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2008 - MX-5 - Transmission/Transaxle


Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) Condition Inspection

1. Inspect the ATF for the following to determine whether the transmission should be disassembled.
ATF Condition


Possible cause

Clear dark red


Light red (pink)

Contaminated with water

  • Damaged oil cooler inside of the radiator

Problem could occur to parts inside the transmission by water contamination. It is necessary to overhaul the transmission and detect defected parts.

If necessary, replace the transmission.

Reddish brown

Has burnt smell and metal particles are found

Deteriorated ATF

Defective the powertrain components inside the transmission:

Particles cause wide range of problems by plugging up in oil pipe, control valve body and oil cooler in radiator.

  • When large amount of metal particles are found, overhaul the transmission and inspect for defective parts.

    If necessary, replace the transmission.

  • Implement flushing operation as there is a possibility to have particles plugging up the oil pipe or oil cooler inside the radiator.

Has no burnt smell


  • Discoloration by oxidation

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