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Mazda CX-9 Transmission Problems

canam1212canam1212 Posts: 1
edited July 2015 in Mazda
My 2007 CX9 is having a problem changing from 6 gear down to 5 gear on the freeway. When I am cruising along in 6 gear and I want to accelerate to pass someone. It changes down with a very hard banging , and in one case jumped straight into neutral, at 6o mph. It only does it from 6 down to 5. and not in any other change . The guys at the transmision repair shop cannot find anything wrong with it, because nothing comes up on the computer.
Has anyone else had this problem and know how to fix it?
Thanks for any help Bruce

See also: Transmission Fluid Level Check Mazda CX-9 (2007-2014)


  • I have 2008 Mazda CX 9 has 88,000 miles, well maintain and always up to date with maintainance service. It jerk going up hill especially at cold weather. I brought it to Mazda dealer, I was told it needs a new transmission. Do we have any body outhere who has the same issues as my well - maintained car? Mad - it cost me 6,000 to replace torgue and transmission :(
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    edited June 2012
    First, please name one brand w/o transmission issue.
    CX9 uses transmission from Aisin, who supplies transmission to Lexus/Toyota/Volvo.etc.
    Maybe you should avoid Toyota and Lexus also, "neverbuymazda".
    BTW, $6K for tranny is ridiculous. Don't let people rip you off. You do not need a brand new
    tranny. Get a refurbished one for $2-3K.
    Nowaday, TqC and tranny are in one piece. It might be more expensive then before.

    My old '01 Honda Odyssey had 1st sign of transmission issue before I replaced it with CX9.
    Honda's 5-speed tranny issue was infamous. Mine was a 4-speed, and I replaced fluid every 15K.
    I have been on other Mazda forum for four years. Transmission issue on CX9 is rare.

    Well-maintained? Did you change transmission fluid? Remind you that it is not
    a maintenance item by interval. I doubt you did change the fluid. But, I could be wrong. Maybe you did.

    When you find strange behaviour in gear shifting, the 1st thing to do is change the
    fluid (drain and replace - DO NOT flush). Flushing will cause more problem if you
    did not change fluid often before.
    Flushing causes debris inside to dislodge and causing more issues
    right after. If drain-n-refill does not help, then, you probably need a new transmission.
    get a refurbish one. It usually costs around $2-3K including labour. :(

    P.S. these transmissions have so-called "life-time fluid". Mazda recommends
    inspection and/or change of fluid if "something feels wrong". As a smart owner, you should not believe in anything lasts a "life-time". I don't. I replace fuild
    on a 30K/45K/60K/... schedule. It costs about $150 at dealerships.
  • Hi all. Just purchased a brand new 2012 CX-9 a week ago. Really loving it, I downsized from a 2005 Quest, and I miss the room a bit. But honestly, there's still ample room for our 3 kids, and ease of access is great, not to mention interior finishes which were ghastly on some other cars we were considering. But I digress. The only thing that I'm not loving about this car, and unfortunately it's a big thing, is the weird way the transmission acts. I always put the transmission in regular drive, and thankfully with the gear display I can see exactly what gear the car is in, so I know it's 4th when I have the issue. Happens consistently and regularly. What happens is, if I'm on a very slight decline, I tend to take my foot off the accelerator and just use gravitational force and momentum to carry the car, and save a little gas. But for some reason, I'm experiencing engine braking. If I take my foot off the brake going say, 35 down a very very slight hill, it will start to slow a little, and once it hits 30, I feel MAJOR engine braking, it seriously feels like it's going to stop the car. Once it hits 20, you feel the braking release and the wheels start free moving again. It is really annoying, and not smooth at all. Any thoughts?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Lots of newer cars are using a FULL fuel cut technique to conserve fuel during coastdown periods. Total engine fuel starvation but with sequential downshifting as roadspeed declines to keep the engine turning over above stall RPM.

