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So I'm about to roll 30k, which I've done in about 6 months. Looking forward at the expensive 100k maintenance...

I assume these cars are interference engines, with the compression ratio being what it is. Are these timing belts or chains? What's the recommended interval for changing them out?

Any reason to change the head gasket, timing components,etc?
 

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Chain, and there is no replacement interval on it. It doesn't look like fun to change IF it ever needs to be done, however.
 

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I know others are opposed to doing so but I'd to a transmission oil flush/change before 50k miles.
 

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Even with the MTX?
Totally up to you but I will say this. These new Mazdas are ridiculously cheap to maintain as I'm coming from BMW's and turbo VW's. The cost of a transmission DIY oil change kit for DSG transmissions 40k Service Kit w/ DSG Service (CBEA CJAA) - 071115562C - CJAA40K6SPD - IDParts.com are about the same as a Mazda dealership doing a flush/new oil change on my automatic CX-5.

The new skyactiv mazdas have won many awards (KBB I think) as lowest cost of ownership. DIY only lowers those costs further. Maybe a DIY project for your manual could be something you can do at 60k miles or so. It's really a cost effective project. Show your Mazda some love man!!!
 

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Three quarts of Redline MTL and two washers is not very expensive; a gearbox oil change takes about 30 minutes, with most of the time being removing the bottom pan so you can get to the drain and fill bolts.

I did mine at 50k miles and while the oil that came out was perfectly serviceable with no evidence of material degradation it DID make a difference in reducing the cold-gearbox notchiness, especially going into 3rd, and thus was worth it.

IMHO if there's no evidence of a leak there's no particular reason, with ordinary driving, to need to change MTX oil until you get to 5 years or 100k miles, but this isn't an expensive or difficult operation.

ATXs are a bigger pain in the butt to do at home than a MTX but it's still doable..
 

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My cousin recently purchased a used private party 2012 Mazda3 hatch auto with 90k miles for daily driving (other car is a souped up Lancer Evo). He advised the original auto tranny fluid was dark. He didn't notice too much of a difference but wanted all fluids to be changed. One week later he drain/filled again with new fluid just because. Dude's anal with his fluids lol.
 

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Just changed the MTX fluid again (~110k miles now, first change at 50k miles); the oil came out somewhat darkened but in perfectly-serviceable condition from a standpoint of examination (no evidence of synchro damage, any sort of contamination, flakes or water in the oil, etc.)

75w80 is somewhat difficult to find; I had put Redline MTL in last time and being happy with it used it again.

Just a reminder -- DO NOT EVER put any fluid labeled "GL5" (whether primarily, compatible with, etc) into an MTX from any manufacturer unless it is EXPLICITLY labeled as requiring it in the owner's manual or other documentation from the manufacturer. I've yet to see such a MTX in a passenger car but there probably is one out there SOMEWHERE.

If you break this rule you WILL be replacing the synchros as GL5 fluids have an additive package in them that binds to the synchros and the film they create is stronger than the brass compounds in the synchro - which means the SYNCHROS will wear instead of the film shearing as intended during normal use.

It is extremely difficult to find MTX fluid that is "safe" (GL4 rated, NOT GL5) at any of the common "auto parts" places. Don't make this mistake -- if you do you WILL be buying a full teardown and overhaul!

One other point on these cars -- the seal washers on the drain and fill bolts are aluminum and deform slightly (they get a "ridge") when the plugs are torqued down that create the seal (yes, there's a torque spec, and yes, it matters.) As a result they cannot be re-used or they WILL leak. A pair of seal washers from the stealer is something like $4; just buy them.
 
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