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Discussion Starter #1
So I searched around on the forums after having trouble finding the transmission fluid dipstick on my 2012 mazda6. Turns out newer year models don't have one.

So how exactly am I supposed to do a transmission fluid drain & fill when there's no dipstick to pour tranny fluid into after dumping the old fluid out? Or is there a fill-plug instead?

Or should I just start doing transmission fluid flushes? My 2012 only has about 41k miles on it, not sure if this is too late or not to begin doing flushes...especially when I have yet to change the transmission fluid at all yet!
 

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There are fill and drain plugs on the transmission. Drain is the lower bolt, fill is the upper bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi, thanks for all the info!

It seems that I may indeed have a little grey plastic dipstick held down by a bolt. It is way deep down in there though past the battery.

Also, I just talked to the dealership (stealership) and they said since I've already gone past the 30k mark without doing anything to the transmission fluid they want me to come in and check my transmission fluid and do a transmission flush ($239 +tax).

I've heard mixed opinions about tranny flushes. It seems that some people are convinced that we should not do flushes for risk of damaging the transmission while others say that we should do it and nowadays the risk of damaging our transmissions by flushing is very low.

Any thoughts or opinions on this? Should I go to the dealership and get the transmission flush for $239 + tax? I am still covered under the 5-year/60,000mile powertrain warranty so I'm not sure if doing my own transmission fluid changes will void it or not... :-/
 

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if you give them $239 for a flush...you are the chump they are hoping you are. don't fall for their shit.
 

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The DIY FLUSH at home is bad idea.
DIY drain and refill at home is OK.
Gripe w/paid Flush, is the workmanship and standards.

DIY FLUSH:
I've read where many member disconnect an ATX coolant line with the engine running and just let it pump out fluid till it stops. The issue here is there is NOTHING going back in to cool and lubricate. The return line on an ATX trasn is there to supply vital organs the lubricant they need to operate. Its not full line pressure but it is required. This is like pulling an artery from your chest and letting you bleed out. Not good. Fluids must be going back in to the return line!

DIY Drain:
At home you CAN dump the fluid via the plug. And you can refill. The issue here the verifying its full. An ATX must be checked while running, warm, in park. The mini dipstick is NOT friendly for this. Being low a pint is not good but would likely be OK. Being low a full qt is another issue.
It has a plug and filler. Its tedious but it can be done.

An option is this:
Look into buying the dip-stick and tube from the early models. Its a good chance they bolt up and if the fluid level comes out correct, your set. Mine has the AW6A-EL for the V6. They carried it into the later years. It most likely fits right on the trans using the same bolts & orings.

Gripe w/paid Flush:
Some shops mix the fluids on the fly from base stock adding the **required** additives and hopefully the correct amount. I personally don't trust them. But that's just me.
IMO - if they won't or can't explain their process in detail about what they intend to do, walk away. Ask probing questions. Its OK to do this!

Lastly; the issues with any flush/fill is this: if the trans fluid is varnished, the loss of that varnish can cause an aged transmission to fail and no longer operate as it did. Varnish is a film. It fills voids and gaps. ATF if extremely high in detergent and fresh ATF dissolves varnish. In short if your fluid is yellow, you could be in trouble with a fluid replacement where letting it go it may in fact go a whole nother year before death overcomes it.

JMO - use it as you wish...
 

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Should I go to the dealership and get the transmission flush for $239 + tax?
Buy a dip-stick, tube and o-ring. $60 or cheaper for used. Hint - find out what trans you have and see if it is also used in earlier years.

See above post!!

Frankly I can't find an application chart on the 2012 to confirm what trans your car has. An oil chart but not like the chart I found for the early cars. http://www.carquestprofessionals.com/catalogs/chemicals/V-6217 ATF Application NON-Laminated Guide 6.10.13.pdf

For 3.7L owners - read this: (google dipstick tube AW6A-EL)
http://www.originalanleitungen.de/pdfs/HAY61043.pdf

ALL internal parts but No DipStick/tube asm. Likely wrecking yard or dealer item only.

See this section:
23.9 The fill plug on 2008 and earlier
models with the AW6A-EL is located on
the left side of the transaxle (air filter
housing must be removed for access)
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Hi everyone thank you so much for all of the detailed responses. It seems that a majority of you are in favor of getting your own tranny fluid and changing it yourself using the drain&fill method!

I will take your recommendation and try to find the longer dipstick and tube part from older year models (I'm assuming from any 2nd gen Mazda6 from '09-11 will install ok on my 2012 without need for modification)? And which parts websites do you recommend ordering the parts from? Any part #'s in specific you can give me? I tried searching for the name of the 5-speed transmission used in my '12 mazda6 with the 2.5 I4 but no luck - anyone know what transmission we use? Is it the same as the V6 (AW6A-EL)?

Also, what are your opinions on changing the transmission filter? I heard in 2nd gen models it is just a screen built into the transmission and cannot be changed out? Or can it? And if so is it recommended to change out the transmission filter on '10-12 models?

