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Mazda 3 Transmission Problems

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  • Update:

    We figured out looking at the contract that there was a very slim chance of us getting a refund for the car since the parts are covered on the warranty.

    They ended up fixing the original car and giving it back to us. They also gave us a pre-paid Service Plan for 5-years/75k.

    The car seems to be running and shifting "normally". The original problem where we were completely blocked from shifting into gear while moving has not happened again. Sometimes shifting still feels rough, but overall the car is working fine.

    Soon after starting when it is very cold it doesn't want to shift and the stick sometimes gets stuck in gear (1st and 2nd), but after it warms up this never happens. We've also had it not want to go into 1st while stopped on an incline/decline. If we take our foot off the brake and let it drift an inch or two and try again it goes into gear.

    On an unrelated note, we had a 4 inch nail puncture the rear tire the other day and had to get that fixed. Maybe we are just very unlucky.
  • dattomcat89dattomcat89 Posts: 5
    edited March 2012
    My fiance's brother enjoys his 2010 Mazda3, so I was considering getting a 2012 Skyactiv with manual trans, but after all the things I've been reading in this thread, I'm not so sure. Is anybody else having trouble with the new Skyactiv manual?

    I'm not interested in having to change the gear oil or adopt an abnormal shifting style to be able to use the car, because I didn't have to do either of those things with my old '97 5-speed Protege (which was the most reliable/resilient car I've ever owned), so I certainly shouldn't have to with a car that's brand new.

    A lot of what I'm reading here and even in press-releases reminds me of what GM did with their trucks during the end of the 90's, prematurely releasing new technology to the public and letting their paying customers discover and deal with the resulting problems. My family had a '98 Silverado which was so trouble-prone because of this that GM permanently lost our business. I'm shocked that Mazda would do something similar.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited March 2012
    I was considering getting a 2012 Skyactiv with manual trans, but after all the things I've been reading in this thread, I'm not so sure. Is anybody else having trouble with the new Skyactiv manual?
    Actually most of this thread does not deal with the Skyactiv which is brand new for 2012. Like you, though, I was concerned ... in my case because it is new. Many reliable manufacturers, including Toyota and Honda, have had problems rolling out new models. Since Mazda has a lot "riding" on the Skyactiv technology, I expect they have done a lot of testing before incorporating it in the Mazda3, and now the CX5.

    TIP: Put off your purchase until later this year / next year to see what comes out in the wash.
  • dattomcat89dattomcat89 Posts: 5
    edited March 2012
    I didn't say I read all the posts in this thread and that they all had to do with the Skyactiv MT; I was basing my conclusion on all the posts I DID read (meaning I only read posts that had to do with Skyactiv MT).

    And thanks for the tip. I was already planning on just holding off on the purchase because I wanted to see how quickly Mazda fixes these problems (both on their new cars and ones that have already been sold) and how they respond to what I'd assume is a growing number of unsatisfied customers (especially nibroc4410, if he ever posts again).

    All of this worries me greatly because I was dead-set on buying the next generation MX-5/Miata (I can barely fit in the current one, and I've heard that the next one may have slightly more room) as soon as it's released, and I don't want to end up quickly regretting my purchase or having to wait to buy it because of something like this.
  • vkamnyevvkamnyev Posts: 1
    edited March 2012
    Hello,

    I actually ordered my Skyactiv with 6 speed manual from factory. Just got it a few days ago (it was manufactured on February 3, 2012). When I first got it, I had a hard time sliding the shifter into gears. I really didn't think much of it because I thought that may be it is just breaking in and the gear channels just need to smooth out. Now I have 200 miles on it and I am noticing that the shifting is starting to smooth out. I will keep my eye on it and will make another post in a few weeks.
    Thank you.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited March 2012
    this worries me greatly because I was dead-set on buying the next generation MX-5/Miata ... I don't want to end up quickly regretting my purchase or having to wait to buy it

    Understood. Reading a thread on Mazda transmission problems is bound to create some worries.

    Check the latest Consumer Reports issue for its Reliability charts to see how key components (including transmissions) of various models rate in terms of long term reliability. Based on CR and as far as I have heard, the Miata/MX5 is a stellar vehicle with one of the best transmissions around and is not a risky choice.

    p.s. I know what you mean about how snug the Miata is.
  • Well I have the same car and my 1st and 2nd gears are a little sticky in the cold too. (sounds like the honda si tranny problems they were having too but much worse than mazda's :) ) I do know that the first gear has a safety that if you are moving at a certain speeds (i think even as low as 5-15 you cant shift into first so you dont jerk your gears to hard. This because the torque ratios in first and second are much greater than like 5th or 6th (some sorta of safety mechanism kind of like you cant throw it into reverse at all unless you are not moving....good luck on your car
  • Hi everyone,

    Just wanted to give another update. We are up to 4500 miles on our car now and everything has been good since we had the transmission replaced. It still sticks in first and second gear when we start it up in under 40 degree weather, but if you give it 3 minutes to warm up that doesn't happen.

