Mazda Transmission Repair and Replacement Cost

It’s worth knowing how to maintain the transmission on your Mazda 3 or CX-5 SUV: Mazda transmission repairs can cost up to $6,300.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Transmission costs can be pricey, no matter how reliable your Mazda is. Depending on the model you drive and how severe the issue is, your bill can range from low (for minor repairs) to very high—especially if you have to replace your transmission, which can cost as much as $6,300.
Mazda vehicles are known for their overall reliability and practicality, as well as their good looks and driving verve. From the practical and fetching
Mazda CX-5
SUV to the nimble and svelte
Mazda 3
hatchback, these Japanese vehicles are a great blend of value, style, and power. But transmission issues can nag at even the most reliable brands, including Mazda, with model years between 2010 and 2016 being the worst offenders.
, the
car insurance
super app, has put together this handy guide to Mazda transmission problems, plus how much it will cost to repair the problem—or, in the worst case scenario, spring for a new transmission. We’ll also give you tips on how to save on your
Mazda car insurance costs
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How much does a Mazda transmission repair cost?

The cost of repairing a transmission on a Mazda can vary widely. A transmission fluid change is relatively cheap, costing roughly $150. On the other hand, a full-fledged transmission replacement can cost anywhere from $1,800 to $6,300.
Of course, if your transmission fails, you won’t have much of a choice but to replace it with a new (and expensive) one. That said, that is not the only transmission-related cost you can incur when owning a Mazda. Here are some common repairs: 
  • Transmission fluid change: From $150 to $180
  • Transmission speed sensor replacement: From $180 to $310
  • Transmission oil switch replacement: From $170 to $200
Odds are, the majority of any transmission problems with your Mazda will be on the relatively-cheaper end. That said, replacing a transmission can easily be one of the biggest Mazda-related costs you will incur. With Mazda transmissions usually lasting between 100,000 and 150,000 miles, and the average Mazda having a lifespan of up to 300,000, you could very well be looking at a transmission replacement during your Mazda’s run.

What does a transmission do?

As you probably suspect, your Mazda’s transmission is pretty important—it’s responsible for sending the correct amount of power to each wheel, no matter the speed. Your transmission does this by automatically shifting gears, or manually doing so (with an assist from you, dear driver).
Modern Mazdas are equipped with the Japanese automaker’s SKYACTIV transmission, either the SKYACTIV-Drive (automatic) or the SKYACTIV-MT (manual). Just two models sold in the U.S. offer the SKYACTIV-MT (manual) transmission—the
Mazda3 hatchback
and the
Mazda MX-5 Miata

Is it cheaper to repair or replace a transmission?

Replacing your transmission is the most expensive type of transmission service you might need for your Mazda. 
The most expensive type of replacement service is swapping out your failed transmission with a genuine, new Mazda transmission. Depending on the model, this can cost anywhere from $1,800 to $6,300. 
A cheaper option is to replace your failed Mazda transmission with a rebuilt transmission, which can cost up to $1,100. You may also potentially be able to swap in a transmission from a salvage vehicle. A salvage transmission can cost anywhere from $800 to $1,500, but the quality of a rebuilt or salvage transmission can vary widely. You might even have to replace it sooner than you’d like.
A remanufactured transmission, which is a rebuilt transmission by Mazda technicians according to manufacturer specifications, can run between $1,900 and $4,800. 

Does it cost more to repair a manual transmission or an automatic?

For the most part, manual transmissions are cheaper to repair than automatic ones. Manual transmissions have simpler constructions and fewer parts, meaning they’ll cost less and take less time to fix.
For the average range of transmission prices, you’ll likely pay closer to the lower end to replace a manual Mazda transmission like the one on the Mazda 3. By contrast, it will be much more expensive to replace an automatic transmission on a Mazda CX-50 SUV.

Common Mazda transmission problems

Despite being renowned for their reliability, Mazdas are known to encounter transmission problems. Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with such a problem, bit if you do, the following are common transmission issues that are known to crop up with Mazdas:
  • Gear slippage
  • Erratic or rough shifting
  • No reverse after transmission fluid change
  • Missing 4th or 5th gear
The silver lining to these transmission problems is that they often (but not always) have a common cause—leaking or low transmission fluid. Your transmission needs fluid in order to keep its many parts moving smoothly, and to avoid damage from heat and friction. It is vital to get annual transmission fluid flushes as well as routine fluid checks to ensure your Mazda’s transmission is in good shape.

