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Mazda 3 Transmission Problems

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  • farnsworthfarnsworth Posts: 1
    So I'm not exactly a car expert, but I did a lot of research and just bought a Speed3.

    I asked the folks at the dealership when should I be shifting gears? They told me 5500 RPMs, which leaves me around 4000 RPMs in whatever gear I'm driving around in.

    That seems a little high to me, but I'm not sure if I just need to get use to it or if I'm on the road to doing serious damage to my new car.

    What RPM range do you shift around, and what RPM range do you have your car at when you are going a constant speed?

    -Thanks
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    Just got a new Road & Track magazine....MS3 wins over 4 other cars....they say that although red line is 6750, & rev limiter at 7000, for best results (acceleration) shift at 6000.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Well, shifting past 5,500 is useless, for the turbo is no longer producing boost.

    If you are driving around town from point A to point B, shifting around 3,000 to 3,500 will do just fine. If you want to drive for performance, shift at NO HIGHER then 5,500.

    Don't worrie, you won't harm the engine doing either...
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "...and what RPM range do you have your car at when you are going a constant speed?"

    Ummm, if you are DONE accelerating, put the car in the highest gear allowable for that speed. Your owner's manual should specify the mph ranges for each gear. Typically, I'd try to maintain at least 1200 rpm;

    There's NO reason to simply be driving around at 4000 rpm. :surprise:
  • zzoomp09zzoomp09 Posts: 30
    I haven't driven the automatic enough to compare with the manual's fuel economy and I have a manual 2.3 hatch, but the manual is performing better than I expected. If there's snow, at first, if you're not used to or haven't driven a manual in a while, you'll have a hard time getting out of a few inches of snow. But as the winter progressed, I was able to get a handle of the car and got used to how it drives in the snow, and get out of snow piles.

    It definitely has the zoom-zoom performance in bumper to bumper traffic. I've accelerated this car at more than 5500RPM's in the 1st and 2nd gears and it just zips through almost everything!
  • mjgeemjgee Posts: 2
    Thanks for the feedback. We ended up getting an automatic S-GT sedan (2.3 L). We've only had it for 2 days, but really love it. It has the variable auto/manual transmission and that has been fun to experiment with so far. Sort of the best of both worlds. I can really make better use of the road with the manual aspect - it has amazing getup and go! :shades:
  • hi, i had my mazda2 since 8/04.... manual tranmision. my system bought the same car 4 months later, automatic trans... i got the oportunity to drive the two ( manual and automatic ) I rather to driver the Manual is much much fun, and in the road you can feel the performance of the car better.

    the only thing that i don't like about the Manual trans is tha t in the highway the combination of the manual in 5 speed is not so good, at around 70mph to 80.. manual is at 3200 to 3500 rpm... AUTOMATIC TRANS is only 2800 to 3200rpm... so in highway Automatic is less money that Manual...

    Now in the city... hooo is very different. My car ( MANUAL TRANS ) does between 380miles to 420 per tank. around 12 to 13.5 galons of gas.


    In city Automatic trans does 320 - 380miles per tank

    any buying a mazda is a great :) experience and is very driving and enjoying the car. i haven;t got any problems with the car.. mazda 3 2004 with 45k miles. so far i love the car... i'm thinking in rpl the car for another mazda, probably the RX8 or same mazda 3 but the sport...

