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Just bought a 2014 Grand Touring. PO used it on his work commute (85 mile one way) since new. Car has had regular oil changes (7.5k miles), brakes, tires, and pretty much nothing else. Some road rash on the outside but inside is like new.. Seems like these cars hold up nice. Figured I would sign up here to share what I find since I am guessing this is one of the higher mile 2014's around.

Just did first service, a transmission drain and fill, and the fluid was quite dark. Sent it off to Blackstone and will post up the results. The PO told me this fluid was original. Low load, low RPM shifts were a tad jerky and inconsistent. Feels considerably better after 1x drain and fill. Filter had to be ordered in by my dealer and will be replaced with next drain and fill.

Anyone with more than 208k on a third gen 6?
 

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Just bought a 2014 Grand Touring. PO used it on his work commute (85 mile one way) since new. Car has had regular oil changes (7.5k miles), brakes, tires, and pretty much nothing else. Some road rash on the outside but inside is like new.. Seems like these cars hold up nice. Figured I would sign up here to share what I find since I am guessing this is one of the higher mile 2014's around.

Just did first service, a transmission drain and fill, and the fluid was quite dark. Sent it off to Blackstone and will post up the results. The PO told me this fluid was original. Low load, low RPM shifts were a tad jerky and inconsistent. Feels considerably better after 1x drain and fill. Filter had to be ordered in by my dealer and will be replaced with next drain and fill.

Anyone with more than 208k on a third gen 6?
Welcome, show us a pic of odometer? Damn 208,000 miles, theres a few with that kinda mileage with no major problems. I have a 2015 Mazda 6 sport with 85,000 miles I thought I was getting to high mileage lol. I changed the transmission fluid myself but i added lubegard red and used Mazda atf fluid at 70,000 miles i didn't change the filter. Trans shift butter smooth.

We also have a 2013 Mazda Cx-5 sport with 125,000 miles. Not even one problem since my girl got it. Previous owner changed the transmission fluid on that one twice.

Is the engine and transmission stock? Everytime i hear someone with super high mileage like yours. It makes me smile, and confident that mine could reach that mileage.

Mine just needed a belt tensioner, front brake pads and rotors thats it. Its just been mainly maintenance so far hoping to make it too 300,000 miles on this baby.

There is a guy called tickerguy on this forum who has around your mileage but he has a 2015 6 sport stickshift.
 

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That's awesome! I had an 03 Mazda 6s last 200,000 miles and didn't burn a drip of oil when I traded it in. Mazda makes solid cars! Enjoy it, really excited to see UOA results.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the warm welcome, tried to post ODO pic for you guys but it is telling me my post count is too low. Will start up a thread with some more info on the car and pics soon. I'll also follow up with the ODO pic as soon as I figure out/meet the minimum post count.
 

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Thanks for the warm welcome, tried to post ODO pic for you guys but it is telling me my post count is too low. Will start up a thread with some more info on the car and pics soon. I'll also follow up with the ODO pic as soon as I figure out/meet the minimum post count.
I'm also interested with the pictures​. Did I get it right, that you were told the transmission oil is "original" and you just replaced it?

That should be a "lifetime" fluid!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is right. The original owner had never replaced the transmission fluid. I just did my first drain and fill on it. I intend to do 2 more drain and fills and replace the filter/strainer.

I was going to add a Magnefine until I found out that these 3rd gen M6s use a water to oil transmission cooler mounted to the side of the transmission. That doesn't leave any lines to splice a Magnefine into.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I actually worked for a big name transmission manufacturer as a Quality Engineer. All of the transmissions we made were "lifetime fluid". I have never agreed that a transmission fluid can do its job with no loss in quality/material properties for an unlimited amount of time. This was a contested point around the company I was with. Some argued that it would do more harm than good and some believe that it was worth doing regular changes to keep the transmission working at its best (the camp I'm in). One fact that I took away from my employer was that they tested their units on an accelerated life-cycle that simulated 125k miles in 12 weeks. That is 1 heat cycle on the fluid and a total life of 125k. I would say if that is what you want from your car, then for all practical purposes it is indeed a "lifetime fluid".

