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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have not seen any write up for the Skyactiv Auto tranny fluid change and with all the rumors about this being a sealed transmission and what not I figured I would post up a couple pictures ( I have a 2012). I also took the pan off (which was a PITA) so that I could clean off the magnet and look to see if there is a filter or not. Normally I would not recommend taking the pan off but I just got carried away a little bit. (as a result I am not going to the track due to the RTV 24 hour cure period. Of course I am not liable for any damage you might cause.

Before you start, the Aero pan needs to be off (7 bolts/ two push pins) and you should check the dipstick to get a reference of where the fluid level is/ condition. I found that the whole process was much easier by taking off the intake (its only one bolt and the strap) The dipstick (light grey) fill bolt is the one below the corner of the intake. As you can see it would be really difficult to work around the intake - especially when it is so easy to take out.



Then you can undo the drain plug and drain out the fluid.


Once that is done, all you have to do is put the drain bolt back in and add your Special Mazda FZ fluid. It should be around 3.5 quarts if you do not drop the pan - it is a good idea to measure what comes out (I poured it into a 1 gal pitcher). Also, the tranny fluid should be checked warm (122 degrees) so keep that in mind when checking the dipstick.




All in all it is really simple and it is basically like changing engine oil. It has the same drain/ fill bolts as a normal tranny so it is not as complicated as it is made out to be.

In addition to the above I dropped the pan. This is something that I should not have done being that I did not have a filter to replace the old one and it is alot of work. But, all the rumors surrounding the transmission made me really curious. For the record I am not sure if you can even get a transmission filter as of now but in the future it may be something that is available. The factory uses some sort of red/pink RTV gasket rather than a standard gasket. Initially I thought that it was a standard gasket and that is why I thought it would not be much trouble to drop the pan and have a look.

Here is the dirty pan:

The magnet was really not too dirty and there was no sludge - this fluid is super thin like motor oil.

And cleaned up:


The big black piece here is the filter - it looks kind of like the ones for the older models:


I spent a couple hours cleaning up all of the old gasket on the pan and transmission (it needs to be spotless) So a ~30 min fluid swap became three hours of work and a 24 hour waiting period for the RTV to cure. Hopefully, this helps someone out and saves the headache of wondering - or going overboard and dropping the pan.
 

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Excellent write up. Thanks for the time and effort you put in. I will be doing this at 30K. I dont believe in lifetime transmission fluid.

btw do you have a pic of how dark the fluid was at the time of changed? and how many miles?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The fluid is pretty nasty looking - definitely not blue. It has a yellowish/ green tint to it. Here is a pic but it is kind of hard to show that color.

It kind of looks like swamp water.
I am just about to hit 40k Miles.
 

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Wow that looks to be bad. I wonder what mazda will say to this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don’t think the color itself tells the whole story but the old fluid did not seem as slippery as the new stuff. This FZ ATF is super thin - it feels like a 0w or oil based "personal lubricant." Honestly with how simple a drain and fill is, I personally would not do the recommended 100k service/intervals. I think 30-60-90k- etc would be within reason for sure. But, I am not an engineer or oil specialist or rocket scientist or anything like that so this is all just my opinion.
 

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Great write up and pictures. I will change mine in the next week or so. 32k miles. Recalling what the sales guy told me when I bought the car "Do not change the transmission fluid or you will have special agents knocking at your door, in fact you won't even be able to purchase the fluid"..... What?????
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great write up and pictures. I will change mine in the next week or so. 32k miles. Recalling what the sales guy told me when I bought the car "Do not change the transmission fluid or you will have special agents knocking at your door, in fact you won't even be able to purchase the fluid"..... What?????
Haha that's funny. The dealers don't carry much of the fluid (both I went to had 4 or less quarts) but you can definitely get it.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Where do you discard used transmission fluid? Do places that accept used oil also take this stuff?
You would have to check because it might be different for where you live but I just take mine in to the parts store (Advance/ O'Reillys/etc.)along with motor oil. I put it all in the same cans and have never had an issue. As long as it's not mixed with brake fluid or coolant you should be fine.
 

