Question about 1994 Mazda MPV

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Auto transmission will not engage in DRIVE gear when starting.

When first starting engine and engaging in Drive, the vehicle often slips back into neutral and often requires 2nd or 1st gear to drive forward. After the MPV has warmed up the Drive gear will work (92 MPV Mazda 4WD with overdrive 4 speed gearbox. It was suggested that perhaps when the oil filter was last changed a LONG bolt was used to refasten the filter instead of a SHORT bolt and this damaged an internal switch that has something to do with the transmission. Does this make any sense?

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  • Anonymous Mar 30, 2014

    no reverse, forward gears ok,feels like transmission engages when put in rsverse but vehicle will not move.

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IT IS THE STRAINER INSIDE THE PAN IN THE TRANSMISSION,WHEN ITS COOL THE FLUID IS TO THICK TO TRAVEL AND GRITTY TO GO THROUGH THE STRAINER SCREEN,BUT WHEN THE TRANNY WARMS THE FLUID ITS THEN ABLE TO FLOW THROUGH THE SCREEN AND SHIFT PROPERLY.

Posted on Feb 06, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Heres the symptoms : engages but slips in reverse and drive, sometimes feels like partial brake applied. I have manual 1st and 2nd. When engaged in drive, you turn off overdrive and you can spin the...


it may be a bad transmission modulator valve located on the side of your transmission,vacum operated. a sudden downshift or forward shift when unexpected is sign of a bad modulator valve or a vacum leak to the transmission.best to shop around for a garage w/references when it comes to transmission work though. check all the vacum lines to your transmision,you need to look on the underneath side of your truck on the side of transmission for a loose or disconnected vacum line on the side of the transmission. when you feel the vacum line,follow it to the top of engine,the vacum line is about 3/8th line,and may be disconnected or losing air. to make this short,when you drive the car,start out in low gear and shift the transmission,manually from 1st to 2nd to 3rd does it do right with no slipping? if it does this right and shifts great manually,the modulator valve on the side of the transmissions bad,or a bad vacum leak in-between.thank you for choosing fixya.com

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Only reverse works. No foward gears.


No forward movement in OD or D, but L2, L1 and R work: Forward sprag is broken. R&R. Try not to run or drive the car or further damage could result.

Do you have manual 1st? If so, can you shift through the gears...i.e. manual 1st to manual 2nd then 'D' then 'OD'??? Only 1st and 2nd gears use the forward sprag unless the LO/Rev clutch is engaged...i.e. 1st and 2nd if in "drive". If you can shift threw the gears manually then, yes, your forward sprag broke.

If no manual 1st then your sprag is not what broke. Sounds like you blew up the rear planet. If you pull the pan and find chunks of iron and steel, then that is probably what happened. If you have reverse then it is not the pump. If the pump was bad you would have no line pressure and it would slip in rev. or no rev. Not the beef sun shell either because you have rev., a broken sun shell would cause no 2nd, 4th and rev. gears. Either way the trans needs to come out and torn down and it will be easily found what went. Good luck and thank you for using Fixya.

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Its the electronic shift control located just under the battery ontop the transmission replace or repair will solve the issue

it'll go into drive but once it reaches 1500 rpm it'll drop into neutral as a safety because at this rpm it is being told to shift gear and when it fails to do so it safely goes into neutral

it will go into reverse just fine and park and you can run all the low drive gears until you reach 1500 rpm then it'll cut it off

i pulled mine out re soldered bad components on the board to fix it but im an electronics engineer it may be easier for you to just replace it

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