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2006 Mazda3 Grand Touring hatchback, 5-speed AT
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Discussion Starter #1
While changing the ATF today in my 2006 Mazda3 Grand Touring with the 5-speed Auto transmision, I was surprised/horrified to see an open notch at the bottom of the transmission. I can see inside-- I'm seeing a gear of some sort. 馃槼 My first thought is, This can't be right-- or even factory-done. It looks like it should have a plastic or rubber cover around it (that has since fallen off). With it open like this, road grit, salt, and rain can get inside. I bought the car a few weeks ago with 230,000 miles. The car runs great (testament to Mazda durability and engineering!). I'll attach a photo and let the resident Mazda3 experts weigh in. While the photo may suggest someone cut it out with a metal saw, I don't think that's the case; the cut is too perfect. And if they did cut it, out... why?! 馃 Last, there is nothing leaking from the hole and the ATF level stays where it should. It's quite the puzzle.

106012
 

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Relax, while I strongly suspect that is a factory inspection port, I've never worked on any Gen1 Mazda3s with automatic transmissions. Regardless, all you're seeing is the starter ring gear around the torque converter, so a total non-issue.
 

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While changing the ATF today in my 2006 Mazda3 Grand Touring with the 5-speed Auto transmision, I was surprised/horrified to see an open notch at the bottom of the transmission. I can see inside-- I'm seeing a gear of some sort. My first thought is, This can't be right-- or even factory-done. It looks like it should have a plastic or rubber cover around it (that has since fallen off). With it open like this, road grit, salt, and rain can get inside. I bought the car a few weeks ago with 230,000 miles. The car runs great (testament to Mazda durability and engineering!). I'll attach a photo and let the resident Mazda3 experts weigh in. While the photo may suggest someone cut it out with a metal saw, I don't think that's the case; the cut is too perfect. And if they did cut it, out... why?! Last, there is nothing leaking from the hole and the ATF level stays where it should. It's quite the puzzle.

View attachment 106012
That鈥檚 for sure factory but had a rubber grommet there. Prolly the access hole for the flywheel bolts.


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2006 Mazda3 Grand Touring hatchback, 5-speed AT
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Discussion Starter #4
That鈥檚 for sure factory but had a rubber grommet there. Probably the access hole for the flywheel bolts.


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I'm sure you're right; a rubber plug has fallen off. I'm going to JB Weld a small piece of aluminum from an old license plate over it. There's no way it was intended to be left open like that. I can already see some rust and corrosion forming on the gear. It's wide open to the elements of rain, road salt, and grit.
 

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There will always be rust and corrosion on the gear, regardless of whether the plug is there or not.
 
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