How to: Change your manual transmission fluid to synthetic (minor update 02/11) - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum


FMVPerformance.com is the premier Mazda 3 Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-07-2007, 11:24 PM   #1
davey6693
Go-Kart Driver
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Waterloo, Canada
Posts: 54
Default How to: Change your manual transmission fluid to synthetic (minor update 02/11)

Update log: Feb 24th 2011: Based on number of comments, I'm recommending 3 quarts instead of 4. Read the note about it below if unsure.

Hope this is useful. Let me know if you find any errors and I'll fix 'er up. My car is a 2006 Mazda3 Sport wagon. I'm assuming the 5-speed tranny is the same on all North American Mazda3's but correct me if I'm wrong...

I couldn't find a write-up for this so I thought I'd do it myself. I'm reasonably happy with the shifts on my 3, but I notice some notchiness there at times. I decided to try Redline MT-90. I'm in Southern Ontario, and managed to find Johnston Research and Performance in Mississauga as a retail seller of this oil. It's classified as a GL-4 and matches Mazda's requirement for a 75W90 oil. I'd read many good things about this oil in the past.


Usual disclaimer: These steps worked for me but double check your progress as you go. I can't be held responsible for any blah blah blah...

Things you'll need:

15/16" socket (mshu confirmed this is 23mm for the metric size) or wrench for the drain/fill plugs
Funnel and 3 feet of connecting tubing (recommended, you'll see I had some ghetto setup)
4 quarts Redline MT-90 UPDATE: 3 quarts Redline MT-90 or suitable synthetic 75W90 fluid (4 will cover you if you have any spills, the true capacity is 3.03 quarts) If you read the subsequent comments, most guys are more careful than me and needed only 3 quarts. Buy 4 if you're not sure if you can be spill-free.
Container that can hold at least 3 quarts
Usual tools for lifting the car and removing the plastic cover between the engine bay/underside of the front of the car (see any oil change write-up for these)

This was the first time I'd done anything to my Mazda3 (long time DIY mechanic on a old Nissan Maxima), so this was interesting for me.
I could see from the factory service manual and other reports that jacking up the car is easier if you drive it onto wooden blocks. I thought this was pretty incovenient, but I found out later that I could have done an oil change with the car just on the blocks.

Click any of the below images for a full size view - images are fairly large



I used the centre of the crossmember and put a piece of cardboard between my jack and the car body to prevent scratching.



I've had the dealer do the first couple of oil changes and could see from scuff marks from their lift, where I should put the jack stands.



After the vehicle was up on the stands, I removed the plastic shield that lies between the road and the engine bay (see any oil change guide on how to do this)

I realized I'd be best off with a level surface for the drain and fill, so I lowered the car back onto the planks. My garage is on a slight slope so it was probably level enough at this point.

Then I slid my waste pan under the drain hole (look at the top part of the image below, my screwdriver is pointing at it) and opened the bolt to start fluid flowing. The drain and fill holes are pretty easy to spot, they're the only bolts near the bottom of the tranny that are large (15/16", 23mm)



The fluid was a little slow to exit so I also opened up the fill hole (again shown by screwdriver) and then the fluid came out nice and quick.


Once the fluid had drained out, I replaced the drain plug. If you have an older car you may wish to replace the drain and fill plug gaskets. I've only had my car a few months and decided to skip this step.

Now for the interesting part. I would recommend buying a funnel with some 3 feet of tubing - it will make your life easy for the next part. In my case, it was almost a show-stopper until I found some regular copper piping normally used for residential plumbing. I had a funnel and 1 foot of flexible black tubing, but found it was not long enough. What you see in the next two images are the funnel, part of a turkey baster, copper tubing, and then on the underside of the car you can see the copper tubing going into flexible black tubing, finally going into the fill hole! Ghetto for sure, but it worked.




Take this step nice and slow, and put a clean container underneath. You'll need this near the end if you overfill, or in case you spill any (or if like me your crappy setup falls out). I found I used about 3.25 quarts, including a couple of spills. If you don't think you'll spill a drop, you may get away with 3, since the official capacity is 3.03 quarts in my owner's manual.

You know it's full when oil comes pouring back out of the tranny. Level with the fill hole counts as full - so if you've overfilled, allow fluid to come back out until it is reduced to the occasional drip, then replace the fill plug. At this point I gently moved the car through all the gears and waited ten minutes for things to settle. After that, it took a little more oil and then I called it a day.

I did not have a socket (I used an open-ended wrench) so was unable to torque down the drain and fill plugs accurately. I'll go back and do this later. The torque specs call for 29-43 ft-lbs in the factory service manual.

The shifting is noticeably easier, especially in the 1-2 shift which I used to find was quite notchy. To me, this was a worthwhile spend of about 60 dollars Canadian (inc. taxes), and would take the average person about an hour or two.

