2004 Mazda Mpv Transmission Problems: Troubleshooting

Mazda fans, what’s your favorite model? Do you own or are you planning to buy the 2004 MPV model? But now you’re having a hard time with the transmission problems.

So, the inquiry what are the 2004 Mazda MPV Transmission Problems?

Well, to talk about Mazda MPV 2004 transmission problems, there are some common ones. The most common one would be the transmission slipping or shifting hard. It basically happens when the transmission fluid level gets low. Another common problem is when the reverse gear doesn’t engage.

But hey, that was just an overview. There are also other problems that you might want to look into. So, read on, because our article has listed all the possible transmission problems you can encounter. 

Read along and stay with us to get enlightened about it!

Common Mazda MPV Transmission Problems Everyone Encounters

Whenever you sense that something is wrong with your car, try to diagnose the problem immediately. And it should be corrected right away. If you are facing  Mazda transmission problems, then you must identify the faulty transmission symptoms first. So now you can get them checked by a mechanic or fix them on your own. 

Problem 1: The Reverse Gear Won’t Engage

The transverse automatic transmission system often cannot engage the reverse gear. It’s a common issue in Mazda Mpv models which use 5F31J 5-speed. This is a common occurrence that is initiated by changing transmission fluid. Forward gear changes remain the same, and it does not affect any other operation.

Causes and solutions

  • This can occur due to the removal of the band anchor stud mistakenly during changing the transmission fluid. This is because of the similar appearance of the fill plug and the anchor stud. The reverse band assembly is freed. As a result, it stops the reverse gear from being engaged.
  • Pay attention closely while the transmission fluid is being changed. The fill plug and the anchor stud should not be mistaken as similar. Be careful so that the band anchor stud remains right where it is. For example, you have to be careful while plugging a brake line while replacing caliper.

Source: edmunds.com

Problem 2: Transmission Slips or Shifts Hard

This is a common issue in Mazda vehicles with transverse 4-speed automatic transmission. It starts with gears slipping to erratic gear shifts. The car gets heated up during hot weather leads to this situation.

You’ll see that the overdrive indicator starts giving signals by flashing. The check engine light gets triggered and illuminates. It rarely happens or gets solved by default when in cold weather.

Causes and solutions

  • There is a neutral safety switch in the car. When it fails, the transmission starts slipping. The information regarding the location of the gear selector is known through this switch. Now TCU gets the wrong information about the gear selector. As a result, the shift pattern gets disrupted. 

To get rid of this problem, the switch should be replaced.

  • The connector on the neutral safety switch gets loosened sometimes which is also a major reason. It can also occur due to damaged wiring.  Proper observation and check should be done to find out the potential issues.

Problem 3: Failure of the 4th And 5th Gear Or Rough Transmissions

Mazda MPV models with 5-speed automatic transmission have difficulty activating 4th and 5th gear. Often this also leads to other gears being erratically changed and delayed. 

At first, this issue mostly shows up when the temperature is below 5. The problem persists and pops up consistently. The check engine light gets triggered for which the following codes are preserved on DTC memory

Causes and solutions

  • Breakage of the spring that controls the pre-stroke valve in the fourth gear. The 4th gear cannot be activated as a result of this. P0734 and P0735 codes will be available in DTC memory. Upgraded replacement kits are the best and most reliable solution to this common issue. It will help in engaging the 4th gear better.
  • The valve body is excessively worn or the solenoid is stuck. This leads to the loss of transmission fluid pressure. Unintended and harsh changes in gear are observed because of this. Nonetheless, the check engine light is not triggered in this problem.

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Source: wikimedia.org

Problem 4: Failure to Engage Overdrive Gear

Overdrive gear engagement seems to be a typical issue with Mazda that uses 4-speed  automatic transmission. It’s curated and positioned longitudinally. When overdrive gear fails to engage, it automatically results in a shift to neutral.

At first, the problem will show up only when the temperature gets cold. But with time it will become more prominent. The rest of the gears on the car keeps working perfectly. The dashboard also does not show any warning light.

Reasons and Recommendations

  • The servo pin has worn out or excessive clearance within the bore. Transmission fluid pressure can be at loss due to these reasons. And it just gets worse with time

The best solution to this problem would be to replace the sealing ring and the pin. Upgraded pins are easily available in the market as this is a widespread problem.

  • Another reason can be the clip that holds the servo being broken. Failure to engage in overdrive will get permanent and can happen instantly if this problem arises. Look out inside the valve body to find out if there are any metal parts in it. This is the most convenient way to figure out this issue.

These are the 2004 Mazda MPV transmission problems that are very common among users. 

Why Transition Problems Should Be Paid Close Attention?

It has become tough for you to deal with your car lately. You get to hear noises and weird smells. A faulty transmission can be the most common reason behind this.

The problems should be taken into consideration from the very beginning. Because it could cause severe damage and costly transmission repairs. Transmission problems should be fixed immediately and the following reasons will tell you why

  • Increases Expenses

If the problem is not paid attention to initially it can cause high damage. Replacing Transmission can get very expensive. So try to take required steps immediately.

  • Impossible Driving

Driving will get impossible if you do not fix your transmission issue quickly. With faulty transmission, the more you drive your car, the more expensive the repair will be.

  • Damaged Gearbox

The gears are lubricated by the transmission fluid which prevents grinding. With a transmission fluid leak, the gearbox will be ruined. As a result, it will be quite difficult to shift gears correctly.

  • No Power and Acceleration

Your car will not be able to accelerate due to failing to generate adequate power. It will make a noise like vw polo noise during acceleration. It can also show up with very poor and sluggish performance. It will also make the sound lower-pitched than normal.

Source: bestcarmagz.net

  • Accidents and Injuries 

Deadly accidents can happen if the transmission slips or shifts too hard. Therefore acting out at the very first sign of faulty transmission is very important.

Otherwise, you are risking your own and others’ lives.

These are the reasons why transmission problems should never be avoided. Rather they should be looked into and taken care of instantly.


Are transmission problems very common with Mazda?

Yes, transmission problems are very common with Mazda. These problems were more common with the 626, Millenia, and MPV models. However, the situation has changed now. Mazda has upgraded their kit and has taken good care of these issues

How long-lasting are the Mazda transmissions?

Mazda transmissions serve well for long if properly taken care of. Transmissions can last for up to 160,000 miles when your vehicle is properly maintained. Your transmission will perfectly function for at least 10-15 years if you are driving 15,000 miles per year.

Is Transmission Flush Recommended By Mazda?

Yes, transmission flush is recommended bu Mazda. All Mazda vehicles are equipped with SKYACTIV® TECHNOLOGY.  They have lifetime transmission fluid that doesn’t need to be changed frequently. In case the entire transmission needs replacement, only then it is recommended.

Final Thoughts

That was all about 2004 Mazda MPV transmission problems that you can face.

A quick tip for you is to ensure that your car is maintained and serviced regularly. Most of the time costly replacement affairs can be avoided if the car is maintained from the beginning.

Good luck with your car.

Robert Lozano

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