Mazda 323/626/929/GLC/MX-6/RX-7 1978-1989

Automatic Transaxle

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Only front wheel drive vehicles are equipped with an automatic transaxle; rear wheel drive vehicles are equipped with a transmission.

FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



Mazda automatic transaxles prior to 1987 use Type F fluid only. Do not use Type A fluid, as the fluid characteristics affect shifting and may cause damage to the transaxle clutches. On 1987-89 vehicles, only Dexron®II or M-III fluids should be used in automatic transaxles.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figures 1 and 2

The automatic transaxle dipstick is located on the left front side of the engine. Check the fluid level every 4,000-7,500 miles (6,441-12,077 km) on vehicles through 1982. On later models, check the fluid level at 7,500 miles (12,077 km), and then again at 30,000 miles (48,309 km), 60,000 miles (96,618 km) and so on.

There are two ranges indicated on the dipstick of some models. One is labeled COLD and the other HOT.

To check the fluid level when the transaxle is cold (when the car has been sitting overnight), proceed as follows:

  1. Start the engine and allow it to warm up for at least two minutes. Firmly set the parking brake and block the wheels. Move the selector lever through all gear positions, then put it in Park.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Withdraw the dipstick and add fluid through the filler tube. The fluid level should be between the L and F marks.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: On some models, both COLD and HOT fluid ranges are marked on the dipstick

  1. Remove the dipstick and wipe it with a clean cloth.
  2.  
  3. Reinsert the dipstick.
  4.  
  5. Withdraw the dipstick again and note the level. (On dual range dipsticks, be sure to read it on the COLD side.) Add fluid as necessary. The difference between L and F is about 1 pint .
  6.  

The procedure for checking the fluid level when the transmission is hot is the same as above, except that the reading should be taken on the HOT range side of the dipstick.

DRAIN AND REFILL



See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Raise the car and support it securely on jackstands. Place a large drain pan under the drain plug on the lower part of the differential.
  2.  
  3. Using the correct size socket or open end wrench, remove the drain plug. (Apply upward pressure on the drain plug until you can remove it.)
  4.  
  5. Once the fluid stops draining, reinstall the drain plug.
  6.  

The entire fluid capacity cannot be drained through the differential drain port. To completely drain the transaxle, remove the oil pan after draining the differential.

  1. Position a large drain pan under the transaxle's oil pan. Loosen the bolts along the forward edge of the pan (including the ones in the corners at the front) as far as they will go without coming out of the housing. Then, remove all the other pan bolts.
  2.  
  3. Carefully and slowly pull the rear edge of the pan downward to break the seal with the gasket. Tilt the pan downward gradually, so you can drain the fluid in a controlled manner.
  4.  
  5. When you have lowered the pan as far as it will go, support it by the center and remove the remaining bolts. Then, lower the pan carefully and drain the remaining fluid.
  6.  
  7. Although not required, it is a good idea to replace the transaxle oil strainer (filter) whenever the fluid is drained. Unbolt and remove the oil strainer and O-ring seal, if so equipped. Discard the strainer and replace with a new one. Be sure to also use a new seal.
  8.  
  9. Wipe the pan clean of all deposits, then carefully clean both gasket surfaces.
  10.  

Do not scrape the gasket surface of the transaxle with a sharp scraper; this could scratch the surface and prevent proper sealing.

  1. Install a new gasket with the pan as follows:
    1. Coat both sides of the gasket with sealer and align the gasket holes with those in the pan. (The sealer will help keep the gasket in place on the pan.)
    2.  
    3. Align the holes in the pan/gasket assembly with those in the transaxle case, install the bolts, and tighten very gently.
    4.  
    5. Torque the bolts in a crisscross pattern to 3.5-5 ft. lbs. (5-7 Nm).
    6.  

  2.  
  3. Remove the drain pan and lower the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Working from above, remove the dipstick and refill the transaxle with the specified amount of fluid through the oil filler pipe. (Please refer to the Capacities chart in this section.) Install the dipstick.
  6.  
  7. Run the vehicle until the transaxle reaches normal operating temperature, and shift through all gear selector positions. Recheck the fluid level with the engine running and replenish as necessary.
  8.  
  9. After about a day of use, crawl under the car and make sure there are no leaks in the area of the pan gasket or drain plug.
  10.  

PAN AND FILTER SERVICE



Oil pan gasket and filter service should be performed when the transaxle fluid is changed. Proceed as follows:

Fluid Pan
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Place a large drain pan under the transaxle's oil pan.
  4.  
  5. Remove the pan attaching bolts, except for those at the front. Loosen the front bolts slightly.
  6.  
  7. Pull the rear edge of the pan downward to break the seal with the gasket and allow the fluid to drain.
  8.  
  9. Remove the front pan bolts, then remove the pan.
  10.  
  11. Remove and discard the pan gasket.
  12.  
  13. Wipe the pan clean of all deposits, then carefully clean both gasket surfaces.
  14.  

Do not scrape the gasket surface of the transaxle with a sharp scraper; this could scratch the surface and prevent proper sealing.

  1. Install a new gasket with the pan as follows:
    1. Coat both sides of the gasket with sealer and align the gasket holes with those in the pan. (The sealer will help keep the gasket in place on the pan.)
    2.  
    3. Align the holes in the pan/gasket assembly with those in the transaxle case, install the bolts, and tighten very gently.
    4.  
    5. Torque the bolts in a crisscross pattern to 3.5-5 ft. lbs. (5-7 Nm).
    6.  

  2.  
  3. Remove the drain pan and lower the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Working from above, remove the dipstick and refill the transaxle with the specified amount of fluid through the oil filler pipe. (Please refer to the Capacities chart in this section.) Install the dipstick.
  6.  
  7. Run the vehicle until the transaxle reaches normal operating temperature, and shift through all gear selector positions. Recheck the fluid level with the engine running and replenish as necessary.
  8.  

Filter
  1. Remove the transmission oil pan, as previously described.
  2.  
  3. Remove the four attaching bolts and the filter assembly. Some models use an O-ring seal with the filter. This seal should also be replaced.
  4.  
  5. Install the filter and torque the bolts alternately (diagonally) is several stages to 4-5 ft. lbs. (5.5-7 Nm).
  6.  

 
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