Question about 1997 Mazda Protege

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1997 Mazda protege LX 1.5 automatic transmission

I just purchased a 1997 Mazda Protege LX with 110,000 miles on it. It has a very hard shift from 1st to 2nd gear, but all the other gear shift properly. I just had a transmission service complete on the vehicle. New gasket, filter and fluid. Still does the same thing. I might try a transmission fluid flush with some lucus transmission oil to sdee if it solve the problem. If not, I am going to try a tranny shop. I have no DTC's or trouble codes. I don't want to make the problem worse.

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  • Harris Pepper
    Harris Pepper Aug 04, 2009

    No just me who thought your comments were poor. You would never rebuild a automatic transmission. Why not?? A genuine mazda tranny is not new. It is a reman unit. I know this as a fact. If you work for mazda then you would know this.

  • Harris Pepper
    Harris Pepper Aug 05, 2009

    I work for Mazda as a service writer. I have been master certified for the past 5 years. In all my time, I have never ever heard or seen a new factory unit. When I went to "mazda school in New Jersey, they even stated that the unit are remanufactured and that the only time they are "brand new" is off the assembly line.

  • Harris Pepper
    Harris Pepper Aug 05, 2009

    OH BTW.. had the computer scanned today.. Absolutely no DTC's. When I had the tranny service last week the fluid was clean with very minor amounts of metal (all trannys give some metal in the pan after 15-30,000 miles).

  • Harris Pepper
    Harris Pepper Aug 05, 2009

    Ahhh a technician.... basically a person who does not fix right the first time but suggests services that a customer does not need to make their weekly time

  • Harris Pepper
    Harris Pepper Aug 08, 2009

    Nah sorry boss... We are #1 in the NY/NJ tri state area in CSI. I have worked at 5 dealerships and all mechanics are the same. Best wishes.. the problem was fixed on the tranny, but not because of a solenoids. Try check mazda tsbs next time. Might help you in diagnosing next time.

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Our 1997 Mazda Protege has shifted hard 1st to 2nd since it was new. Now has 130,000 miles on it and still shifts hard. We learned to let up slightly on gas shortly after taking off, let-er shift and reapply throttle. Did the trans flush around 80,000 miles with no change in shifting.

Posted on Dec 14, 2010

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You are going to need a transmission shop. Mazdas do not always throw codes. You have an early OBD transmission, which do not send out many codes.

Posted on Aug 03, 2009

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  • Romy Kettlewell
    Romy Kettlewell Aug 04, 2009

    Sorry you didn't like the bad news, but I work on Mazdas every day, and even I would never attempt to rebuild the automatic transmission. The early OBD's were bad about transmission solenoids going out suddenly. Oh well...

  • Romy Kettlewell
    Romy Kettlewell Aug 05, 2009

    Mazda U.S.A. does not allow their technicians to rebuild their automatic transmissions. Mazda sends them out to the transmission shop where they are rebuilt. We do not touch them, only diagnose them based on their symptoms. Yours sounds like a solenoid.

  • Romy Kettlewell
    Romy Kettlewell Aug 05, 2009

    Yes you can order a brand new "Genuine Mazda" transmission. Call Mazda U.S.A. and ask.

  • Romy Kettlewell
    Romy Kettlewell Aug 05, 2009

    Ah, a service writer. That explains everything...

  • Romy Kettlewell
    Romy Kettlewell Aug 08, 2009

    Sounds like your dealership has issues. Ours has been #1 in sales volume for most of the past decade, and we are very high (at times leading the nation) in Customer Satisfaction Indices. We have few comebacks, and a great deal of customer loyalty. Sorry about your dealership.

  • Romy Kettlewell
    Romy Kettlewell Aug 08, 2009

    I did say we are highest in the nation right now? Look us up.

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1997 Mazda protege transmission, Hard shifting from 1st gear


I would try a flush. If its set up like my 96, and it likely is, changing the trasmission gasket and filter will be difficult. Mine has a medal plug on the bottom and takes an allen wrench, and possibly a breaker bar. If you take out this plug, drain, flush then refill via the dipstick tube and a funnel, it may help. You may need to do this a couple of times due to fluid still in the torque converter, pan, etc.
Lucas is good stuff, I would add it again when I was done. The tranny fluid should be pink, mine looked like used oil black before I flushed it.
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