Mazda ATF FZ - Factory fill removed and tested at 208k

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Hey BITOG,

I have always been interested in "lifetime" transmission fluid fills. I think they are bogus. I spent some time as a quality engineer in an AT plant and I became even more convinced that they are bogus. At any rate, I purchased a 2014 Mazda 6 in late 2019 with 208k miles on it and it was on the factory ATF fill. The shift quality and health of the AT was the biggest thing that made me reconsider this car after the test drive. The shift quality was poor with some shifts being delayed then harsh. I ended up purchasing the car anyway because the deal was just too good to pass up. One of the first things on the to-do list was was to get that old fluid out and get a sample off to Blackstone. The results of that sample are below.

Since replacing the ATF (4x drain and fills) the shift quality is improved to what I would expect a new vehicle to feel like. Now at 228k miles, I still am very satisfied with this transmission.
 

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Thanks for posting. Has either the report or the overall experience altered your thinking about lifetime ATFs in any way?
 
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Blackstone actually had some glowing remarks for the state of the fluid as far as wear metals go. Viscosity was a bit off.

Did you replace the transmission filter?
 

Jimgineer

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Honestly, the report was much better than I expected given the age of the fluid. I expected to see much higher wear metals. Shift quality was wacky. I still think lifetime fluid is a silly concept. That being said, I don't think I could make an argument that leaving this fluid in for 208k had any permanent ill effects.

The filter was changed with the fluid.
 
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Hey BITOG,

I have always been interested in "lifetime" transmission fluid fills. I think they are bogus. I spent some time as a quality engineer in an AT plant and I became even more convinced that they are bogus. At any rate, I purchased a 2014 Mazda 6 in late 2019 with 208k miles on it and it was on the factory ATF fill. The shift quality and health of the AT was the biggest thing that made me reconsider this car after the test drive. The shift quality was poor with some shifts being delayed then harsh. I ended up purchasing the car anyway because the deal was just too good to pass up. One of the first things on the to-do list was was to get that old fluid out and get a sample off to Blackstone. The results of that sample are below.

Since replacing the ATF (4x drain and fills) the shift quality is improved to what I would expect a new vehicle to feel like. Now at 228k miles, I still am very satisfied with this transmission.
I just bought a 2016 6 GT.
Did the same thing. With the last fill using lubegard platinum.
Highly recommend the stuff. Shifting improved across the board.
 

Jimgineer

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Congratulations on your 2016 GT!

I am glad to hear the Lubegard is working out for you. I am a total purist when it comes to ATF in cars with very specific callouts. I pretty much always run plain OEM fluid, my Mazda is no exception. They do kill you on the ATF FZ pricing though...
 
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Congratulations on your 2016 GT!

I am glad to hear the Lubegard is working out for you. I am a total purist when it comes to ATF in cars with very specific callouts. I pretty much always run plain OEM fluid, my Mazda is no exception. They do kill you on the ATF FZ pricing though...
I did run the FZ mazda fluid. I wanted so something that was proven to cool our transmissions.
The factory cooling leaves little to be desired.
 

Jimgineer

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Funny you should mention that, I am working on an adapter plate for mine to run a magnefine filter and a traditional cooler. I'm currently waiting on a knockoff cooler from china to use as a template for the adapter plate to give a fluid in/out from the transmission.

They do seem to run hot, long highway drives here in SC put me up to ~210F just cruising 75-80.
 
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I know...that's hot....even when you are not driving it hard.
I am still under extended warranty so no add ins for me.
Good luck with yours.
As soon as it's over I'll be throwing on a magnefine.
As a side note I have seen a 10-15 degree temp drop since adding the lubegard platinum....
 

Jimgineer

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Wow, that is impressive! Two questions for you, how do you track your temperature? How does your ATF temp compare to your coolant temp once everything is warmed up and steady-state?

