Transmission fluid change without filter replacement

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2018 CX-5 Sport
I have a temp gauge...no lights. I'd imagine one of the apps I have measures coolant temp.

I'm still waiting for ScanTool to release the Mazda-specific PIDs for the 2019 model year ($9.99 to buy that software). They say that there's a delay on Mazda's side this year in getting them the data. I can't imagine what the problem might be...the major changes due to cylinder deactivation should have flushed through the 2018 software.

It's weird that the instructions cite a specific temp for tranny fluid with no suggestions on how to determine it.
Since there is no worry about the trans being over filled and you didn't do a transmission fluid replacement, you can just drive the car until the needle is at normal operating temperature and then check to see if the level falls somewhere between the marks. If it looks low then use a reader and get the trans to the exact temperature and check it. Mine has a temperature gauge too, I prefer it over a dummy light.
 
Thanks.

That's what I figured, although it seems "awkward" to be laying under a running vehicle..

I've seen a couple of recommendations here for getting an ODB2 reader to get the tranny temp, but I have bought and downloaded two different software packages (TorquePro and ScanTool) and neither reads transmission temp that I can see. ScanTool has Mazda-specific PIDs for sale by model year, but they have yet to configure the package for 2019 (apparently delays on Mazda's end).
Pretty sure youll have to get it from underneath with the turbo. Wiring harness and turbo plumbing are in the way.

Id love to hear how you go about it if you do wind up getting it from above.

Please keep us updated.
 
I did the tranny drain. Took out the air box and started engine only for it to choke up and shut down in less than 10 sec. Why does this happen since there is no fan blowing into the airbox anyway? air sensor was still attached to top of box. I broke a few of the plastic plugs holding the tranny and oil cover/ no idea how to unplug those as even a flat head screwdriver broke them to pieces.

I let fluid drip for 2 hours or so and it was still dripping when my pitcher hit the 3.7 Quart mark. I plugged it and filled it with around 3.8 Quarts even though I could have let it drip more.

did this for the first time on a 2015 cx-5 at 47k miles. fluid was a dark brown green hue when you put a bright flashlight to it. new fluid looked lighter green. would more fluid drain out if I elevated the back of car?
 
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13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
I did the tranny drain. Took out the air box and started engine only for it to choke up and shut down in less than 10 sec. Why does this happen since there is no fan blowing into the airbox anyway? air sensor was still attached to top of box. I broke a few of the plastic plugs holding the tranny and oil cover/ no idea how to unplug those as even a flat head screwdriver broke them to pieces.

I let fluid drip for 2 hours or so and it was still dripping when my pitcher hit the 3.7 Quart mark. I plugged it and filled it with around 3.8 Quarts even though I could have let it drip more.

did this for the first time on a 2015 cx-5 at 47k miles. fluid was a dark brown green hue when you put a bright flashlight to it. new fluid looked lighter green. would more fluid drain out if I elevated the back of car?

IMHO, both oil and ATF pans seem to be designed to be DIY friendly using ramps since the plugs are on the rear corner edges. I used ramps and just drain both at the same time! I consistently get 3.8-4.0 of ATF out.

Airbox.....I did the ATF fill and measuring from up top by pushing the airbox aside but not disconnecting it from the MAF since disconnecting it results in stalling.

Plastic plugs are either screw type or flathead type....user error = broken plugs. Youtube some instructions. No worry you could get replacements rather cheap online or at dealer.
 
Cant picture how you'd have enough room to work with by just pushing the box.

Was there supposed to be a crush washer on the ATF drain plug? Mine didn't have one and I didn't put one in for that reason. This was a first drain on a car I bought new.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Cant picture how you'd have enough room to work with by just pushing the box.

Was there supposed to be a crush washer on the ATF drain plug? Mine didn't have one and I didn't put one in for that reason. This was a first drain on a car I bought new.
Theres an aluminum washer on the drain plug. The washer is painted black from factory together with the drain plug, hence many have overlooked it thinking theres no washer from factory. The same story on engine oil drain plug too and both plugs and washers are the same.

And hope you have a chance to check the actual ATF level according to official procedure from Mazdas Factory Service Manual.

just FYI, I was able to check the transmission dipstick WITHOUT having to disassemble the air intake........

I can understand why some may want to, it makes it easier, but just giving another option that it's not necessary......


first need to drop the plastic panels, for the CX-5 you DO NOT NEED to lift up the front of the car,

there is more than enough clearance.





these are the type of screws to remove, some philips, some 10mm, and some 8mm panel fasteners...




here is picture from underneath, you can easily access the dipstick and dipstick bolt:


it is reachable from underneath:








there's plenty of room to get a stubby ratchet with 10mm socket





the bolt holding down the dipstick is 10mm size:


this picture shows the dipstick can easily be removed from underneath without having to disassemble the air intake


dipstick reading, hard to tell but looks ok to me, not low not high, just in the middle.... fluid is super clean though, I have 16,000 odometer miles


as others have mentioned, Mazda design allows dirt to accumulate as shown:


dirt can get under the dipstick, I cleaned it carefully making sure dirt doesn't go down the hole:
I ripped a small piece of my detailing clay bar and used clay slowly over the dirt and the clay grabbed most of the debris,
then like Gova used a damp cleaning wipe to clean the remaining residue, worked quite well, obviously, I threw out the clay,
no way I was going to use it again for detailing, the encased debris will cause scratches.



