Mazda CX-3 Transmission Fluid Capacity

In the bustling world of subcompact SUVs, the Mazda CX-3 stands out for its sleek design and blend of performance, efficiency, and luxury.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Role of Transmission Fluid: Transmission fluid is vital for lubricating the components of the transmission, facilitating gear shifts, and preventing overheating. A well-maintained transmission fluid ensures optimal vehicle performance and extends the lifespan of the transmission.
  2. Fluid Type & Compatibility: It’s crucial to use the manufacturer-recommended transmission fluid type for the Mazda CX-3. This car requires the Mazda Genuine ATF FZ for its 6-speed automatic transmission, and the Mazda Long Life Gear Oil G7 for its manual transmission.
  3. Transmission Fluid Capacity: The specific fluid capacities for the Mazda CX-3 vary slightly between the 1st Gen (2016-2018) and the 1st Gen Facelift (2019-Now). Always ensure you fill to the recommended level to avoid overfilling or underfilling.
  4. Replacement Intervals: Under regular driving conditions, consider replacing the transmission fluid every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. However, if the vehicle undergoes severe conditions, more frequent changes, around every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, might be necessary.
  5. Cost Implications: Changing the transmission fluid at a Mazda dealership might cost between $150 to $250, whereas an independent mechanic might charge between $100 to $180. Always shop around for the best balance of quality and price.
2019 Mazda CX-3

Introduced in 2015, the CX-3 splashed by bridging the gap between everyday urban vehicles and adventure-ready crossovers.

What made the Mazda CX-3 so distinct in the market was its ability to offer the functionality and roominess of an SUV, while retaining the agility and fuel efficiency of a compact car.

Mazda, a brand known for crafting vehicles with the soul of a sports car, brought to the CX-3 a unique zoom-zoom character, making it an instant favorite among driving enthusiasts.

The CX-3’s rise in popularity also ushered in the 1st Gen Facelift in 2019, highlighting Mazda’s commitment to refining and adapting to consumers’ evolving tastes.

With sharper styling, advanced tech features, and enhanced driving dynamics, the facelifted version continued to uphold the legacy of its predecessor.

The Essence of Transmission Fluid in the CX-3’s Journey

For any vehicle, the heart might be the engine, but the transmission is its nervous system. Ensuring that this system functions smoothly necessitates a thorough understanding of the transmission fluid’s capacity and type, especially in models as fine-tuned as the CX-3.

Transmission fluid plays a pivotal role in keeping the transmission system cool and lubricated. For the Mazda CX-3, with its commendable performance capabilities, using the right type and amount of transmission fluid is paramount.

It not only ensures that the SUV delivers its signature smooth drives but also guarantees longevity and minimizes potentially expensive repairs.

2016-Now Mazda CX-3 Transmission Fluid Capacity

Ensuring the right transmission fluid capacity is vital for smooth gear shifts, preventing overheating, and overall optimal performance.

Here’s a breakdown of the Mazda CX-3’s transmission fluid capacity for both of its generations:

1st Gen (DK) – 2016 to 2018

  • Automatic Transmission:
    • Total Capacity: 7.8 L (8.2 US qt, 6.9 Imp qt).
    • Transmission Fluid Type: Mazda Genuine ATF FZ.

For the Mazda CX-3’s first generation, it primarily came with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

1st Gen Facelift (DK) – 2019 to Now

  • Automatic Transmission:
    • Total Capacity: 7.8 L (8.2 US qt, 6.9 Imp qt).
    • Fluid Type: Mazda Genuine ATF-FZ.
  • Manual Transmission: 1.70 L (1.80 US qt, 1.50 Imp qt).
  • Fluid Type: Mazda Long Life Gear Oil G7.

The facelifted version maintained the 6-speed automatic SKYACTIV-Drive transmission.

It’s important to note that these are estimated values, and there can be slight variations based on factors such as the specific model variant, production month, or region.

Always consult your Mazda CX-3’s owner’s manual or a certified mechanic for the most accurate information.

Regularly checking and maintaining the right transmission fluid level ensures that your Mazda CX-3 runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

When to Replace Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid plays a pivotal role in keeping your vehicle’s transmission system operating smoothly. Over time, however, this fluid can degrade and lose its effectiveness, potentially leading to a range of transmission issues.

2021 Mazda CX-3

To keep your Mazda CX-3 in optimal condition, it’s crucial to recognize the right time for a fluid change.

For most modern vehicles, including the Mazda CX-3, manufacturers generally suggest the following intervals:

  1. Regular Driving Conditions: Replace the transmission fluid every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. ‘Regular’ typically denotes a mix of city and highway driving without frequent towing or driving in extreme conditions.
  2. Severe Driving Conditions: If the vehicle often operates under taxing conditions – such as constant stop-and-start city driving, mountainous terrains, or towing heavy loads – you might need to replace the transmission fluid more frequently, around every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.

Signs Indicating Fluid Replacement

While mileage is a good baseline, it’s equally crucial to be aware of the symptoms that indicate deteriorated transmission fluid. Here are some signs:

  1. Slipping Gears: If your transmission unexpectedly changes gears or has difficulty staying in gear, it could be a fluid-related issue.
  2. Delayed or Rough Shifting: If there’s a noticeable delay when changing gears, especially from ‘Park’ to ‘Drive,’ or if shifts are more jolting than usual, it might indicate old or low transmission fluid.
  3. Unusual Noises: If you hear grinding or whining noises when the vehicle is in gear, it could be a sign of low or contaminated fluid.
  4. Overheating Transmission: Transmission fluid keeps the system cool. Overheated transmission can signal degraded fluid and can lead to significant damage if not addressed.
  5. Cloudy or Dark Fluid: Check the fluid regularly using the dipstick. Fresh transmission fluid is usually a translucent red. If it’s dark, cloudy, or has a burnt smell, it’s time for a change.
  6. Dashboard Warning: Some modern vehicles, including the Mazda CX-3, may have a transmission fluid warning light on the dashboard. If it lights up, it’s a clear signal to check the fluid and other transmission components.

Cost of Changing Transmission Fluid

The cost of changing the transmission fluid in your Mazda CX-3 can vary based on several factors, including your location, the type of fluid used, labor rates, and whether you choose a dealership or an independent mechanic.

Here’s a general idea to give you a ballpark:


  1. Pros: Dealerships specialize in the brand they sell, so technicians will be well-acquainted with Mazda vehicles. They often use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts and fluids. Many owners prefer dealerships for peace of mind, especially if the vehicle is still under warranty.
  2. Cons: Typically, dealerships charge a premium for their services compared to independent mechanics.
  3. Estimated Cost: On average, a Mazda dealership might charge anywhere from $150 to $250 for a transmission fluid change. This estimate includes the fluid, labor, and any other associated fees.

Independent Mechanic

  1. Pros: Independent mechanics usually offer services at a more competitive rate than dealerships. If you have a trusted mechanic, they might offer personalized service and may also be willing to use parts or fluids provided by you, further reducing the cost.
  2. Cons: Quality and expertise can vary. While many independent mechanics are highly skilled, they might not specialize in Mazda vehicles, so it’s essential to choose a reputable mechanic.
  3. Estimated Cost: For a Mazda CX-3, an independent mechanic might charge anywhere from $100 to $180 for a transmission fluid change. This estimate includes the fluid, labor, and other associated fees.


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