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Thread: Who is towing with their CX-9?

  1. #106
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    Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016

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    I'm renting 5x8 trailer from Uhaul towing about 100 miles. Empty weight of trailer is 700 lbs and I will be adding another 1000 lbs. Should I use 2" or 4" or no drop ball mount?
    You want the trailer to be level or very slightly lower in front. My guess is the 4" drop ball mount inverted to raise the ball, but you'll need to know the actual height of the trailer coupler off the ground. Pick the ball mount that works for that dimension.

    Getting a 2" receiver hitch installed and a brake control. My question is this...is the 3500 lb vehicle towing capacity and 350 lb tongue weight restriction solely on the factory installed towing package? We aren't planning on overloading this trailer in any way. Keeping it as light as possible. Does anyone see any issues with this configuration?
    You are pushing the envelope. Any mountains on your trips? I'd go lighter. Also keep in mind that anything you carry in the car instead of the trailer is still weight that stresses the drivetrain.

  2. #107
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    2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD

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    Just got back from a longer trip with some pretty hilly roads. The CX-9 tows great but I'm beginning to think that I'm pushing the limits too much with my trailer. The dry weight of the trailer is 2620 lbs and I have about 300 lbs of gear added. I have not confirmed the weight on a scale but I believe I am not exceeding the 3500 lbs limit. The CX-9 has plenty of power and sway is no issue at all (I have a Reese light duty WD hitch). But I'm concerned about the transmission temperature. On up hill pulls I was hitting 248 degrees. Outside temp was around 75 so I'm not even in hot summer temps yet. I really like the CX-9 but I might look into something with a better towing capacity (like Jeep Grand Cherokee). A friend towing a similar trailer with a Jeep Cherokee never went over 190 with his transmission.

    The other problem with the CX-9 is the height of the hitch. The aftermarket Class II hitch I had installed sits lower than the factory Class I hitch. The Reese hitch has hit bottom several times when pulling into my driveway or campsites .
    Last edited by wazkaren; 07-10-2017 at 09:09 AM.

  3. #108
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    2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD

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    ReeseHitch.jpg

    This is where I bottom out

  4. #109
    goes to eleven chuyler1's Avatar

    2013 CX9

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    The hookup does sit low, but that's going to be a factor with most crossover vehicles. I've never had an issue but I don't run a WD hitch with my ~2,500lb trailer. This week my sister was borrowing the CX9 so I had the opportunity to tow the same camper with my wife's stick shift 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (4 door). A quick comparison of specs before I continue...

    Jeep: 4,521 lb curb weight, 285 hp, 265 torque, 3,500 lb towing capacity
    CX9: 4,552 lb curb weight, 273 hp, 270 torque, 3,500 lb towing capactiy

    Both vehicles tow very similar. I tried 6th gear on the highway in the Jeep and it struggled to maintain 65 mph so I quickly just dropped to 5th and left it there for all highway driving so I could set the cruise control. The RPMs were around 2600 which if I recall is a bit higher than the CX9 in the same gear. The Jeep had less vertical bob over rough terrain and the suspension was set up much stiffer. However I felt a little more play from side to side from the tires. They do have a larger sidewall which could explain things. All things considered, I'd be happy towing with either vehicle. I prefer stick shift in general though but the real take home came with gas mileage. The CX9 will get around 14 mpg with the trailer. The Jeep pulled off 17 mpg for our trip. I was very impressed. A lot may have to do with being able to lock it in gear at all times instead of the slush box burning up torque. Another factor could be how close the hitch is on the Jeep. There is very little space between the bumper and camper and with an aerodynamic scamp, there isn't much additional frontal area to work with. When I tow with the CX9, the hitch is further back and the vehicle is lower and more narrow, and thus mileage is more affected by the frontal area of the camper.

    Anyway, I know this doesn't help your concerns about transmission temps but I found it interesting pulling the same trailer with two different vehicles. I really think you should get your trailer weighed to find out how much you are actually towing. If it's under 3,500 and you're traveling at reasonable speeds, the temps shouldn't be an issue.

  5. #110
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    2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD

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    Interesting comparison, thanks. I'm surprised by the better mileage on the Jeep, wasn't expecting that given the similar specs. But didn't consider the tongue length. I get around 11 mpg, but of course I'm pulling more weight. And my trailer is the opposite of aerodynamic. And for much of my trip I wasn't able to get the transmission to lock-out, just a little too hilly. My bottoming out problem may be more related to my trailer than the CX-9. The trailer has a relatively low ground clearance.

