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· Premium Member
382 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I didn't see any write-ups for changing the fluid and filter in the 4F27E (4spd auto) transmission…sorry for the long-winded write-up. There’s an attached Word Doc if you want a printable version. I'M NOT A MECHANIC - IF YOU SEE SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T SIT "RIGHT" WITH YOU, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!
READ FIRST: The Mazda service manual claims you have to remove the transmission cross member – you DO NOT have to do this! You can remove the pan with simple tools, my handy guide below and a bit of patience.

You will need:

- 3/8 ratchet
- 10mm socket
- 19mm wrench
- 3/8 extension
- 3/8 swivel adapter (
- 5QT jug Castrol ATF Import Multi-vehicle (see note)
- Copper Gasket Spray (AutoZone carries Permatex brand)
- 4F27E Filter (P/N: TF172 if you go with AutoZone brand)
- Crush Washer *Optional*
- Lint-free (Blue) shop towels or a micro-fiber towel
- Tasty Beverages (To keep your sanity)
- Band-Aids (for your skinned knuckles)

*Note* it is impossible to extract all of the ATF (automatic transmission fluid) out of the transmission. I do not recommend trying to drain fluid out of the lines, torque converter, ect .If you do your 30k fluid and filter intervals, the dirty ATF eventually works its way out. Because there will still be ATF in the lines, torque converter ect, you will only extract ~ 4.5 - 5 qts out of the pan (I believe the book calls for 7+ qts).

  1. Using either ramps or a floor jack, lift the car high enough that you can slide under it. I'm small so my Rino Ramps are sufficient. If you jack the car up, make sure you use jack stands.
  2. Remove the lower plastic skid panel (10mm bolts) – if you have thrown that out, you can skip this step.
  3. Locate the transmission pan - on left-hand drive cars, it should be located on the driver’s side of the car. It is a black pan with a drain plug. You will notice that one of the brackets for the plastic skid panel blocks the access to several of the pan bolts. You can either use a cutoff wheel to permanently remove the bracket or use a pair of vice-grips to bend it out of the way (you'll bend it back when you're done. (It doesn't have to move much).

  4. Make sure the pan is "luke warm" to the touch (scalding hot ATF all over your hands and face is not fun). Remove the drain plug with a 19mm wrench. Do NOT use the open end of the wrench - you will round off the plug. Instead, use the boxed end of the wrench to remove the plug. A ratchet and socket will not fit between the plug and the frame rail. Allow the fluid to drain into a pan (you can remove the dipstick to allow any vacuum to release). The ATF will run all over the frame and make a BFM (Big F**king Mess)

  5. (optional)
    Transfer the discarded ATF into to your wife's Pyrex measuring glass - this will tell you how much fluid to replace (I didn't do this time-around because I've already replaced the fluid once so I know how much it holds). The book says 7+ qts, but again, you’re not going to get every last remaining drop out.
    This is what my fluid looks like after 30k – I occasionally use the slap shift but I don’t redline the engine. Despite looking like yummy cherryaid, don’t drink the new ATF!

  6. Here's the fun part - just kidding
    Remove the 10mm bolts that hold the pan on. Start by removing the bolts at the back of the pan (near the drain plug) and work your way to the front. Leave a couple of the bolts at the front loose, but still in the case. This will allow you to gently pry the pan loose without it falling on your face. There will be a small amount of fluid still in the pan so be careful or you’ll have another BFM (in addition to the one in Step 4).

    -- A couple of the bolts are a real PITA - this is where the swivel adapter helps. A couple of the bolts are above the frame rail - you will find the swivel adapter will have to be at a 90 degree angle just to reach the bolt. On some bolts, you may only get a 1/4 turn at a time. Luckily the bolts are not very long and will thread out very easily. The first time I changed the filter, it took almost 30 minutes just to get the pan off. The second time (30k miles later), only took 10-15 minutes. On a couple of the bolts, you may find that removing the inner fender splash shield will allow additional access. I did not remove the splash shield this time-around and was still able to remove those bolts. --

  7. Once you have the pan off, wipe the pan out with a blue (lint-free) shop towel or micro-fiber towel. Remove the magnet and inspect for any metal filings - make sure you wipe the magnet down really well. There will be a small amount of magnetic "sludge" attached to the magnet - this is normal. Any large fillings or chunks is NOT normal. AGAIN, VERY IMPORTANT! MAKE SURE THERE IS NO LINT IN THE PAN.

