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Mazda MPV Transmission Problems



  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Noise coming from the engine area or the wheels (front or back)? Does it change when you apply the brakes?

  • I bought my automatic 2005 Mazda MPV new and have put over 50,000 miles on it. For about 1.5 to 2 year it has been slipping at times when it goes from 2nd to 3rd gear. It only did it ever now and then to start off with. Usually when one of my boys would drive it and then if I drove it again. My son and his wife use it everyday right now to go to work and take their children to daycare.It has gotten worse and I have taken it to a shop twice now, each time the mechanic test droves the van, but it won't slip when they are driving it. They tell me there is nothing they can do because they don't know what it is doing. The first mechanic I had test it, was at the place where I got the car, however he lives over an hour from here. I had him test it about 2 month ago. today I had a transmission place test it again. I am afraid it will leave me or my kids with the grand babies and then I will also have a repair bill. was told by someone that the van has a memory chip that gets used to me driving it and then when someone else drives it, it will want to shift at the same time. I have had other people say "no that is not true". Has anybody else had the same problem. Oh and by the way when I took the van the first time it had a little over 35,000 miles and not quite 5 years but they said the warranty had expired. I love my van and haven't had a whole lot of trouble with it, and I would like to nip this in the butt before it becomes worse. I read all the forums and people have wrote similar things. Makes me nervous. I was hoping I wouldn't have to buy another vehicle. Any suggestions?
  • budmantombudmantom Posts: 33
    I had a transmission issue with my 04 I think the issue is called "shift shock", our MPV would shift into 2nd or 3rd extremely hard, so I'm not sure we have the same issue but I took our van to Mazda and they re-flashed the computer and that solved the problem (it took them two tries) now our MPV shifts flawlessly. I thought that this issue was resolved on the 05 and 06's, your van does have "learning" computer so MPV owners have had transmission issues resolved for a short time until the computer re-learns certain shifting patterns.

    You may want to visit and try posting your question, they have a lot of knowledgeable people on that forum.

    All the best,

  • donateditdonatedit Posts: 1
    edited March 2010
    A tale of two Mazda's:

    1991, 323, MANUAL 5 speed, 4 cylinder. My brother bought it as a salvaged vehicle in the mid 90's. Gave it to me (free) in 2004. It is still rolling on at 19-1/2 years with 180,000 miles.

    2002 MPV AUTOMATIC 5 speed, V-6. Paid $24,000 out the door. Dead transmission and being donated at 8 years with 108,000 miles.

    Speaks for itself doesn't it.

    Sadly this is a very clean, very well cared for MPV. A fine car with the exception of the #$&* transmission!!! I guess we are the fortunate ones. We actually made it to 108,000 miles before it died. (info below)

    I'm the kind of guy who fixes all my stuff. I was going to attempt to fix this tranny issue too. But, it got rediculous when I couldn't even get to the connectors for the solenoids (hidden under wires and hoses that don't move or flex), much less get them apart. From there I just stared in anger at the rest to this vehicle. Vertually NOTHING is acessible.

    So, what is the point. Great I fix the tranny. So what. Have any of you seen the radiator hose configuration on this van. Probably not. Vertually all the hoses are so burried you can't see where they end even with the battery out and a flashlight!!! This is not the typical upper/lower hose setup. There are multiple hoses and plastic splitters etc. that I'm sure they had difficulty getting on at the factory with the engine out.

    My new mantra - NO more V-6's and NO more Automatic transmissions (we are migrating to a Civic, manual 5 speed).


    I replaced the fluid twice at 40,000-ish and 90,000 miles. At about 35,000 miles I noticed it was getting brown. At 90,000 it looked fine, but I replaced it anyway. I removed a cooler hose and ran the fluid (engine running, in gear) into a marked bucket. I added as much as came out. A poorman's power flush. This helps to insure the fluid in the convertor, valve body etc. get exchanged fluid.

    My wife was rearend at 107,000. A few hundred miles later the "push from behind feeling" from the transmission started. I don't tink the two are related. I drove the car 100+ miles and never felt it. Then all of a sudden it happened (and perpetuated) on the freeway and the O/D light started flashing.

    I did a lot of searching. There is a piston that cracks and might be the cause. I've also heard solenoids and pressure control valves in the valve body.

    This is a good article describing the problem and possible causes:
    The Jatco JF506E, JA5A-EL or 09A transmission found in Land Rover Freelanders, Volkswagen Jettas and GTIs, Mazda MPV and Jaguar X-Type models was introduced in the 2002 model year and has been adopted by several manufacturers.

    The widespread use of this transmission means that there are tons of them on the road and they are now making their way to transmission repair shops- at least the ones that were not replaced by the dealerships under warranty.

    Some of the problems being seen with this particular unit include valve body wear in the torque converter clutch regulator and pressure regulator valve bore areas, which can result in a loss of torque converter clutch operation, transmission overheating, high or low line pressure and delayed engagements into forward or reverse.