As far as the Magnefine, I love them and ran them on my CR-V most of its life, that car shifted like new when I sold it at 340k, never any trans work other than maintenance. Unfortunately on the Mazda, you have to run some type of custom adapter plate to run a Magnefine because the ATF cooler is bolted to the trans, there is no place to get access to the fluid (lines, etc..) without modification.
 
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You are correct about those lines...at least they are on the front of the trans.
I use a scan code reader and an infrared thermometer on the pan belly after a long drive.
Magnefine has been on every after warranty car. Great filters with the new SS case.
Have fun
 
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I see 205 - 209F ATF temps driving down the highway in Arizona summer heat with my ‘15 6.

If you make or buy an adapter plate, I’d be interested to possibly get one, too.
 
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Funny you should mention that, I am working on an adapter plate for mine to run a magnefine filter and a traditional cooler. I'm currently waiting on a knockoff cooler from china to use as a template for the adapter plate to give a fluid in/out from the transmission.

They do seem to run hot, long highway drives here in SC put me up to ~210F just cruising 75-80.
My 2005 Silverado 4L60E trans usually runs below 200 according to my torque pro app. It takes much longer to get up to temperature compared to the coolant temp. Often it doesn't go over 160 on a drive but a long easy drive will be 180ish. Lots of stop and go or shifting it can hit 200. No towing, just a lot of weight in the back (equipment, steel survey bars etc).

This is the only vehicle I've been able to see transmission temperature.

I also changed the factory (most likely) flood at 190k miles. It shifts slightly better with the new fluid (full flush with synthetic multi vehicle fluid). I didn't have the app with temperature until after the fluid change.
 
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Funny you should mention that, I am working on an adapter plate for mine to run a magnefine filter and a traditional cooler. I'm currently waiting on a knockoff cooler from china to use as a template for the adapter plate to give a fluid in/out from the transmission.

They do seem to run hot, long highway drives here in SC put me up to ~210F just cruising 75-80.
This an adapter plate that apparently is used to flush the transmission (or rather, to fluid-exchange the atf). Me, I would never use external equipment as part of a fluid exchange; in fact, only drain /drop / refills for this kid.

In any case the graphic shows the captured o ring details.

Side comment: YMMV but I would never run a full-flow filter on the line. I would only run a tight media bypass filtration arrangement. Many times cleaner atf + no chance of a clogged filter grenading the trans.
 

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pbm

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I did run the FZ mazda fluid. I wanted so something that was proven to cool our transmissions.
The factory cooling leaves little to be desired.

I've run Lubeguard Red in every A/T I've owned for the last 25 years for that very reason (cooling).

I believe that the 'Platinum' LG is used as a 'converter' (ie: convert Dexron III into a fluid suitable for SPIII, Honda Z1 etc...)
I think LG Red is what's recommended when you are using the specified fluid.
 
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I've run Lubeguard Red in every A/T I've owned for the last 25 years for that very reason (cooling).

I believe that the 'Platinum' LG is used as a 'converter' (ie: convert Dexron III into a fluid suitable for SPIII, Honda Z1 etc...)
I think LG Red is what's recommended when you are using the specified fluid.
I contacted lubegard directly. They recommend the platinum with my oem fluid.
I asked why platinum they said if was their newest technology it is not just a converter.
I usually use their red product.
I prefer their platinum in this case.
 
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Platinum is also a protectant with much newer tech compared to lubegard red.
I put the platinum in my 1980s gm 2004R overdrive transmission with the (overdue for a change) dexron 6. My observations are that it did not slip or blow up while doing some towing with a heavy foot this past month. The transmission has around 260k miles.

I can't say whether it did anything, but I figured it couldn't hurt since I didn't have the $ to do a full flush and the car is getting sold and drivetrain swapped soon anyway.
 

pbm

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Platinum is also a protectant with much newer tech compared to lubegard red.

I contacted lubegard directly. They recommend the platinum with my oem fluid.
I asked why platinum they said if was their newest technology it is not just a converter.
I usually use their red product.
I prefer their platinum in this case.


That's good to know......I may call them the next time I change my ATF. Thanks..
 
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