make sure to clean off dirt on O-ring before putting it back in:



tools used:

safety glasses, stubby ratchet with 10mm socket

gloves, one of my mechanic friends gave me this tip, use old golf or batting gloves, a lot more dexterity, works great!!


panel fastener tool remover:


my trusty Worx for the underpanel 10mm scrwes, my wife thinks it looks like a gun :)


probably do drain and fill at around 35,000 miles, will do as above and measure what drains out and get a long flexible tube funnel and pour back thru the dipstick hole the same amount. I like the fact that car can be done level on the ground, and no need to remove air intake assembly; just need to remove the plastic paneling which needs to be done anyway to get to the transmission drain plug, and most of all can do it myself without going to dealer, I'm sure those monkeys would get tons of dirt into the fill hole.

also just an FYI, if you plan to drain and fill, I recommend changing the aluminum washer, thanks to yrwei52, here's the part number, Mazda 99564-1400 (same washer for the engine oil plug)



 
thanks. back to the ground I go. I didn't even check the stick level after the fill. before I did the job, I ran the car until blue light went off. then the stick showed fluid on the 122F marker line. so didn't seem like it was right in the middle. yesterday the car was shifting smoother. seemed like it fixed the cold rough shifts I had upon engine start. Lifetime fluid my ass.
 

Ronzuki

South Central PA
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2018 CX5 Touring
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w/ Pref Pkg
Lifetime as long as the tranny operates...and when it no longer does, then it has hit its life's time. Our perspective and definition compared to an auto maker's...all how one perceives it (and the lawyers approved it).
 
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2018 AWD GT Premium Red/Black
No. That is an ATF cooler or heat exchanger with engine coolant and ATF circulating inside.
The diagram makes it look like a heater, rather than heat exchanger. It shows both types of fluid going in cold and coming out hot.
 
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2014 mazda cx-5 touring FWD
Just finished the second half of my transmission drain and fill this morning after starting yesterday.Mileage was 44,165 miles on factory fluid.

Yesterday---- drained out 3-3/8 (3.38) quarts.Added back 3.75 qts.Didn't go thru the rigamarole to check at 122*F etc.Lifetime fluid my arse,it looked like black motor oil.Not the deep inky black of thoroughly trashed oil, but black.The stream while draining looked a deep amber.Since 90-95% of my driving is around town and suburban,that might have something to do with it.Car shifted sweet and seemed smoother afterward.Put some around town and highway miles on it to mix.
.
Today------ Unsure if I got all the fluid out yesterday, I made sure the front and side to side was elevated enough to get the most fluid out.Drained out exactly the same 3.75 qts I added yesterday which tells me that it was underfilled from the factory (anything above 3.75 would be added to the 3.38 I drained yesterday to give the true factory fill).

I'll do a better level check at some point but I'm finished with it for now as I'm tired of foolin' with it .In the last 3 weeks I've done:

1) Oil& filter change (first time for me on this car--always done by dealer until now -- prior to the CX-5 I had a mere 42 years of oil change experience,so somebody else could do it for a while)
2) Front brakes -- changed my tune about using OEM Mazda pads and put on (significantly less expensive) Raybestos Element3 Hybrid pads that even came with hardware.They grip better and modulate better.So far,so good.
3) Coolant drain and fill -- used Zerex blue Asian Formula.Exactly 2 gallons including the coolant overflow bottle.
4) the tranny D&F mentioned above.
The idea is to carry this car to 90-95 K miles /5-6 years with only oil changes and other filters and wipers etc.Little stuff and of course mandatory unseen repairs.
***** Philosophical Note ---- working outside doing this stuff in the heat and humidity makes me question if I want to tackle some of this stuff in 5-6 years.I'll be 75-76 years old then and might be tempted to trade some of my tools to somebody younger to do the work.In the last 7-8 years the "shine" has worn off and it's more a chore than being enjoyable and "bonding with my baby".I can't be the only one who feels this way.
*** Price of Mazda FZ fluid - I got 8 qts from a Mazda dealer in Florida and with shipping($20) paid $105.It was a little over $10 a qt.They were a week behind in their orders and it took 2 weeks to get it.I've since noticed that Jake Sweeney Mazda in Cincinnati sells it for a dollar a qt more but has available for quick shipping.Just heads up.
 
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2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport FWD Auto
2) Front brakes -- changed my tune about using OEM Mazda pads and put on (significantly less expensive) Raybestos Element3 Hybrid pads that even came with hardware.They grip better and modulate better.So far,so good.
I’m really liking the Akebono pads I put on all 4 corners with the painted rotors I picked up from Advance. They stop better than new. Even my wife noticed afterwards lol!

nice job on the ATF drain and fills. about a year and a half out from doing my again along with a coolant flush.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Just finished the second half of my transmission drain and fill this morning after starting yesterday.Mileage was 44,165 miles on factory fluid.
Thanks for sharing your experience. This reminds me the ATF drain-and-fill time for my 2016 CX-5 is getting closer.