    As a result of this technique along with a few others automatic transmisison MPG often exceeds stick shifts.
  • I just don't understand how a process like that is fuel efficient. I shouldn't have to actually accelerate down a hill. I should be able to just coast, no?
  • I own a 2009 CX-9 tourning. I have noticed when going downhill if I do not use the brake the transmission will stay in 6th gear. If I use the brake and continue coasting downhill the transmision will shift th 5th gear. I have not noticed it shifting to a lower gear automatically. There must be some logic in the transmission control that wil shift to a lower gear if it determines you are coasting and apply the brakes to slow. This is a guess on my part other than noticing the shiftng of the transmission. The transmission control has likely changes from 2009 to 2012.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706

    FWD and/or F/awd vehicles, traditionally, would not downshift for fear the roadbed might not be tractive enough to prevent loss of directional arising from the use of to much engine compression braking. Once YOU use the brakes that "rule" goes out the window.
  • davichodavicho Posts: 190
    Completely normal operation. The CX-9 is equipped with a "grade-logic" transmission, which uses various sensors through out the vehicle (i.e. abs, throttle position, brake switch, yaw rate, etc) and determines the fact that the vehicle is in a slope and to help the vehicle slow down or maintain a safe speed it down shifts to a specified gear depending on all the inputs from the sensors. The same applies to uphills so that it is not constantly gear hunting.
  • vts747vts747 Posts: 1
    Same exact problem. Seems to happen to all CX-9s I was freaking out during winter driving back in February. Didn't skid or slip, but still felt dangerous. If you break firmly, you won't feel it, but if you coast, it jerks the car. The truck is an AWD, so I hope it won't lose traction when 4th comes suddenly! Had it checked at dealership, they were surprised but the other one they have tested did the same thing. Drove over Donner pass a week ago, car handled well, I actually liked the fact it would keep it at lower gear (3-5) when braking downhill. Just hate that 4th gear premature engine brake when it is least expected.
  • About two weeks ago my cx9 started to make a wining sound. I thought perhaps it was one of my tires since it had a slow leak. Then two days ago I was driving down the highway and my car began to shake like it was going to fall apart. I pulled over and called AAA. I had it towed to a Mazda dealer and found out the drive shaft had pulled apart from the transfer case. I've never heard of something like this happening to a car and I am extremely disappointed. The car has high mileage-137,000, but I keep it maintained. I have been quoted $2500.00 for the repair, is this a reasonable price? Are there rebuilt options that may cost less?
  • Very untypical of me to post reviews etc, but I almost feel that the problem I am having needs to be shared.
    Transfer case failed at 3500 miles Whining sound at low speed (over 3 weeks in the shop…national back order)
    Transfer case failed again at 16,000 miles. Whining sound at low speed
    Transfer case failed again at 16,800 miles. Loud whining sound at low speed
    Whining is still there, but I am now told after Mazda USA contacted dealer, that it is within normal range.
    Mazda USA will not return calls (never has) I have been told by insiders that 2010, 2011, 2012 models all have this problem. Keep in mind that the only issue I had was a whining sound at low speed, not a physical failure, I was told each time that the oil turned in to sludge from over heating. I also understand that you may drive 20-30K miles before it physically breaks, so be aware, if you have one have it checked, if you are buying one....well good luck.
  • 2011 cx9 14 months old, bought new....on 4th transfer case, and for some reason you think they make a great car??? The problem with Mazda is denial and lies, yes I have had issues with other brands, but never was I ignored as bad as I am with Mazda. Mazda USA claims they have no knowledge of any problems, and yet 4 dealers I called all said yes we have a lot of them coming in
  • I am so beyond relieved to have found this forum. Im new as of today due to an incident this morning. Long story short, this morning while driving the car to work, it seized at a red light after starting to vibrate. It then started again only to hear this very loud noise and then started to smoke. Scared, I pulled into a gas station (I know I know but I panicked) only to see men running towards me with fire extinguishers in their hands to put out my car that I didnt even realize was on fire!!!! The bottom was shooting up flames. Thank god no one was hurt. I was to find out later in the day that it was the transfer case. I looked into this a bit only to find endless stories of how this has been an ongoing issue with Mazda. My dealership has confirmed this issue stating they have rectified the problem. I drive my 2 year old twins around in this vehicle and I'd have to be on drugs to ever want to sit in it again especially when reading all of these stories about this being a reoccuring problem!!! I plan on contacting Mazda tomorrow in hopes on getting an answer as to why this was not a recall if they knew it was an issue. If I dont get this vehicle somehow reimbursed, then a law suit will be in play....I want to note this is a 2011 CX-9 and before today I have been nothing but 100% happy with this vehicle....If anyone wants to chat about this privately please let me know. Im sure it helps to know others are going through the same thing
  • towertower Posts: 5
    Hi, thought I'd appeal to the vast intelligence found in this forum on an issue I'm having with my 08 CX-9 base. Lightly accelerating on straightaway, around 30-35MPH, as car shifts into 5th gear, sometimes the whole car shakes. Doesn't happen all the time, mostly when 1st driving the car. Heavier acceleration and the problem does not occur.

