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Discussion Starter #1
sorry in advance for the long post....
i have had my '03 V6 with ATX for about 4 years now, but almost 2 of those years, the car sat in my garage. 1 of those years was due to incarceration, and the other year was due to working on multiple issues. it all started about 6 months after purchasing the car while taking my kids back to Dallas TX from SC. i had the cruise control set to 80 mph and just before the Texas/Louisiana border, the cruise control turned off and i got the AT light on the gauges. pulled off at the nearest exit and checked all the fluids. couldnt find nothing wrong so i proceeded to get back on the interstate when i realized the car was in limp mode. i limped the last 150 miles or so to Dallas and immediately started searching forums and calling local shops to try and diagnose the problem. needless to say, i got every response that you could get, tranny is shot, solenoids are bad, fluid needs flushing etc. not knowing what to really do i purchased a transmission ($400) from a junkyard with 46k miles from the same year as mine with the intent of just having it replaced there. not having a ton of cash to do all this, i made plans to stay and work with my best friend to earn the money for the repair. after a month or so i had a legal situation back in SC to deal with which left me with 2 options, leave my beloved car in Dallas, or drive back 900 miles to SC in limp mode. i chose the latter. yea stupid idea, i know, but time constraints and money wouldnt allow me option A. made it back to SC and a week later the car was fine. no limp mode and acting as if nothing ever happened.a few months later heard popping while turning, and had to replace the front bearings which took me about 4 months to do due to the fact that im not a mechanic, im an electrician and work 65+ hours a week. i have another vehicle so doing it slowly over time wasnt an issue. im a mechanically inclined person but with the tools and repair manuals, working on my cars is fun to me. after repairing the bearings, a few months later i got the AT light and limp mode again. hooked up my OBD scanner and got like 10 different codes ranging from O2 sensors, bank 1 too lean, shift solenoids, spark plug misfires etc. having recently bought spark plugs for routine maintenance, i decide to start there when realizing there was oil in almost all of the spark plug wells. so i broke everything down to the intake manifold to change all the gaskets along the way. but then my dad had a heart attack and passed away a few weeks later due to complications after surgery, so the car sat in a torn down state in my garage for the next few months while i try to bounce back from losing him. after finishing all the repairs and taking my car on a test run to make sure i put everything back together properly, i noticed its still in limp mode and then WHAM!! i get side swiped by some old guy not paying attention!! police show up to do the accident report and then run my name and see i have warrants in SC and in TX. so the car was taken back to my house by my brother with dents in the door and side skirt knocked off while i proceed to spend the next year locked up. after getting released, i see my car sitting outside, not being drove every week like i asked, with dry rotted tires and a dead battery. so now im in the process of changing all the fluids, replacing the battery, repairing small body damage and buying new tires, all while trying to figure out why its still in limp mode. so now my not so precious Mazda 6 is in severe need of some tlc so any help on what to do now would be greatly appreciated.
thanks for the read,
Dustin
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thank you sir, it has crossed my mind many times to just sell it as is for parts or to a salvage yard. i drained the transmission fluid today and it looked terrible, almost like mud. i have heard alot of people saying just replacing their ruined transmission fluid fixed most of their problems so i will try that and maybe a few other small things before i finally throw in the towel and maybe find a newer, nicer MazdaSpeed 6 or that Ferrari i always wanted 🤣
 

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What a story.

Flushing the old ATF fluid (and cleaning magnet/replacing filter) is the simplest way to maintain your trans over the long run. Failure to do so will result in AT problems down the road usually due to stuck solenoids or broken valve body. Not too expensive to replace, but continuing to drive and neglect the car, esp. if you're driving it hard will eventually lead to damage of the transmission itself.

For reference, here's a post I made detailing the pan/filter replacement on a third gen 6..

 

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Because all symptoms disappeared at some point, it makes me believe the issue could be electrical (a bad contact) or a stuck solenoid. I don't think your issue is related to a worn transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yea thats what i was thinking, bad solenoid or bad TCM. those are 2 things on my list to check/replace.
 
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