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I don't believe in lifetime fluids so I want to change the transmission fluid and filter (2016 3 i Sport Sedan) Should I do this a couple of times to get all of the old fluid out,or do a drain and fill only first and then do the filter and fluid the second time? Thanks
 

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How many miles are you at currently?

While under warranty, my wife's 2016 at 50k will be getting a simple drain sometime over the next few months, and probably again at 100k.

Maybe a filter sometime down the road. The highest mileage member here @gregersonke, has done 161k (mostly highway as of Oct 2018, he's probably got another 50k by now) on the factory fill, so there is a wide margin of error here.
 

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I believe a member here reported being at 300,000 miles on his '14 automatic Mazda3 without problems, and he has not changed the transmission oil or the filter.

Maybe Mazda's claim of lifetime fluid is valid.
 

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I change the fluid but not the screen ( the thing people call the filter in an auto transmission is a coarse metal screen when compared to ,say, an oil filter). Having changed a few auto transmission screens over the years I can say it's a horrible job unless you can raise the car on an overhead hoist.
 

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I change the fluid but not the screen ( the thing people call the filter in an auto transmission is a coarse metal screen when compared to ,say, an oil filter). Having changed a few auto transmission screens over the years I can say it's a horrible job unless you can raise the car on an overhead hoist.
It's a strainer. Just replaced FZ fluid. Drained & filled twice. A coupla days in between. No prior issues...just OCD kicking in after 5years. Fluid was no longer green.
Strainer. Looks much like K&N intake:
1st drain FZ:
2nd drain FZ:
New FZ:

Here's a good guide:
 

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I'll spend that $100 for the fluid & filter, when my Mazda reaches 3 years old. It's still cheaper, than a than a future potential transmission issue.
 

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The way that it was explained to me by one of the auto engineers that was part of the team of engineers that developed the BMW automatic transmission used in many of their latest model cars, MINI's model cars and a few other none BMW vehicles is that unlike engine oil, the transmission will not get bi-components from the fuel which can contaminate and semi render the oils complete effectiveness. The automatic transmissions are in a closed operating environment not effected like engine oil is. Even normal break in and wear of metal parts will be collected in the filter or sink to the bottom of the pan which even the normal fluid windage or fluid movement will not disturb them and that they are in such low quantities that a filter can go the life expected design of the transmission never having to be changed.
My information from these engineers have told me changing the service fluid of a couple quarts or less and filter while not necessary of any real benefit because of the dilution factor some like myself need the peace of mind to simply do it . My thought is that if you do a basic service you can see if there has been collected partials in the filter that may be a start of things going bad later on in the transmission life. But I am told that this is almost over thinking and not necessary with our transmissions type.
Further talking to people better suited then myself knowing such things I have been explained as far as getting a complete service flushing if the shop using a Professional Transmission Flushing System designed for this service will not cause harm to the transmission in anyway if done correctly. In fact there is an adapter to be used specifically designed for our Mazda transmission to do a full fluid replacement with out ever dropping the transmission pan.
I will say even after knowing all this for me I will at least change the filter at 30k intervals for peace of mind.


I bought this to be able completely change my fluid without having to drop the pan but also add a transmission cooler.
I know as other that it says "lifetime" but I like the peace of mind and fun in changing old fluids with new.
 

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The way that it was explained to me by one of the auto engineers that was part of the team of engineers that developed the BMW automatic transmission used in many of their latest model cars, MINI's model cars and a few other none BMW vehicles is that unlike engine oil, the transmission will not get bi-components from the fuel which can contaminate and semi render the oils complete effectiveness. The automatic transmissions are in a closed operating environment not effected like engine oil is. Even normal break in and wear of metal parts will be collected in the filter or sink to the bottom of the pan which even the normal fluid windage or fluid movement will not disturb them and that they are in such low quantities that a filter can go the life expected design of the transmission never having to be changed.
My information from these engineers have told me changing the service fluid of a couple quarts or less and filter while not necessary of any real benefit because of the dilution factor some like myself need the peace of mind to simply do it . My thought is that if you do a basic service you can see if there has been collected partials in the filter that may be a start of things going bad later on in the transmission life. But I am told that this is almost over thinking and not necessary with our transmissions type.
Further talking to people better suited then myself knowing such things I have been explained as far as getting a complete service flushing if the shop using a Professional Transmission Flushing System designed for this service will not cause harm to the transmission in anyway if done correctly. In fact there is an adapter to be used specifically designed for our Mazda transmission to do a full fluid replacement with out ever dropping the transmission pan.
I will say even after knowing all this for me I will at least change the filter at 30k intervals for peace of mind.


