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I have a 2012 mazda 3 hatch with the 2.5L in it, 5-speed automatic. I live in Texas so its usually pretty hot. I was told to change my transmission fluid now (just hit 50k, the manual says nothing about when to change) and to the change it every 30k miles. I was also told I should get an external transmision fluid cooler. I see I can get them for rather cheep. I was wondering the pros and cons of them, and suggestions on which to get for under/around $50?
 

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Never go cheap on oil coolers. At that point, you get what you pay for (seriously), and risk creating far more issues.
Unless you are towing, you shouldn't have any issues or real need.

It is true that the number one killer of transmissions is overly hot fluid, but driving on the highway, or in a city, are the test conditions that Mazda puts its transmissions through in the first place, meaning they are meant to handle it out of the factory.

Like I said, unless you're doing something outside of those two things, it will have a full lived life (however long that may be in the BLs, BKs autos tend to last only about 180-220k miles)


The right way to do an oil cooler? Include a thermostat. Otherwise, you're creating an equal issue, of keeping the oil too cold at most times, which is just as much of an problem. Plus you'd need an oil pump in the system, both of which are not cheap. Certainly not $50 for a full kit cheap.

My recommendation for engine and transmission oil coolers is; unless you're towing, or doing very long track events (no, even mountain runs won't do it), then sure, otherwise, you're creating more issues, and more things to break.
 

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Never go cheap on oil coolers. At that point, you get what you pay for (seriously), and risk creating far more issues.
Unless you are towing, you shouldn't have any issues or real need.

It is true that the number one killer of transmissions is overly hot fluid, but driving on the highway, or in a city, are the test conditions that Mazda puts its transmissions through in the first place, meaning they are meant to handle it out of the factory.

Like I said, unless you're doing something outside of those two things, it will have a full lived life (however long that may be in the BLs, BKs autos tend to last only about 180-220k miles)


The right way to do an oil cooler? Include a thermostat. Otherwise, you're creating an equal issue, of keeping the oil too cold at most times, which is just as much of an problem. Plus you'd need an oil pump in the system, both of which are not cheap. Certainly not $50 for a full kit cheap.

My recommendation for engine and transmission oil coolers is; unless you're towing, or doing very long track events (no, even mountain runs won't do it), then sure, otherwise, you're creating more issues, and more things to break.
I was looking to get it 1 b/c I live in hot ass Texas, 2. I drive to dallas 2-4 times at month to get my daughter. The trip is 210 miles. I sometimes drive to dallas, get her, and come straight back, 410 miles, 7 hours, no real stop/break.

Was looking at the Spectre® 5466 - 12" Aluminum Transmission Cooler I understand this is not the kit, and I would have to buy hoses and seals. But I would not need a pump for this would i? What is better, version like this, or the ones that look like typical radiator?
 

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Aloha - I put one in at about 15k after hearing all the automatic trans horror stories and installing a hitch.


after hearing all the automatic trans horror stories and installing a hitch.

http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2010-2013-mazda-3-skyactiv-how-guides/11148-stealth-hidden-hitch-fold-down-licence-plate.html#post131606

Install wasn't too bad, just remove the bumper cover. Was a little confusing as mine also looks like it has a water trans cooler as well. I put it inline. Also changed as much fluid as I could with Maxlife.
I brought it to a transmission shop they checked out the install said looks good to them and they like Maxlife.

Just hit 50K now and plan to use Maxlife drain and fill again next oil change.

I have no problems with Maxlife but in the back of my mind I always worried about not using Factory Mazda fluid.
 

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I was looking to get it 1 b/c I live in hot ass Texas, 2. I drive to dallas 2-4 times at month to get my daughter. The trip is 210 miles. I sometimes drive to dallas, get her, and come straight back, 410 miles, 7 hours, no real stop/break.

Was looking at the Spectre® 5466 - 12" Aluminum Transmission Cooler I understand this is not the kit, and I would have to buy hoses and seals. But I would not need a pump for this would i? What is better, version like this, or the ones that look like typical radiator?
You're not doing anything out of the ordinary with your car you're just driving it. Why fix something that isn't broken?
 

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You're not doing anything out of the ordinary with your car you're just driving it. Why fix something that isn't broken?
Which is why im here :) Asking advice. I want my baby to last 200k miles and want to do anything I can to help make that happen. The manual says nothing about when to change the tranny fluid. I have one friend that says never change, just top off. One that says never flush, just drain and refill every 70k, and others that say change the fluid every 30k miles. Is OEM fluid the best to go with, or what? My trips to and from dallas I usually set cruise at 85 and its constant at 2500 or so RPM for hours at a time, didn't know if in the texas heat if it was needed for the cooler or not
 

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I would just drain and refill and change the filter(if possible) every 50k. Flushing is expensive and not really necessary imo and never changing it is just a bad idea
For fluid I would just stick to OEM unless there is something better out there that meets OEM spec. I have a manual so idk about fluids for the auto
 

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Nah, you'd be fine. And this thread is a good example of a good question with proper answers throughout. I've stated there's no need to do it outside of towing, one owners shows up saying they tow and have one, and we return back to showing nothing is out of the ordinary.

The car will be just fine, and I will 100% agree with mekanik, definitely replace your trans fluid more often than "you're supposed to." There's absolutely nothing wrong with doing that, and will indeed increase the life of the transmission. Far more than cold oil will at least.


Like I mentioned in my first response, there is one major issue with oil coolers in general; and that is those that do not run thermostats. Too cold oil is a huge deal, and having a constant flowing oil cooler, means your oil will never warm up to temperature, which can be detrimental to the life of the oil, and what it's flowing through. Especially if it never allows the oil to get up to temperature and evaporate all of the water out of the system, as that's the most dangerous part about oil.
 
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