  8. Remove the sensor from the filter: simply grasp both sides of the fluid sensor pull gently. It will pop loose (circled in picture). You can now grab the filter and pull downwards-it is not attached with any screws (the only thing that holds it in place is an o-ring).

  9. Gently rub a tiny amount of new ATF on the new filter’s o-ring and install in the transmission. Gentle pressure is all that is needed to secure the filter. The filter I received from AutoZone already had the o-ring installed so I just rubbed ATF on the outside of the o-ring

  10. Hang the new gasket from a clothes hanger (or the like) and lightly spray both sides with the copper gasket spray. Let it dry tacky (about 1-2 minutes) and re-spray. You should have a nice even coat with no runs! Let it dry for about 3 minutes or until tacky.

  11. Align the gasket to the pan and lightly press to seal it against the pan. This will hold it in place and prevent it from moving around. I threaded a few bolts through the pan and gasket to prevent it from curling over the edge (the gasket will help hold the bolts).

  12. Start by threading all 4 corner bolts in by hand (just enough to hold the pan in place). Work around the pan clockwise, hand-tightening each bolt. After each is hand-tight, work back around the pan, with only 1-2 turns per bolt. This step is important to make sure you don’t warp the pan. Seems like a PITA but you’ll thank yourself down the road - I just tighten the bolts until I see the gasket "squish out" slightly. The book says 53—70 in·lbf but there’s no way the Mazda Engineers would ever let you use a torque wrench so use your best judgment. I did not have any leaks the first time or this time, using the copper spray – it’s good stuff and stands up to the heat.

  13. I did not replace the drain plug crush washer the first time - I have not had any leaks so I did not replace this time either. The book says 22—30 ft·lbf but again, use your best judgment.

  14. Refill transmission through the dipstick tube. I believe this funnel came from Harbor Freight - it fits snug and does not leak. I only added a small amount of ATF at a time to allow the air to purge out of the funnel (it burps). Only add about 4.5 QTS at this time.

  15. Leave the car on the jack stands (or ramps) and start the engine. With your foot ON the brake, shift through P-N-R-D-R-N-P several times to get the ATF flowing. Put the transmission back in park but leave the engine running. Look under the car for any leaks (make sure the pan is not leaking). If there are no leaks, let the car (off the ramps/jacks) so it is level.

  16. With the car level and the engine running, check the fluid with the dipstick. If the fluid is not to the first notch, add a small amount of fluid. Only add a small amount of fluid - overfilling the transmission is just as destructive as under filling it.

  17. Check one more time for leaks. If you do not see any, drive the car around for 10-15 minutes. With the engine running and the transmission in Park, recheck the fluid. The Fluid level should now be at, or near the 2nd notch.

  18. You can now reinstall the plastic skid panel. I leave mine off for a couple of days just to make sure I don't have any leaks.


· Registered
2 Posts
trans filter change fluid QTY 2.3L AUTO

Just changed my auto trans filter on my 2007 2.3L auto trans. I caught every drop of fluid so I did"nt have to buy more AMSOIL than I needed to @ 12.50 a qt. The qty of oil drained is about 1/4 cup short of 5 qts. I used DURALAST filter from AUTOZONE, it came with a rubber oilpan gasket, I did not use any gasket sealant and I did not overtighten the oilpan bolts and I do not have any leakage. I will retighten the bolts in about 100 miles.

· Premium Member
382 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just changed my auto trans filter on my 2007 2.3L auto trans. I caught every drop of fluid so I did"nt have to buy more AMSOIL than I needed to @ 12.50 a qt. The qty of oil drained is about 1/4 cup short of 5 qts. I used DURALAST filter from AUTOZONE, it came with a rubber oilpan gasket, I did not use any gasket sealant and I did not overtighten the oilpan bolts and I do not have any leakage. I will retighten the bolts in about 100 miles.
Yes, I wrote a DIY:

If you do not drain the Torque Converter or flush the lines, you will only extract 4.5-5 qts of fluid.

I have done the fluid/filter change 2x on my car (170k). Most important not to over-tighten pan bolts or it will warp and then leak. I usually leave the plastic splash shield off for a few days to make sure I don't have any leaks.

I spray the rubber gasket with copper gasket spray and it seals up nice: Gasket Sealants : Permatex® Copper Spray-A-Gasket® Hi-Temp Sealant

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