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I've noticed recently that my mazda 3 on cold starts would show the at warning light. When I start it, it normally flashes it for a few seconds then disappears. Then when I pull it out of the garage, the at warning light shows. What I do is I immediately shut it off, then start it again, and the warning light disappears.

It has happened to me twice already so I am a bit concerned as to why it is appearing.

I checked the transmission fluid it is still very red, no burned smell. I am thinking if this is a solenoid problem.

I plan to have the code checked, but I wonder if it is because I immediately move the car around 5-10 seconds after I start the engine. Will be a factor to the issue? Also shifting from reverse to neutral to drive to neutral to reverse and back to drive would also cause a problem to the car?(It's how I pull out of my garage) if the car is still cold?

Based on the symptoms, Does it have a big chance that it really is the shift solenoid or is there another problem? I want to at least prepare myself if it isn't a solenoid problem.

  • Did you try warming your car up a bit before driving to see if that had an effect? What are the temperatures like where you live? – DucatiKiller Jan 19 '16 at 7:01
  • I live in a tropical climate, I have noticed that recently it has been happening during cold starts, and I need to warm the vehicle up to around 5-7 minutes then it'll be ok. Could it be a faulty sensor or a problematic solenoid? I'll be having it checked later so I'll be able to reply to you on the results of the diagnostics. – marchemike Jan 19 '16 at 7:19
  • I would need to see some diagnostic codes for breadcrumbs. It's entirely possible your theories are correct though. What's interesting is that warming it up seems to prevent it. Some electronics can develop an 'open' inside of them. Once they get a bit warm the connection re-establishes itself due to heat expansion. Getting the diag info should be good. Msg or come to chat when you have that data. Good luck! – DucatiKiller Jan 19 '16 at 7:21
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I've brought it to the mechanic yesterday and I got an update thru the phone that the problem was a P0700 error code that was thrown. He mentioned that before he continued to check the tcm he noted that even though the transmission oil was red, it was not feeling like oil(there is no water mixed but the oil feels less oily, based on how he described it to me) hence it probably wasn't working anymore (the oil) to move the transmission, and asked me if he could flush it.He called again and alas, upon opening the pan, he mentioned that the transmission filter was very dirty,but I wondered why because I was following the Preventive Maintenance based on the manual. He replaced the filter and replaced it with new ATF and solenoids so I'm hoping when I pick it up later this afternoon it'll be ok. I'll update this answer later to the full diagnostic info that was captured from the car.

I think I'll also ponder as to why the filter was very dirty even though it was following my regular maintenance intervals(I was following the intervals based on months). Hopefully no damage was done to the car.

UPDATE: I checked the full diagnostics and it showed that the car had the following error codes: Transmission P0894-transmission component slipping P0733-incorrect gear ratio #3 P0732-incorrect gear ratio #2

I've consulted it with different mechanics with different approaches. It took a few weeks of consultation and parts At the moment I am looking into replacing the wiring harness and the solenoids (If that does not solve the case, I won't have to pay my mechanic the cost of the parts, just his labor). If it still does not get fixed, I'm looking to buy a replacement transmission. I know it's a bit expensive, but the car's interior and engine is still very fresh (My car is just around 40,000 miles, with all equipment working) and I'm not fussing about it being a 10 year old car. I'll update this again with the final answer once the repair is finished this weekend.

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