    I wouldn't tell people to not buy the car, because if you aren't unlucky like we were you will just have a fun car with good mileage. But as a warning if you are very unlucky and something isn't right keep bothering them until everything is fixed. They might deny anything is wrong for a while, but you aren't imagining it so keep fighting.
  • Thanks for the update. If you could continue to keep us filled in, that would be appreciated. By the way, did you ever get a copy of the diagnosis from the Japanese engineer, or was that need-to-know only?
  • I'd have to wait a while for Consumer Reports to get enough data to accurately report on the reliability, as it is the next generation I'd be buying. And yes, I would hope and certainly expect the next MX-5/Miata to continue its predecessors' history of stellar reliability, seeing as how Mazda wouldn't want to screw up a car that can arguably be called an automotive icon (although, judging from rumors of small turbocharged engines and no more glove-boxes, they certainly seem to be considering doing that!). But then again they were really trumpeting this Skyactiv technology as a gamer-changer that would come to define [and, reading about their financial woes as of late, possibly end up saving] Mazda, and obviously, from what we've all learned here, it hasn't had the smoothest start.
  • No, we never saw that. They just told us that they couldn't figure out what was wrong for a long time and "something wasn't right". Very vague.
  • Have you tried turning to the Lemon Law in your state?
  • My car has had trouble too!! I have a mazda 3 2006 and it has not given me any trouble until about a year ago. It started slipping into the AT mode and out of 4th gear. AAMCO has replaced the 4th gear solenoid twice and had it 4 times in the shop. I am taking it to the dealership to have them look at it. I dont know what to think!! If I was you I wuold take it to another Transmission place. :sick:
  • onnajeanonnajean Posts: 1
    I am really bummed after reading these posts. On Saturday, my Mazda 3 (not skyactiv), did not want to go in gear. I couldn't get it to go into 1st, 5th or 6th. Sunday it drove fine. I wanted to search and see if others had experienced these problems...and, well here it is. It is a 2012 bought brand new in March with about 11,500 miles (drive a lot for work). I'm taking this to the dealer right away, and I am in hopes that I don't receive a hard time or run around about nothing being wrong, because there is definitely something wrong.
  • broz1broz1 Posts: 1
    it's really funny to see everything that's beeing written on the Mazda 3 sky active 2012 concerning transmission problems.
    I work at a mazda Dealership at the service dept. and it's funny how we have NO COMPLAINTS whatsoever on what you are reporting and lord knows we sold a lot of these.
    I further checked at MAZDA CANADA and USA at the technical dept......
    GUEST WHAT ? NO PROBLEMS AT LARGE !
    what am saying, sure, some problems can occur BUT do not relate these AT LARGE.
    My wife has one and as of all our customers, SHE'S very satisfied.....
    Sorry to burst your bubble , but when a product is good, it's good.
  • dokiesdokies Posts: 1
    Like you my friend,i dont want to give bad impression to the new skyactiv engine and transmission.I have mazda 3 2012 skyactiv, i have only more than 5,000 kms. on it.Recently i'm experiencing some problems on my manual transmission.There were times that if i change gear from 4th to 3rd and from 5th to 4th(down shifting) its speeding up by itself and i heard a big sound on the engine!Sometimes it happen also on upshifting(from 3rd to 4th).I have been driving a manual car since i was 16 years old and this is the first time I experienced this kind of problems.Have'nt you encountered this kind of complaint on your service dept.?
  • holidaeholidae Posts: 1
    I have an 06 mazda3s automatic and the transmission stopped working mid drive on 295 in new jersey.. just sort of downshifted and wouldn't go back up past 2nd gear. Bought it new in 06 has 113k on it. Mazda tells me it will be almost 4,000 to get a rebuilt transmission but I should just probably buy a new car.
    I am very unimpressed.
    I drive a lot.
    I've owned 6 cars: Two volkswagens, one nissan, one chevy, one mazda.
    My chevy currently still runs with 162k mileage.
    This is the first time I've had a car with a transmission failure.
    Will not purchase another mazda.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    06 mazda3s automatic and the transmission stopped working mid drive on 295 in new jersey.. just sort of downshifted and wouldn't go back up past 2nd gear

    Which engine does your car have? Is it the 2.3L?