    Other causes of delayed engagement can be attributed to a worn low clutch drum bushing. A worn bushing will allow the drum to misalign and damage its Teflon sealing rings. This problem can also cause falling out of gear at a stop or a slipping upon acceleration from a stop.

    One extremely common problem with The Jatco JF506E / 09A unit is a cracked reverse piston. A cracked piston can cause one or more of the following complaints: no reverse, a slipping reverse, a poor shift from second to third an elongated shift into fourth or fifth gear, and in some cases, no third, fourth, fifth or reverse.

    Fortunately, while these transmissions certainly have some issues, there are corrections for this long list of complaints.

    Firstly, there are oversized pressure regulator and torque converter clutch regulator valves available which enable a transmission rebuilder to machine and restore the valve body to "better than new" condition and prevent future transmission problems related to valve body wear. This operation requires some specialty equipment to perform. Many transmission repair shops don't have the capability to rebuild the valve body in house and are forced to buy a very expensive new or remanufactured unit and pass the price on to the customer.

    Delayed engagement resulting from a worn low clutch drum is easily fixable by replacement of the drum or replacement of the worn bushing. Replacing the bushing, however, is a specialized "hone to fit" operation which should only be performed by a transmission repair facility that has the right equipment to properly complete this operation. This goes with the same caveat- if your transmission shop can't perform this operation in house, the cost of a new component is certainly going to raise the total cost of the transmission repair.

    Lastly, the cracked reverse piston situation is going to require replacement of the failed part with a new one. The replacement component has been strengthened at the manufacturing level in the area where it would crack. The upgraded part seems to be a permanent fix for this particular complaint. Fortunately, the price of a new and upgraded reverse piston is fairly inexpensive; especially considering it should never fail again.

    While you may have a vehicle with a transmission whose design may be less than perfect, don't fret- a successful repair is usually in the cards if you are able to find a repair facility with the expertise to correctly and thoroughly repair your transmission.
    Author Resource:-
    Joe Sirugo is co-owner of Trans Specialties and has been in the transmission repair industry for over 20 years

    This site is limiting my post. I'll end with the fact that there are manuals, diagrams etc. available with a search.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Thanks for the info. Do you think more frequent trans fluid flushes would help?

    I did my first trans flush around 27k. Fluid looked pinkish brown. Second flush was around 50k miles.
  • bg25520bg25520 Posts: 2
    90,000 mi. Previously had some symptoms of it not shifting correctly. While driving recently transmission died totally when coming to a stop, would not go in any gear. Took to transmission shop and was told that it would cost $2500 to repair. Love the van and never any other problems with it! We hope it can get repaired at a lesser not want to replace vehicle. Anyone know where we can take it to a reliable repair garage in the Leesburg, FL area? Thanks
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    The shop say what specifically was wrong with it? Usually a rebuilt trans. is around 4 grand.
  • rgb2rgb2 Posts: 30
    I had similar symptoms in my 04. Took it to the dealer who updated firmware of the transmission control unit. The slip is still there but happens way less often, mostly when I am rolling to a stop and suddenly floor it, which I try to avoid :)
    I thought 05 model came with the updated firmware.
    It does have a "learning" transmission. See if this helps.
    1) Do a transmission fluid flush.
    2) Disconnect the battery for a few minutes to force it to "re-learn".

    Let us know how it goes.
  • bg25520bg25520 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the feedback. It is now in the shop again, after spending almost $2,000 for a re-built we were lucky to find a reasonable garage. It started 'growling' and they said to bring it back in. Don't know how long it will be there again. Decided to sell it though, so if anyone is's going to be a good clean car once it's fixed.
  • 05cosmicmpv05cosmicmpv Posts: 2
    edited May 2010
    I too have a 2005 Mazda MPV, with low miles, around 37k. I have it in the shop today, as there appears to be an odd transmission slip. Seems that when shifting around the speed of 40, the van sometimes does not want to shift up in gear. More gas just displays a higher RPM range on the tachometer but does not produce any higher speeds. It seems to want to get into gear but can not at times. Reducing speed seems to allow it to get in gear but this is not normal. This did seem to throw an engine light/code that is unknown to me, as of the moment. This all happened, just today and has never done this in the past. Let's see what the dealership states.

    Considering the mileage on this car and the posts I have read thus far, it certainly sounds like there is an engineering opps from Mazda/Ford here.

    I am now an un-happy Mazda owner. Nobody should see issues with a car under 50,000 miles.

    >> Anyone have any insight to this issue or end all fix/resulting resolution?

    :sick: or maybe a :lemon: only time will tell.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Anyone have any insight to this issue

    How often do you check your trans. fluid? Have you had it flushed yet?

    My 2004LX with 70k miles had trans fluid looking dirty at around 23k miles. Had it flushed then, and again around 50k miles. If not flushed may have been a contributing factor in current problem.
  • Had a 2002 LX that experienced much of the tranny issues documented in this thread. Had it reflashed back when it was new. Kept up with maintenance. It still experienced hard shifts periodically, but it kept going until...

    We were on a trip in the NC mountains in April and I had the cruise control set while on the highway. When we hit the first grade that required a downshift from OD the tach took off toward redline! We were able to complete the trip, but any time that downshift occurred it was nothing but slippage.