I bought this to be able completely change my fluid without having to drop the pan but also add a transmission cooler.
I know as other that it says "lifetime" but I like the peace of mind and fun in changing old fluids with new.
I did the fluid swap for both proactive maintenance & curiosity. The car is planned to be kept long term. As I shared, OCD pushed me over.
I've seen AISIN conventional A/Ts MINIs use fail. The CVTs are the worst, BMW pulled the plug on those in '04 & has never gone back. Let the Japanese deal w/ it...haha. Amongst the reasons I chose Mazda over Honda & Toyota was the nonCVT. Glad I did.
Thanks for sharing, sir. Please do keep this forum posted on your flush method. We know there's a long debate on that vs drain & fill. Oh, I believe you're aware Sky A/T has a cooler attached, but no lines.

More fluid talk...
Looking at the growing number of aging Skyactivs, the 6AT seems to be holding up generally well...even w/o fluid swaps.


Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
 

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MazdaSuper3 - it appears to me that the use of that element you bought would mean that you would cease to use the stock engine coolant-cooled ATF cooler arrangement in favour of a more normal auxiliary air to oil cooler. Now bear in mind that for a conventional ATF cooling arrangement there is a simple loop of tubing that enters the radiator... and when the ATF is really hot, said engine coolant cools down the the ATF. But note, that as well as cooling the ATF when it's hot, also - during startup - said loop cooler heats up the ATF bringing it to optimal running temp quicker. If you use the arrangement you just bought for cooling - you will lose that heat-up function.

What is instructive is to see the captured o-ring recesses on the back of the plate you bought. If it were me, I would consider using a thick aluminum plate, similarly sized by way of outline shape, and sandwiched between the existing cooler element and the case of the transmission. Said arrangement would need these self-same grooves, to allow the use of captive o-rings on both sides of the thicker plate. Then, I would appropriately drill the plate, including on-edge, to port the ATF towards an aux. cooler. Lotsa fiddling around.... and the bolts used to attach the stock cooler element to the case of the transmission would have to be suitably longer. A person would have to determine if adequate space exists for this, and for the slight positional changes to the engine coolant lines. Further: potential for vibration?

As for me, if I went to this trouble, I would also add super tight media bypass ATF filtration at the same time.
 

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Further talking to people better suited then myself knowing such things I have been explained as far as getting a complete service flushing if the shop using a Professional Transmission Flushing System designed for this service will not cause harm to the transmission in anyway if done correctly. In fact there is an adapter to be used specifically designed for our Mazda transmission to do a full fluid replacement with out ever dropping the transmission pan.
I will say even after knowing all this for me I will at least change the filter at 30k intervals for peace of mind.


I bought this to be able completely change my fluid without having to drop the pan but also add a transmission cooler.
I know as other that it says "lifetime" but I like the peace of mind and fun in changing old fluids with new.
MazdaSuper3, do you mind me asking where you bought that adapter?
 

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MazdaSuper3, do you mind me asking where you bought that adapter?
I liked your response, seems to gave it some thought. I did not post my complete project and it does include a few more parts to make it work well. I have been watching the transmission temperatures as I installed a gauge to monitor both engine and transmission temperatures. What my observation was that the warm up cycle which is 129F is not related to the transmission temperature as you disciplined and that the engine oil as well the transmission take much longer to warm up then the coolant. I also have been respectively watching the ignition timing which only changes at 129F. So I concluded that the only ECU calibration changes may be in the use of AC or when the operating temperatures are at normal or higher because of the use of AC or hot days? This is all just speculation on my part enough that I wanted to lower the transmission temperatures down to a respectable 190F instead of the 230F+ observed?
I am also installing a inline transmission filter along with the stacked plate cooler.

I got the adapter from a freind that sell wholesale automotive equipment like Transmission Flushing Machines. I will ask him the brand and parts number. I believe it came in a complete shop adapter package but the adapters can be purchased separately.
 