    conclusion for me.... both are great but i love manual...
    great in montains, down hill, turns... gettining in the highway specially when ever are turns...
  • kidoctorkidoctor Posts: 5
    Bought a brand new Speed 3 last Wednesday at Hayward Mazda (had 38 mi on it and had the No. 4 Engine Mount Bolt (Mazda recall) replaced before accepting it). I drove it back to SF (35 mi) without any problems and parked it for 20 min(good neighbourhood). Afterwards, got back into the car and drove it 1/2 mi and the clutch started sticking (I would press the clutch pedal the entire length of travel, shift, let up on the pedal, which would spring back about an inch only, but not the full distance - had to lift the pedal with the back of my foot). This happened twice (over about ~2 blocks) then the car stalled (some smoke was coming out of the hood and I smelled something- probably the clutch-burning). The engine would start but I could not engage the transmission with the engine on (could do it with it turned off). I had it towed back to the dealership and they said it was the PCV valve but I have doubts (since an earlier tech said that they were replacing the clutch master/slave cylinders). Things that didn't happen: never rode the clutch, never overrev'd the engine (I babied this thing for the 2 hrs I had it), temp never went past halfway, never ground the gears, no "safety" lights went on, and have been driving stick for 17 years (yeah, I'm old). It's a week later and it's still at the dealership. I want them to replace the clutch but they refuse to. Anyone have this happen to them or have any ideas? Thanks.
  • sssfegysssfegy Posts: 132
    Mazda recalled the all weather mats because they were too thick, and would make the clutch feel like its sticking, but I don't think its that, since you could not engage the tranny, just a thought.
  • I bought a 2004 Mazda 3 S, four door a few years back, brand new. It is a 5 speed. I too, had to replace the entire clutch after having the vehcile for 3 days. Luckily, it was under warrenty but the dealership tooks its sweet time replacing it. The guy whom replaced the clutch was a JERK! He was accusing me of not being able to drive clutch and that I had no idea what I was doing.

    I mean, the ENTIRE clutch was shredded. He even saved my fly wheel and all the gears and showed them to me and my boyfriend at the time. I mean, he really went out of his way to make me feel like a piece of crap.

    I KNOW how to drive manual. It was a bad clutch. I am relieved to see others here had the same issue and I was not the only one. The day my clutch died was one of the worst days of my life. I felt awlful. I only had that car for THREE DAYS!

    Other than that, I have not had issues with the car or clutch. It is an absolute joy to have and drive.
  • kidoctorkidoctor Posts: 5
    Which dealership did you buy/service the car from? I'm at Hayward Mazda and they did the same thing to me. They've had my car for 12 days now, have replaced the slave/master cylinders, waited forever to get a special tool to bleed the system, and after all that, now say it's MY fault and that I shredded the clutch (I've been driving stick for 17 years). The kicker is that they had the District Manager INSPECT the clutch last week and he said that it was FINE. I'm on Mazda Axela Forums and there's at least 3 more people who have had the same problem.
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    What's the highest RPM you ever dropped the clutch from at a stoplight? Truth please....
  • kidoctorkidoctor Posts: 5
    2500 rpm. Truth. It was a brand new car. Not going to mess with it for at least the first 1000 miles.
  • kidoctorkidoctor Posts: 5
    Picked up the car today. The problem was that the clutch was completely shredded (see pic below). After trying to drive the car, the mechanics figured the clutch plate was busted up but they were handcuffed by the Mazda Techline Procedures and ended up replacing a bunch of clutch components before finally opening up the tranny. Mazda Corporate replaced essentially the entire clutch system (said it was a "onetime goodwill gesture"). The mechanics still don't know what went wrong - said the only time they've ever seen a clutch like that was after a hard race but admitted it's impossible to burn out a clutch in 38 miles (and I never drove it hard). Bottom line: I have my car back, it drives great, and Mazda Customer Assistance is 1-800-USE-LESS. The clutch is nice and tight and it shifts well. Only bad thing is that the burnt clutch smell lingers and will probably take a while to get out of the engine.
  • minomino Posts: 1
    I bought my mazda 3 in Oct 2005 used with 23,000 kms on it. The tires that come on the sport model look great and handle on dry pavement well, but are crap in the rain and snow and the tread life is crap. Bought snows for the winter. Problem solved.

    had problems with the check engine light, both low beam headlights burning out within days of one another, leaking washer fluid tank, cracked plastic skid plate, door trim continually falling off, a funny noise coming from the front drivers window when closed from the half way mark, a rattling noise from the rear of the car and the front dash, and now static in my stereo whenever i use the rear wiper blade.

