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05 Mazda Tribute Transmission Help
02-16-2014, 11:24 AM
Post: #1
Exclamation 05 Mazda Tribute Transmission Help
I have a 2005 Mazda Tribute. Last night I removed and cleaned the throttle body and IAC valve. I started the car and noticed a slightly higher RPM idle but the car was more 'torquey' and quicker off the line. The idle felt a little rough but I figured it would return to normal soon. Nothing alarming. It idled at about 995 while the engine was fairly warm. Before it was idling at around 750 in the same conditions. Here comes the big problem ... maybe completely unrelated. The car drove fine for my 55 mile commute to work this morning and right when I got there and came to a complete stop at the light, the car struggled to move after I gave it gas. The engine revved normally but the car stood still or barely moved with the shifter in "drive". It did the exact same thing in reverse. If I continuously rev the engine the car will give small spurts of movement but it is not drivable at all. Help! I'm at work now and I need to figure out the next step. Thanks in advance.
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02-16-2014, 12:18 PM
Post: #2
RE: 05 Mazda Tribute Transmission Help
The first step with any auto transmission problem is to check the fluid level and top it up if necessary. From there the diagnosis begins. Odd noises, shifting, leaks, odd smells, burned fluid, etc. This is all stuff the owner can do after checking the manual for the right way to check it and the correct fluid to use. After that you will need to get with an expert at a trany shop or the dealer who may be able to read a code in the computer or know the issue from experience.

BTW, is there any possibility that during your "cleaning" you disturbed a vac line or a harness plug going to the trany? Perhaps there's a second throttle cable for the trans shift control? Just throwing out ideas in case something rings a bell.

Let us know what you find as it may help someone else reading here.
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02-16-2014, 12:49 PM
Post: #3
RE: 05 Mazda Tribute Transmission Help
Hey Rupe,

Thanks for your advice. Im heading over there now to check out some of the things you mentioned. One thing I did check was fluid level. It was high and there are absolutely no leaks of any kind on that car. Amazing...I know...lol. I noticed the fluid being high when I got the car back in November but I wasnt worried. Im sure over serviced gearboxes cant be good but it gave no problems. I was told that the fluid level should be higher cold than at operaring temp so Im going to check for that now. I just dont know how useful the results would be because the last few times I checked both hot and cold the levels were similar but the pump was working fine. I am praying that its a loose connector of some sort but I cant find any resources on the web that would suggest that. And how come it worked fine for my hour drive this morning? Im gonna reseat all connectors I removed yesterday still. I will continue to post what I find. Thanks for all the help.
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02-16-2014, 01:19 PM
Post: #4
RE: 05 Mazda Tribute Transmission Help
The point of following the manual is the level will be different hot, cold, in gear, in neutral, and engine off. Usually this is not a major difference and less that a quart / inch on the stick, but it's a good starting point to know it's one thing less on the check list. Typically if the fluid shows on the stick then fluid is NOT the problem. There's usually enough fudge factor built in. Being a quart over full is also not to blame, usually. I'm sure there are exceptions.

One thing I would double check with the odd weather we are having is to be sure the brakes are not frozen and wheel spin on ice is not the issue. Go through all of the gear positions as well.
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02-16-2014, 01:42 PM (This post was last modified: 02-16-2014 01:42 PM by adrianem.)
Post: #5
RE: 05 Mazda Tribute Transmission Help
I rechecked the level. Not much difference as I mentioned before. Maybe the pump? Got it to engage in reverse and first gear once then it stoped. Decided to punch it the next time I got it into gear and it shifted twice and I got up to abpit 35 mph the it diengaged and I was free spinning the engine once more. Had to coast to a stop. I talked to a guy and he said possible computer error??? Never heard of this before. There were no warning signs that my tranny was about to go out.

I rechecked the level. Not much difference as I mentioned before. Maybe the pump? Got it to engage in reverse and first gear once then it stoped. Decided to punch it the next time I got it into gear and it shifted twice and I got up to abpit 35 mph the it diengaged and I was free spinning the engine once more. Had to coast to a stop. I talked to a guy and he said possible computer error??? Never heard of this before. There were no warning signs that my tranny was about to go out.
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02-16-2014, 03:51 PM
Post: #6
RE: 05 Mazda Tribute Transmission Help
If he computer sees a fault then it's probably functioning ok and just telling you there's a trany problem.

From the souds of things you have a broken drum on one of the clutch packs, which will not show any burnt clutch material in the ATF. The computer sees this and goes into a defalt mode then may try again after restarting the engine. IOW, time to call a trany shop. This is a "hard parts" failure.
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02-16-2014, 05:18 PM
Post: #7
RE: 05 Mazda Tribute Transmission Help
Going back to the original post, I messed with the throttle body and IAC valve last night and ever since, the idle was off. The fact that I can get the car in gear immediately after I turn it on but not after its been ildeing for a while mskes me think that the IAC valve has something to do with transmission engagement. It I press the throttle the RPMs hang out at abput 2500 for a while before it drops back to 1000. I have checked and the throttle body is closing and everything else is doing what ut supposed to. The only conclusion I can draw is that the IAC valve is whats causing my engine to run out of whack and and something is warning my transmission to disengage IOT not cause damge or something like that? Am I out of my mind or is my line of reasoning rational?
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02-16-2014, 05:54 PM
Post: #8
RE: 05 Mazda Tribute Transmission Help
I have heard of stranger things but if cleaning the IAC didn't straighten out the idle then maybe you want to replace it before going further. They are generally under $100.

Now, are the two problems connected? Possibly, so let me go off on a tangent for a moment.

If the idle was stuck high and you dropped it into gear then a weld on the clutch drum might have cracked due to the extra stress but not let go right away. (the drum is spot welded to the center hub that rides in a splined shaft) Since so many transmissions are computer controled these days they are watching all functions all the time, except on a cold start / restart. At that point the computer goes blank till after a certain time and then gathers info again. If you catch it cold (so to speak) it will do things it's not supposed to do because it's learning again. If it doesn't see one of the inputs it will default.

Again, this is speculation from where I sit but it does fit the profile. Going to a trany shop they will have the right scan tool to pull the codes and tell you exactly what's going on.
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02-16-2014, 07:09 PM
Post: #9
RE: 05 Mazda Tribute Transmission Help
Thanks so much for your help throughout the day today. I will be getting a new IAC tomorrow and I will let everyone know if it worked or not. If I get my idle to go back to normal and my trany still wont engage I will see what a shop has to say. I just dont want to tow the vehicle there and back because I'm not going to pay them the thousands they will want. I will watch youtube and break my car myself...lol
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02-17-2014, 01:04 PM
Post: #10
RE: 05 Mazda Tribute Transmission Help
Well, no luck with the IAC valve. Im guess next step is the torque converter.
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