    Had dealership check it at 35,000, said they found no codes and couldn't dupe problem. Happens every day I drive it.

    Any insight? Observing the tach, I see RPM goes up while shifting in each gear. When problem occurs, needle seems to bounce around within a range of a few hundred RPM. Almost like it is having difficulty picking a gear, or difficulty committing to next gear.

    Any idea?

  • towertower Posts: 5
    in the interest of information sharing to help anyone else with this issue... took into the dealer, they were able to reproduce problem as problem with torque converter. They recommended a transmission fluid flush, said sometimes it helps this issue. I said, is it covered under powertrain warranty, of course not. Was very skeptical, as this task is not listed in the service intervals. Further, they said Mazda doesn't recommend it. Despite my common sense, I gave go ahead, and $170 later, problem is fixed. I was prepared for a battle after the fluid flush didn't have an impact, but it did, and problem solved. They recommended getting it flushed again in another 45k miles.
  • jxs1jxs1 Posts: 3
    I bought my 2010 AWD Sport CX-9 2.5 years ago. About 6 months ago (at 17K miles), a local shop with good reputation told me the transmission fluid is "a little dirty". Today, when I brought it in for an oil change, I was told now the fluid is "very dirty" and he recommended transmission fluid flush.

    After reading the posts here, it seems flush can do more harm than good, so maybe a drain and fill is better? Should I bring it to the dealership for a check up? It got me concerned since I love the car so far and would like to keep it for long time.

    Thank you.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I just do a simple drain and fill on my cars but I've read that doing a "flush" where the engine does the work is okay. The power flushes using an external machine and maybe some chemicals are the ones that seem to cause the most issues (and may be overkill and just result in flushing your wallet).

    Unlike oil, transmission fluid shouldn't look dirty so a second opinion would be a good idea.
  • susanwesusanwe Posts: 1
    4 days ago it made a funky fluttering noise on the right side of engine. 3 days ago, a high pitched whining started, off and on, then eventually just on all the time. 2 days ago I took it to the dealer who ran a diagnostic and the prognosis? immediate painful death unless entire engine and transfer case is replaced asap. I was stunned. never had any indication, no warning lights no missed oil or fluid changes, nothing. The sales/service tech said the sludge build up damaged everything to such an extent, that changing the oil now would do no good, I was too far gone for that. She also said I HAD to have a new transfer case but could get a used engine- for $8800. or I could get a new everything for $13,000. what a bargain. She was shocked when I said no thanks and came to pick it up. I asked her if this was a common issue with this model and she said no, but she wouldn't look at me as I spoke with her, she just stapled my paperwork with a lot of energy. I took it to another well known respected mechanic in town, who drove it around for 20 minutes and put it up on racks, ran a diagnostic, etc. and he said there was nothing wrong with the engine, I just needed to change the oil, (drain -NO flushing) and yes I did need a new transfer case- ASAP as it looked ready to quit, but a used one from a quality dealer would suffice. as predicted, my reverse went out last night which is the transfer case giving up the ghost so I am prepared to replace that (or just park in meadows). Before that I had the oil changed and it is already driving more smoothly and less deafening. My questions are: is this scope of damage a reasonable occurrence? How can an engine and PTO become so compromised and there not be any indication until complete failure is imminent? How can two mechanics see the same engine and come up with such drastically different conclusions? Why did the dealership service tech tell me I HAD to have a new transfer case when Mazda itself sells used ones on its website? I have purchased two cars from this dealership and never felt cheated or slighted, but that is not the case now. I want to be respectful of the fact that everyone is trying to make a living here and the dealership tech is pregnant and has an eye that is a bit wobbly so I don't want to stress her out, but I feel like I walked in there with a target on my back. Do I contact the owner or GM of the dealership and let him know? Does that do any good- ever? :confuse:
  • ruthc11ruthc11 Posts: 10
    I've posted elsewhere on Edmunds about this. There are known problems with the CX9 drive shafts, transfer cases, and brake bearings. Dig a bit and you'll find all the posts. I have a 2008 CX9 and just spent $4k on these items just to get it moving again. My car only has 79k miles on it and these should not fail. Multiple dealers have admitted these are known issues by Mazda and Mazda is choosing to ignore. Open up your checkbook if you are out of warranty on this one and I'll never buy a Mazda again.
  • timladtimlad Posts: 1
    Just purchased 2013 CX 9. Noticing smooth transition to Drive until vehicle warms up. After that, all shifts to drive from Park. Neutral or Reverse are now alarmingly harsh. Car has 400 miles on it and will be returning to dealer for repair. Post will be updated as needed. Anyone else having this issue?
  • jxs1jxs1 Posts: 3
    Thank you for your advice. Went to a different shop, and they said the transmission fluid is OK for the mileage of the car. Since this shop recommends almost all fluids be "serviced" every 30K miles, I figure it is safe to wait until at 30K...