    I was finally able to talk with a service tech today at my local Mazda dealer that seemed to know what he was talking about. He said 250 would be within expected temperatures while climbing hills. He wasn't concerned by that at all. When I asked about a maximum temp he said 300 degrees would definitely be a problem. He also mentioned what I've read in this forum about using manual to stay out of 6th gear. And there is a warning light (AT warning light) that would turn on if transmission temp went too high. Also recommended changing the trans fluid at the end of the season to be safe.

    So I guess everything is good towing with my CX-9. I will try to find a scale to see just how much I'm really pulling, but it seems that I'm in good shape. I'll hold off upgrading to a different vehicle for now. Heading to Adirondacks in a couple weeks so that will be another good test.
    Last edited by wazkaren; 07-10-2017 at 12:12 PM.

  6. #111
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    2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring FWD . 2014 CX-5 GT FWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by wazkaren View Post
    Can you share the specific OBD reader/code setup you're using to monitor your TFTemp? I'm assuming you're using Torque Pro?

    I will be need to tow a small cargo trailer soon and do not have the trans cooler in my 2008 FWD Touring, so would like to monitor things closely.

    Thx

  7. #112
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    Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016

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    Quote Originally Posted by wazkaren View Post
    ReeseHitch.jpg

    This is where I bottom out
    The excess on the bottom can be cut off. You might even have a welding shop weld on a piece of steel to act as a skid. A short curved piece of 1/4" x 2" flat bar should do well.

  8. #113
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    2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by PTguy View Post
    The excess on the bottom can be cut off.
    I had thought of that but I'm not 100% sure yet if I'm going to trade in the CX-9 for something with higher towing capacity. I didn't want to cut off the button and find out later that I need it (although I doubt I would need that much). But it's a good idea.

  9. #114
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    2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaumaturge View Post
    Can you share the specific OBD reader/code setup you're using to monitor your TFTemp? I'm assuming you're using Torque Pro?
    Thx
    Yes, Torque Pro. I got the setting from somewhere on this forum. These are the settings I using:

    OBD2 Mode and PID: 221e1c
    Scale factor: x1
    Equation: ((A*256)+B)*(63/10)/100
    OBD Header: TCM

  10. #115
    Registered Member

    2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD

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  11. #116
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    2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring FWD . 2014 CX-5 GT FWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by wazkaren View Post
    Yes, Torque Pro. I got the setting from somewhere on this forum. These are the settings I using:

    OBD2 Mode and PID: 221e1c
    Scale factor: x1
    Equation: ((A*256)+B)*(63/10)/100
    OBD Header: TCM

    Thanks for sharing the info. I was clearly too lazy to search for it.

    Who's OBD reader are you using?

  12. #117
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    2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD

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    I bought an ELM 327 from Amazon.

    The amazon product description:
    V1.5 Firmware ELM327 OBDII OBD2 Bluetooth Car Diagnostic Interface Scanner For Andorid Torque

    (The Andorid spelling is straight from the Amazon page :-) )

    BTW, I remember reading somewhere that with the CX-9 towing package there is a second control module on the radiator. Just a guess on my part but I wonder if that control module is where the trans temp sensor is? It's possible that the OBD2 module won't read trans temp without the towing package. But the OBD2 module is pretty cheap so probably worth a try.
    Last edited by wazkaren; 07-12-2017 at 03:22 PM.

  13. #118
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    2008 Mazda CX-9 Touring FWD . 2014 CX-5 GT FWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by wazkaren View Post
    I bought an ELM 327 from Amazon.

    The amazon product description:
    V1.5 Firmware ELM327 OBDII OBD2 Bluetooth Car Diagnostic Interface Scanner For Andorid Torque

    (The Andorid spelling is straight from the Amazon page :-) )

    BTW, I remember reading somewhere that with the CX-9 towing package there is a second control module on the radiator. Just a guess on my part but I wonder if that control module is where the trans temp sensor is? It's possible that the OBD2 module won't read trans temp without the towing package. But the OBD2 module is pretty cheap so probably worth a try.
    Thanks, I will give it a shot.

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