Last post on May 08, 2012 at 4:17 PM
You are in the Mazda 626
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Mazda 626, Sedan
#919 of 2044 Mazda 626 Transmission Service
Nov 14, 2001 (10:25 am)
My 1999 Mazda 626 (4cyl)has about 53k flawless miles on it. No mention in owners manual about transmission service. I've received conflicting info. from 2 different dealers. 800# for Mazda service said only change fluid if it becomes discolored. I believe in preventative maintenance. I'd drop the pan and change the filter but one Mazda service manager told me NOT to do that if car is shifting good. Said it could cause problems with the 4cyl transmission. What's a guy to do?
Nov 14, 2001 (12:04 pm)
That's out of the Motor's Estimating Guide. Just call around, some dealers mark-up beyond MSRP, some go below.
Nov 14, 2001 (12:22 pm)
After I complained about the high prices yesterday, today he called and told me the job was about $30 less than he had estimated.
So my whining paid off, a little bit.
The service was pricey but I still think that $1200 total in out-of-pocket repair bills is pretty good for 6 years and 70k miles.
It does tend to justify an extended warranty, though.
Have the ATF flushed at the 60k service. I've heard prices of around $100 or less, while a tranny costs 20 times that amount to fix.
Nov 14, 2001 (5:17 pm)
It's mounted vertically and will fall on its side, and you still won't be able to get to the filter. (No, I don't know why Ford built it this way.) As Juice says, get it flushed at 60k, maybe earlier if the appearance of the fluid warrants. Last time I had this done, a dealer charged me $110; you can probably find it cheaper.
#923 of 2044 Transmission Flushing
Nov 14, 2001 (8:02 pm)
I flushed our Oldsmobile Silhouette mini-van with
70k miles on it. It shifted fine until I had it flushed. Now it shifts hard. Every mechanic (other than those with the flushing machines) I've talked to since has told me to never flush - just drop the pan. Any of the transmission shops around here seem to back that up. Evidently, a lot of their business is a result of these flushing machines. One said it can fowl the valve bodies.
Nov 15, 2001 (8:46 am)
I only drive 5 speeds, and the two gear oil changes I've done have only made shifting easier. In both cases I went to synthetic, so on cold mornings the difference is noticeable.
Nov 15, 2001 (8:53 am)
On the other hand, you could make a pretty good case that a transmission that fails after a flush is merely succumbing to the inevitable a few days earlier.
The CD4E, however, offers no options; the pan literally cannot be dropped. It doesn't work. There is no way to change this fluid other than to flush it. And the filter is completely inaccessible without major disassembly.
#926 of 2044 Windowphobe 6 - Thanks!
Nov 15, 2001 (4:36 pm)
I read some of your other posts. How is a muck like me supposed to know burnt fluid from good fluid? It all smells a little burnt to me - even the stuff in my wifes van thats only got a couple of hundred miles on it. My local Mazda dealer doesn't have a flush machine - no wonder they discouraged me from any preventative maintenance on my 626. Could a good Ford/ Mercury dealer take care of this since some of their vehicles share the same tranny? I hate to mess with it while it runs so good - but I do have 53K highway miles on it. Couldn't hurt to have it changed. I also have a 100k Mazda warranty on it but don't want them to renig if I take it somewhere and have it flushed and they say "thats not in the manual!"
Nov 15, 2001 (5:01 pm)
While you should always check the level when the transmission is hot, I've found it more useful to check the smell when it's cold - easier to spot traces of oxidation, at least with my none-too-wonderful nose. Your mileage may vary.
Ford's own advice for the CD4E, swiped from a Contour manual, is as follows:
"Under normal vehicle operating conditions, transmission service (transmission model CD4E) is not required unless 5,000 mile fluid inspections reveal either contamination or discoloration of fluid, or transmission exhibits functional concerns."
They're not too worried about it, in other words, but you ought to be eyeballing the ol' Dexron on a regular basis, before you start getting "functional concerns". If it doesn't look like it's the color of Luden's Wild Cherry, you're due for a change. And if you show up at a Lincoln/Mercury dealer, they may be so surprised that you know it's the same tranny bolted into the Mystique that they'll forget to overcharge you. (Well, maybe not, but it's worth a try.)
Nov 16, 2001 (11:19 am)
I'll be in the market for a mid size sedan. As it will be primarily a commuter (probably 90% of its miles) and I have kids who always need something, I was looking to keep it around $16,000. I know this limits my choices, but I had to draw a line somewhere. Anyway, a local dealer is advertising a 2002 626 LX with the power goodies, automatic and sunroof for about $15,700. I was wondering if there were any thoughts on buying one as I have not heard many great things about this 4 cylinder engine (performance wise, not reliability wise) and I know this is the last year for the 626. Thanks for the feedback.