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Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips #4085059 05/02/16 02:13 AM
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The Critic Online Crying OP
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I recently performed a transmission service on a Mazda 3 sedan that is equipped with the 2.0L Skyactiv engine.

The transmission service on this car is performed a bit differently than other Mazdas so I wanted to pass along a few tips in case anyone decides to do one. In all honesty, this one is a lot easier than most transmissions that are marketed as "sealed" or "filled-for-life."

Here we go:

- You need to remove the underbody cover in order to remove the drain plug. The drain plug uses a 8mm allen key.

- Depending on the temperature, you will drain between 3.5-4 quarts. Install a new drain plug washer before re-installing the drain plug. You may find the drain plug washer to be stuck onto the pan - I had to use a painter's pole scraper and a mallet to remove the washer.

- There is a grey-colored dipstick marked "FZ" that is secured by a bolt. It is much easier to remove the bolt from under the car.

- To fill the transmission, some folks suggest removing the air intake tube to allow for more room to insert a funnel - but this is not necessary. There is a radiator hose that is adjacent to the air intake; the radiator hose is secured by a bracket. Remove the bracket (1 bolt) and this will allow you to move the hose around. By doing so, this step will give you barely enough room to squeeze a long funnel (18") into the space. I actually inserted a second funnel into the long funnel to allow for easier pouring.

- When refilling, start with 3.5 quarts. Start the engine and connect your scan tool to confirm the AT fluid temperature. The fluid level should be checked at 122F, which is warm (but not hot). Mazda only states that the fluid should be checked at a minimum of 122F, but does not specify a maximum temp. I would check/adjust the fluid level no higher than a few degrees above 122F; any AT fluid level will rise significantly once warmed up, so if you check the fluid level when the temp is too high, you may risk an under-fill.

- Check the fluid from underneath the car - this is the easiest way to access the dipstick. Do not try to remove the dipstick from the engine compartment. This particular vehicle took a total of 3.75 quarts for the drain and refill. If you do not have access to a scan tool, my experience was that the fluid temperature was at 122F within 1 minutes of start-up (but I drained the fluid when the car was still fairly hot and refilled right away, so your experience may vary).

Untitled by The Critic, on Flickr

This is a picture of the old fluid with 49,000 miles - it still looks very good. This transmission holds about 8 quarts and you will remove 40-50% with a drain and refill. The transmission does not have external cooler lines, so a "flush" is not possible. After the drain/refill, the fluid was a bit lighter, but did not turn blue.

Untitled by The Critic, on Flickr

Yes, the fluid is blue, but it turns light yellow after a few miles.

Untitled by The Critic, on Flickr

Confirming the fluid temperature before performing a level check - which is the ideal method for verifying the fluid level.


2011 Toyota Prius 1.8L - 203K - Valvoline Premium Blue Restore 10W-30
2007 Honda Accord 2.4L - 143K - Valvoline Premium Blue Restore 10W-30
Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: The Critic] #4085060 05/02/16 02:25 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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This is great information, Thanks!
What year was this Mazda3? Does it matter after 2010?


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Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: The Critic] #4085083 05/02/16 04:47 AM
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Great post, thsnks!


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Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: The Critic] #4085115 05/02/16 05:44 AM
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Mr Nice Offline
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Dang, too bad other mechanics don't have as much pride in their jobs as The Critic has.

Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: The Critic] #4085144 05/02/16 06:29 AM
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DBMaster Offline
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I am planning to do this with my Mazda3 Skyactiv soon. I have a little over 60K miles on it. I know that there is a filter that COULD be changed, but I didn't plan to change it. I read a thread on a Mazda3 site showing that the pan is basically glued to the transmission with a very durable sealant that took the guy two hours to scrape off.

I got my four bottles of FZ fluid online from a Mazda parts site and I appreciated seeing this thread to confirm that I will have enough for the D&F. Thanks!

Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: Char Baby] #4085409 05/02/16 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted By: Char Baby
This is great information, Thanks!
What year was this Mazda3? Does it matter after 2010?


This post should be applicable to the ones that are equipped with a 2L Skyactiv engine.

Originally Posted By: DBMaster
I am planning to do this with my Mazda3 Skyactiv soon. I have a little over 60K miles on it. I know that there is a filter that COULD be changed, but I didn't plan to change it. I read a thread on a Mazda3 site showing that the pan is basically glued to the transmission with a very durable sealant that took the guy two hours to scrape off.

I got my four bottles of FZ fluid online from a Mazda parts site and I appreciated seeing this thread to confirm that I will have enough for the D&F. Thanks!


