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2018 Mazda 3 GT called Coffee.
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What brands or types of manual transmission fluid would you recommend for a gen 3? Red Line MTL?

I'm going to do my 5k service tomorrow. oil..tires..brake/clutch fluid..might as well add in transmission fluid..its on the low side for some reason anyways.. then take it to the dealership to get the stupid wrench icon turned off and hopefully..unlocked.
CK
 

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I put redline into mine, that was over a year ago. Still pleased with the results. Just check the oil weight, our cars do not use the common one. Slightly thinner.

But I'm a little confused...you said 5k service. Assuming miles, the car has 5000 miles on it? Why would you worry about changing gear oil or brake fluid at that point? That is excessive to the point of insanity. I did my gear oil at 100k kms, that was probably early. I still haven't done the brake fluid and I'm at 128k kms now. Tested it for moisture, plenty of life left in it.

Maybe I'm reading this wrong. If so my apologies.

Also, I'm not sure why you can't turn the wrench icon off. I can do that through the infotainment system. Not locked or anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I have like 22k on the clock.

I'm referring to my regular 5k service checkup at the dealer. They set the reminder to go off every 5k miles or 3 months. They also locked it so that I cannot reset or change the interval it goes off at. I plan on having a chat about that.

I was checking my fluid levels and they are all low...I also spotted signs of brake/clutch fluid spilling around the cap and the fluid is sitting just above the min line, which isn't good. It's amber colored at least..like it's supposed to be.

The transmission fluid is dark brown and very low..I barely can reach it with my pinky finger in the fill plug. Got some Royal Purple Synchromax for that...but I also noticed dried transmission fluid around the shifter cables...which is odd...

I'm going to have to get it checked out and see what's up. I'm not happy about that...
CK
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The seal on the transmission where the driver side CV-Axle connects was bad. It was leaking transmission fluid..which explains one thing... the drip under the car is very new though...not sure how the fluid got so low so fast.

The dealer can check on the brake/clutch fluid and see what's up with that next.

Then.. hopefully.. I will finally be able to install the adjustable camber and toe arms and get a proper alignment.
CK
 

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Definitely early for either job, but sounds like you have other problems going on. Just make sure you're using the correct oil type. Our transmissions use 75W-80 GL-4. A GL-5 gear oil is NOT compatible despite what parts stores tell you. Its a bit of a problem since usually you can substitute these in a differential. Putting a GL-5 oil into a manual trans that requires a 4 is a good way to trash it.

Just FYI, if you did not have these problems gear oil is normally good for well over 100k kms as is brake fluid. Especially if you're using synthetic gear oil. I consider myself changing the gear oil at 100k kms early. And yes I'm too lazy to convert to miles. The rest of the world uses kms anyway :p
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tips. Hopefully this will all be squared away tomorrow and I can get back to working the alignment and the tune.

I'm going to order some Redline MTL.. as I KNOW it's the correct stuff.

The Royal Purple Synchromax doesn't even list its weight or viscosity on the bottle.. o_O
CK
 

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Probably for the best. Getting the right oil is crucial for any transmission.

If you do this yourself, easiest way I found is to stick some 1/2" tubing on the end of a narrow neck funnel. Takes a while for it to drain down into the trans but its dead easy. Put a pan under it, on level ground, and fill until it starts to overflow. Let the excess drain out. Done.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks. I jacked the car up removed the top fill plug..23mm socket with a 3/8" to 1/2" adapter.. checked the level..WAY TOO LOW...removed under dust barrier (major PITA)..positioned a home depot let's do this bucket under the transmission and removed 23mm drain plug..of course it fell in the bucket and I got fluid all over my hand (not gritty or dirty) let it drain for 20 mins.. which was probably over kill.

Replaced drain plug..cleaned up the transmission and any signs of spilled fluid. Used a hand pump that fit on the bottle to pump into the fill plug.. it started leaking new transmission fluid out of the CV-Axle as I was down there, at about the point I had added 1.5 Qts.. The shop confirmed it was a bad transmission seal and they ordered a new one. $216 total.

