CX-5 Towing...Blew up transmission!

New guy. Don't do too much social media so go easy on this ole man. We own the 14 cx5 2.5l auto. i have decades of towing experience with 3/4 ton trucks ranging from 30' TT, ~4 ton tractors, 10k's lbs of commercial cabinets/millwork...etc all over the US. 2018 we took a kayaking and camping trip from N. Ga to the great lakes in the UP Mi. total round trip was ~2500.

We pulled a 5X10 (750lbs), X2 boats (120lbs), gear/clothing (~200lbs), food/drinks (~100lbs), X3 people (~500lbs) + fuel (~130lbs full). Used the manual shift option and keep the car out of OD, speed on I-state ~60mph. cx5 did great throughout the whole trip. Couple of months later we started noticing some hesitation and thud sounds. then finally on a T-giving trip to iowa the trans went in to a limp mode. we found a good local shop in dubuque that put a reman trans ($3000) in for us... its been carefree for 40k now. we are in iowa now for the holidays...Took it in Thursday for a drain and fill.

We like the cx5. its got some quirks like road noise, bluetooth, dash, seats... but we've enjoyed it as a DD. we also have jeep, silverado and tacoma too. i have a big shop and do maintenance on all the vehicles. i use synthetic fluids in all vehicles... motors, trans, diffs, etc.
i DO read the manuals and log ALL maintenance. i hope this will help other cx5 owners in the future. i think mazda needs to upgrade the cx5 with bigger trans cooler options. i have trans cooler on X2 trucks and jeep. GVWR vs GCWR vs GAWR should be taken into account. if the vehicle can not pull or stop correctly, you can damage the vehicle or serious injury/death can occur. we no longer tow with our cx5.

Thank you.
 
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2014 mazda cx-5 touring FWD
Appalachia, welcome to the board and thank you for the detailed information. Your mention of a rebuilt transmission being available is encouraging as I thought the choices were pretty much either Mazda reman ($$$) or salvage yard. What was the approximate mileage when it failed?
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
Thanks for providing your experience and insight! Very much appreciated.
 

CarpeDiem

Under Pressure
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Superstitions
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2021 CE Turbo
The OP has made a great first(?) post, welcome. Since 5th and 6th gears are overdrives I assume he kept the vehicle in 4th and below - plenty of rpm at 60 mph - over 3000. Even though the tow rating for the 2014 was 2000# (and remains so for current models) I think he is wise to refrain from much towing. Not sure if the ‘small’ trans cooler had anything to do with the failure since he didn’t have a trans temp gauge, but maybe. Overall a nice writeup and glad he’s enjoying his CX.
 
Appalachia, welcome to the board and thank you for the detailed information. Your mention of a rebuilt transmission being available is encouraging as I thought the choices were pretty much either Mazda reman ($$$) or salvage yard. What was the approximate mileage when it failed?
hello jmaz! the trans was replaced at 86,000. we have 40,000 mi on the reman trans and its running great! i will continue to do the drain and fill every 40k-50k as well as the trans filter at some point.
 
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2014 mazda cx-5 touring FWD
Appalachia, thanks for the comeback. Good to hear your reman tranny is running great. It looks like we are on the same tranny maintenance schedule as exactly one year ago today (coincidentally) I changed fluid at 44,165 miles.
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
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Denver, CO
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2014 CX-5 Touring
Sorry to hear of that experience. I think there were some other folks on the forum who regularly towed things with their CX-5, but I wonder how big. I likewise would not be inclined to tow much of anything with mine, just like I wouldn't really use it as an off-road vehicle.

I also have a service coming up to drain/fill my transmission fluid. I last did it around 71k miles and am at 103k now. Probably once I hit about 110k I'm going to go ahead and do another drain/fill before its time for coolant at 120k.

Glad to hear the remanufactured tranny is working well.
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
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Denver, CO
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2014 CX-5 Touring
I don't think towing/hauling 1900 pounds had any effect on your trans. There were some reports here of early trannies failing prematurely, but Mazda fixed that right away, I thought.
That was on early 2016's.
 

TBarney

'17 CX-5 AWD GT Prem. Original owner of 91 Miata.
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Atlanta metro
I tow occasionally in that weight range. 5x8 trailer with a Honda Foreman 450 ATV and yard cart, 4 people and some gear in the vehicle. I, too, use the manual shift mode when towing. Not super long trips, usually only 2-3 hours away. No problems, yet, but I'll surely report if I do. Coming up on 60k and planning to drain/fill the transmission.
 

Kedis82ZE8

'15 CX-5 GT AWD, '12 GX 460, '07 G35x
Contributor
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'15 CX-5 GT AWD
Yeah.. I've towed quite a bit in the up to 1500lb range with my '15 CX-5 GT. No issues so far... in fact going to tow with it again tomorrow with just my old '85 Honda TRX 250 ATV.

As for AT temp... fire up OBD reader... I was surprised how cool the system keeps AT even during towing. Far lower than my GX 460 with a supplemental air cooler. The water to oil cooler works well. I will have to look for it but thought there were some '13-'14 w/potential AT issues at least shown on a TSB.

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2015 CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech
FWIW, I have a 2015 GT and have towed with it for years - 1500lb boat plus whatever 100 liters of fuel weighs so close to the 2000lb maximum. Also tow a covered trailer that weighs close to 1000lb empty, usually only have a few hundred pounds of whatever I'm carrying so that one is lighter. These trips are 250km one way. Overall, roughly 3,000km towing something.

I don't use manual unless I'm slowing down, otherwise I keep it in auto and for the most part use cruise except for bigger hills. Vehicle is just coming up to 100k (and was bought in 2014 and is now 7 years old).

For comparison, I had a Blazer that could tow more and had gone through two transmissions by the time it was 6 years old (one replaced due to shop issue). So I have to say I am quite happy with the performance and certainly hope not to be replacing any more transmissions.