2021 CE CX-5 2.5T Needs transmission replacement at 10k miles!

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'21 CX-5 CE-T
I want to document and share this for others that may have similar sounds/issues in the future.

2021 CE Turbo, purchased in June 2021 with 1.8 miles. Carefully broken-in for the first 1500 miles.

Late Feb '22 I started experiencing a quiet/subtle 'whine' around 10,500 miles on the odometer. I would liken the sound to a ground-loop alternator whine (for anyone who's gotten into car audio stuff). But the sound didn't follow engine/alternator speed. It started around 25 mph and was prevalent at all speeds. During deceleration the sound would be existent all the way to a stop. Shifting was fine, AWD was fine (in snow), car was completely normal aside from the whine.

Found a post on Reddit (link to reddit post with sound clip) where the 25k mile vehicle was diagnosed with transmission issue, and transmission will be replaced under warranty, without explaination of what went wrong.

I scheduled an appointment (early march '22) at the dealer to 1. review the issue, 2. 2nd oil change, and to 3. address the cold weather power issues (link to mazdas247 thread). The only available time was about a week out. In this time period the noise was definitely getting louder, to the point that I probably should've just had it towed in... But I drove it to the dealer cause I'm a badass.

1. Service advisor reviewed the TSB (Bulletin no. 01-016/21), and said it was for a Mazda 3 and removed it from the work order. UGH!!!
2. Service advisor noted my complaint about the whine and submitted the order.

About an hour later, I received a video of the transfer case drain plug with black residue on it. The tech citing that the transfer case is toast due to metal shards on the plug.

Went back to the Service Advisor who was surprised, saying he could definitely hear the car making the noise in the shop from his desk, that it would be about a week for a new transfer case to arrive, and that they have a loaner for me to use in the mean time. Cool.

A week goes by, and I received notifications of doors opening and closing on the Mazda App. Then I see the car being driven around on the App Map. I get a text about an hour later stating that the transfer case replacement didn't fix the issue, and that they're going to have to replace the transmission. At that time they didn't have a date on when they would have a new transmission.

The next day, I get a text stating that the replacement transmission is roughly 2 months out, but they're going to air freight it and it should only take about a month.

All of the work is under warranty. The Service Advisor and techs are very surprised about the issue.

This doesn't seem to be a common issue, as all of my research of this issue (to pretty much the end of the internet) has only come up with 2 separate reddit posts and 1 forum post (which I think is a duplicate of one of the reddit posts). Also, there is zero talk of this issue on Mazdas247.

I know that not everyone is on reddit, not every mazda owner is on this site, and that not every Mazda owner is going to go to the internet with issues.

It's a bit disheartening that my 1st brand new car, that was partially decided on because of reliability, has to have a major part replaced. When I was purchasing the car, I did see about 20 of the 2nd gen CX-5's in the lot with service tags in the windows, which was surprising for a notably-reliable car.

I don't beat on my cars, but will the occasional hard acceleration (fully up to temp)... and frequent use of 'Manual' mode be the culprit?

Is the transmission not meant to handle the power that the Turbo version of engine produces?

Is the issue just a rare and unfortunate defective part in the transmission? Hopefully.

note: This is somewhat of a re-post from my response to this thread.
 
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madar

Contributor
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2016.5 CX 5 Touring AWD, 2015 SCION XB
It happened to me on my 2014 32k miles into original ownership. Plenty of the same story on this board. Seems too common to me and that the problem still exists 7 years later.
 
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2019 CX5 Reserve AWD
No problem with my 16 Touring (there were a good bit of bad trannys in my VIN range) 36k now on the Odo. No problems with my 19 Turbo with 27k on the ODO.

Think it's luck (or bad luck) of the draw.

Mazda needs to take a deep dive on their supplier or if they produce them themselves need to look at their parts suppliers.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
Zero transmission-related issues on my CX-9. Its just bad luck, I think.

My brother-in-law is a Nissan rep, and he told me that many of the dealerships he visits actually keep some of their shelves stocked with CVT transmissions because of how often people need to replace them.
 

AVC

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'17 CX-5 Select
Welcome to the discipline of statistics. While the Mazda 6-speed has been an exceptionally reliable transmission, and in production for nearly a decade, there will be a certain number of samples that suffer "infancy failure" and others that suffer manufacturng defect later but hopefully still within 60k/5 years. No parts or sub assemblies are tested with rigor before they make it to finished product; you wouldn't t be able to afford a vehicle if they did that. Toyota, Boeing, military and NASA all have failures, despite extensive testing.

You are now a Mazda statistic. :)
 
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'21 CX-5 CE-T
A quick update: I was originally told in early March that the replacement transmission would be in by May!

Received an update this week that they have the transmission and it should be back on the road next week... so car has been down about a month.

