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Thread: Change automatic transmission fluid?

  1. #1
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    Change automatic transmission fluid?

    I recently had 2 incidents where my transmission revved before going into 1st after backing out of a parking space. The engine revved when I pressed the gas then lurched forward. I have a 2014 Cx5 with 73000 miles. I checked the transmission fluid to make sure it wasn't low and it wasn't, but the color was a light brown. I read that the transmission fluid is lifetime, but am concerned that the color indicates the need to change. I called Mazda and they said they could flush the transmission for $200. Service bulletin 05-003/13 says "flushing is not recommended as part of service maintenance". The revving hasn't happened in several weeks, but I am gun shy from a transmission failure in another car. My neighbor suggested just draining a filling once/ year with ATF FZ.

    Also I see a tech service bulletin 05004 14 that talks about a whining noise from the transaxle at speeds greater than 10 mph on 2013-2014 CX-5 with VINS lower than JM3KE2BE3E0415164 (produced before November 11, 2013). My vin is JM3KE2CY4E0375203, so it looks like I'm in that group. I haven't had any noise but should I be worried?

    Any experience or recommendations would be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
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    Here it comes. What you'll hear is this: 1 whole group will say NOT to do anything. Another group will say: change it. In-between there'll be debate as to what LIFETIME means, as per Mazda.
    1 thing ONLY I can tell you: do NOT do flush. Do drain and fill. $200 seems a little high, in NY/NJ dealer charge $150.
    About whether to change it: I am equally confused.

  3. #3
    ZOOOOOOOOOM ZOOOOOOOOOOOM mazdadude's Avatar

    '16.5 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD, '05 PRIUS

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    Quote Originally Posted by fre View Post
    I recently had 2 incidents where my transmission revved before going into 1st after backing out of a parking space. The engine revved when I pressed the gas then lurched forward. I have a 2014 Cx5 with 73000 miles. I checked the transmission fluid to make sure it wasn't low and it wasn't, but the color was a light brown. I read that the transmission fluid is lifetime, but am concerned that the color indicates the need to change. I called Mazda and they said they could flush the transmission for $200. Service bulletin 05-003/13 says "flushing is not recommended as part of service maintenance". The revving hasn't happened in several weeks, but I am gun shy from a transmission failure in another car. My neighbor suggested just draining a filling once/ year with ATF FZ.

    Also I see a tech service bulletin 05004 14 that talks about a whining noise from the transaxle at speeds greater than 10 mph on 2013-2014 CX-5 with VINS lower than JM3KE2BE3E0415164 (produced before November 11, 2013). My vin is JM3KE2CY4E0375203, so it looks like I'm in that group. I haven't had any noise but should I be worried?

    Any experience or recommendations would be greatly appreciated
    http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showt...D-on-a-2016-GT

    How did you check the transmission fluid?
    Last edited by mazdadude; 01-11-2016 at 01:29 PM.
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    81' Mazda 626 LX AT - sold
    82' Mazda 626 DX MT - sold
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    85' Mazda 626 LX MT - sold
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    85' Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE MT- sold
    87' Mazda RX-7 Turbo 2 MT - sold
    91' Mazda Protege LX MT - sold
    92' Mazda MX-5 Miata MT - sold
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    00' Mazda 626 LX-V6 MT - sold
    02.5' Mazda Protege5 MT - sold
    92' Mazda MX-5 Miata MT - sold
    06' Mazda 5 Touring AT - sold
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  4. #4
    Registered Member erhayes's Avatar
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    If you are able to do a plug drain and refill, then you may want to consider it. However: the issue you are describing suggests a electronic problem rather than an old fluid problem. I would ask a Mazda rep, (not service writer) if there has been an update of the AT software. Ed

  5. #5
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    I sent in a sample of my transmission fluid at 50K to Blackstone Labs (fluid looked great) and I asked them about "lifetime" fluid. Here's their response. Note that they have nothing to sell me related to this, and fluids are their business.