  • phlips83phlips83 Posts: 2
    I recently purchased a new 2013 CX-9 at the end of this past June in TX. I am experiencing the same exact problem(s) that you are currently having. This problem/issue started when I had around 450 miles on the odometer. I do not experience any issues when the car is cold. After I drive the vehicle and make a handful of stops (grocery store, etc...). The issue/problem appears. It is most noticeable when I come to a complete stop in a parking lot or my driveway, put the car into Reverse, back up while turning the wheel slightly, come to a complete stop, then I put the car into Drive then...........the CX-9 jolts/lurches forward (accompanied by a loud clunk noise/shudder) as if I released the brake pedal for a split second.

    I recently brought my vehicle in for service regarding this issue and the service department informed that what I am experiencing (hearing/feeling) is "Normal" and it is the car "Breaking In". I think they are full of BS. I have never experience this with any other New vehicle that I have owned. Currently, the issue seems to persist (when warmed up) and the noise has gotten slightly louder and all shift positions to Drive especially Reverse to Drive seems more "Harsh" (as you explained it). I plan on calling the service department tomorrow morning to schedule another appointment to get this checked out because something is definitely not right. Please let me know how you make out with your car and dealer service department. Thanks again for posting. I thought I was the only one experiencing this problem.
  • davichodavicho Posts: 190
    Hello guys, wife and I have had our CX-9 since 2009 and it has been fully maintained with complete (11+ qts) of trans fluid evac and fill every 20-25k miles using T-4 fluid from Toyota which is compatible with the tranny (JWS3309 fluid). It is still running nice and smooth (knocking on wood) but this last weekend I was accelerating in a large three lane avenue and when it got to shift into 4th gear it literally slammed so hard into gear it felt as though someone had rear ended us. After that, no codes or no flashing "D" at all and smooth as always...very strange. I have a Touring model FWD and I added an after market hitch. So it didnt come from factory with the towing pkg. Two things to consider...
    1. I did let go of the gas as it shifted into 4th because i was going to slow down up ahead on a red light
    2. I had just dropped off an empty 12' flat bed toy-hauler trailer that I had been using and towing all morning long with about 1000lbs of cargo

    Any thoughts??
  • My wife broke down last week in our 8 month old 2012 CX9. Transfer case and drive shaft failed. Its been 10 days now and we're still waiting for the drive shaft to come in from Canada. I have a feeling its on back order. Never again will I get a Mazda. STAY AWAY!
  • astonlastonl Posts: 1
    Same problem here -- it shifts really hard into D. Shifting from any of P/R/N to D causes the jolt. It doesn't seem to happen when the car is cold, only once it's warmed up a bit. This is a brand new car, too (4 months old, ~4k miles on the odometer). Going to take it into the dealer, but I'm worried they'll just say it's normal or that they can't reproduce it... fingers crossed that they actually do something about it.
  • Here is my timeline:
    7/23/13 - (717 miles) Car clunks/jolts into drive from R/N/P
    Performed: Auto Trans Electronic Diagnosis
    Result: No Change