What year Mazdas have the most transmission problems?

Not all Mazdas are created equally, both in good and not-so-good ways. There are a few Mazda models known for their transmission problems, unfortunately. Here is a list of Mazda vehicles with the most documented number of transmission issues, as reported to 
  • 2010 Mazda3
  • 2012 Mazda3
  • 2014 Mazda6
  • 2015 Mazda CX-5
  • 2016 Mazda CX-5

Signs your Mazda transmission is going bad

Here are some of the most common signs that your Mazda transmission is having a problem operating at peak efficiency.
  • Erratic gear shifts: if your shifting is erratic or off, this is a sign your transmission control unit is going bad and needs to be replaced.
  • Weird smells: If you notice a sickly sweet smell upon entering or exiting the vehicle, it could be a sign your transmission fluid is leaking—check underneath your Mazda for a red, pink, or brown puddle, as that’s another clue. 
  • Odd sounds: If you hear a knocking or clunking sound while changing gears, this could be a loose or broken transmission mount.
  • Transmission slips: If you notice your transmission slipping while driving, this is a sign of a problem. It could be as simple as a gear missing a tooth or two, or it could signal a bigger problem, so it’s best to get it checked out right away.

What to do if your Mazda transmission fails

If you suspect there is a problem with your transmission, it is best to get your Mazda checked out by a professional. Whether you take your Mazda to an independent mechanic that you trust or a Mazda dealership, you want to get a transmission problem taken care of before it causes significant problems. Even a common issue such as leaking or low transmission fluid can cause serious damage to both the transmission and the engine if it isn’t repaired quickly. 
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How to maintain your Mazda transmission

The best way to ensure your Mazda transmission is in top form is to take your vehicle for regularly scheduled maintenance, and of course, regularly check your Mazda’s transmission fluid.
Contaminated or low transmission fluid can cause transmission damage and overload your Mazda, straining the drivetrain. Luckily, there are a few things you can to do ensure this doesn’t happen:
  • Check your transmission fluid monthly.
  • Only use the type of transmission fluid as recommended by Mazda.
  • Do not change gears on an automatic Mazda while driving.
  • Replace the transmission filter on a regular basis.
  • Give your Mazda a minute to warm up before driving.
  • Be sure to get your transmission inspected annually.
  • Don’t overload your Mazda.
Regularly checking up on your transmission can extend its lifetime, not to mention your car’s overall lifespan!

How to check transmission fluid

If you’re quaking with fear about the idea of checking your own transmission fluid, have no fear—Jerry is here. That’s right, checking your transmission fluid is easy! First, turn the car on and give it a minute to warm up. Now, follow these steps:
  • Locate the transmission dipstick—you should find it to the right of the oil dipstick (if you can’t find your transmission dipstick, just check your owner’s manual)
  • Remove and dipstick and touch the fluid—move it between your forefinger and thumb, making sure it is red and mostly clear, with a pinkish hue—if it's dirty or gives off a weird smell, take your Mazda to a dealership for service
  • Wipe off the dipstick with a rag and place it back into the tube, then pull it out again—check it again to see the level. If it's below the Full marking, you’ll have to top it up
  • Use a funnel to add more transmission fluid, without overfilling
Your Mazda’s transmission fluid should be mostly clear with a red color (or with the aforementioned pinkish hue). If your transmission fluid is dirty, or black or brown in color, this means it's either old, contaminated, or both—you need to replace this fluid.
Now we did mention red transmission fluid with a slight pinkish hue, but if your transmission fluid is light pink, this indicates a problem. Likely, your transmission fluid has been contaminated by coolant or water, which can cause serious damage. If this is the case, take your Mazda in for service as soon as possible, as you might need to replace your transmission.

How to save on Mazda insurance costs

Staying on top of your Mazda maintenance schedule is a good way to ensure your vehicle stays in good working order and, hopefully, keeps your costs down. Another way to keep costs down? Use
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