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Old 02-02-2012, 06:51 AM   #1
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Default Power Steering, Transmission Fluid

I brought my 2010 Mazda3i into the dealership for an oil change and tire rotation. The car has 34,000 miles. The dealership informed that the mechanic found both fluids a bit 'dirty' and recommended that I do a flush of both of them...costing $330. I told him that I need to think about it. I have never heard of a car in need of that kind of maintenance so soon in its mileage...especially the power steering fluid. Is the dealer being straight with me? Is he being overly cautious? Is this a normal preventative care need?
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:52 AM   #2
balding geezer
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Default Re: Power Steering, Transmission Fluid

I would definitely get a second opinion, especially on the power steering fluid.

I have little to no faith in automatic transmissions so on a 2010 model car I'd say maybe it is possible for the transmission fluid to be ready for replacement, though at 34,000 miles even I think it should still be OK. But if your driving is mostly stop and go, city driving in an extreme hot climate then maybe you could wipe out the tranny fluid in 34,000 miles. But again, this is just barely likely.

But there is just no way the power steering fluid should be contaminated at 34,000 miles, unless you lost the cap for the reservoir or someone has deliberately put some sort of contaminant in the P/S fluid, ie vandalism or sabotage. No, if the P/S fluid really is contaminated I'd be more inclined to think the same sort of production line problem which occurred with some 07-09 Mazda3s (including mine, fixed on recall with no issues) has cropped up or you're just being played by an unscrupulous service dept. I won't comment on the relative likelihood of either, you'll have to use your own judgement here.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Power Steering, Transmission Fluid

At your mileage you’re still within the "Bumper to Bumper" warranty. I'd tell the dealer that since neither of those fluids are called out in the Owner's Manual to be changed anywhere near this early, that it must be a defect and you'd be happy to have them flush both - at Mazda's expense. See how much he thinks they need changed then.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: Power Steering, Transmission Fluid

Tranny flush is an easy DIY project. Search the forum for instructions. Get 8 quarts of Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle Automatic Transmission Fluid - http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/web...content=value4

I had my 5sp ATX flushed first at 30k miles and ATF was indeed dark and sticky. My second flash was about 4 month ago at ~77k. That time around ATF was looking very decent and I feel I did not really had to change it.. But the first change at 25-35k miles is a must IMHO.

(Mz3s, 2006, HB, 2.3 ATX, 80k, Massachesetts)
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