the leak seems to be originating from (no oil residue above this area, so not coming from above from what I can gather.

FYI Transmission shifts perfectly, smooth as can be so no apparent transmission issues like shifting jerkiness, noice etc.

Leak is very slow I am guessing, never a wet spot under the car, and the other side of the plastic cover that faces outward was dry so not enough to seep out and drip to the ground etc. I only realized it in November because while changing the oil I was reaching in to grab a rock that had gotten in there and that's when my fingers touched the residue or else I may have never known.

Thanks.
IMO there’s no way Mazda over-filled expensive FZ ATF to your transmission. Reports only show they under-fillef it.

Thr FZ ATF looks blue only when it’s fresh. And there’re official instruction to check the ATF lever such here:

ATF Drain/Fill

By looking at the picture and your description the leak seems coming from the drive shaft seal on transaxle. It could be from front transfer case since you have an AWD.

You shoulld still have 5-year/60K-mile powertrain warranty on your 2016.5 CX-5. Take the CX-5 to your Mazda Dealer for warranty service ASAP.