I will order the Redline MTL and put that in ASAP. The Royal Purple should work for a week or two without any problems.
CK
 

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Wow our seals are expensive if that's just part cost.

I think you did good with that. A hand pump is nice, I just don't have one for filling.

Taking the time to notice small things like the broken axle seal makes the difference between your car being reliable or not. Think if how many people would have ignored that and ran the trans with almost no oil...scary thought.

And yes removing the underbody trays is painful. I do it once a year minimum just to properly undercoat the car for winter. Turns a 20 minute job into 2 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
FYI...Redline MTL 16.95 a quart and free shipping from ECS Tuning. Flying Miata sells it too...but shipping wasn't included.

That's total cost. I'm going to look but I think the seal costs about $90..the rest is probably labor.
CK
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Haha! I just called my dealer and the seal costs $8.14...ugh..
CK
 

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Haha! I just called my dealer and the seal costs $8.14...ugh..
CK
That seems more like it. That's actually not a bad cost with labour. Its an easy job, but does take a little time as you have to pop the driveshaft out. Can be done with standard tools easily.

If you ever decide to tackle this on your own, here's a brief overview:

Drain trans, oil will come out when driveshaft is removed.

Remove tire and brake on that side. Disconnect lower end of strut at knuckle. Use impact gun to remove castle but on outer driveshaft end. Pull top of knuckle down towards you while tapping end of driveshaft with a rubber or plastic mallet to push it through the bearing. Metal will deform the threads. With driveshaft free of hub/knuckle, you can use a large flathead screwdriver or small prybar to pop the shaft out of the transmission. Its just a snap ring holding it in. Ring is reusable. Remove driveshaft then remove the seal. Again, a flathead screwdriver will do, I like to use a seal puller as it is easier.

Grease the new seal with multipurpose grease. Push in until flush with trans. You can use items like a large socket and tap gently with a hammer. Reassemble in reverse and torque to spec. The castle nut is an ass to torque with the torque wrench. I have reassembled up to the brakes and then used a pole of some sort to jam the brake pedal down. Put it between the seat and pedal. That should let you get it torqued. It can be up to 200 ft-lbs. After that refill the trans and you're done.

In total takes a couple hours. Totally understand if you don't want to tackle this one. The above is for information only. At least you'll now understand what they're going to be doing to you car.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm not sure. I have worked on the shocks/dampers and done lots of work down there. I probably over extended the trans-axle at some point and tore the seal.. I just didn't notice it until now. Or...it was just a bad seal. Either way, it's fixed and the car is driving great.

I removed the 5mm spacers in the front and installed the SPC adjustable camber bolts. Vast improvement in handling. Any understeer that I was feeling before is gone. Takes hard turns at high speeds like it's on rails... There's just a little too much negative camber in the back.. I'd like to fix that when I install the camber and toe arms in the back.

I did leave the spacers on in the rear. It gives her a more aggressive stance.
CK
 

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Im gunna be trying Amsoil for my tranny fluid soon here. What was recommended to me was 75w90 gl4 Amsoil so Im gunna try it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Cool. Let me know how it goes.

Noticable improvement with the Royal Purple...just not sure if it's the right stuff for our trans though. Not worth flipping a coin on.
CK
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I ordered 6 quarts of Redline MTL 75W80 GL4..if you need some.. I did a lot of research and it's the most commonly recommended brand for the Skyactiv engines. Flyin' Miata even sells it and recommends it for these engines too.

I'm really loving the Royal Purple though..it's too bad they don't make a GL4 version..I'd buy it. I haven't had a bad shift yet with this stuff..gears are engaging effortlessly and buttery smooth. Very impressive stuff.
CK
 

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I would not use Royal Purple unless you can get it for GL-4 spec only. Most is GL-4/GL-5 oil. If its GL-5 compatible that means it most likely has sulfur compounds in it. Those sulfur compounds can damage the bronze synchros in the gear box. GL-5 oil is for a differential unit in a rear drive car that requires EP hypoid gear lube and has different friction modifiers that will make make the synchros not work properly also.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
My replacement for the Royal Purple just arrived. :nerd:

CK
 

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