After driving a non-turbo loaner, it's going to be a rocket ship going back to the turbo.
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
Welcome to the discipline of statistics. While the Mazda 6-speed has been an exceptionally reliable transmission, and in production for nearly a decade, there will be a certain number of samples that suffer "infancy failure" and others that suffer manufacturing defect later but hopefully still within 60k/5 years. No parts or sub assemblies are tested with rigor before they make it to finished product; you wouldn't t be able to afford a vehicle if they did that. Toyota, Boeing, military and NASA all have failures, despite extensive testing.

You are now a Mazda statistic. :)
Well stated.

Mazda has sold over 1.2 million CX-5's in the US alone. The current generation from 2017 forward will have tallied over 800,000 US when the March 2022 figures are available. How many anecdotal problems would have to be identified to cause a concern to be elevated to a worry? A lot more than has ever been posted about any single problem in this forum.

That said, anybody can be a victim of a [fill in the manufacturer] statistic. It's a matter of probabilities.

It's interesting that Consumer Reports downgraded the 2020 CX-5 reliability from 5-out-of-5 to a 4 rating. Other years from 2017 - 2021 retain a 5 rating. Why the drop for the 2020? A 2-of-5 rating for "Power Equipment", defined as:

"Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system."

Yet we do not see many of these issues reported here but Consumer Reports survey respondents evidently have.

CR engine and trans ratings for all years get mostly 5's and a few 4's across all years except for 2018 "Engine Major" getting a 3. CR respondents are instructed to exclude recalls from consideration. I suspect a few respondents overlooked that fact with regard to the intake valve rocker arm recall which only affected about 1/2 of the 2019 run.
 
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Kedis82ZE8

'12 GX 460,'07 G35x / '15 CX-5 AWD GT w/Tech Pkg
Contributor

If you need to know future salvage part availability in Canada and US

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'21 CX-5 CE-T
Appreciate the statistical feedback, I know it's a rare case.

As stated, I wanted to make sure my experience was documented in the event anyone else has an issue.

After consulting a good friend who's a tenured mechanic, who also drove the car when it was making the noise, he stated it seemed like an output shaft bearing in the transmission. To him it sounded like a wheel bearing, but the noise didn't change when turning. It only occurred at speed. Again it sounded like a groundloop noise through an audio system.
 
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'21 CX-5 CE-T
Got the car back today with new transfer case and remanned transmission.

Remanned transmission has me a bit nervous. But everything works as it should for the time being.
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
Got the car back today with new transfer case and remanned transmission.

Remanned transmission has me a bit nervous. But everything works as it should for the time being.
Mazda put a remanufactured trans in a 2021? Was that an option--remanned would be faster, factory new taking forever?
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
That does not seem right. I seem to recall somebody posting about a warranty claim where Mazda flew in a new trans from Japan rather than taking the slow boat. Other opinions on the matter will surely follow. Some dealer techs post here. What say them?

No point in sweating it now. Longevity might be an issue, a matter for down the road, no pun intended.
 
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Pueblo county CO
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CX-5 Sport 16.5 6M
Got the car back today with new transfer case and remanned transmission.

Remanned transmission has me a bit nervous. But everything works as it should for the time being.
Your low mileage transmission might become someone's remanned replacement after they fix it.
 
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2022 CX-5 Turbo
Usually when you buy a transmission from an used part shop, you can ask for the mileage on it.
Maybe you can ask the Mazda dealer what was the mileage on the transmission you received.
Maybe they know. You did not ask. They did not tell.
 

itsmike

CX-5er
“Remanufactured” when referring to transmissions typically means the case was opened and all internals were replaced with new parts. So generally, as long as all the labor and torque values were performed properly, it’s pretty much a new unit. There likely won’t be a previous mileage record for the casing that the consumer could access, but one could at least try and verify exactly what constitutes the “reman” unit they are receiving to confirm if all internals were replaced, where the work was performed, credentials of person/company performing the work, and any visible documentation (stamps/bands/serial tags) on the unit that identify a traceable history/origin/date of remanufacturing….and of course you’d want to ask for any written warranty info to include any exclusions and claim processes. Some of that might take a decent amount of effort that most people probably don’t pursue, so most dealers and dealer technicians may not have some of that info readily available. But that info is definitely documented somewhere.

Used or “recycled” transmissions are not remanufactured or reconditioned in any way, and are typically sold with verifiable mileage and donor vehicle VIN#.
 
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2018 CX5
Well stated.

Mazda has sold over 1.2 million CX-5's in the US alone. The current generation from 2017 forward will have tallied over 800,000 US when the March 2022 figures are available. How many anecdotal problems would have to be identified to cause a concern to be elevated to a worry? A lot more than has ever been posted about any single problem in this forum.

That said, anybody can be a victim of a [fill in the manufacturer] statistic. It's a matter of probabilities.

It's interesting that Consumer Reports downgraded the 2020 CX-5 reliability from 5-out-of-5 to a 4 rating. Other years from 2017 - 2021 retain a 5 rating. Why the drop for the 2020? A 2-of-5 rating for "Power Equipment", defined as:

"Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system."

Yet we do not see many of these issues reported here but Consumer Reports survey respondents evidently have.