    "We can't say the manufacturer is wrong. After all, they designed the transmission and they are the ones to replace it if/when it fails. Still, the oil itself has a limit as to how much metal and insolubles it can hold before it becomes abrasive, and for that reason, we think the oil should be changed at some point.
    Oils that have been in place for 100K miles or more are often full of wear-in material and any accumulation over the course of those 100K miles, and in some cases, the oil can actually stay in place longer, while in other cases, the oil is abrasive and full of insolubles, which cause more wear overall.
    It's hard to put an interval on it, but you've done the right thing by checking in at 50,000 miles. This way, you can get an idea of how things are going and if/when you need to change it next.
    The basic rule of thumb is that changing the oil doesn't hurt anything, but leaving it in place for a long time can cause excess wear, which could've been avoided with shorter intervals.
    My vehicle also has a "lifetime" fluid, and I don't know what they were trying to achieve by designing it this way."

  6. #6
    Registered Member GP 2004's Avatar

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    I would not do a flush. I would do a drain and fill myself. Use Mazda approved fluid.

  7. #7
    Registrierte Benutzer Chris_Top_Her's Avatar
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    A drain and fill of approx. 5.1 US qt, per service manual is pretty much the only service regarding the ATF. Above that is dropping the pan, and replacing the strainer (and bolts for it). If you have to drop the pan because of a clogged strainer or excessive particles, you are probably having a major failure somewhere.

  8. #8
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    '14 Sky Blue CX-5 GT w/ Tech

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    Mazda claims "lifetime" transmission fluid, but they don't warranty the transmission (in the US) beyond 5 years or 60k miles. Perhaps they only mean the "lifetime of the warranty"?

  9. #9
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    Many manufacturers state that their transmission fluid is a lifetime fluid. I find that total BS, ATF should be drained and refilled every 30-50k depending on your driving habits. Some may say that is overkill, but better be safe than sorry.

  10. #10
    Registered Member CX-5um's Avatar

    13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose

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    Quote Originally Posted by garyd9 View Post
    Mazda claims "lifetime" transmission fluid, but they don't warranty the transmission (in the US) beyond 5 years or 60k miles. Perhaps they only mean the "lifetime of the warranty"?
    Exactomundo!! Once that drivetrain warranty expires they are free and clear with the exception of recalls probably. Car Manufacturer lifetime = warranty period. If you plan on keeping your car past that period you better change your fluids. There's no question there. The debate lies in when to do so!!

  11. #11
    Registered Member Lbear's Avatar

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    If you tow I think every 25k miles would be ideal but 30k miles would be doable. If you DON'T tow then 40k miles would be good.

    That's just my opinion.

  12. #12
    i-ACTIV AWD Aficionado Kedis82ZE8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazdadude View Post
    http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showt...D-on-a-2016-GT

    How did you check the transmission fluid?
    Check out post #40 and later

    http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showt...hange-it/page4
    '15 CX-5 GT 2.5L w/tech package - Liquid Silver Metallic (04/2014 build-07/2014 delivery) - 45K Miles

  13. #13
    i-ACTIV AWD Aficionado Kedis82ZE8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Top_Her View Post
    A drain and fill of approx. 5.1 US qt, per service manual is pretty much the only service regarding the ATF. Above that is dropping the pan, and replacing the strainer (and bolts for it). If you have to drop the pan because of a clogged strainer or excessive particles, you are probably having a major failure somewhere.
    So 6 quarts is a safe purchase amount for a drain & refill?
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  14. #14
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    Get a 100K mile warranty.
    Service the vehicle by the manual.
    This is always the safest bet.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CX-5um View Post
    Exactomundo!! Once that drivetrain warranty expires they are free and clear with the exception of recalls probably. Car Manufacturer lifetime = warranty period. If you plan on keeping your car past that period you better change your fluids. There's no question there. The debate lies in when to do so!!
    I disagree. I know people with vehicles that have transmissions which have gone hundreds of thousands of miles without fluid changes. Yet the only 3 vehicles I've owned with automatics that got transmission fluid changes, each and every one had issues afterward, 2 of which ended up in complete failure, and 1 just in driveability issues. The highest mileage was 110K, the lowest was around 70K.

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