I am a firm believer that if you never change the fluid, the fluid will end up being the cause of the end of the units life. The transmission will last the fluid's lifetime.
 

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One fact that I took away from my employer was that they tested their units on an accelerated life-cycle that simulated 125k miles in 12 weeks. That is 1 heat cycle on the fluid and a total life of 125k. I would say if that is what you want from your car, then for all practical purposes it is indeed a "lifetime fluid".

I am a firm believer that if you never change the fluid, the fluid will end up being the cause of the end of the units life. The transmission will last the fluid's lifetime.
So, I assume you mean that from new, on their test rig, the ATF underwent a single heat-up - and was run in the order of 125000 miles from that start-up heat cycle.

Of course, other than the 125,000 miles of use (which of course is low) - in actual use the ATF undergoes many heat cycles... which presumably ages the fluid more, could cause moisture take-up, etc...

I am in the "never let it get to the point of being really old in-service fluid" camp. Of course if you don't have the car from 60,000 miles (where you can do a drop and flush - several of them, with filter change) - then what do you do? There is some risk to changing fluid in a car where wear-materials have accumulated in the ATF - and serve in part as fluid seal elements.

As a further point, I am in the camp of: i) add an ATF cooler and run same only in warm months (plumb it for easy bypass); and ii) install a very low micron bypass filtration system... where you can (i.e. Mazda6 ATF cooler arrangement excepted).

Thanks for the info!
 

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Manufacturers list fluids as lifetime fluids so they can advertise that the cost of ownership is low. Cost of ownership means how much it costs to maintain the vehicle for the first 100,000 miles. That's why new vehicles don't require coolant or transmission fluid to be changed until 100k+ miles, or at all. The fluids are made better and can last longer nowadays, however, a "lifetime" fluid does not literally mean the life of the vehicle by any means. There are too many variables that will break down any fluid, even if it's a top of the line, base v stock synthetic, especially over 200k miles!
 

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I actually worked for a big name transmission manufacturer as a Quality Engineer. All of the transmissions we made were "lifetime fluid". I have never agreed that a transmission fluid can do its job with no loss in quality/material properties for an unlimited amount of time. This was a contested point around the company I was with. Some argued that it would do more harm than good and some believe that it was worth doing regular changes to keep the transmission working at its best (the camp I'm in). One fact that I took away from my employer was that they tested their units on an accelerated life-cycle that simulated 125k miles in 12 weeks. That is 1 heat cycle on the fluid and a total life of 125k. I would say if that is what you want from your car, then for all practical purposes it is indeed a "lifetime fluid".

I am a firm believer that if you never change the fluid, the fluid will end up being the cause of the end of the units life. The transmission will last the fluid's lifetime.
I finally found it! It really lasted a long time. This I think confirms what you just said, the transmission will last the fluid's lifetime.

https://forum.mazda6club.com/newbie-section/439230-1st-post-325-900-miles.html#/topics/439230?page=3



...
The fluids are made better and can last longer nowadays, however, a "lifetime" fluid does not literally mean the life of the vehicle by any means.
Post number 22 suggests how long is "lifetime fluid".
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So, I assume you mean that from new, on their test rig, the ATF underwent a single heat-up - and was run in the order of 125000 miles from that start-up heat cycle.

Of course, other than the 125,000 miles of use (which of course is low) - in actual use the ATF undergoes many heat cycles... which presumably ages the fluid more, could cause moisture take-up, etc...

I am in the "never let it get to the point of being really old in-service fluid" camp. Of course if you don't have the car from 60,000 miles (where you can do a drop and flush - several of them, with filter change) - then what do you do? There is some risk to changing fluid in a car where wear-materials have accumulated in the ATF - and serve in part as fluid seal elements.

