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Discussion Starter #1
I was curious why the Mazda owners manual didn't list transmission fluid changes on the maintenance schedules so I contacted Mazda and got a very direct answer. This should save me lots of money. Transmission fluid flushes are expensive. (My dealership also pushes Cooling system flushes too at 60k miles, but that isn't in the Mazda Maintenance schedule either)

Below is Mazda's response:

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Subject: Re: Re: Thanks for contacting Mazda (KMM630708V95848L0KM)
From: "Mazdaowners" <[email protected]>

Our engineers have determined that it is not necessary to change the
transmission fluid in your vehicle. If your transmission fluid becomes
burnt or damaged, then you would want to change the fluid. Changing
your transmission shouldn't void your powertrain warranty unless an
authorized Mazda technician determines that that the damage was caused
by an outside influence. I hope that this clears up any confusion you
may have. For a more technical explanation, please contact your local
authorized Mazda dealer.

Regards,

Thom R.
Specialist, Customer Assistance E-Business
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is an auto trans flush more expensive than a simple drain and refill? My dealer wants $99.95 for a flush.

My dealership also keeps pushing a cooling system flush for $94.95. Which is another item that isn't recommended in the Mazda 6 maintenance schedule (the schedule only recommends inspecting the cooling system every 15,000 miles)


Transmission fluid changes are cheap. Just do drain refills every other oil change. Just costs a few quarters for the crush washers.
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Yes. A simple drain refill is this.
http://www.mazda6tech.com/index.php?option...id=33&Itemid=49

Basically it helps keep the additives in the fluid from being depleted, by refreshing them every 5-10k miles. It's no where near as effective as a flush, but it's alot cheaper, and far less harsh on the overall system.

You can do a similar thing with a radiator drain/refill instead of a coolant system flush.

The one advantage of the flush vs the drain/refills is they exchange about 99% of the fluid. A single drain/refill is only going to effect about 40%-50% at best.
 

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The engineer might be right but judging by how fast the fluid changes color in our transmissions I would say it's better to be safe than sorry and do a change at least once every 2 years or 30k miles. Think about this, if the fluid was so stable why are tranny shops doing big business? Any good tranny mechanic will tell you that heat and the resulting burned, degraded fluid is the number killer of automatics. And we know the trannies (both 5 and 6-speed) run hotter than they should even under normal driving conditions. Also, they don't have a serviceable filter so you'll want the fluid to remain as clean and particle free as possible to avoid clogging. An external filter might help here but I would still do a flush or at least a drain refill. $99.00 every 2 years doesn't seem like much to ensure a smoothly operating tranny.
 

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When we bought our '05 X-terra, the salesguy was quick to point out that the automatic transmission was sealed and the fluid was rated for the life of the car..I didn't see a dipstick under the hood, and the owner's manual said pretty much the same thing, IIRC. But of course, I'm going to change out the fluid at 50,000 miles and go synthetic since we purchased the truck and aren't leasing it.
 

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So we should be doing a tranny flush every 30,000 mi or 2 years? because that is coming up for me in a couple months or so and I haven't had one done yet.
 

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If we're not supposed to change the transmission fluid, why is there a dipstick and holes to change it? If they really mean not to change it, they should have the balls to seal it up!
 

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Manufacturers want to claim that their vehicles are lower maintanence than the competition. It will all depend on the environment and how you drive your car. The tranny fluid is the life blood of the transmissions and heat, dirt, and moisture will break down the additive package of the fluid over time. You could probably go a long time on the fluid under normal conditions, but it is safer to error on the side of caution and change it at some point....Kind of like BMW and many other manufacturers with 15K mile oil changes with synthetic. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't depending on conditions, but they are definately pushing the margin of safety...Maybe they like doing repairs for lots of money about the time the vehicle runs out of warranty.
 

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When we bought our '05 X-terra, the salesguy was quick to point out that the automatic transmission was sealed and the fluid was rated for the life of the car..I didn't see a dipstick under the hood, and the owner's manual said pretty much the same thing, IIRC. But of course, I'm going to change out the fluid at 50,000 miles and go synthetic since we purchased the truck and aren't leasing it.
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If the original fluid is rated for the life of the vehicle, I would guess it is synthetic. The "sealed" transmission concept was new to me when we got a VW Jetta last year. VW service guy told me the only real difference is there is no dipstick and no lines to the front of the car to a transmission cooler like there is on a normal trans. The reason the fluid does not need to be changed is because it is synthetic not because of trans being "sealed". I would guess that the trans cooler is not needed because of the synthetic fluid.

The posts that mention cheap trans fluid changes may cause themselves problems, if the transmission is designed to have synthetic fluid. I believe fluid changes are expensive for those, because of the cost of the synthetic fluid.
 

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From the look of the fluid after my first drain and 4-5 quart refil at 35k, it needed to be changed bad. I did another 4 quart drain again after a few weeks. Along with the cooler and filter thats gotta prolong the life....dang JACTO.
 

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I'm pretty sure in the manual it says to flush the ATF fluid at 70,000 miles. Hehe.. I have 47,300 miles so far and haven't flushed the oil once yet. The color is brown with a lil red, but its night and day difference when i compare the color of the ATF fluid in my car vs. my family's new van. Is 70,000 miles reasonable?
 

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I'm pretty sure in the manual it says to flush the ATF fluid at 70,000 miles. Hehe.. I have 47,300 miles so far and haven't flushed the oil once yet. The color is brown with a lil red, but its night and day difference when i compare the color of the ATF fluid in my car vs. my family's new van. Is 70,000 miles reasonable?
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the 2006 6i ATX, dunno about 6s atx, does not require a flush ever, according the manual. I'll probably still flush it between 50k and 70k, but there are no requirements to do so.
 

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have been wondering this schedule missing in the manual, also my 2004 AT RX-8 does not have any schedule mentioned in the manual, nor in workshop manual. And - the RX-8 AT dont have drain plug either...
 

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I imagine if the fluid is completly sealed in the manf is 100% sure that under normal conditions and not modding anything the tranny will hold out for up to 250,000 miles. I still find it hard to believe but then again if you drive really easy I wouldnt see it being a problem. The other reason it might be sealed is that they dont want you or some quick lube shop tampering with it..... all about the $$$
 

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All transmissions can be serviced.

30k mile flush interval should be considered if you plan on keeping vehicle. Anyone over 30k should definitely consider a full flush.

Upgrades to fluid, filtration, and cooling, or worth looking into.

There is NO auto manufacturer 100% sure that their units will last for 250k. Who are you kidding? If they were, they'd give you a 250k warranty. Many transmissions have problems making it through the loan, lease, or warranty period.

If you have drainplug/dipstick, a drain/refill every 7.5k-15k is an easy way to maintain the ATF. Interval depends on driving style, upgrades performed, and fluid chosen.
 
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