is transmission filter/pan serviceable, replace with fluid replacement? on 2001 Mazda Tribute

a) Transmission service: transmission flush (~13 quart) or b) transmission service (filter/pan replace, fluid drained (4qt) Which one is for mazda tribute 2001 V6 4WD? a or b; which one is better, why? 30,000 miles-has tranmission fluid drain (4qt)at local shop 45,000 miles - dealer said, transmission flush (13 qt) required, done at dealer 58,000 miles - 60K major service at the local shop, including transmission fluid drain (4qt) and coolant change 85,000 miles - which one is needed better? my email "maria_tu@yahoo.com"

by in Milpitas, CA on January 11, 2011
2 answers 2 comments
ANSWER by on January 11, 2011
In my opinion, you are over maintaining your vehicle. Every 30k miles is more than adaquate for this transmission to be serviced. I looked up the factory schedule for this vehicle and it said every 150k miles. I personally would not go that long. To answer your question as to what is better: a flush removes all fluid from your transmission where a service with a filter only replaces about 4 quarts, but it does replace a filter which,( in my opinion) is needed only every once every 100k or so. If I can give you any advice: find an honest shop and stick with them. This way they have a record of what services your vehicle needs so they do not get doubled up at another repair facility. Additionally, like a doctor, a good repair facility will be able to monitor changes in your vehicle i.e. brake wear well before it is needed so you can be prepared in the future.
COMMENT by on January 11, 2011
these were recommended by the local shop as I do have regular oil change 3-5K intervals; sometime bring the car to the dealer for circle check. It is insisted at dealer (45K miles) that it should have three more services besides 45K maintain schedule: transmission flush, power steering flush, fuel service. I did these at the dealer as I read many horrible stories, especially transmission failure without any warning. I just replaced the frond brake pad and rotor recently. Rotor was shot (bad) without any warning (at 77K miles, check brakes at dealer, it is said GOOD; then suddenly three months later - 5K miles later when I had oil change, the local shop said my front brake and rotor need to be replaced. At first, I was doubt it, double check it again at another local shop for second opinion; and it turned out it's true. Oops, rotor change might not be necessary if the dealer really performed the check.) Right now, the local shop suggested to do transmission service at next visit (90K) oil change. I have not checked with dealer yet (but pretty sure, they would say the same thing); however, I checked with another local shop. Both of the local shop suggest to do transmission but one with a and one with b. So I am confused; how do I know which one to do? I do not want to pay $$$ when my transmission not working. Basically, I would like to know if the 2001 Tribute V6 has transmission filter/pan serviceable (or it is inside; in order to change it, the transmission has to removed? as I read on some of the web page.). If it is true (i.e not serviceable, then the shop saying to change the transmission fluid is correct.
ANSWER by on January 11, 2011
To answer your question directly: The CD4E transaxle does NOT have a pan or a serviceable filter. You are able to remove a drain plug and drain 3.9 quarts of fluid. The fluid can then be added to bring it to the full level. The transmission would indeed need to be removed and the case halves separated to do anything. There is only a screen inside this unit, not a disposable filter. Fluid exchange is the best method of service on this transaxle. Drain and fill, like many manufacturers suggest, only refresh some of the fluid, which is better than nothing at all, and serves to maintain a low price point for vehicle servicing - something that is desirable for a car manufacturer. They want prospective car owners to know their vehicles are "cheap" to maintain. Replacing ALL the fluid is a solid, proactive method of transmission servicing. Great questions, great job on your research. Finding a reliable service facility or dealership is sometimes tough to do. Consistency is everything. Relationship building is everything. Having your Full Circle inspection every time at the Mazda Dealer gives you a way of monitoring progress of tire and brake wear. This way there are fewer surprises during ownership.
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COMMENT by on January 12, 2011
thank for your info.