As a further point, I am in the camp of: i) add an ATF cooler and run same only in warm months (plumb it for easy bypass); and ii) install a very low micron bypass filtration system... where you can (i.e. Mazda6 ATF cooler arrangement excepted).

Thanks for the info!

You are correct on how the testing I referenced works.

I have also heard the concern of changing old fluid. Me triple flushing this Mazda 6 at 208k will be my biggest defiance of the "don't flush old ATF" belief that I have ever done. I personally think it is a myth that got started from shops tearing up transmissions by doing pressurized flushes on units that should not have had pressurized flushes. Honda, for example, only calls for 3x drain and fills and that is a "flush" they do not recommend positive pressure flush machines be hooked to their units.

I will of course let you guys know if replacing this old fluid comes with any consequences. So far the only difference I have noticed is less stumbling on low rpm, low speed up-shifts. The car shifted fine when you got on it and in higher gears even with the old fluid.
 

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I, too, do not believe machine-type flushes are good. Can introduce contaminants too. The worry re new fluid is aggressive solvency / release-action on deposits. If you manage NOT to have a prb in this regard then of course your transaxle will be better off with the new ATF. Thx for keeping folks apprised of what's happening.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the insight there, that is an interesting point. With the new ATF acting as a solvent, it will come down to how much buildup there is already inside the transmission and how good the filter is at catching it. I wonder if its possible to inspect for that with a bore-scope or by dropping the pan to allow for a more informed decision if it's too bad and you should leave the ATF or if you are better off to change it.
 

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Well, once you drop the pan you're committed to changing the fluid :)

But with that said I see no downside to replacing the fluid and filter and the fluid's capacity to mitigate degradation does diminish with time and miles. The problem with "power exchange" machines is that there is no possible way to get them completely clean between uses and the fluids used by different manufacturers or even different series of vehicles are often chemically incompatible. Get some of the WRONG fluid into an ATX and very serious problems can happen. Worse, the cooler (the point where such machine is attached; at the lines going to or from it) is basically always downstream of the filter, so if there's any sort of trash in the machine it goes into the mechanism unfiltered, which can cause a failure.

It's similar to the issue with diesels and fuel systems; what you do NOT want to do is fill a new filter's housing with fuel out of a can, because that fuel, on the output side of the element, bypasses the filter. If there's any sort of dirt in there it goes directly into the pump and injectors! It takes VERY LITTLE to hang an injector open and now you've done a LOT of damage -- on a common-rail engine that damage is frequently instantaneous and catastrophic. The correct method is to change the filter DRY and then either pull vacuum on the return line (if you can) post-injectors to draw fuel through the filter and pull the air out or use either the vehicle's lift pump or, if it doesn't have one in-tank, attach one between tank and filter and fill the new filter that way. Either means all of the fuel goes through the filter.

The lower "TCO" on the first 100k miles is also true. It's not helped by vehicle designers that make the job of a fluid and filter change difficult (and thus expensive); I own a GM product where this is the case as they stuck the shift cable bracket bolts on TOP of the gearbox and your only options to remove the pan are to either remove that bracket or remove the exhaust cross-over pipe, which is far more trouble since the bolts holding that on at the headers are nearly-always near impossible to remove without destroying them or the studs due to the extreme heat cycling involved at that location. To add insult to injury to get to the bracket bolts you have to drop the front driveshaft. This turns what should be a one-hour job into a two+ hour one for absolutely no reason whatsoever; the bracket is in such a location that mounting it from the transmission pan bolts instead would have prevented this intentional "screw you" from GM.

BTW there is another reason on many ATXs to do this service regularly -- the valve body on many designs has a gasket that compresses with time. This in turn causes the bolts holding it on to not be at proper torque. These typically are threaded into aluminum and are low-torque but precision fasteners in terms of torque requirements. I frequently find them loose and that can cause fluid bypass, out-of-spec (low) line pressure and ultimately result in a catastrophic failure as well. If you never take the pan off you'll never detect or correct this condition with very expensive consequences.
 
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