How to check Mazda automatic transmission fluid level

DIY guide on how to check lever and add automatic transmission fluid on Mazda cars including Mazda 3, 5 , 6, CX5- CX-7, CX-9 Protege, and Tribute. How to add Mazda transmission fluid. Below you will also find the recommended Mazda transmission fluid type and alternative Automatic Transmission Fluids (ATF).


Symptoms of low transmission fluid level

If your Mazda transmission fluid level is low you may experience shifting problems. Don't continue to drive your Mazda is you expect that the level is low or you may damage the automatic transmission. 

If your transmission fluid level is low you may notice one or more of the following symptoms. 

  • Transmission slips
  • Car won't move when placed in gear
  • Sluggish transmission shifting
  • Transmission surging
  • Delayed gear engagement
  • Erratic gear shifting
  • Car won't shift
  • Overheated transmission fluid

How to check Mazda automatic transmission fluid level

Warm up transmission

Drive your vehicle for at least ten minutes and bring it to a complete stop and set the parking brakes. This will allow your Mazda transmission fluid to warm up.

how to check transmission fluid level on a Mazda 5 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Step 1

Ensure your Mazda is parked on a level surface. Ensure the parking brake is set. Shifter in Park. 

Step 3

Let the engine idle.

diy instructions on how to add transmission fluid on mamo

Step 4

Open the hood.

Step 5

Locate the transmission dipstick at the back of the engine.

Step 6

While the engine is idling, pull out the dipstick. Clean the dipstick and reinsert it.

how to add automatic transmission fluid on Mazda

Step 7

Pull the dipstick. Make sure that your Mazda transmission fluid level is between the Full/Max and Low/Min level marks.

Step 8

If the level is below the Minimum mark, add half a quart/litter via the same tube you used to check the level. Only used the recommended Mazda transmission fluid that is mentioned in your owners manual. You will need a funnel for this. Check the level again. Add more automatic transmission fluid if necessary but do not overfill above the Max / Full mark.



 Always check that there is at least some fluid in the automatic transmission before you start the car or drive it to warm it up. Follow the same procedures as if you were going to check the transmission fluid but with the engine turned off. When you pull the dipstick, the level doesn't have to be above the Min/Low mark but it needs to show that there is at least some automatic transmission fluid in the transmission.

Always check the transmission fluid level by following the exact procedure as outlined in your owner's manual. Below you will find a list of additional tips, in case you car manufacturer missed them.

  • Make sure your vehicle is parked on a level surface.
  • Always engage parking brake. 
  • Make sure the fluid level is not extremely low. If the automatic transmission fluid level is extremely low you may cause damage to the transmission. 
  • Do not drive or keep the car running if there is no indication of transmission fluid on the dipstick. 

These instructions were written to help owners on Mazdas manufactured during these years: 

  • 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
  • 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

How to add automatic transmission fluid on a Mazda

Adding transmission fluid on a Mazda is a simple procedure.

  1. Park your Mazda. Set the parking brakes. Move the shifter to Park position. 
  2. Open the hood. 
  3. Remove the dipstick. The automatic transmission dipstick is located next to the battery. 
  4. Use a funnel to insert it into the dipstick tube. 
  5. Add half a quart of Mazda Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF). 
  6. Recheck the fluid level again.
  7. If the level is above Min mark and below the Max mark of the dipstick you are done. If it is below, add more fluid. If it is above the Max mark you need to remove the extra fluid or risk causing damage to the automatic transmission. 

Make sure to add the recommended Mazda automatic transmission fluid or a compatible alternative. Mazda recommends Mazda ATF MV transmission fluid (also referred to as M5 ATF or Mazda V). Mazda MV ATF is not the same as Mercon V or Dexron automatic transmission fluid, a common misconception. Don't use Mercon or Dexron transmission fluid on a Mazda or you will start experiencing shifting problems after a few months. 

Mazda Transmission Fluid

One of the most common transmission fluids used in Mazda is Mazda MV ATF. A few alternative transmission fluids that are compatible with Mazda MV ATF are: 

  1. AMSOIL Synthetic ATF
  2. Mobil 1Synthetic ATF
  3. Valvoline Maxlife Multi-Vehicle ATF
  4. Schaeffers
  6. Nippon Oil Eneos ATF Fluid

Always check with your owners manual to verify the correct type of transmission fluid used in your Mazda.



J, 2018-12-31

Klondike synthetic atf in Canada also works

yearn3, 2019-10-07

thanks a lot,guide and information.
we have a question regarding my old mazda 323 model 1994 glx 16valve dohc engine. what is the compatable ATF fluid?

By YOUCANIC on Mar 7, 2019


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