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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there!

I own a 2010 Mazda 3 with 110K miles. It's the 5 speed automatic 2.0l.

My Mazda 3 has started giving me some transmission issues. No error code. But here is what is happening.

1) Putting in reverse started not working. I have to try multiple times to succeed.

2) I added some fluid and after that it started working fine.

3) I came back after a 2 weeks trip and the issue restarted so I thought it was a leak. I added some fluid. Then I checked and it is OVERFILLED.

4) Now if you put in REVERSE or PARKING it does not engage.

5) I did figure out a trick: If after you put in R or P you push the lever UP like an eighth of an inch you hear a click and the transmission engages correctly.


Can I keep doing #5?
Do you think if I flush all the fluid and put new fluid it could help? And what fluid would you recommend?
If not what else could I do?

Thank you in advance!!
 

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How much fluid you add, exactly where is it on the dipstick now, and also describe exactly how you are checking the fluid. If it's actually significantly overfilled, you need to drain the extra fluid out ASAP.

One thing you can try is to spray some lubricant on the mechanical shift linkage which is located on the top/front of the transmission case. But you need to shield the PNP/inhibitor switch connector, because you don't want the lube getting all over that connector.

If that doesn't fix the issue then find someone who has a code reader which is capable of reading the TCM - many basic readers cannot do that, so you need to make certain that it is TCM-capable. The TCM can set codes which do not turn on the CEL (including pending codes), so you need to find out if any of those codes have been set.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
m3guy thanks so much for the response!
1) I had added about one quart. But I want to do a new reading. I read that you are supposed to shift in various gears with the car running for a good reading.
2) the dipstick seems to be half inch higher than the max (again I gotta redo the reading )
I was thinking to start pumping out some fluid (about 1-2 quarts) and then replacing it with Lucas Tranny fluid. What do you think about that?

Thanks so much for the advice on the mechanical shift linkage. I can give that a try.
Also I will find if we can do something with the TCM (find someone like you suggested).
 

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The level should never be over the MAX line, even after the fluid is completely hot (1/2 hour or so of driving). So yes, you're probably going to need to drain out at least 1 quart to bring it back down to the correct level. I don't use any additives in the transmission - just the correct spec fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello M3iguy, thanks so much for being so helpful.
I have an update:
1) I was wrong. I remeasured ACCURATELY the level (shifting in all the various speeds before putting in P as a mechanic recommended), it is basically at the MAX and nothing more.
2) Main symptom: when I shift in Parking it does not go there. If I SLIGHTLY let the brake go and the car roll just few inches then the P lights up and I am in Parking. Without that 'trick' usually the P does NOT engage.
3) Reverse: it is now engaging except it requires the selector to be put about 1/8th inch to the right of where the 'resting location for R is'. Once it engages it rests where it supposed to be and works as expected.
4) D: no symptoms whatsoever. It drives smooths and fine.

Thoughts? Same recommendations?
Is the mechanical shift linkage accessible from the interior by removing the selector cover?

Thanks again so much!
 

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…. it is basically at the MAX and nothing more.....
One thing you need to understand is that it matters a great deal what the fluid temperature is. The fluid will not get completely hot and fully expand until the vehicle has run for around 1/2 hour. So you need to check the level after driving that amount of time, in order to make sure the level is not over the max line.


… Is the mechanical shift linkage accessible from the interior by removing the selector cover? ….
No, the linkage I mentioned previously is located on the front of the transmission case in the engine bay. You can access it much easier with the vehicle up on ramps or on a lift.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
M3guy, thanks so much. Sounds like I need to check the fluid one last time. So from Physics temperature, higher temperature = higher volume. That tells me it could be above the max now...SHOOOT.

Anyway the good news is that the problems is RESOLVED and it was SIMPLE!!! Under the central console there is the gear selector box. That was supported by some plastic holder that disintegrated so the selector box was VERY slightly out of place. MAKES SENSE!!! A mechanic replaced that support with some silicon and a screw. It win't break anymore...and yes, R and P go in super easily as from the factory...come on, Mazda, that was weak!!!
 
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