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Thx... Also, wondering where you got that additional centre console mounted gauge arrangement?

Re the in-line atf filter - I have to say I don't like those because they have to be coarse enough to not easily plug off. I really subscribe to the use of very tight filter media (i.e. high degree of filtration) bypass filter arrangements. Despite just slipstreaming-off a small portion of the fluid flow - they clean up ALL of the fluid to a super-high degree very, very soon.
 

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FYI... TSB on ATF filling. https://www.rx8club.com/attachments/general-automotive-49/193505d1362869611-s-k-y-bulletins-atf-fz-required-skyactiv-drive-6-speed-automatic-transaxle.pdf

They appear to intimate that the engine coolant-cooled ATF heat exchanger is not typically removed from the side of the A/T case. They indicate WHEN (not if) you change-out your A/T - you get a new cooler shipped with it.

This applies to certain years of Mazda3, Mazda6, CX5... but I think it carries-over to subsequent years for the 3, 6, and CX-5...

I am sure that commercially you can get new o-rings / seals for between the heat exchanger and the case of the A/T. They may also be available from Mazda. Not sure if the torque value of the capscrews holding the exchanger to the case are available. I fully expect that they are threaded-in to aluminum, so the torque values will be quite low, and demand the use of an inch-pounds calibrated torque wrench.

Final point, here, is that this TSB by Mazda North America seems to intimate that the fluid does not need to be changed. Quite a few of us subscribe to the notion that YES, the A/T benefits from at least 1 X per 50,000 miles fluid changes (oh, mebe 3 drops... plus a filter change, pan and magnet clean-up).
 

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I did my first drain and fill recently. The fluid on the dipstick was tea colored and when I drained it a somewhat dark brown. I thought it looked pretty good actually until I saw the new fluid is blue. I do know this does not necessarily mean anything.
I did read an oil analysis online of someone who drained theirs around 40-50k and the fluid looked like mine. The analysis showed most of the additives were gone and said the fluid change was a good move.
I won't drop my transmission pan until my powertrain warranty is expired. But that is the plan.

And for reference anyone reading this looking for information. Front end only on jack stands my AT drained 3.5 quarts. I used a brand new transparent drain pan to see any contaminants and there were none I could see with my eye.
 

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I liked your response, seems to gave it some thought. I did not post my complete project and it does include a few more parts to make it work well. I have been watching the transmission temperatures as I installed a gauge to monitor both engine and transmission temperatures. What my observation was that the warm up cycle which is 129F is not related to the transmission temperature as you disciplined and that the engine oil as well the transmission take much longer to warm up then the coolant. I also have been respectively watching the ignition timing which only changes at 129F. So I concluded that the only ECU calibration changes may be in the use of AC or when the operating temperatures are at normal or higher because of the use of AC or hot days? This is all just speculation on my part enough that I wanted to lower the transmission temperatures down to a respectable 190F instead of the 230F+ observed?
I am also installing a inline transmission filter along with the stacked plate cooler.

I got the adapter from a freind that sell wholesale automotive equipment like Transmission Flushing Machines. I will ask him the brand and parts number. I believe it came in a complete shop adapter package but the adapters can be purchased separately.
That's very interesting!

If the transmission oil is operating at 230F-plus, it's no wonder the transmission has a water-to-oil cooler stuck to the side, although it looks like a tiny oil cooler.

The coolant temperature on my sedan normally runs at around 185F on the highway, so if the coolant is running through the oil cooler and the oil is running at 230F and even more, I'd hate to see how hot the transmission oil would get without the little cooler in place.

What temperature does the engine oil run at?
 

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Quote: "...They indicate WHEN (not if) you change-out your A/T - you get a new cooler shipped with it."

That's pretty pessimistic about the transmission. The SkyActiv autos seem to be doing well.

About the oil cooler being changed: that is pretty standard practice. When a transmission fails, it may fill up with bits and pieces of bad and broken things. Those things can go into the oil cooler and make it dangerous for future use. So typically, it is recommended that a new oil cooler be used when the new or rebuilt transmission is installed. Some manufacturers stipulate this being done as a condition of warranty coverage.
 
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