    8/07/13 - (978 miles) Car clunks/hits hard into drive from R/N/P
    Performed: Shift Shock - Reflash PCM/TCM
    Result: Worked for ~100 miles then problem came back

    8/15/13 - (1214 miles) Car engages harshly into drive from R/N/P
    Performed: Replaced Trans. Control Module
    Result: Worked for ~200 miles then problem came back

    8/22/13 - (1345 miles) Car engages harshly into drive from R/N/P
    Performed: Replaced Trans. Control Module Again
    Result: Worked for ~200 miles then problem came back

    8/26/2013 - Contacted BBB for assistance (Not much help at all)

    9/10/13 - (1792 miles) Car engages harshly into drive from R/N/P
    Performed: REPLACED Automatic Transmission
    Result: New Trans. helped a little but CX-9 still shifted harshly

    9/24/13 - (2290 miles) Car still engages harshly into drive from R/N/P after news Trans.
    Performed: Mazda master tech drove vehicle acknowledged problem but said everything is working up to Mazda's specification
    The new installed transmission created more/other problems: harsh downshifts into 4th gear, clunking/jerking out of 3rd gear, and the CX-9 would rev itself upto 4000+rpms when downshifting.

    Mazda acknowledge the problem was present each time but after the 6th visit to the dealer, they changed their tune and know stated that everything is normal. I lost all respect for Mazda so...The end result: after taking numerous days off from work to get this car repaired, I was fed up. I could no longer put my family at risk in this dangerous/unsafe/unpredictable car so I ended up taking a loss and I traded in the CX-9 in for a different (better) brand. I hope Mazda can fix your CX-9. Best of luck.
  • 1. We have a 2010 CX9 (AWD). While attending my mother's funeral last year (June 2012), a loud rattling sound came from under the car. I had the CX9 towed to Dothan Alabama's Mazda dealership and discovered the transfer case needed replacing. Two weeks later, we returned to Alabama and collected our car (parts & labor under warranty).

    15 months later, I am hearing the same noise coming from under the car. The Marietta Georgia Mazda dealership is telling me it is the transfer case and says my car & part is out of warranty. The info from Dothan AL indicates my car had 45,000 miles when they replaced the transfer case and now it shows 74,000, almost 30,000 in one year in Atlanta way.

    The MAZDA USA customer service and the dealership said they show no known issues with the CX9 transfer case. When I searched on, I find several postings and I see some postings on the Mazda247 site too.

    Is there a more common problem with the transfer case? I bought this car wanting a safe/dependable car for my wife and children. She takes the children to camps, practices/games/matches/church retreats, etc. I cannot be expected to repair/replace a transfer case ($1,800) every year/two years and possibly have her & the children be stranded somewhere.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    We have seen CX-9's with transfer case problems...We don't act like its a big surprise but we also have not seen Mazda ignoring the problem. We have not had any with multiple failures after a repair but I certainly can not speak for every dealer. We have seen cases where the consumer ignored the unusual noises and it led to transmission problems..
    This is not a huge percentage of vehicles but actually a small percentage but when it happens to you it sucks and of course reading a dozen others with the same problem makes it seem like its worse than it is... Other MFG have much larger and wide spread issues but I agree big bills for any car never makes anyone happy..

    Outside of the warranty period the best argument the consumer has is the ability to document 100% of scheduled maint being done at a Mazda dealership. This gives the dealer solid information to help argue your case with the MFG. This applies to all MFG, not just Mazda. Sketchy maint. history with any mfg will not lend itself to assistance outside of the warranty period.
  • the dealer needs to be more responsive when the owner reports an unusual noise - this happened to me - the dealer told me it was "normal road noise" and , of course, this was nonsense because the noise appeared after 25000 non "road noise" miles.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    I understand what your saying....did you ask the dealer to have a tech drive with you in the car to specifically point out the noise and when it happens?? IWhenever we get a "strange noise" complaint we must duplicate it before we can fix it...taking the time to do a road test with the driver of the vehicle is very important. If your dealer won't do this for you, you have the wrong dealer working on your car.
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