    I took my car into a dealer about a month before a relatively large road trip as it needed some new fluids and I wanted them to look at my clutch/transmission as I noticed a lag in the shifting so I wanted it looked at. Dealer told me the drove it an found nothing. checked the odometer only to find out they hadn't driven at all (reading was the same). 13 days later, clutch gone, only 103,000 km on my car. Mazda wanted $1600 for the job, I got it done for $1100 with parts that have a lifetime warranty.

    Filed a complaint with Mazda Canada, basically told me it's driver error which is a load of crap. I was willing to pay for parts if Mazda covered the labour as I can appreciate parts wearing out (even if prematurely) and given all the problems and amount of $$$ I had already spent with Mazda, I figured they would be able to do something for me. All the offered me was 10% off. Trying to sell my car now
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Interesting.

    You put on a fair amount of kilometres (80,000+) in under 2 years; roughly 50,000 miles for all you non-metric types.

    Did you replace the clutch this year? What did Mazda Canada mean by "driver error"?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,854
    No offense intended, butI seriously doubt that you will find any new car manufacturer that will cover the cost of replacing a worn out clutch at 103,000 km/60,000 miles. You aren't the original owner, so how do you know the clutch wasn't abused early on?

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • I just ran into this discussion..I have a 04 3 hatchback car was awesome and never had issue until last friday the darned clutch just went kaput..i'm the original owner and it has only 34,000 miles and pretty much took care of the car so i'm seeing a trend here with bad clutches early on? it suck cuz my warranty expired although I have extended warranty..and the dealer are not really helping me either..my last 2 ride's clutches lasted over 100,000 miles..no kidding...i dont think i'll own another one of these cars since i wanted the mazdaspeed 3....grrrrr :mad:
  • ok...I found out Mazda warranty does NOT cover transmission or clutch after 12,000 miles..ahhhh..so i'm left with a 1,200 bill..nice..i'm selling the car..this car freakin sucks....sorry people i've driven stick for a long time..i've never see a clutch go out that early...and NO i do not race my car or whatever...it gets taken care of...what a bunch of bull...
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    ok...I found out Mazda warranty does NOT cover transmission or clutch after 12,000 miles..ahhhh..so i'm left with a 1,200 bill..nice..i'm selling the car..this car freakin sucks.

    Do you mean that Mazda will not honor their drivetrain warranty?! :surprise:
    If it's just the clutch, no manufacturer ever covers that although I think they should especially if it's defective!
    I don't understand what they didn't cover with the transmission. Was it just the clutch or something else as well? If you find a manufacturer that warranties the clutch, I'd like to know for reference.
    Sounds like your dealer held you to the letter of the contract and lost a customer in the process. I'd have made such a noise that customers would have noticed in both the sales and the service department. They hate that as other customers always want to know why.
    You can also try to make complaints against the dealer if you think it was unfair.
  • I may have over reacted a bit..i just didnt expect my car to have a major mechanical issue at 34,000 miles...maybe 50,000 or so i wouldnt bother...I had a chevy S10 before that the clutch lasted 120,000 miles...and a honda prelude before that and that clutch lasted forever....I did try to see if a defect may have caused the damages but they said the clutch was shredded saying my driving or whatever did it..I never did any abuse to my ride. So I'm assuming some Madza parts dont hold up as well a some other cars? I do know mazda did cover the clutch but only for 12,000 miles as I previously stated and other companies does the same but it is very limited as well.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    I may have over reacted a bit..i just didn't expect my car to have a major mechanical issue at 34,000 miles...maybe 50,000 or so i wouldn't bother...I had a chevy S10 before that the clutch lasted 120,000 miles...and a honda prelude before that and that clutch lasted forever....I did try to see if a defect may have caused the damages but they said the clutch was shredded saying my driving or whatever did it..

