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Mazda 3 Transmission Problems

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  • 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.
  • Here is a link to another forum I have been following with people having similar issues

    http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2010-mazda-3-engine-performance/11419-skyacti- v-downshifting-surging.html
  • Another complaint recently posted via safercar.gov

    TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2012 MAZDA MAZDA3. THE CONTACT STATED THAT WHILE PARKING, THE VEHICLE SUDDENLY ACCELERATED AND CRASHED AGAINST A CEMENT POLE. A POLICE REPORT WAS NOT FILED AND NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT TAKEN TO THE DEALER. THE MANUFACTURER WAS MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE WHO STATED THAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO FURTHER INSPECT THE VEHICLE. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE FAILURE AND CURRENT MILEAGE WAS UNKNOWN.
  • I was wondering if anyone else had this problem. I was going around 40mph in 4th gear and i hit the clutch to go into neutral. The clutch felt normal, and then clicked down farther, which was weird. I went around the corner and tried to put it in 2nd. I wouldn't go down until i almost had to force it. It felt like it was grinding so i pulled over. I put it back in neutral and turned the car off. The clutch pedal was stuck to the floor so i had to pull it back up with my hand. When i turned it back on, it wouldn't go into any gear at all. The car is only 2 months old and only has 2500 miles on it. They are trying to tell me i'm misdriving it. They took it for a test drive and nothing happen, it was fine. Today it happened again and i had to have it toed back to Mazda. They are now saying that the clutch is burnt up and that its all my fault and are trying to charge me $1400 because its not covered by the warranty. Has anyone else experienced this?!?! PLEASE HELP!!!
  • mickrockmickrock Posts: 1
    edited October 2012
    Hey there,
    I have exactly the same issue as you (2012 Mazda 3 with Skyactiv). surging of accelerator when gearing down from 4th to 3rd and same going up. I also have issues with the transmission not wanting to go into gear, mostly from 3rd to 4th, sometimes 4th to 5th and sometimes 6th. Same issue gearing down. Sticky. Always intermittent, never a consistent issue. Dealership told us to drive car for 1500 kms to see if issue goes away. It has not. Going back to dealer next week and will get you an update.
  • Can't wait for the update.

    I should have a data recorder in my car in a couple weeks so I can tell it to record what the car was just doing when the issue occurs. Can't wait to see what comes of that.

    So frustrating.
  • Below are two web addresses where someone can formally complain about this acceleration issue. Bringing this issue to the individual dealers attention is also imperative.

    One is SaferCar.gov the other is Transport Canada. The more people that voice their complaint about this issue, the more likely something will get done about it.

    https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/index.xhtml

    https://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/7/PCDB-BDPP/fc-cp.aspx?lang=eng

    Thanks.
  • Had another incident yesterday afternoon. This time though I had the data recorder and was able to mark the data for Mazda Canada Inc. to review. Apparently, the recorder is constantly recording and I just had to "mark" the data (i.e. tapped the brake X amount of times, note the time and date and then turn the car off for at least 30 seconds when it was safe to do so, to give the engineers a starting point).

    The car is now back at the dealers until it is repaired, replaced or bought back. I refuse to drive it as I do not feel safe driving it after the near miss I had yesterday (almost rear ended the car in front of me).

    The transmission appears suspect, but nothing is concrete until the data has been reviewed. I feel so relieved that the data is recorded and not having to drive that car. It is sad as the car is barely 4 months old with less than 4700 KM.

    :lemon:
  • dbydby Posts: 3
    edited October 2012
    Squiggly 1 - I am having the exact same issues as you, and have been since I purchased my 2012 Mazda 3 GS-SKY 6MT in September. Mine is almost at 2000 KM now, and I have a service appt. booked in a week or so. However, when I talked on the phone to the service dept. they had never heard of the issue, and have never heard of being able to get a data recorder for a car.

    Since you reference Mazda Canada, I am assuming that this data recorder you had installed on your car happened somewhere in Canada / is available in Canada? That was the first thing that the service department asked me, and I wasn't sure at the time. If you did obtain this in Canada, that will help me make a push for the data recorder as I am sure they will not be able to replicate the issue and will only waste my time.

    Like you, this is a worry-some issue as the unpredictable and intermittent nature of the acceleration can get you into some pretty bad situations, and likely worse situations now that the possibility of snow falling is likely. To give you some extra information on my cars issues (in case it helps for anyone out there), my car will randomly accelerate when little or no gas is given during a downshift (generally into 3rd or second), and as well it tends to happen on turns (though not always). I have had the RPM jump anywhere between a few hundred and 1000 (which would put the total RPM up near 4500 or so), which provides a considerable "surprise" acceleration.

    I would appreciate hearing about the results of your recent trip to the dealer with your recorded data when you hear back from them! I hope this issue gets solved for you.
  • As soon as I can get some information I will be sure to let you know. Sorry to hear you are having the same problems.

    Yes, I live in Canada and Mazda Canada Inc. has several of these recorders that are sent to dealerships as required.

    There are complaints through NHTSA and can be viewed at safercar.gov. Specific complaint numbers (ODI #s) are: 10477984, 10477070 & 10469613
  • Still nothing concrete from the dealership. :mad:

    The data has been analyzed and IMHO is quite surprising (a bit of sarcasm there)...
    -The data showed rpms of 3100 not the actual 4000. In my model, 4000 is ~center on the tachometer so it is pretty easy to glance down and see the needle standing on end
    -The data also indicated that the transmission never engaged 2nd gear, rather stayed in neutral. Hmmmmmm, the gear shift was in the 2nd gear position where I was sitting. This concerns me.

    Then I was asked whether or not I have troubles shifting into gear. From time to time I experience what i will call hesitation shifting into gear, but nothing drastic. I also believe it is usually shifting from 2nd into 3rd.

    The engineers had the dealership look for any trouble codes again and check for air leaks at or near the manifold. I do not know the outcome of that, nor see how that would prevent the transmission from engaging 2nd gear.The dealership also has to send additional files of data from the car to the engineers. Not sure why, they did a similar thing initially.

    The last response I received this afternoon is that they are still working on a diagnosis and it is a long process communicating the data.

    I will update when I have more information. Not much to go on at the moment.
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