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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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2018 6 Signature - Transmission Service Interval?

I just bought a 2018 6 Signature and read through the owner's manual and there was no mention of checking the transmission fluid or any type of service interval.

Here in Arizona, it gets hot and the transmission fluid doesn't last as long as other areas. What does everyone else do for a service interval on their transmission? I'll ask the dealership what they recommend, but wanted to get the collective thoughts here, too.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 01:59 AM
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I don't know for sure but it is possible u have no dipstick for the ATF. If the transaxle is like a late model Toyota's (or a significant number of other mfrs' transmissions) the ATF level is determined with an ATF overflow weir tube. With the car being totally level within a narrow tolerance and the ATF temp within a narrow band of temps the correct ATF level is determined by evidence of a minor dribble/drops out of the weir tube. I go thru this description 'cuz oftentimes the Techs themselves screw this up! The car mfrs actually don't want the Techs doing this regularly for fear of screwup. Many A/T's these days are very sensitive to correct level. Of course the fluid should be dropped at interval - more frequently in hot locales like yours! Let's hear more forum comments... For your hot ambient I say i) u need a stacked plate aux cooler downstream of the rad ATF cooling coil and ii) i would drop the ATF at 30,000 mi. intervals.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 07:29 AM
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The service manual for the 2014 - 2016 makes no reference to changing/checking the ATF levels, nor does it offer a specific service interval. I don't know if this is the same for the 2017+ models, but I would imagine it is.

Consensus on the forum is that you ought to change it around every 75k miles, though since you're in Arizona you may want to make that every 50k.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 08:50 AM
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The ATF was/is designed to be a lifetime fill. There is no service required. It now becomes up to you to do what you are comfortable with.

ATM I have no plan to do anything with mine until at least 100K miles. (If we keep the car that long) It's a different World today folks. Parts and the fluids are not like they used to be. Maintenance schedules have changed.

Remember, the dealer makes money doing service and I'd bet you my last $ that if everyone askes their dealer when they should change the ATF fluid you will get a different answer. There will be a couple (I'm doubting) that will tell you every 30K, a few that will tell you 60K and a few that will tell you 100K. Then there will be those that will tell you it was/is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle and there's no reason to change it.

In the end you probably need to do what you feel comfortable with and if you want to spend the extra money to have it done.

To the OP: My temps are similar to yours. My last concern is that the temps are going to be any issues with the AT. I'll not get in to my reasons or experiences but you simply have no worries. When you hit 100K it might be something for you to consider.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 09:06 AM
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The ATF was/is designed to be a lifetime fill. There is no service required. It now becomes up to you to do what you are comfortable with.

ATM I have no plan to do anything with mine until at least 100K miles. (If we keep the car that long) It's a different World today folks. Parts and the fluids are not like they used to be. Maintenance schedules have changed.

Remember, the dealer makes money doing service and I'd bet you my last $ that if everyone askes their dealer when they should change the ATF fluid you will get a different answer. There will be a couple (I'm doubting) that will tell you every 30K, a few that will tell you 60K and a few that will tell you 100K. Then there will be those that will tell you it was/is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle and there's no reason to change it.

In the end you probably need to do what you feel comfortable with and if you want to spend the extra money to have it done.

To the OP: My temps are similar to yours. My last concern is that the temps are going to be any issues with the AT. I'll not get in to my reasons or experiences but you simply have no worries. When you hit 100K it might be something for you to consider.
I can attest to the stealership remarks. I asked a few different ones near me about this exact thing to see what answers I got. 1 told me it doesn't ever have to be changed, 1 told me 100k, and a third told me between 75 and 100k.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2018, 07:08 AM
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I change all the liquids in my vehicles at specific intervals. Brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid...all this stuff is subject to heat, cold, moisture, contaminants, and general wear and tear.



If it were my car, I lived in AZ (heat/dust,) and I planned on keeping it more than 3 or 4 years...I'd change the ATF at at least every 50k miles.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 12:13 AM
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I'd suggest changing it at 60K. Do it sooner if you drive hard. Be sure to replace the pan filter as well.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 04:15 AM
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I'd suggest changing it at 60K. Do it sooner if you drive hard. Be sure to replace the pan filter as well.
Where would you suggest getting the auto transmission fluid and filter changed? Does it have to be done at the dealer?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 01:17 PM
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There is no mention of changing the transmission fluid. Mazda says you never need to. They will last at least 100k miles without changing it, and that is as far as their CPO warranty covers. I highly recommend against waiting this long. Your fluid will get worse and worse, and it some point, changing it will actually ruin the transmission. I'm not sure why this is, I've just heard a lot of stories of people waiting until their fluid is black, then when they changed it the entire tranny failed.

I personally plan to change mine every 30k. It only costs maybe $60 for OEM fluid. I'll also change the filter around 90k. This transmission requires you drop the pan to the change the filter, and the pan uses a liquid gasket which is a pain to take off and replace, so I don't want to be dealing with it very often. If you're like others on here and plan to replace the fluid AND filter every 60k, then you don't need to replace the fluid every 30k like me. In my view, getting fresh fluid in there more often is going to help almost as much as the full filter change would. On top of all that, changing the transmission is so easy to do that I just don't see a reason not to.

To answer the above question, there IS a dipstick on this transmission but you have to remove the air intake box to access it, and it is bolted to the transmission. That means you will only be taking cold readings of the fluid level.

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I'd suggest changing it at 60K. Do it sooner if you drive hard. Be sure to replace the pan filter as well.
Where would you suggest getting the auto transmission fluid and filter changed? Does it have to be done at the dealer?
I personally would have it done at a dealership. Or if not, at least bring your own Mazda FZ fluid and make them use that. The transmission is the one place that I would never use aftermarket stuff, they are just too touchy.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 01:54 PM
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All I know is there are people here that know way more than the people that designed and built your car.

I suggest --blah-blah-blah give me a break already. It's just so sad to see so much misinformation from people that have no clue what is or isn't best for your car especially when they don't even practice what they preach.

If you have a good/trustworthy dealer, follow their advice.

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