Last edited by davey6693; 03-11-2013 at 09:59 PM.
davey6693 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-08-2007, 05:58 PM   #2
hate_romania
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: st eustache
Posts: 1,724
Send a message via MSN to hate_romania Send a message via Yahoo to hate_romania
Default Re: How to: Change your manual transmission fluid to synthetic

very nice

props

how is the felling of the tranny after the oil change? i mean after about couple of hundred km
__________________
Driving a 2010 mazda 3 gt with sunroof bone stock

SOLD: Mazda3 2005 Black mica 5dr, CAI AEMwith AEM dryflow, Custom grounding cables, TWM SS, ETB Coolant Bypass, AWR 70d engine mount, Advance Timming Mod,
Cosworth Bsd, The only mazda 3 with dealer removed speed limit yey...230km/h
hate_romania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2007, 06:31 PM   #3
davey6693
Go-Kart Driver
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Waterloo, Canada
Posts: 54
Default Re: How to: Change your manual transmission fluid to synthetic

I'll let you know what happens after a couple hundred. On an instant basis, the shifting is smoother through all the gears, and most helpful on the 1-2 shift when it's cold.
davey6693 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2007, 06:41 PM   #4
nova
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Richmond,VA
Posts: 1,809
Default Re: How to: Change your manual transmission fluid to synthetic

[quote author=davey6693 link=topic=66350.msg1138198#msg1138198 date=1168230252]
Hope this is useful. Let me know if you find any errors and I'll fix 'er up. My car is a 2006 Mazda3 Sport wagon. I'm assuming the 5-speed tranny is the same on all North American Mazda3's but correct me if I'm wrong...

I couldn't find a write-up for this so I thought I'd do it myself. I'm reasonably happy with the shifts on my 3, but I notice some notchiness there at times. I decided to try Redline MT-90. I'm in Southern Ontario, and managed to find Johnston Research and Performance in Mississauga. This oil is classified as a GL-4 and matches Mazda's requirement for a 75W90 oil. I'd read many good things about this oil in the past.

[/quote]

Thanks davey! 1 question: where is the fill hole located? I didn't see where you referenced it.
__________________
SILVER'06 3sT HB-5sp-sr
*Sok07 Dead Pedal*XPel*AudioLink*HiddenHitch*CX7 Antenna*AltimaxHP tires
nova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2007, 09:06 PM   #5
D Bone
F1 Driver
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Antelope Valley SoCal
Posts: 2,816
Default Re: How to: Change your manual transmission fluid to synthetic

In the 7th pic, he is holding a screwdriver with his blue rubber gloved hand, and the screwdriver is pointing to the hole.


Darryl

BTW....................NICE WRITE UP!
D Bone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2007, 10:34 PM   #6
nova
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Richmond,VA
Posts: 1,809
Default Re: How to: Change your manual transmission fluid to synthetic

Ha ha. Thanks DB!
__________________
SILVER'06 3sT HB-5sp-sr
*Sok07 Dead Pedal*XPel*AudioLink*HiddenHitch*CX7 Antenna*AltimaxHP tires
nova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2007, 10:49 PM   #7
D Bone
F1 Driver
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Antelope Valley SoCal
Posts: 2,816
Default Re: How to: Change your manual transmission fluid to synthetic

[quote author=NoVa link=topic=66350.msg1139855#msg1139855 date=1168313698]
Ha ha. Thanks DB!
[/quote]

No problem!

You know, this has to be the first car that I know of, that the auto is actually easier than the manual to drain and refill the fluid. :P



Darryl
D Bone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2007, 10:51 PM   #8
hate_romania
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: st eustache
Posts: 1,724
Send a message via MSN to hate_romania Send a message via Yahoo to hate_romania
Default Re: How to: Change your manual transmission fluid to synthetic

can you please post the pictures but with a better resolution, or thats the max resolution (cellphone?)
__________________
Driving a 2010 mazda 3 gt with sunroof bone stock

SOLD: Mazda3 2005 Black mica 5dr, CAI AEMwith AEM dryflow, Custom grounding cables, TWM SS, ETB Coolant Bypass, AWR 70d engine mount, Advance Timming Mod,
Cosworth Bsd, The only mazda 3 with dealer removed speed limit yey...230km/h
hate_romania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 09:14 AM   #9
davey6693
Go-Kart Driver
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Waterloo, Canada
Posts: 54
Default Re: How to: Change your manual transmission fluid to synthetic

[quote author=hate_romania link=topic=66350.msg1139899#msg1139899 date=1168314690]
can you please post the pictures but with a better resolution, or thats the max resolution (cellphone?)
[/quote]

Done - click images for high-res view
davey6693 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 09:58 AM   #10
mshu7
Le Mans: Prototype Class
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 2,321
Send a message via AIM to mshu7
Default Re: How to: Change your manual transmission fluid to synthetic

Nice write-up!

For anybody that's interested, there's more information in this thread I created a while back: http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=33727.0
__________________
Mike Shumaker, Owner
Driven Auto Detail
Serving Central Indiana & Surrounding Midwestern Areas

Authorized Pro Coating Installer

My source for auto detailing products: DetailedImage.com
mshu7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum > Visual / Audio > Maintenance and Care

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.