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john aka eauto
john aka eauto, The Car Guy
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 15515
Experience:  ase tech,shop owner
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I have a 2005 Mazda 6. It is an automatic with the option

Customer Question

I have a 2005 Mazda 6. It is an automatic with the option for semi manual. Sometimes when we drive it the car is perfectly fine; starts, drives, and shifts fine even while starting and stopping through lights and stop signs. Other times the car starts acting extremely strange and erratic: it starts fine and shifts through the first two gears smoothly (sometimes all four gears smoothly) but continually slips into 3rd gear and triggers the battery light and a flicker of the ATM light. When in fourth gear it will slip into third and give off the impression it's stuck in "limp mode" (3rd gear paired with battery light signal) but after a few seconds will ease back into fourth gear as if nothing happened. It also sometimes does it when in 2nd gear; it is just VERY eager to slip into 3rd. But every time it will ease back to normal. The alternator was replaced less than 6 months ago after the car switched to "Limp mode" permanently. Changing the alternator fixed the problem until now. The auto shop is giving a blanket explanation that the transmission needs to be fixed. Any ideas ???
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Mazda
Expert:  john aka eauto replied 5 months ago.

Hi . Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. any codes?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. John aka eauto

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
We haven't checked for codes, and the shop we took it to just said they think it's the transmission, they didn't give any details
Expert:  john aka eauto replied 5 months ago.

generally when its slipping it is internal failure of the clutches or seals...the hard part about transmissions is if its a mechanical failure the only way to determine extent of damage is to tear down the transmission... at that point a basic rebuild at minimum is the norm...

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
why would it disguise itself as another alternator failure? The check engine light never comes on and the car works fine half the time. Why would the battery light come on?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
It doesn't make sense to me and I'd rather not rebuild or replace the transmission if it's simply a sensor acting up or a connection issue sending the transmission faulty signals
Expert:  john aka eauto replied 5 months ago.

can you tell me the codes? slipping is not electrical

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I will have to ask and see if my boyfriend can check for any codes. A car will slip in and out of limp mode but shift fine otherwise because of internal failure?
Expert:  john aka eauto replied 5 months ago.

limp mode ans slipping are 2 differnt things.... usually slipping does not cause limp mode

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
But the gears aren't slipping at all unless it's going into limp mode or randomly switching out of it
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Boyfriend says no codes are coming up
Expert:  john aka eauto replied 5 months ago.

if its going into limp mode there has to be codes

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Well the car acts normal for sometimes days at a time, until it will randomly jerk into limp mode off and on the entire drive.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
It's possible it's not giving any codes because there isn't a code to give unless it's currently in its cycle of limp mode
Expert:  john aka eauto replied 5 months ago.

yes exactly....its very possible its electrical issue causing the limp mode...but slipping in internal failure

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What is the best way to rule out electrical failure as the source of the problem?
Expert:  john aka eauto replied 5 months ago.

codes is the best way....if you get a solenoid code its electrical...slip codes are internal

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Will we have to drive it around while plugged in and wait to see if it trips any codes while the issue is occurring? Otherwise what is the next step without jumping into a rebuild
Expert:  john aka eauto replied 5 months ago.

yes...or dropping the valve body and solenoids and have them ohm tested 1 by 1

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks for your help, will you be available tomorrow to answer questions ?
Expert:  john aka eauto replied 5 months ago.

on and off thru out the day...have lots of yard work to do