Transmission fluid change without filter replacement

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Mazda CX-5 AWD GT
Just rolled 100K miles on my 2014 CX-5 GT and after reading several comments in forums about realities of "lifetime" transmission fluid, decided to contact my local dealer to inquire about fluid drain/refill and filter change. They said they do the D/R but not filter change. I was surprised to hear that. Just assumed filter change would be a no brainer, understanding that the transmission pan has to be dropped to change the filter.

Wondering what you all think about just doing the D/R without filter change? Seems to me like that would reduce the benefit of having new fluid?
Thanks
L
 

mazdadude

ZOOOOOOOOOM ZOOOOOOOOOOOM
:
'16.5 Mazda CX-5 Touring
I would do the D/R without filter. Filter will not need to be changed, and this way there is no messing with dropping pan, installing new gaskets, etc.
Use the MAZDA OE FLUID.
Do not forget to service your AWD REAR DIFF OIL also.

(band2)
 
Last edited:
:
Mazda CX-5 AWD GT
I would do the D/R without filter. Filter will not need to be changed, and this way there is no messing with dropping pan, installing new gaskets, etc.
Use the MAZDA OE FLUID.
Do not forget to service your AWD REAR DIFF OIL also.

(band2)
Thanks for your suggestion. I'm current with Rear Diff service.
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
Yeah, can only replace filter if you drop the pan which will also mean you need a new gasket to put the pan back on.

A drain/fill will just be a drain from the drain plug and refilling.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Yeah, can only replace filter if you drop the pan which will also mean you need a new gasket to put the pan back on.

A drain/fill will just be a drain from the drain plug and refilling.
There's no ATF pan gasket, Mazda uses silicon seal there instead. Although there's aftermarket pan gasket available now from Taiwan, but Mazda dealers would only follow the factory approved procedure using the silicon seal.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Thanks for your suggestion. I'm current with Rear Diff service.
In addition to rear differential, there's front transfer case needs to have gear lubricant changed.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Just rolled 100K miles on my 2014 CX-5 GT and after reading several comments in forums about realities of "lifetime" transmission fluid, decided to contact my local dealer to inquire about fluid drain/refill and filter change. They said they do the D/R but not filter change. I was surprised to hear that. Just assumed filter change would be a no brainer, understanding that the transmission pan has to be dropped to change the filter.

Wondering what you all think about just doing the D/R without filter change? Seems to me like that would reduce the benefit of having new fluid?
Thanks
L
At 100,000 miles I'd be a little careful on changing ATF. If you're going to keep your CX-5 for another 20K or 30K miles at most you shouldn't change it. If you're going to keep the CX-5 as long as you can it would be a tough call. I personally would do the drain and fill with filter change under your situation, but would do it at a Mazda dealer so that if something bad happens afterwards I may be able to get some help from my Mazda dealer. Do ask this question to your service advisor, and try to put some assurance on the invoice from your dealer. Ask the SA why do they not change the filter even if you want to pay more and do it? It could be their tech has no experience of doing this and you may try another Mazda dealer. If everything fails, you still can settle for ATF drain-and-fill only. It won't hurt to ask if your dealer is using Mazda FZ ATF as Mazda do have different ATF for different automatic transmissions.

The theory of not changing the ATF when it's too old is the fresher ATF would have stronger detergent which may wash some accumulated debris into the valve body which in term clogs the tiny ATF routes inside. That's why many people suggest don't do the first ATF change if the mileage is high.
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
At 100,000 miles I'd be a little careful on changing ATF. If you're going to keep your CX-5 for another 20K or 30K miles at most you shouldn't change it. If you're going to keep the CX-5 as long as you can it would be a tough call. I personally would do the drain and fill with filter change under your situation, but would do it at a Mazda dealer so that if something bad happens afterwards I may be able to get some help from my Mazda dealer. Do ask this question to your service advisor, and try to put some assurance on the invoice from your dealer. Ask the SA why do they not change the filter even if you want to pay more and do it? It could be their tech has no experience of doing this and you may try another Mazda dealer. If everything fails, you still can settle for ATF drain-and-fill only. It won't hurt to ask if your dealer is using Mazda FZ ATF as Mazda do have different ATF for different automatic transmissions.

