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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello All:

I have a 2011 Mazda 3s five door that only has 1,400 miles on it (in Celestial Blue). It's got the 2.5 engine with the automatic tranny.

I'm basing this thread though on my observations of this cars sister, our 2010 Mazda 6i Touring Plus in Ebony Black that my wife drives. It too has the 2.5 with automatic. With my wife's long commute to work each day the car now has 34,400 miles on it. We keep it serviced regularly and as we passed 30,000 I began to think about the transmission that had yet to be serviced. The owners manual really didn't have a service schedule. So, I was talking with the local Mazda dealer and he said they usually service by 60,000 and they DO NOT power flush these transmissions, they only drain / refill which gets about 1/2 the fluid each time. I mentioned that mine was starting to brown some and he said Mazda's are notorious for being hard on fluid. So, we both agreed that it would be a good idea to do a drain / refill. I did this myself at home today and was actually easier that an oil change. I just measured how much came out (very dark fluid) and replaced with genuine Mazda M-V fluid. Be aware, M-V is NOT the same as Mercon-V. Do not mix the two.

Anyway, it took 3.25 quarts for the fill. Color is now nice and red again. I think at the next oil change I may do it again to further deplete the dirty fluid. They sold me the Mazda fluid for $5 a quart so that was cool.

By the way, the local Mazda dealer in my small town is probably the best Dealership Service Dept. I have ever dealt with. They are awesome and go out of their way to answer any question you have. Prices are very reasonable too. I also bought 1 quart of the Mazda 0W20 oil that goes in the new 3 (the 2010 Mazda6 uses 5W20 although it's the same engine).

May be a good idea to keep an eye on the tranny fluid and drain when it starts to turn brown.
 

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Can you post a step by step how to for the ATF change? I want to do this but don't really know how. Also where did you bought the replacement fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First of all, the drain / refill will require about 3.25 to 3.5 quarts of fluid, so go ahead and buy 4 quarts of fluid. When you do this raise your hood and look at what it says on the orange handle of the transmission dip stick. The info is also in your owners manual. Most likely it will say ATF M-V. Make sure they do not sell you Mercon V, which is different. M-V Mazda fluid will say (TYPE: M5 on the bottle). You should be able to purchase it at the Mazda dealers parts department. Here are the steps.

1-Drive car long enough to get up to operating temperature.
2-I pulled car up on ramps to access bottom of car.
3-Using 10mm socket, I removed the plastic engine cover underneath the car.
4-I used a drain pan with quart markings so I could measure how much fluid came out. Remove drain plug under transmission pan. This pan is black. To remove this plug you need a hex key, 8mm I think.
5-Let as much fluid drain as possible. Should be around 3.3 quarts which is about 40% of fluid.
6-Reinstall plug. Look at drain pan to determine how much fluid came out.
7-Use a clean funnel and add new fluid through dip stick tube.
8-Look under car to make sure it's not leaking. Reattach plastic engine cover under car.
9-Back car off ramps and, with engine running check fluid level. Just make sure it's close.
10-Drive car to warm fluid and check level to make sure it's within proper level range.

Drive and enjoy.

I plan to do this about every 15,000 miles (every other oil change).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
By the way, when you are checking transmission fluid the car should be at normal operating temp. and the engine should be running. Cycle through gears then put in park. With engine running pull out dip stick, wipe it off then put back in and then check level. Should be between the two notches, closer to the full notch.
 

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Awesome dude you rock. Do you think this be done without removing the lower engine cover, and could you post some pictures of where is the drain plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yea, you have to remove the engine cover. Should be about eight 10mm bolts. I was actually thinking about cutting a small hole in the engine cover where the transmission drain plug is so I don't have to take it off. There are already holes for the oil filter and oil drain plug. I'll try to take some pics the next time I'm under the car.
 

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I just bought transmission fluid from the dealer nearest me and they charged me $8.17 a quart! They also said that they do recommend a drain and flush if the fluid is dirty enough. If it is not that dirty than they just drain and fill. They charge $200 for a drain and flush which I guess is not that bad since at the rate they quoted me you would be putting around a hundred dollars of ATF in the car and paying about a hundred for the service. Does anyone know how many quarts of ATF fit in the 2010 Mazda 3? My guess would be around 10-12 quarts. I may consider getting a drain and flush later on down the road, but for now a drain and fill will suffice.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think the 2011 (should be the same) holds about 8.1 or 8.2 quarts. Should be in the owners manual under capacities.

Man, $8.17 is high....you could go full synthetic for that! Some folks are switching to Redline D4 fluid.
 

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can you tell me what brand the 0w20 oil was from the dealer?or what it says on the bottle? a pic would be nice.
I got mine done recently and the little sticker by the window says Castrol Syntech blend.. which leads me to wonder if it isn't full synthetic.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
To answer the transmission question, I do think it is okay to mix two fluids IF they are both Type:M-V certified. The reason I am against power flushing is I've just heard many stories about transmission problems after a flush, especially if the transmission was somewhat dirty. It just stirs up so much dirt that can get lodged in the small components due to the force at which the fluid is pushed through.

As for the oil, what I bought was in a Mazda bottle. I'll try to take a pic. and post tonight or tomorrow. I've heard it's rebranded Petro Canada oil. The fact that it's 0W20 means it truely is synthetic. There is no conventional oil in the 0W20 weight.
 

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To answer the transmission question, I do think it is okay to mix two fluids IF they are both Type:M-V certified. The reason I am against power flushing is I've just heard many stories about transmission problems after a flush, especially if the transmission was somewhat dirty. It just stirs up so much dirt that can get lodged in the small components due to the force at which the fluid is pushed through.

As for the oil, what I bought was in a Mazda bottle. I'll try to take a pic. and post tonight or tomorrow. I've heard it's rebranded Petro Canada oil. The fact that it's 0W20 means it truely is synthetic. There is no conventional oil in the 0W20 weight.
o ok haha thanks for clearing that 0W20 thing up haha :tongue:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
He's correct....MV / M5 are the same. It was stupid for Mazda to name it M-V though. It's too much like Mercon-V or Multi-Vehicle. This naming convention has actually caused many transmissions to be ruined by shear confusion. My dealership actually tried to sell me Mercon-V when I asked for M-V. I pointed out the mistake and the guy was red faced embarassed. He knew it would ruin my tranny if I used it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
On the Mazda Mercon V bottle that they mistakenly tried to sell me it said right under the name.

NOT TO BE SUBSTITUTED FOR ATF M-V (TYPE: M5)

When I showed the parts guy that he turned bright red!! He had to dig around in the back and came back with a case of the correct fluid. Makes me wonder how many people got the wrong stuff?
 

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On the Mazda Mercon V bottle that they mistakenly tried to sell me it said right under the name.

NOT TO BE SUBSTITUTED FOR ATF M-V (TYPE: M5)

When I showed the parts guy that he turned bright red!! He had to dig around in the back and came back with a case of the correct fluid. Makes me wonder how many people got the wrong stuff?
aaaaand this is why I don't get my services done by the dealership.
 

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I did my first ever drain and fill of the ATF yesterday. I noticed that there were no washers on the drain plug but the dealer game me 2 when I bought the fluid the other day. I assumed they were both supposed to be there so I put them on when I screwed the plug back in. Should I have done this or is it not a big deal?
 
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