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@boyl0121 Slightly off original topic, but when you were under there how much more of the trans does it look like you can disassemble? Aka... can I get to the differential?

Thanks again for biting the bullet first. :)
 
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Discussion Starter #12
You know everything looked really normal/ standard to me. Having never done anything with a fwd diff I would think that if you pulled the tranny you could swap the diff. It all just looked like regular bolts and stuff. Definitely not "sealed" in any way. I would have to look again to be sure though. It would be awesome if someone (Quaife?) Made an lsd for these.
 

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Well, the fun part is that if I can get to the diff, there should be no reason that I can't make myself a replacement. :cheesy: Expensive, but my neighbor does machining for military contracts and can pull off some amazing geartrain stuff. When I hit 30k I'll remember to try pulling the diff, thanks!
 
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You would have to check because it might be different for where you live but I just take mine in to the parts store (Advance/ O'Reillys/etc.)along with motor oil. I put it all in the same cans and have never had an issue. As long as it's not mixed with brake fluid or coolant you should be fine.
Was there a filter after all (if you saw one)? I am over 30000 miles after less than 1.5 yrs of ownership (50% of warranty) and was wanted to change the fluid, but by dropping the pan not just the bolt ( I couldn't find anything about a filter in the svc manual).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Was there a filter after all (if you saw one)? I am over 30000 miles after less than 1.5 yrs of ownership (50% of warranty) and was wanted to change the fluid, but by dropping the pan not just the bolt ( I couldn't find anything about a filter in the svc manual).


If you look at the last picture in the OP there is a shot of the filter. It looks similar to the ones in the older transmissions but I did not check the part number.
 

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Sorry for bringing back an old thread and I'm a first time poster as well.

Anyone have any thoughts as to why the stock FZ automatic fluid in my '15 CX-5 would be clear versus blue? I purchased vehicle new with like 8 miles on it. Transmission operates perfectly. I have a littler over 4K miles on it now. Sorry for posting this in the 3 forum... just not a lot of discussion on the fluid changes elsewhere in the SkyActiv autos.

Thanks!


 

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You have a dipstick for the transmission on the 2012? The 2015 also? There is no dipstick on the 2013 Skyactiv Touring that I have. Hence, no place to add new fluid. I'm guessing I'm just going to leave it alone. I never changed it on my 2002 Saturn (though it is a manual transmission) and it still shifts smooth at 197K miles...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry for bringing back an old thread and I'm a first time poster as well.

Anyone have any thoughts as to why the stock FZ automatic fluid in my '15 CX-5 would be clear versus blue? I purchased vehicle new with like 8 miles on it. Transmission operates perfectly. I have a littler over 4K miles on it now. Sorry for posting this in the 3 forum... just not a lot of discussion on the fluid changes elsewhere in the SkyActiv autos.

Thanks!
I wouldn’t worry about it being more clear than blue. The fluid only has a slight blue tint when it is brand new. After I changed mine and rechecked it you really could not tell it was blue at all. You might be able to tell the color better on a white paper towel, but honestly its very faint coloring - not like standard "red" atf.


You have a dipstick for the transmission on the 2012? The 2015 also? There is no dipstick on the 2013 Skyactiv Touring that I have. Hence, no place to add new fluid. I'm guessing I'm just going to leave it alone. I never changed it on my 2002 Saturn (though it is a manual transmission) and it still shifts smooth at 197K miles...
You should definitely have a dipstick you your 2013 unless you got a weird trans or they completely changed the skyactiv trans after one year (very unlikely I think) It is kind of hard to see down under the intake/ Maf area.
 

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You should definitely have a dipstick you your 2013 unless you got a weird trans or they completely changed the skyactiv trans after one year (very unlikely I think) It is kind of hard to see down under the intake/ Maf area.
Thanks. I'll have to look for it. A picture would be great if you have one. :cool 1:

May be like the dipstick on my Saturn - took me forever to find it the first time.
 
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