How to Change the Manual Transmission Fluid on a Mazda 626


Manual transmissions are known for their performance, fuel economy and durability, but they do require maintenance from time to time. Mazda recommends changing the transaxle fluid in your 626 every 30,000 miles. Failing to do so could cause the gears in the transmission to wear and lead to premature transmission failure.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket set
  • Wrench set
  • Waste oil catch pan
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Manual transmission fluid API GL-4 or GL-5
  • Shop rags
  • Pliers

Remove the Fluid

  • Park the vehicle on a level surface.

  • Disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal.

  • Raise the vehicle according to the instructions listed in the owner's manual and support it with jack stands.

  • Disconnect the speedometer cable and remove the drive gear from the manual transaxle. There will be a knurled fitting on the end of the cable. Loosen this fitting to remove the assembly.

  • Place a large waste oil catch pan underneath the manual transaxle drain plug. The drain plug is located on the bottom of the transmission.

  • Remove the manual transaxle drain plug.

  • Allow all of the fluid to drain out of the transaxle.

  • Reinstall the drain plug into the transaxle.

Refill the Fluid

  • Place a funnel in the speedometer drive gear hole.

  • Add between 3 and 5 pt. of API specification GL-4 or GL-5 manual transmission fluid depending in the year of your vehicle and how many gears it has.

  • Clean the speedometer gear with a rag and place it back into the hole.

  • Remove the speedometer gear. Fluid should cover the drive gear completely but not rise above the shoulder just above the top of the gear.

  • Add fluid as needed to achieve optimal level.

  • Reinstall the speedometer drive gear.

  • Lower the vehicle and reconnect the ground cable to the negative battery terminal.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have trouble fitting a funnel into the speedometer drive gear hole, purchase a pump to fit on the bottle of manual transmission fluid. The pump will be connected to a hose that you can fit to the hole.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions listed in the owner's manual when lifting or lowering a vehicle. Failing to do so could cause injury or death.


  • "Chilton's Import Car Manual 1992-1996"; Chilton Book Company; 1995
  • "Chilton Mazda 1978-89 Repair Manual"; Haynes North America; 1995
  • Mazda 626 Forum
  • Photo Credit IMG_2737 creative
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