    Yeah with new cars unless you beat the snot out of them they should easily last that long. the clutch in my Rex is slipping a bit but it has over 190K miles on it! :surprise:
    No one is more surprised than I am and I haven't been easy on it. Mazda is a Ford in some ways and maybe it's a Ford Clutch? Maybe it was weak when they installed it at the factory? it's just a mechanical part that can wear out. Interestingly enough they make it tough and expensive to replace the clutch. You should have easily gotten 100K miles if you drove it normally but the good thing is you now have a new clutch and THAT should have a warranty on it as well. I'm considering a Mazdaspeed 3 myself and i wonder with all that torque going through the front wheels just how hard it will be on the clutch.
    Top Gear was driving Mini's with 300HP in them and they felt that was the limit of the car.
    Keep the car and see how it works out with the new clutch as it should last a very long time, if not raise a big stink at the dealership! Be very loud and vocal especially in the sales area. Don't let them get you into an office where no one can see/hear you.
    This puts pressure on them to actually try and fix the problem.
  • I'm sooo happy to read your post!!! I'm picking my 05 3 up after the same thing happened. I had it towed to a dealer who said it was the "shift assembledge". I was out of town and since it would take a week for them to get the part, they gave me a bolt to use to override the transmission. When I got back to town, two days later, it started working fine. the dealer couldn't find anything wrong with it.
  • Sorry for the "stupid" question but all my other cars have been manuals.. I didn't know that automatics can roll back when in drive (I thought they were supposed to catch themselves after just a tad rollback) Is it because it's a Sport AT?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,854
    Sorry for the "stupid" question but all my other cars have been manuals

    It's not stupid; how would you know?

    I didn't know that automatics can roll back when in drive (I thought they were supposed to catch themselves after just a tad rollback)

    Some do, some don't. It depends on the car and the transmission. Whatever you do, DON'T hold the car with just the throttle; doing so could damage the automatic. Use the brake.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • rulprulp Posts: 9
    My 3s is a manual and I sometimes use the parking brake to hold on steep hills
    when caught at a light or stop sign. Should work fine for AT also I would guess.
  • I've noticed a number of postings regarding bad experiences with the Mazda 3 clutch.

    I purchased my 2004 Mazda 3s new. The clutch and flywheel went out at 14,000. Mazda refused to provide a warranty repair as they said that there was only a 12,000 mile warranty on the clutch, although the overall car warranty was 50,000. They said that is was driver abuse and that they had never seen one shredded and burned like that. However, that also sounds a lot like other postings.

    I was very tempted to get rid of the car, but couldn't find anything comparable that seemed to be of otherwise high quality and fun to drive. However, the new clutch went out at 70,000. I then had a mechanic friend replace it and fortunately only the clutch was gone this time. But, there were two round grooves worn into the plate. My mechanic suggested that perhaps something had broken off inside to wear the grooves.

    Needless to say, I'm definitely not keen on keeping it too much longer before I have to put in a 3rd clutch!

    Does anyone have any suggestions for an alternative car to consider? I liked the size, interior quality and the fact that I could lay down the back seats and lay my road bike down inside.

    Thanks in advance for any help
  • wow your clutch went out @ 14,000 miles?..i think there are some problems with these madza clutches and they dont want to do anything about it...mine went out @ 34,000 miles(mine's a 2004 too)..and they went along and blamed it on me...i'm gonna get rid of it pretty soon...as for another car i'm thinking of a honda or a toyota...i've had both cars before and the clutches on both lasted forever....
  • Model Mazda3s, made in Japan (!?), bought June 2004, 70000 miles, driven under normal conditions home-work-home. Transmission went bad, authorized service had a problem to fix that.

    Repair >$ 2000. Mazda customer support position: Normal wear and tear and the warranty expired. This will be the last Mazda I purchase.

    OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE PLANNING TO BUY NEED to know! Something went teribbly wrong with the quality of Mazda. I used to love & trust Mazda,...not any more. Period!
    Zlatan
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Mazda3s... bought June 2004, 70000 miles, driven under normal conditions ... Transmission went bad, authorized service had a problem to fix that. Repair > $2000

    A few questions:
    1. Does your car have a manual or automatic transmission?
    2. Did you buy your car new at a Mazda dealership?
    3. Was the car regularly serviced at a Mazda dealership?
    4. Does "authorized service" refer to the dealership and/or the manufacturer?
    5. Did you consider a complaint to a consumer body, BBB or legal action?
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