    Had it checked by our local mechanic. No codes plus that slippage = shot trans. Estimate for installing rebuilt was ~ $3,500 (more than the vehicle is worth).

    Another MPV bites the dust...
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Wow, you've been a member for 9 years and this is your first post?

    The rebuild price is a lot better than some others I've seen. What other repairs/issues have you had? If you can get a good warranty for the trans repair, may be worth taking a second look.

    Also, I don't care to use the cruise control much, the thing has a heavy lead foot and will accelerate too hard. Probably not a good idea to use in the mountains.
  • javemsjavems Posts: 1
    My Mazda 2003 van's transmission began slipping from 2nd to 3rd and then would catch with a thud. The transmission people said a rebuild would be $2400 to $2800. By chance I filled up with a tank of gas without ethanol. It quit. I filled up with with my regular gas with ethanol, it started again. I have been ethanol free, and problem free, for a couple of months now.
    I'm not a car guy nor do I have issues with ethanol. It may be a coincidence.
    For what it's worth.
  • sramamur1sramamur1 Posts: 21

    We have noticed engine vibration when our 2003 MPV (158k kms or ~ 100k miles) is idling at traffic lights or at the parking lot. Vibration would get stronger with longer idling time and the whole van will be shaking.

    Took it to the local Canadian Tire store (we are from London, Ontario, Canada) and the techs could not read any codes from the van's computer. Either the van's computer is not working properly or the sensors are not sending out any fault codes.

    They replaced the spark plugs and did the engine flush, but the vibration is still there and the tech can feel it while driving. Now they think that the pulley (where timing belt is) is cracked and is going to replace the pulley and the sensor behind the pulley. They are not sure whether this will solve the problem.

    Because they cannot read the codes, they are guessing and changing parts they think causing the vibration problem. I did the engine tune up only last month and hence not sure what is the real cause of the vibration issue.

    Could this be related to the transmission slowly fading away?

    Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much,

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    a typical suspect for this symptom (engine running rough) is one of the coils (one on each spark plug) and/or the PCV hose. Both will cause a rough idle, sometimes less noticeable than other times too. And most often it won't trigger a CEL, seems it has to be pretty major to do so, or after impacting one of the O2 sensors.

    Check your plugs, wires, and coils, and the PCV hose. While you're at it, check the MAF and IAC and inspect the air box tubing. Typically the rear bank of coils are more prone to act up, but all are fair game.

  • sramamur1sramamur1 Posts: 21
    Thanks so much Brian. I need to replace the cracked pulley first and, if the problem still persists, I will ask the mechanic to check the the PCV hose and the coils. We have recently replaced the spark plugs and my mechanic tells me that IAC may not be the issue. MAF also needs to be looked into.

    Thanks again, Sridhar.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    I'd say the idle air control valve. It's an easy do it yourself... sits right on top ($50).

    I probaby wouldn't be taking my MPV into a tire store for repairs. Doesn't sound like they know what they are doing.
  • sectionviiisectionviii Posts: 4
    edited June 2010
    I have a 2002 Mazda MPV (bought used about 18 months ago) and I just got the dreaded hard shifts that feels like someone rear ended me (unfortunately, I have been rear-ended a couple times in my driving career).

    It's back in the same shop that my wife had taken the van to replace the battery. I would have replaced the battery myself but I had to work and she needed the car before I got back from work. It seems strange to me that a battery replacement would be the cause of this transmission problem. Even if the computer needs to reset and adjust, it shouldn't be THAT hard of a shift. The hard shifts happen between 1st and 2nd (hardest shift), 2nd and 3rd, and 3rd and 4th (this one feels like a hard down shift followed immediately by a moderately hard up shift). I didn't check 4th to 5th as the first several were enough for me to take it immediately back to the shop.

    My wife originally wanted to keep it at the shop since the transmission acted up the moment she went to drive it out of the shop parking lot but the technician said it was okay and that it would go back to normal after a short bit. Well, it didn't go back to normal in the 2 miles I drove it from my house, the gas station, and then back to the shop.

    Is this the end of the transmission? Or did I not "wait" long enough for the "computer to reset/adjust"?

    EDIT: The O/D Off light flashes continuously even after I try to turn it off. According to the manual, it's an electrical/transmission problem of some sort. The shop hasn't called back to tell me what codes turned up if any.
  • 05cosmicmpv05cosmicmpv Posts: 2
    edited June 2010
    Appears that the throttle position sensor will totally make an impact here. This was replaced, I had the transmission flushed (not just drained but flushed), and new fluid placed back in. MiniVan is running and shifting just fine at this time.

    It is recommended to have the system flushed every 35k miles. As I have been told by the dealer and small repair shops, that it is better to do the maintenance or have it done for for 100-200 bucks than the $4000k for repairs. As most new transmissions will last so long as it is not clogged with material (metal, gunk from wear parts.)

    I'm thankful I didn't have a big repair job here. Good luck guys. MPV is happy again :)
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