The glue that you are referring to is RTV. I usually just wire wheel it off the transmission pan and use an old credit card to scrape off the residue from the transmission side. I really do not see a reason to drop the pan and replace the "rock stopper."


2011 Toyota Prius 1.8L - 203K - Valvoline Premium Blue Restore 10W-30
2007 Honda Accord 2.4L - 143K - Valvoline Premium Blue Restore 10W-30
Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: The Critic] #4085453 05/02/16 12:02 PM
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DBMaster Offline
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So, it is RTV? I was informed by a transmission shop a long time ago that silicone sealants and ATF didn't work well together. Maybe that was not correct.

Here's the thread I was talking about.

http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2010-...uid-change.html

I've seen the filter being sold on eBay. It almost appears to have some sort of pleated media inside it. (Look at the fourth pic in the listing.) I'm still not changing it, though. Just doing a D&F on this already exceeds the maintenance recommended by Mazda. (Yes, I know about the whole "lifetime fill" argument.)

Transmission Filter




Last edited by DBMaster; 05/02/16 12:11 PM.
Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: Mr Nice] #4085460 05/02/16 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Dang, too bad other mechanics don't have as much pride in their jobs as The Critic has.



+1 Great work!


2017 Chevy Traverse - 28k - Delco Dexos 1 and PF63
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Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: The Critic] #4108377 05/27/16 05:24 PM
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DBMaster Offline
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Thanks again for the post. I just did my D&F. I, too, used two funnels after removing the bolt for the radiator hose bracket. The stuff I drained out wasn't dark and smelled almost the same as the new stuff. It's thin, like water, or maybe like a nice bourbon. It's amazing how clean that underbody pan keeps the entire engine compartment. Mine still looks new on top and hardly has anything dirty on the underside.

Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: DBMaster] #4109896 05/29/16 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted By: DBMaster
Thanks again for the post. I just did my D&F. I, too, used two funnels after removing the bolt for the radiator hose bracket. The stuff I drained out wasn't dark and smelled almost the same as the new stuff. It's thin, like water, or maybe like a nice bourbon. It's amazing how clean that underbody pan keeps the entire engine compartment. Mine still looks new on top and hardly has anything dirty on the underside.

No prob. Glad it worked out well for you.


2011 Toyota Prius 1.8L - 203K - Valvoline Premium Blue Restore 10W-30
2007 Honda Accord 2.4L - 143K - Valvoline Premium Blue Restore 10W-30
Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: The Critic] #4109907 05/29/16 04:09 PM
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How much time for labor does this job specify?

Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: SatinSilver] #4109912 05/29/16 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: SatinSilver
How much time for labor does this job specify?


It's a little more involved than the drain/refill on a Honda since the underbody cover needs to be removed, plus you should use a scan tool to verify the fluid temp when checking the fluid level. Filling the unit is sort of a pain too. But it is still much less involved than any of the current Toyota's that do not have a dipstick.

I think 45 minutes is a fair labor charge.


2011 Toyota Prius 1.8L - 203K - Valvoline Premium Blue Restore 10W-30
2007 Honda Accord 2.4L - 143K - Valvoline Premium Blue Restore 10W-30
Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: The Critic] #4111148 05/31/16 06:33 AM
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Personally, based upon what you saw here and what my drained fluid looked and smelled like (my 2012 Mazda 3 has 61,000 miles on it) I don't think this service is required.

But, the funny thing was that the owner's manual has no service interval specified. It was my understanding Mazda stated that the fluid should be CHECKED at 100,000 miles for signs of deterioration but, not necessarily changed). Then, the dealer tells me, "We recommend fluid and filter change at 30,000 miles.) The fluid did resemble fish sauce but seems like it would only smell fishy at the dealership.

YMMV

Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: The Critic] #4111517 05/31/16 02:44 PM
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I find it odd that Mazda states to check the ATF level at minimum of 122F. My rule of thumb is always "put back in exactly the same quantity that was drained". This way there is no discrepancies on overfill/under-fill.

-ttvr4

Re: Mazda Type-FZ Fluid & Skyactiv Drain/Refill Tips [Re: ttvr4] #4111617 05/31/16 04:28 PM
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cjcride Offline
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Originally Posted By: ttvr4
I find it odd that Mazda states to check the ATF level at minimum of 122F. My rule of thumb is always "put back in exactly the same quantity that was drained". This way there is no discrepancies on overfill/under-fill.

-ttvr4

Good rule, I follow it myself.
Keep in mind, what comes out hot has increased in volume a bit. What goes in at room temperature has not.

Last edited by cjcride; 05/31/16 04:32 PM.
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