How to change the oil in the automatic transmission Mazda 3. Technology and ATF selection
How to change the oil in the automatic transmission Mazda 3. Technology and ATF selection

How to change the oil in the automatic transmission Mazda 3. Technology and ATF selection

Since 2003, the Mazda 323 has been replaced by a new generation of C-class sedans, station wagons and hatchbacks, the Mazda 3. With the new generation of the car comes new technology and new maintenance issues. Such was the case with the Mazda 3. How to change the oil in the automatic transmission, what is the best oil to use and whether it is necessary to change the liquid in the automatic transmission in principle, we are finding out right now.

Do I need to change the oil in the automatic transmission Mazda 3


Theoretically, the manufacturer allows the automatic machine to be operated without an oil change throughout the life of the vehicle. The only exception would be to open the box for repairs. Does this mean that the automatic is so reliable that it can grind up dirt and chips?

Of course, it doesn’t. It’s more profitable for any manufacturer to replace a unit as expensive as the automatic transmission on the Mazda 3 than to have to deal with its repair and maintenance. As consumers, it’s far more beneficial for us to take care of the transmission and delay its death as much as possible.

mazda atf

Yes, it is necessary to change the oil, and the more often the better. All the more, it does not cause any difficulties. Change of oil in automatic transmission may be done in two ways – full replacement or partial, and even a novice driver can easily cope with it. There is no regulation of replacement as such.

Nevertheless, taking into account the experience of experienced Mazda owners, it makes sense to change the fluid once in 50-70 thousand runs. By this time, the oil gradually changes from lubricant and coolant for a box into grease, saturated with dirt, abrasive particles, and even shavings; the fluid completely loses its properties and slowly starts to kill the box. One conclusion is that the oil in the Mazda 3 automatic must be changed.

What oil to use in an automatic transmission Mazda 3

щуп акпп
The oil quality can be checked with a dipstick and a clean cloth. If the fluid is completely discolored, brown and visibly suspended, the oil must be changed

As many owners as there are opinions. Some are ardent adepts of branded Mazda oil and are willing to overpay, just to comply with the factory recommendations. Others are more far-sighted and wise, selecting an oil not worse than Mazda’s with observance of factory tolerances. Here is what the manufacturer itself advises to pour into the automatic transmission:

  • Mazda Original Oil ATF M-III;
  • Mazda Original Oil ATF М-V;
  • Mazda Original Oil ATF FZ.

table atf
Manufacturer’s recommendations for transmission oils for automatic transmissions

Types of automatic transmissions Mazda 3


In order to understand the difference in these oils and their application, let’s briefly understand what kind of automatic transmission is on Mazda of different generations, and the type of oil you pour depends on this:

  1. Automatic transmission FN4A-EL. It was installed on the first generation trikes of the BK series (2003-2009). The same box under the name 4F27E in the Ford catalog was installed on several models of Ford with an engine capacity of 1300-2000 cc. Hydromechanical 4-speed automatic, easy to service and undemanding in operation.
    Автомат FN4A-EL
  2. FNR5 by Mazda standards or 5F27E by Ford specifications. In fact, the same box, but for 5 ranges, has been produced since 2005 for 2-2.5-liter engines. Again, these boxes are structurally very similar.
  3. FS6A-EL began to be installed on the third-generation BMs in 2013. The gearbox differs from the previous ones in that it has 6 gears, otherwise the design is identical.
    Activematic automatic transmission selector
  4. Activematic, it was a special automatic transmission that gave the opportunity to use the advantages of manual and automatic transmissions as desired by the driver. In both manual and automatic mode, the gears are shifted with minimal delay.
  5. SKYACTIV-Drive is one of the latest developments by Mazda engineers. It is an advanced automatic transmission that allows the clutch to be fully locked in any of the six gears. Gears are shifted faster and smoother than in the classic hydromechanics, resulting in better dynamics and fuel savings of 5-7%.

How to find a replacement for original Mazda automatic transmission oil


What is our point? And to the fact that each of the manufacturer’s recommended oils is desirable to pour into automatic transmissions of a certain generation. For the first three boxes, you can use Mazda ATF M-V, they are almost identical by design.

If you can not find the original oil, you can easily use fluids with Ford specifications, as they are the same units. Consequently, you can use both Ford Mercon-V and General Motors Dexron IV.

Dexron from General Motors
[stextbox id=’info’]It is important to keep in mind that under no circumstances should the oil be mixed. During self-replacement we do not drain absolutely all oil, so the fresh oil inevitably mixes with the old one.

Sometimes it can threaten with sedimentation, clogging of different oil types and additives, and as a consequence, death of a box. You should use only that type of oil which you have used before. If you do not know what kind of oil is in the automatic transmission, you will have to change the ATF completely.[/stextbox]

The fourth type of oil, ATF FZ, is designed only for Skyactiv gearboxes. It is quite a complex unit and it is difficult to find a suitable replacement for the brand oil. In addition, this AT is very difficult to repair and a mistake in the choice of transmission fluid can cost a good penny.

Plus, the automatic transmission filter in Skyactiv-Drive is integrated into the construction of the box and you have to disassemble the whole unit in order to replace it, and it is necessary to change the filter.

Brands and models that have been approved by Mazda


All of the transmission oil brands listed below should get along well with the Mazda 3 automatic transmission, but it is still necessary to check the approvals for the specific model of automatic transmission when buying.

  •  Dexron VI;
  •  Toyota T-IV;
  •  Volvo1161540;
  •  BMW 7045E;
  •  Nissan Matic D, J, LT 71141, JWS3309;
  •  Honda Z1;
  •  VW/Audi G-055-025-AZ;
  •  Ford Mercon V, MB236.6, MB236.7, MB236.8, MB236.9, MB236.10;
  •  Mitsubishi/Hyundai SPII , SPIII;
  •  Chrysler ATF, ATF3+, ATF4.
[stextbox id=’info’]Again, mixing fluids from different manufacturers is extremely undesirable, except in an emergency when you need to slowly get to the service station.[/stextbox]

Меняем масло в АКПП на Мазда 3

фильтр акпп
The filter must be changed along with the oil

We already know that changing the oil in the Mazda 3 automatic transmission can be done either partially or completely. Below is the technology of partial fluid replacement with your own hands. This method is good because you can change the oil yourself and without additional equipment.

The bad thing is that not all ATF comes out of the box, about 60% of the old fluid remains. For a complete change you need special equipment and about 10 liters of oil, depending on the box model.

For a complete oil change requires special equipment, which is not available not every service station

The oil is changed according to this algorithm:

After that warm up the engine, switch the selector several times, drive for 10-15 minutes, let the oil drain out and check the level with the dipstick. If necessary we add more oil. After 200-300 km run repeat the check. In this way you can change the oil in the automatic transmission Mazda 3 with your hands. Have a safe transmission and sunny roads!

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