The theory of not changing the ATF when it's too old is the fresher ATF would have stronger detergent which may wash some accumulated debris into the valve body which in term clogs the tiny ATF routes inside. That's why many people suggest don't do the first ATF change if the mileage is high.
What's the consensus on mileage threshold? Say am I still good at 70k to try?
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
What's the consensus on mileage threshold? Say am I still good at 70k to try?
If I were you, I'd do drain-and-fill right now, may be do it the second time within 1~2 weeks.

My 182K Honda CR-V has 75K ATF drain-and-fill maintenance schedule by manufacture. And my first change was made around 70K miles.
 

madar

Contributor
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2016.5 CX 5 Touring AWD, 2015 SCION XB
I don't see the big deal in changing the filter if you want, while you're under there with the plastic panels down it might be like a good idea. The gasket might be a PITA if it is a silicone thing. My 97 Voyager was the same way until they came out with a reusable one. Just make sure you clean the mating surfaces real good before putting new gasket material on and don't use so much that it squeezes into the transmission when you bolt the pan back on. I believe the procedure calls for new pan bolts to be used if I'm not mistaken.
 
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CX5 GT-R
What's the consensus on mileage threshold? Say am I still good at 70k to try?
I changed fluid on my Jeep at 68K miles. It had the 545RFE, which by all accounts is a decent slushbox, and it had a tq converter shudder ever since then. Datapoint of 1, on an unrelated transmission.
 

Humid Hummus

Banned
:
2016 Mazda CX-5
I would do the D/R without filter. Filter will not need to be changed, and this way there is no messing with dropping pan, installing new gaskets, etc.
Use the MAZDA OE FLUID.
Do not forget to service your AWD REAR DIFF OIL also.

(band2)
Do you change your engine oil without changing the filter?

Why would you do the same with your transmission?
 

mazdadude

ZOOOOOOOOOM ZOOOOOOOOOOOM
:
'16.5 Mazda CX-5 Touring
Do you change your engine oil without changing the filter?

Why would you do the same with your transmission?
Changing the engine oil filter does not require dropping the oil pan, and re sealing the pan to change filter like it does on the transmission.

The TRANSMISSION filter is just a simple screen, it is not a fiber paper element like the engine oil filter. If the mesh screen in your trans filter has enough material on it to cause blockage, you will be having OTHER issues.
 

Humid Hummus

Banned
:
2016 Mazda CX-5
Changing the engine oil filter does not require dropping the oil pan, and re sealing the pan to change filter like it does on the transmission.

The TRANSMISSION filter is just a simple screen, it is not a fiber paper element like the engine oil filter. If the mesh screen in your trans filter has enough material on it to cause blockage, you will be having OTHER issues.
Incorrect. The transmission filter also has a magnet which traps metal shavings that break off from the transmission components. If you dropped your pan and looked at this filter after 60K, you'll be happy you did.

If the filter has enough material on it to cause blockage, that means you did not maintain your transmission properly and a drain/fill will simply increase the chances of breaking those little shavings free and getting them stuck in one of the transmissions many intricate passageways. This is why I recommend not to touch your transmission at all if you don't plan on changing the pan filter, because you're just going to have more problems.
 

mazdadude

ZOOOOOOOOOM ZOOOOOOOOOOOM
:
'16.5 Mazda CX-5 Touring
Incorrect. The transmission filter also has a magnet which traps metal shavings that break off from the transmission components. If you dropped your pan and looked at this filter after 60K, you'll be happy you did.

If the filter has enough material on it to cause blockage, that means you did not maintain your transmission properly and a drain/fill will simply increase the chances of breaking those little shavings free and getting them stuck in one of the transmissions many intricate passageways. This is why I recommend not to touch your transmission at all if you don't plan on changing the pan filter, because you're just going to have more problems.
Please show us a picture of this dirty filter and magnet with metal shavings!

If there is a magnet in the filter, the magnet is still going to be there, you are not breaking off shavings when you change your oil. (uhm)
 
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13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
If the filter has enough material on it to cause blockage, that means you did not maintain your transmission properly and a drain/fill will simply increase the chances of breaking those little shavings free and getting them stuck in one of the transmissions many intricate passageways. This is why I recommend not to touch your transmission at all if you don't plan on changing the pan filter, because you're just going to have more problems.
^^this represents 1/2 of why you should not touch the tranny (if never serviced) past 100k miles. The other half is that the metal shavings (ARE) beneficial to the system.