Drained out exactly the same 3.75 qts I added yesterday which tells me that it was underfilled from the factory (anything above 3.75 would be added to the 3.38 I drained yesterday to give the true factory fill).
Another confirmation that Mazda under-filled ATF from the factory for some unknown reason.

I'll do a better level check at some point but I'm finished with it for now as I'm tired of foolin' with it .In the last 3 weeks I've done:

1) Oil& filter change (first time for me on this car--always done by dealer until now -- prior to the CX-5 I had a mere 42 years of oil change experience,so somebody else could do it for a while)
:) Sometimes I have exactly the same feeling while working on cars nowadays ⋯

2) Front brakes -- changed my tune about using OEM Mazda pads and put on (significantly less expensive) Raybestos Element3 Hybrid pads that even came with hardware.They grip better and modulate better.So far,so good.
I may still try OEM pads when the time comes.

3) Coolant drain and fill -- used Zerex blue Asian Formula.Exactly 2 gallons including the coolant overflow bottle.
Any reason why you changed the coolant so early as the recommended first change interval is 120,000 miles or 10 years?

4) the tranny D&F mentioned above.
The idea is to carry this car to 90-95 K miles /5-6 years with only oil changes and other filters and wipers etc.Little stuff and of course mandatory unseen repairs.
Should have no problems on your plan.

***** Philosophical Note ---- working outside doing this stuff in the heat and humidity makes me question if I want to tackle some of this stuff in 5-6 years.I'll be 75-76 years old then and might be tempted to trade some of my tools to somebody younger to do the work.In the last 7-8 years the "shine" has worn off and it's more a chore than being enjoyable and "bonding with my baby".I can't be the only one who feels this way.
Yes, yes, yes, same feeling here ⋯ :confused:
 
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2014 mazda cx-5 touring FWD
yrwei52 -- thanks for your comments. Looks like we are on the "same page" regarding some things.
I changed the coolant for the same reason I did the tranny fluid.Based on gut feel and prior experience with cars over the years,I just don't trust some of these extended maintenance intervals suggested by the manufacturers."Lifetime transmission fluid" ---we see how that one is playing out here on the forum.And TEN years on coolant? Seems too long to me. Call me old school but I sleep better with my decisions and besides the Zerex was only $15 a gallon with Advance Auto's 25% online discount.Along with the other work done it seemed like a good time to refresh it so all of the bigger stuff is done for the next 5-6 years.
 
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2016 Mazda, CX-5 GT
I did a drain and fill at 50 and 75K miles. At 110K I dropped the pan, replaced the filter and refilled. On the basic drain and fills I got maybe 4 quarts max. On the pan drop it was closer to six. The car now has 118K miles o it.
 
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2014 CX-5 Touring
I still haven't gotten around to doing the fluid change on our 2014, and it's at ~108K at this point. Wondering if I should go on and do the filter change...
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
I still haven't gotten around to doing the fluid change on our 2014, and it's at ~108K at this point. Wondering if I should go on and do the filter change...
If I were you, I would, as long as I’m not afraid of cleaning up those old silicon seal without scratching the sealing surface.
 
Thanks to this forum, I just completed 2 drain/fill 's on my 16' Mazda 3 (58,000 miles). Observations:

-fluid was black (looked like motor oil), no burnt smell
-dipstick access: easy from above. I removed the entire box assembly and then reconnected the top part (roof of the box) to the air intake hose with the sensor attached. This is easily moved out of the way so that you can reach down for the dipstick. It also allows you to run the can when checking the level.
-The first drain I had the entire car off of the ground and level. Drained 3.7 quarts. I cooled the drained fluid to room temp and refilled the exact amount. Level was low (temp 50C, running) by 0.3 qt (I used all of the the 4 qt's I bought).
-The second drain/fill I performed with only the front of the car off of the ground (lazy). Drained 3.3 qt. Equalized the temp of the the drain/new fluid and refilled same amount . Fluid level was perfect (all 4 wheels back on the ground).
-Regarding ATF temp, I used Forscan connected via OBDLink EX Forscan OBD Adapter. Purchased an extended license since family has 2 Mazda's that we keep forever (and I'm eyeing the new Bronco). ATF temp is displayed in real time...check level when it hits 50C.
-biggest pain of the job is the huge plastic shrouding underneath.
-OEM Mazda FZ ATF is made by Idemitsu (says so on the back of the bottle). Interesting that they don't have their own FZ product (probably not allowed to by Mazda). Here's hoping that someday they offer their one for less money.

All in all, it was a very worthwhile project. The lifetime claim is laughable, besides the tranny was underfilled from the factory. After 2 fills, the fluid on the dipstick looked clear and clean. Shifting is back to being silky smooth.

Thx to all who contributed to this very helpful thread!
RB
 
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