Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Pretty new car that’s now broken

asked by on

I drive a 2009 Mazda3 with an automatic transmission that recently had the entire transaxle fail. I do not drive aggressive, in fact I am very easy on this car. I don’t know how a piece like this could fail after just 70,000 miles. I am disappointed, this is going to be an expensive repair. What can I do, maintenance wise, in the future to keep this transaxle well maintained?

A: Hello, having a transmission that fails is ...

Hello, having a transmission that fails is definitely one of the more costly repairs. The only maintenance that can be done is replacing the transmission fluid and filter. Most people prefer an automatic transmission that has a smooth shift between each gear. The smooth shift ultimately results in a shorter transmission life. To get that smooth shift the transmission control unit is programmed to let the transmission slip longer and with that comes accelerated wear. What wears is the friction material on a clutch disk. The friction material is only a few thousandths of an inch thick and can be on one or both side of the clutch disc. A clutch pack is made of multiple discs in an alternating pattern of friction disc, steel disk, and friction disc with the number determined by the manufacturer. When the clutch material has worn off the clearance becomes too great and the transmission slips or won’t engage into gear. If the transmission was programmed to give a firmer shift the life would be extended.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Fuel Pump shuts off when filling

This is likely related to your EVAP emissions system and something called a purge solenoid. The EVAP system prevents fuel vapors from the fuel tank from escaping into the atmosphere. The EVAP system collects and temporarily stores the fuel vapors...

Q: Erratic shifting

Hello. It would appear that these 2 problems may perhaps need to be addressed separately. If these problems began after you replaced a sensor, then it may be possible that the problems are related to the repair. I would recommend...

Q: Kicking sound in Reverse

It sounds like you are having a problem with a motor or transmission mount, allowing the engine to move when you are in reverse. The kicking sound may be the engine hitting the hood or the firewall. I would recommend...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.