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Matt, Engineer
Category: Transmissions
Satisfied Customers: 21860
Experience:  Mechanical Engineer BEng Hons22 years experience in car engine industry, 10 years in formula 1
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I have a 2003 mazda protege given to me. The car is an

Customer Question

I have a 2003 mazda protege given to me. The car is an automatic but will not go into any of the higher gears. It gets to about 20-25 mph then its like it slips and wont pull. If you have the gas pressed and the speed drops below 20-25 it will act like its downshifting and jump to a high rpm like its going into passing gear? where do I start? I don't have a lot of money and don't wont to try to fix it by throwing money at it randomly
JA: How old is the transmission? Have you checked the brake switch?
Customer: its a 2003 and its the original transmission. I just got it and drove it home today. I just have no clue where to start.
JA: Are you fixing your Protege yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Yes I will be fixing it myself if possible.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: that's all I know about the car so far
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Transmissions
Expert:  Matt replied 10 months ago.


I'd take a look at the colour of the transmission oil it should be a dark red colour if its black then its needs changing together with its oil filter. Also check its level with the gearbox warm and just after you've moved the selector through all the positions leaving it for a few seconds in each one and then back to park.

You can top up the box through the side fill pl ug if required and make sure you use the correct oil for your car as the fluids are not all the same. Some manufacturers recommended a change of the type of fluid - Speak to the local dealer and parts dept - they will advise you on the updated fluid to use..

If that’s all OK then check all the electrical connections of the gearbox, remove each connector in turn and spray with contact cleaner. Check that the wiring to the gearbox is in good condition with no chafing or frayed wire

If this is OK then check the selector lever linkage / cable under the car for any broken parts and or missing bolts as if this is coming adrift then it can rub on the car body or just bind up

Then - you should top up if low and re try it - or, if its level is ok - and condition is ok - then the next step is to drain it off - open it up and clean the filters inside -- refill and retry it..

Often - just doing the above cures many troubles with these - and you certainly can't condemn the unit without doing the above...