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Mazda Automatic Transmission question - where'd my engine go?

On a recent trip to the in-laws, my Mazda 626 with 50K miles started making a rough sound intermittently on the left front tire. When we arrived, we noticed some fluid dripping, so we took it to a mechanics. On the 4 mile drive to the mechanics, the automatic transmission drove like there was no clutch left (if it was a manual) - slipping and grabbing, it required a lot of nursing to get it there. The mechanic noted it was out of trans fluid, but the real issue was that a bearing needed to be replaced in the transmission.

I had the bearing and the axle replaced for $1800, and picked the car up on a Friday.

We started our 800 mile drive home, and 120 miles into the drive the transmission just disappeared - no noise, no thump, no vibration, no CEL - it was just gone. There was no engaging any gear. So the car coasted to the side of the road, and we had it towed to a AAA mechanic. I am about to have an earnest discussion with the transmission shop about their 12 month/12,000 mile warranty, but am I looking at a much bigger problem now?

Do you know if anyone checked the transmission fluid level again? I am wondering if there is still fluid leaking out. If the fluid level is still okey, check the smell and color of the fluid – smooth and pink are good – acrid and black are not good.

Also the ‘slipping and grabbing’ on the way to the mechanic shop was not good. If a clutch pack was damaged then, it is possible it began to slip while you were driving home and you overheated the transmission oil causing loss of pressure with ultimate failure to engage.

Hopefully, the AAA mechanic will be able to diagnose the problem and give you options.

Something else I thought of that would give you the same symptoms. It is possible that the replaced axle came out of the transmission. Did ‘Park’ keep the car from rolling?

Let us know what the transmission shop found out about this.

I’ve seen mechanics that replaced the axle with the wrong part & it did exactly that. Hard to believe a mechanic can be that unobservant or uncaring but it happens.

If you still have fluid in it it was probably damaged from the previous loss of fluid.