51,000 Mile Transmission Fluid (ATF) Analysis Results

ruthrj18

Member
:
2013 CX-5 Sport
Hello all,

Long time lurker on the forum and just signed up to share my automatic transmission fluid analysis for my 2013 CX-5 Sport. Least I could do to return the favor for the wealth of knowledge you all have built up!

Thank you all for the endless tips and tricks that have been posted. Doing a drain and fill of the ATF was relatively painless after removing the airbox, dropping the shroud under the engine compartment, popping out the drain plug, and emptying about 3.5 to 3.75 quarts of fluid. Holy cow it was dark! I double checked my manual just to make sure it really was ATF FZ. 3.5 quarts came out with the front on ramps, 3.75 came out with the car flat. There was just enough room under the car to do this comfortably without any ramps (making my wife infinitely more happy with me, lol). I put the plug back in with a new OEM Mazda crush washer (it is indeed the same part as the oil drain plug), put in new ATF fluid in the amount that I drained using an 18" funnel, and tightened the dipstick after cleaning off any debris. I ended up doing a 3x refill as practice for my 2017 Odyssey, driving about 10 miles through all of the gears between each drain and fill. If you do any research on that van, it seems thats what others over at OdyClub are recommending for the Honda Odyssey ATF. Cost of ATF FZ fluid wasn't bad locally. Local Mazda dealer sold them to me for ~$11 a quart and I ended up needing about 10.5 quarts for 3x drain and fills.

Anyway, on to the good stuff! See the attached pdf for a copy of my Blackstone oil analysis. I'm the only owner of the car, bought it new on the lot back in October 2012. The first 2-3 years of its life was 90% highway, 10% city driving for a 50 mile round trip commute. The next two years were frequent short trips, nearly 100% city. Really short trips, like 4 trips a day with each one being less than 2 miles a piece. The last year and a half, it was right back to thh 90% highway, 10% city driving schedule on that 50 mile round trip commute. Area driven on the 50 mile commute extremely flat (Central Florida). Area driven on the short trips has very mild hills.

ATF analysis looks extremely similar to the other user that posted his ~67k mile analysis, with comments on mine stating that it was about on par for average wear seen at ~26k miles. Only note that seemed off on mine was the viscosity being very slightly below the expected range, but they didn't think that was anything to worry about.

Going forward, I'll likely do another 3x drain and fill at 100k. For one of those fills (last one?) I'll also drop the pan, clean out any shavings, replace the ATF "strainer", and do a silicone/RTV gasket to get the pan back on. I've done it before on my old 2005 Ford Focus and it wasn't hard. My plan is likely overkill based on my Blackstone analysis and the other posted on the forum, but I don't mind doing the work. Its only slightly more work than an oil change and it honestly will help me sleep better at night (thank you OCD!). Love this car and I'm going to keep using it for my commute for as long as she'll move me!

View attachment 51k ATF Blackstone Analysis.pdf
 

ColoradoDriver

2014 CX-5 Touring AWD - 119k miles
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
Wow, this is great. Thank you for posting this! Looking to get my ATF switched out here soon as well at 63k miles right now on my 2014.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
⋯ Thank you all for the endless tips and tricks that have been posted. Doing a drain and fill of the ATF was relatively painless after removing the airbox, dropping the shroud under the engine compartment, popping out the drain plug, and emptying about 3.5 to 3.75 quarts of fluid. Holy cow it was dark! I double checked my manual just to make sure it really was ATF FZ. 3.5 quarts came out with the front on ramps, 3.75 came out with the car flat. There was just enough room under the car to do this comfortably without any ramps (making my wife infinitely more happy with me, lol). I put the plug back in with a new OEM Mazda crush washer (it is indeed the same part as the oil drain plug), put in new ATF fluid in the amount that I drained using an 18" funnel, and tightened the dipstick after cleaning off any debris. I ended up doing a 3x refill as practice for my 2017 Odyssey, driving about 10 miles through all of the gears between each drain and fill. If you do any research on that van, it seems thats what others over at OdyClub are recommending for the Honda Odyssey ATF. Cost of ATF FZ fluid wasn't bad locally. Local Mazda dealer sold them to me for ~$11 a quart and I ended up needing about 10.5 quarts for 3x drain and fills.
Thank you for sharing your ATF change experience!

I did only 2X ATF drain-and-fills last time on my 1998 Honda CR-V. But 3X? Doing 3X drain-and-fills on ATF requires patient and money, definitely is a better practice to get ATF fresher during ATF change.

Since you did take air box out, how did you measure ATF level with engine running?
 
:
2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport FWD Auto
Thank you for sharing your ATF change experience!

I did only 2X ATF drain-and-fills last time on my 1998 Honda CR-V. But 3X? Doing 3X drain-and-fills on ATF requires patient and money, definitely is a better practice to get ATF fresher during ATF change.

Since you did take air box out, how did you measure ATF level with engine running?

Excellent question on measuring: carefully : )

I left the shroud off. With the air box installed and everything back in place, I reached up from underneath the car to check the dipstick. Cramped and ackward doing that with the car on the ground, but it can be done!
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Excellent question on measuring: carefully : )

I left the shroud off. With the air box installed and everything back in place, I reached up from underneath the car to check the dipstick. Cramped and ackward doing that with the car on the ground, but it can be done!
With engine running I suppose? That can be dangerous as the cooling fan could be on anytime! And how do you make sure the ATF temperature is in the specified range (~130F)?
 
:
2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport FWD Auto
With engine running I suppose? That can be dangerous as the cooling fan could be on anytime! And how do you make sure the ATF temperature is in the specified range (~130F)?

You are correct, sir! Carefully ; ) I didnt add that to my original post as it isnt for the faint of heart. Id encourage anybody doing this to check the original ATF drain/fill thread for other tips (what I did isnt the brightest idea).

I did the check when others suggested, when the blue light went off on the dash after first few minutes after a cold start.
 
Last edited:
:
RDX Aspec Adv.
Thank you for sharing your ATF change experience!

I did only 2X ATF drain-and-fills last time on my 1998 Honda CR-V. But 3X? Doing 3X drain-and-fills on ATF requires patient and money, definitely is a better practice to get ATF fresher during ATF change.

Since you did take air box out, how did you measure ATF level with engine running?

That's about $5-750 in fluid alone. All on an item that has never caused a failure that anyone is aware of, and isn't recommended by Mazda. Wow.
 
:
2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport FWD Auto
That's about $5-750 in fluid alone. All on an item that has never caused a failure that anyone is aware of, and isn't recommended by Mazda. Wow.

$11x11 quarts=$121. For a service Ill do 1x every 5 years. I posted my ATF analysis to provide a second sample for those who were interested. Flame somebody else (and get your math right) if you wouldnt mind, ok bud?
 
:
2018 AWD GT Premium Red/Black
Honda calls for 4 drain and fills. It says drain and fill 3 times with a drive through the gears each time, then drain and fill.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
$11x11 quarts=$121. For a service Ill do 1x every 5 years. I posted my ATF analysis to provide a second sample for those who were interested. Flame somebody else (and get your math right) if you wouldnt mind, ok bud?
Genuine Mazda SkyActiv-Drive Automatic Transmission Fluid ATF FZ costs $21.49 list per quart, that's why whoever selling $11 per bottle is hard to believe.
 

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