    Regarding the downshifting, did the car do this automatically or were you shifting the gears?

    While the car was being serviced in the past did you or your mechanic note anything about the transmission? In other words, did this problem come out of the blue or do you have some earlier evidence of a problem with the transmission?

    Mazda tells me it will be almost 4,000 to get a rebuilt transmission
    Did MazdaUSA or the Mazda dealership tell you this?
  • New to the forum. Have been searching for this issue for a while elsewhere as well.

    I am experiencing (and have been since purchasing a 2012 Mazada3 skyactiv 6MT in May) engine surging while downshifting. The rpms increase like crazy sometimes up to ~4500 rpm and the car seems to really pull forward quickly and forcefully rather than slow down. Mostly happens from 3rd to 2nd or 4th to 3rd. It is completely sporadic and cannot be replicated at will.

    Anyone else? I have been working with the dealership but without much luck as I appear to be the only one who has presented this issue to them.
  • If the dealer won't help, go above their head by complaining to Mazda Corp of America.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    engine surging while downshifting. The rpms increase ... up to ~4500 rpm and the car seems to really pull forward quickly and forcefully rather than slow down. Mostly happens from 3rd to 2nd or 4th to 3rd. It is completely sporadic and cannot be replicated at will

    Interesting. A few questions below which you likely have already discussed with the dealer. Since it's difficult to replicate, you'll need to detail the incidents and / or do some diagnostics. The other alternative is to leave the car with the dealership for a time (week?) to see if they can hit upon an incident during that time.

    What is the frequency of these incidents?
    Example: At least once a month / week. Also, what is the duration of the problem (example: happens for a couple of shifts then corrects itself).

    Any other patterns that you can identify?
    Examples: have these incidents happened after short / long drives, during very warm days / cool nights, after lots of stop and go, while climbing an incline / descending a hill.

    Have you made any modifications to the vehicle, esp. the engine bay?
    Example: added new air intake

    Have you asked the dealer to check the Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) for this model?
  • I am detailing everything and contact the service manager after each incident. The car was also left with them for a week for them to drive. They didn't seem to notice anything unusual. They thought they may have felt something, but couldn't me sure. I assured them that there is no thinking about it, you know when it happens.

    Frequency also varies. Initially it was several times a week, then once a week, once every other week, once in a couple months, then just recently 3 times in 8 days. It may be dependent on the amount I drive. I don't drive a lot, however this past week or so I have done more driving than usual.

    When it happens, it is always when the clutch is let out and as it happens instinct is to jump the brake. This stops it completely. That's it. It happens again when it wants to.

    Patterns haven't really been identified. It has happened going up a hill a few times, the length of the drive does not appear to matter, nor does the outside temperature.

    No modifications to the vehicle have been made.

    Mazda Canada has been contacted by the dealer and most recently by myself.

    I haven't asked the dealership to check the TSB.

    I have read a few more posts about it in another forum. Everyone seems to say the same thing about how it happens and what happens.

    Perhaps the power control module according to the dealership. They are very interested in the positioning of the AC/HVAC controls. Whether the AC is on or off, fan on or off, positioning of the air, recirc or fresh intake, etc.

    Frustrating and concerning.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Well done. You sound like you have the situation well in hand. H

    I don't drive a lot
    How many miles/km on the car?

    Mazda Canada has been contacted by the dealer and most recently by myself.
    Good. I would ask about any TSB. Also, let them know that you are concerned that the problem be resolved soon ... A concern down the road is driving with this problem in a Canadian winter.
  • squiggly1squiggly1 Posts: 22
    edited September 2012
    There are just under 3900 km on the car. I have been driving it since 06-02-12.

    It happened again yesterday, in a parking lot this time. I have noticed the last week and a half or so, I have driven more often due to certain circumstances and it appears to be happening more often again.

    The dealer and Mazda Canada are well aware that I consider this a huge safety concern, especially since winter and icy and snowy roads are unfortunately just around the corner. I will be SOL if I am relying on gearing down to slow down on slippery roads and have to jump the brake because this happens :(

    Fortunately for me, unfortunately for Mazda, I work in the quality field and not willing to let this go unresolved.