CR engine and trans ratings for all years get mostly 5's and a few 4's across all years except for 2018 "Engine Major" getting a 3. CR respondents are instructed to exclude recalls from consideration. I suspect a few respondents overlooked that fact with regard to the intake valve rocker arm recall which only affected about 1/2 of the 2019 run.
I noticed that drop in CRs rating of "engine major" for the 2018 in their recent publication too. Yes, they had the recall for the rocker arms but I wonder if the drop could be because of the cylinder head cracks leaking oil? Maybe more common than we know?
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
I noticed that drop in CRs rating of "engine major" for the 2018 in their recent publication too. Yes, they had the recall for the rocker arms but I wonder if the drop could be because of the cylinder head cracks leaking oil? Maybe more common than we know?
One correction: The rocker arm issue is addressed in a TSB, not a recall, so CR respondents should report this issue. Since that failure can send the vehicle into limp mode, why not a safety recall? Low failure incidence would be a reason.

For perspective, the CR average incidence of "Engine, Major" across all 2018 makes and models with sufficient data (around 150 models, give to take) is 1% "rounded", which I suppose means somewhere in the range 0.50% - 1.49% for all causes over the four years of data. 2018 CX-5's 3-of-5 average rating would fall in that range.

For 2019-2021, the industry average for Engine, Major is "<1%" which appears to be an incidence of 0.49% or less. Whatever that exact figure might be, CX-5 has scored better with top 5-of-5 ratings for those years.

CR does not break out trims or drive trains. However, in the Engine, Major category, the 2018 CX-9 has a somewhat better 4-of-5 rating with the 2.5L turbo exclusively whereas 2018 CX-5 was exclusively non-turbo. This would suggest that the normally aspirated engine for that year has encountered some very small percentage of higher incidence. Conversely and generally speaking, it stands to reason lower trims are less likely to encounter problems in some other categories since there is less stuff to break.

For additional perspective, CR cites as an example that 3.3% of of 2016 Mazda CX-3's have had a reported "Suspension" issue, over 6 years of data, and that garnered a worst 1 of 5 rating relative to the 1% (rounded) across all rated makes and models.

Of course reliability over 4 years of driving a 2018 is different from longevity over many more years. As one who is in the habit of keeping cars for 10+ years, I take solace in the overall 4 or 5 ratings for every CX-5 year since 2014, as far back as CR goes, the most recent 8 model years of data.

By the by, CR's industry average for 2018 models across all categories indicates something like 18% reported problems of one kind or another. There's a lot of rounding going on in my adding up the individual ratings, so there's wiggle room in that 18%. Three additional categories logged <1%. That means more than 82% of CR respondents have reported no problems at all across all of those 150-some 2018 makes and models over the four years of data given some owners would have reported more than one. 2018 CX-5 scores better than that.

There are no certainties, only the odds. And whatever imperfections may be hidden in CR methodology or data, I know of no better source.
 
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'21 CX-5 CE-T
A quick update.

A few days after getting the car back and giving it a wash, I noticed a scuff on the front fender (minimal), rear hatch (plastic panel below window is scratched and actually gouged), roof rail and roof (dents and scratches through the paint... they set something on it).

Also a new rattling/clunking sound has appeared from the front suspension, almost sounds like a sway bar end link wasn't connected or connected properly.

It's like I brought in a 10k mile 'new' car, and got a 150k+ mile (very used) car back.

Scheduled an appt to bring the, still not-right, car in a WEEK later. Dealer is taking care of the issues. But now I am, again, without my car for (going on) 2 weeks.

The loaner is a '22 CX-5 with whatever trim... but who cares? It's not mine. The NA 2.5 is really weak, and the transmission shifts really weird. It's a great commuter car with lots of sprinkles of options, but the turbo feels like a completely different car.

After a month and a half of my car (literally) sitting on the dealer lot... with the connect app, I can see when doors are opened/etc... I'm almost to the point of not wanting it anymore.

I've had my other car for about 13 years. There were 2 dents on it when I got it, and that's all that is on it still. Many times to shops, many miles (220k). No rattles, no clunks.

I promise I'm not super picky! I get it, stuff happens... but on a brand-new car that I bought from the dealer the service is being completed at, it's just frustrating.

I've gotten several different email requests to review my experiences from the dealer. The dealer is fine, service writer is fine... the staff that i've interacted with are fine. But people just don't care anymore. There is no pride in anything anymore, or so it seems. Each review I've filled out, the more heated I get. The last review I filled out, was the most in-depth and detailed. I later saw that the review went to Mazda of America... and I thought 'oh s***'.

I haven't seen, or heard anything back from the dealer in a week and a half (they still have my car). At this point, I'm just going to ride it out and see what happens.

My mechanic friends say that if a new car needs this much work within the first year, that I should sell it/trade it for something else. These are the same mechanic friends that highly recommended the Mazda brand for the (apparent) 'reliability'.

I really wanted to like this car.
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