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So you wanna change your 6s manual transmission fluid, eh? Here’s how:

DISCLAIMER Before you attempt to do this, read these instructions carefully. Then, read them again and again, and then again. If you are at all uncertain, ask questions, talk with people. Don't go into this blind. It's not a hard job, but you have to do it right. This is merely a guide. If you feel at all uncomfortable about doing this, TAKE IT TO A SHOP!

Anyway, enough of that.

First, you’ll need to gather up the tools/supplies you’ll need. You will need the following:
-One jack (floor preferably) and at least two jack stands
-One 10 mm socket and 3/8” drive
-One Phillips head screwdriver
-Drain pan for fluid to be discarded
-3 qts. of your transmission fluid of choice
-Breaker bar with adapter for 3/8” sockets (optional)
-A couple of rags/kitty litter/old carpet (for spills)
-3/8” or 10mm allen head socket
-3/8” socket
-Pump Device and Old 1 gallon jug or 1/4 tubing and funnel

Step Two: Disconnect your battery. Always do this when you work on your car.

Step Three: Jack up the front of your car. Place your jackstands under the side support points and slowly lower car onto jackstands.

Step Four: crawl under car. On driver’s side underneath, you will see a triangular shaped plastic splash shield, held in place by three bolts and one trim screw thingy. Here are some pics:


You’ll need to use the 10mm socket to remove all three bolts. You’ll need the Phillips head screwdriver for the trim screw thingy here. Once that’s done, set aside the bolts/screw in a safe place for later.

Step Five: Locate the drain and fill plugs. Here’s a drawing of the location of the drain and fill plugs. Thejoyof6 has a great pic of the locations but I can’t get it to work at cardomain so you’ll have to settle for separate drain and fill plugs.

The plugs are not normal bolts like the 6i transmission. The heads on the drain/fill plugs are flat and require an allen head 3/8” or 10 mm socket to be removed. Here's a pic:


I didn’t have this in my tool box so I made a trip to the AutoZone to find one. Here’s a pic:


Step Five: Remove the plugs. Mine were a bit difficult to remove. The factory did a good job of tightening them on to the tranny. So, break out the old breaker bar, plus my adapter to get the ½” drive down to accept the 3/8” socket. Be careful on the drain plug. There is an A/C line running right in the place you will need to put the socket driver head.

Voila! Out comes the fluid.



Make sure your drain pan is in place. Also, keep an eye on the plugs and the aluminum washers. Here’s a pic or two:


Step Six: Putting in the fluid. Okey-doke, with the fluid out, put back in the drain plug and tighten it down to 28ft/lbs. I believe. Now, you can put in the fluid. You will notice, “hmmmm….the fill plug is on the side and I’m on the ground below, how can I get the fluid in?” Good question. You have two choices as far as I can tell: (1) get a clear plastic hose, a funnel and a buddy. Have your buddy add fluid into the funnel above and down the engine to the fill hole, with you holding the tube into the fill hole; or (2) you buy what I did, a gear oil pump.

The one I bought (for about $4) attaches onto an old jug.



Just clean out the old jug thoroughly, make sure it is dry, pour in the fluid from your container and put the hose in the fill hole. Now I measured out 2.5 qts. of fluid into the container.

The shop manual only calls for 2.4, but I knew the pump wouldn’t pick up all the fluid in the container. How do you know if it’s full? Use the brilliant guide from the shop manual. "Fill until oil is at bottom edge of fill hole, or something like that.

Step Seven: Put back in the fill bolt and torque to spec. Re-connect your negative cable to the battery.

Step Eight: Clean up your tools and put away. Then get the jack under the car to raise it up to remove jackstands and then lower car.

Step Nine: Before you start your car, pump the clutch about 10-15 times. I did it about 20, just to be on the safe side.

Step Ten: Go start the car. Look for leaks. Move it a few feet and check for leaks again.

Otherwise, you’re good to go.

ENJOY!
 

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Reading Topic: HOW TO

nice write up. when i changed mine i removed the 15/16 bolt on top of the tranny to fill it up since it was difficult to get the fluid into the check/fill plug. i then used the check/fill plug to check the fluid level. that also works.
 

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Dave, one correction: The allen bolts for drain and fill actually take a 10mm allen wrench. Although a 3/8in wrench will work, the fit is a little bit sloppy. I tried both :)

And what the heck is the purpose of the "extra" plastic connector holding the plastic pan to the bottom of the car?
 

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I tried both 10mm and 3/8" as well. The 10mm I had didn't seem to fit as well as the 3/8" so I used the 3/8". However, I will add your comments.
 

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I need a part number for the washer. The mazda parts guy has no clue. anyone got it.
 

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i think i'll try this, i think it's best when you know u have done something yourself. u know it's done and u can use your own fluid.
 

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Replying to Topic 'HOW TO'

Originally posted by 6DereK6


            I need a part number for the washer. The mazda parts guy has no clue. anyone got it.
Before I did mine I tried to get the part # for the washer. The local dealer I called couldn't find it either (after about 10-15mins. on the phone), so I asked my main source of information and he indicated it is not necessary to replace the crush washer. As you can see in my pics, the washer is in great shape and not in need of replacement.
 

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Im pretty late on this topic, but can someone tell me the need to pump the clutch before starting the car? The clutch has its own fluid supply.
 

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To be honest, I did this because I read about it in the 6i MTX fluid change over at 6tech. I guess it may not be necessary. However, I'd prefer to error on the side of caution.

Dave
 

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Where are you guys getting the MT-90 from? Guys at both Pep Boys and Autozone (right across the street) looked at me like I had 2 heads.
 

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Thanks Dave. How often should one replace the fluid? I'm trying to figure out whether its worth it to buy the whole case or not, because I need at least 3 of them to replace, correct? So a case covers 4 changes. I also have to find that pump. Again, two heads at Autozone. I'll try Home Depot tonight.
 

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My plan is to change it every 20k miles. You can always reference your service schedule in your Owner's Manual for their numbers. However, I error on the side of caution and do it early.

As far as buying the case, it depends on how long, time-wise, it takes for you to reach the change out interval. If you put on only 12k miles a year, I'd just get what you need. The third bottle you open will probably accumulate moisture over time and it will be less viable at your next change.

I got my pump at Advance Auto Parts. Look by the gear oil, which at Advance Auto, is separate from the other oils.
 

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Now what difference do you feel after doing this and also where do you discard the old fluid?
 

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Well, it's darn smooth shifting, even with the RPM short shift adapter. The fluid, well, I find the biggest tree hugger in town and I go pour it on their flowers.















Seriously, you take it your local auto parts shop for disposal. I take all of my used auto fluids to the local Advanced autoparts store and they dispose of for free. In some areas there are local recycling places which take these fluids. I'd call a local parts shop (a chain store would be my first choice) and see if they do.
 

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if you can do an oil change, you can do this... it is amazingly simple... removing/replacing the plastic cover is the equivalent of changing the filter (bonus: without the burns if your car is still warm), and their is less oil, so less time to drain/fill
 

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I still haven't located the refill hole. But I haven't exactly looked too hard.
 
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