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2021 CX-30 2.5L AWD Pearl White
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm getting ready to take a trip to the Corning NY area so this was an ideal time to change the transmission fluid. According to Mazda the transmission fluid is a "lifetime" fluid. To me that means for most owners the fluid never gets any attention unless a leak occurs or the transmission fails and then instead of pulling it out and repairing it, it simply gets replaced as an entire assembly. While the fluid itself is a synthetic and the additives have a long life too, initial operation of an automatic transmission creates microscopic debris that stays in suspension and circulates with the fluid. This fine material is from clutch plates, bushings, bearings and other components and turns the fluid into what amounts to a polishing compound. This material overtime polishes the valves in the valve body, the valve body itself, bearing and bushing surfaces and if nothing else fails first eventually creates enough wear that the transmission suffers a failure. Typically these days that is not likely to occur under 100,000 miles but could happen by the 150K mile range. In order to get the transmission to last much longer than that, OR if a problem should occur to be less likely to need any of the "hard parts" getting that debris out of the transmission is required. This first photo is the old fluid beside a sample of the new fluid. There was plenty of "grit" noticeable in the old fluid that I could feel between my fingers.
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Notice the container in the background, I am sending a sample off to Blackstone for analysis.

This next picture is a fluid debris test using a filter paper that wicks the fluid away from any material that was suspended in the fluid.
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You can see how the paper separates the worn material from the fluid. This is completely normal for a transmission approaching 16K miles and is not an indication that anything is wrong. For reference here is what the new fluid looks like when doing the same test.
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This FZ fluid does not have an equivalent in the aftermarket at this time so it has to come from the dealer. There also are no external cooling hoses as this uses a cooler that attaches directly to the side of the transmission. That means the service is a drain the pan, and put three quarts back in. Then run the engine for a minute and then repeat two more times making sure to set the fluid level correctly on the last time. This likely works out to changing about 80% of the fluid and likewise removing about 80% of the debris. I plan on doing this again at the 30,000 mile mark and then will watch to see how the fluid is from there.

Lastly for now setting the fluid level. I found it easier to get the lower air cleaner out of the way for access to the dipstick. Service information says the fluid level needs to be checked at 50C so connecting a scan tool is necessary to see the temperature.
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With the temperature correct, idling in park the fluid should be between the marks.
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I'll let you know what the analysis says in about a month when I get the results back.

You don't have to run out and do this to your own car, and don't be surprised if you meet some pushback saying that it isn't necessary if you do. I keep my cars for a long time and easily expect this one to approach half a million miles over the next fifteen years.
 

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2021 CX-30 2.5L AWD Pearl White
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310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
BTW if you notice the dirt on the body, that is because I rustproofed the vehicle with Fluid Film. It really works great, but since it stays in a liquid form it collects and holds dirt. Normally you wouldn't see this but with the air cleaner assembly out of the way it's visible. AmazonSmile: Fluid Film 1 Gallon Can Rust Inhibitor Rust Prevention Anti Corrosion Anti Rust Coating Undercoating Underbody Rust Proofing Corrosion Protection for Truck Snow Blower Mower Car Semi Tractor Bus : Automotive
 

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2021 CX-30 2.5S Crystal Blue Mica
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btw "lifetime" fluid means lifetime of the tranny which can end its life at anytime. I would change fluid every 30,000 miles. Dont listen to lifetime fluid bs
 
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