    On a positive note, the dealer is expecting to have a diagnostic tool (from Mazda Canada) that will be installed on my car early this week. That way,when it does happen, the tool will record all the information about what the car is doing at that moment. I really hope this tells them more than the static diagnostic testing that has already been done, which has been NOTHING.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    the dealer is expecting to have a diagnostic tool (from Mazda Canada) that will be installed on my car early this week
    Interesting. Keep reporting on this!
  • The dealership has the data recorder (diagnostic tool), but it has a faulty cable. DOH!

    Also spoke with a service manager from another dealership and they indicated there were no TSB on the vehicle and my dealership appears to be following Mazda protocol - unfortunately for me as it is soooooo time consuming. My service manager has been great, it is just the whole waiting game that is driving me nuts (pun intended).
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited September 2012
    spoke with a service manager from another dealership and they indicated there were no TSB on the vehicle

    You can also check online for similar complaints/problems from other drivers. There is a US government site called SaferCar.gov. It has a Search Complaints feature that allows one to find issues with a particular vehicle. Here is the summary of one complaint by a 2012 Mazda3 owner which sounds eerily similar to your case: :surprise:

    "THE CAR SOMETIMES SURGES DURING DOWNSHIFTING. I WILL BE DRIVING IN MODERATE TRAFFIC IN THIRD GEAR. THE TRAFFIC SLOWS, AND I LET IN THE CLUTCH AND APPLY THE BRAKE. WHEN THE TRAFFIC STARTS TO PICK UP AGAIN, I AM GOING TOO SLOW FOR THIRD, SO I SHIFT INTO SECOND AND LET THE CLUTCH OUT. MY RIGHT FOOT IS JUST RESTING LIGHTLY ON THE GAS PEDAL. THE CAR HAS NOT BEEN IDLING FAST, BUT AS SOON AS THE CLUTCH IS ENGAGED, THE ENGINE SUDDENLY ROARS AND THE CAR LEAPS FORWARD, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE NOT PRESSED THE GAS AT ALL. I LET IN THE CLUTCH AGAIN TO AVOID AN ACCIDENT. WHEN I LET IT OUT AGAIN, IT WORKS NORMALLY. THIS HAPPENS ONCE, TWICE, OR NOT AT ALL IN A 40-MILE ROUND TRIP OUT OF TOWN AND BACK. IT ALSO HAPPENS FREQUENTLY WHEN I MAKE A LEFT TURN WITHOUT STOPPING, BUT WHERE I NEED TO SLOW AND DOWNSHIFT. I COAST INTO THE TURN WITH THE CLUTCH PEDAL IN, SHIFT DOWN, AND ATTEMPT TO LET THE CLUTCH OUT WHEN COMING OUT OF THE TURN. I WOULD EXPECT THE CAR TO SLOW WHEN I SHIFT DOWN UNLESS I AM PRESSING THE ACCELERATOR, BUT SOMETHING OTHER THAN ME IS GIVING IT GAS. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT WHEN THIS WILL HAPPEN, AND IT NEVER HAPPENS TWICE IN A ROW. I HAVE MADE IT HAPPEN ON PURPOSE, BUT I THINK THAT WAS PURE LUCK. IT HAPPENS WHEN DOWNSHIFTING INTO ANY GEAR, BUT BECAUSE OF THE HEAVY TRAFFIC IN OUR AREA, IT ENDS UP USUALLY BEING THIRD TO SECOND. IT HAS HAPPENED TO ME WHEN DOWNSHIFTING INTO THIRD OR FOURTH ALSO."

    p.s. Searching for TSBs for 2012 Mazda3 vehicles found nothing on the site :)
  • This sounds so familiar.

    I can not believe the part about the left turns. That is when I notice it the most as well. Too bad I was laughed at when I mentioned this to the sales manager at the dealership!

    I need to look at this more closely.

    Thank you so much.
  • I have this same problem. Purchased this car about 3 weeks ago and noticed it right away. I thought at first that I was just rusty having driven an automatic for the previous 3 years. It's happened at least once a day since. The car randomly surges forward with the least amount of gas when shifting up or down into 3rd gear. Can occur at any time really, whether car is hot or cold as far as I can tell. Not to be dramatic about it, but if you're driving in busy traffic and not prepared for this when it happens, you could easily rear-end someone.

    Contacted my salesman, will see what he can do for me.
  • The more people that report this, the better. I see no drama in concern for a potential accident.

    I agree with the potential accident issue. This has been discussed with my dealership as well. I made it very clear that I wanted to know who was liable if such an event did occur. I was told the manufacturer was, not the retailer.
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