Over time, Larger bits are stuck on magnet/filter. Smaller bits become crucial lubricant for moving friction parts (now with gaps due to metal shaving). When removing the fluid/filter you may:

-Agitate the Larger bits to cause clogging.
-Moving friction parts has these gaps which rely on small metal shavings. Not having small shavings means mechanical failure risk.
 

Humid Hummus

Banned
:
2016 Mazda CX-5
^^this represents 1/2 of why you should not touch the tranny (if never serviced) past 100k miles. The other half is that the metal shavings (ARE) beneficial to the system.

Over time, Larger bits are stuck on magnet/filter. Smaller bits become crucial lubricant for moving friction parts (now with gaps due to metal shaving). When removing the fluid/filter you may:

-Agitate the Larger bits to cause clogging.
-Moving friction parts has these gaps which rely on small metal shavings. Not having small shavings means mechanical failure risk.
This only becomes an issue after about 150K+ miles. At 100K there really is no risk to change your transmission fluid and pan filter, as the transmission is not relying on those little metal bits for friction just yet. Better late than never. Ask me how I know...

If you are changing your pan filter by 125K or so, whatever leftover metal particles will get caught by the new magnet filter. This is why so many people advise against a simple drain/fill at this mileage, because those metal particles are much less likely to get caught by the old original filter.
 
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CX5 GT-R
This only becomes an issue after about 150K+ miles. At 100K there really is no risk to change your transmission fluid and pan filter, as the transmission is not relying on those little metal bits for friction just yet. Better late than never. Ask me how I know...

If you are changing your pan filter by 125K or so, whatever leftover metal particles will get caught by the new magnet filter. This is why so many people advise against a simple drain/fill at this mileage, because those metal particles are much less likely to get caught by the old original filter.
Well, at 110K is when I did my Infiniti, or rather when the dealer did. Drain and fill, with filter swap. 5K miles later, it was deader than dead. Torque converter, too.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg. Plano, TX
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Incorrect. The transmission filter also has a magnet which traps metal shavings that break off from the transmission components. If you dropped your pan and looked at this filter after 60K, you'll be happy you did.
No, the ATF filter cartridge (#5) inside of SkyActiv-Drive transmission has only regular *paper* type filtering material. The magnet is built into the ATF pan.


If the filter has enough material on it to cause blockage, that means you did not maintain your transmission properly and a drain/fill will simply increase the chances of breaking those little shavings free and getting them stuck in one of the transmissions many intricate passageways. This is why I recommend not to touch your transmission at all if you don't plan on changing the pan filter, because you're just going to have more problems.
No, the ATF, not like engine oil, is relative clean during its service life as the transmission is a *sealed* environment. The service life on this ATF cartridge is long and the metal shavings if any won*t get loose with drain-and-fill. Even if some larger shavings get loose they will get stopped by the filtering element again and won*t get into the passages of valve body. Metal shavings are heavier and most likely will stay at the bottom of the ATF pan and are kept there by the magnet.

Changing the ATF filter/cartridge during the ATF change is a good practice. But our SkyActiv-Drive ATF pan uses silicon sealer which is hard to apply properly, and the factory service manual mentions only drain-and-fill procedure, not with filter / cartridge change.
 
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CX5 GT-R
No, the ATF filter cartridge (#5) inside of SkyActiv-Drive transmission has only regular *paper* type filtering material. The magnet is built into the ATF pan.


No, the ATF, not like engine oil, is relative clean during its service life as the transmission is a *sealed* environment. The service life on this ATF cartridge is long and the metal shavings if any won*t get loose with drain-and-fill. Even if some larger shavings get loose they will get stopped by the filtering element again and won*t get into the passages of valve body. Metal shavings are heavier and most likely will stay at the bottom of the ATF pan and are kept there by the magnet.

Changing the ATF filter/cartridge during the ATF change is a good practice. But our SkyActiv-Drive ATF pan uses silicon sealer which is hard to apply properly, and the factory service manual mentions only drain-and-fill procedure, not with filter / cartridge change.
It's not hard to apply properly at all. If your dealer says so, it's because they have inexperienced techs and do so few of them. Other brands do that every 30 to 50k miles without ever an issue.
 
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