UPDATE: So I found the parts on jimellismazdaparts.com (link:) http://www.jimellismazdaparts.com/showAssembly.aspx?ukey_assembly=1148599&ukey_make=995&ukey_model=14358&modelYear=2010&ukey_category=20243

Parts are listed under 2010 Transmission Parts as "Tube, Oil Level" and "Gauge, Oil Level" which I assume are the dipstick and tube for the transmission. Funny thing is if you look for these parts on the 2011-2012 year models they don't exist lol. I guess Mazda really doesn't want us doing our own transmission fluid maintenance.

Btw what is verdict on changing the transmission filter. I think I see it listed as "Strainer, Oil" on the list of transmission parts going for about $80. Is it worth it to change it??
 

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So lets say you order and install this stick and tube. If done before you dump the fluid AND IT SAYS ITS right at FULL, its good bet you nailed it with the correct PN!

Cross reference a couple of those parts to your car (year) and then google what they came out of. We should get a number.

If your trans has a pan at the bottom you can change the filter. Its likely not gaining you anything. However, if you have the means to do so, I would.
The 6 speeds don't open and you can't change the filter. Gotta split the case to open it to get the filter out.
Drain plug is to the left of the lower engine mount. AW6A-EL
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Hi Final Impact,

Thanks for your suggestions. I will go ahead and do a filter change as well when I have the pan dropped during my transmission fluid change.

However, I was researching and even looked through the manual for my specific year & model (2012 mazda6 automatic) and no where can I find the recommended transmission fluid to use with it.

Do I automatically assume that Mazda M-V oil will work? Since the technical specs indicate 2nd gen Mazda 6 auto transmissions are 5-spd I'm assuming they are the FNR5 model transmissions, which it would be fine using anything that will be compatible with Mazda M-V / Mazda M5 (e.g., Redline D4, T-IV, Motorcraft FNR5, etc...?)

EDIT: Ok, owner's manual stated it is Mazda ATF M-V (M5) transmission fluid. So I'll probably go for one of the multi-vehicle fluids such as Mobil1, Amsoil, or Redline!
 

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Since I work at a "stealership" I'll throw in my two cents. I prefer drain and fills on my 6 since I have a dipstick tube and if I really feel like it I can throw some atf conditioner.

The way we do flushes is by hooking up the machine between the cooler and return line, we run the flush conditioner with the old fluid with the vehicle running for 10 to 15 min so it will flush the whole system. Then we switch it over so new fluid goes in, we go a quart over in the machine so we can push out the mixture of old fluid and flush conditioner mixing with new fluid. We have measurements to make sure its still at the correct capacity if the trans doesn't come with a dipstick. I think trans care should be scheduled as such; drain and fill one trans service, flush the next and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey scifi266,

Thank you for your input. What are your thoughts on doing a transmission flush with an '012 mazda6 hovering about ~40k miles that has not had the tranny serviced yet? Do you recommending replacing the transmission filter at the same you are getting a tranny fluid flush (as I heard flushing can cause the filter to get clogged if the transmission fluid hasn't been changed in a while and clogged filter = bad news for the transmission)?
 

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A trans flush won't hurt your car at 40,000. Now if you went 120,000 without any service it would.

On the trans filter my opinion is no, unless you really want too. Every other drain and fill perhaps, tranny fluid at optimum temp should last 100,000 but in reality lasts only 40 to 50,000 miles. So if you do a service every 40,000 I would change it at 80,000 or 120,000. Nodata says it takes 1.1 but for at home I would say a good 2.5 to 3 hours to do it at a slow pace.
 

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Hey everyone. I have a 2009 Mazda 6 GT v6 and Currently have a transmission cooling line leak and it’s caused me to have a low trans oil level and slippage in 3rd gear. I’m in the works to do a drain and fill and fix the cooling line.

It seems I can’t find a video or tutorial On where the the drain plug is for the ATF on the 6 cyclinder. The 4 cylinder has a black drain pan with a hex bolt. I can’t find the bolt on the 6 cylinder. Can someone provide me with some guidance on where there drain plug is? Also not sure of where I can purchase a new cooling line. I’ve attached a picture to show where the leak is. I appreciate it and I’m looking forward to some help from the Mazda community!
 

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I had a leak on my transmission cooler a while back and had to go through the nightmare of adding/checking/rechecking fluid because like someone above said, that plastic dipstick is NOT friendly. You got to add so many extensions to your wrench and relatively blindly try to get the dipstick out... all while reaching past hoses galore. Wear long sleeves and gloves... it gets pretty warmthy.



My transmission shifts a little weird when cold... esp during winter but it perfectly fine once warmed... could probably benefit from a little extra fluid but it's fine... I had to drain a little because it was overfilled the first go around and wouldnt shift buttery when warm. All in all, it is possible on a 2012 (I4), but much more difficult than it needs to be.
 
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