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Mazda 3 Transmission Problems



  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,035
    "Guess I'm gonna just have to check the trans fluid every time I get my oil changed to look out for potential problems."

    You have my heartfelt sympathy. What a horrible and demeaning ordeal to be faced with!
    I just hate it when automakers expect vehicle owners to be responsible for properly maintaining their own cars.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • sunset19sunset19 Posts: 4
    Well no it's not normal maintenance to have the trans fluid replaced every 3k miles. But if that's what mazda needs to keep them going, then they will have it.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,035
    "Well no it's not normal maintenance to have the trans fluid replaced every 3k miles. But if that's what mazda[sic] needs to keep them going, then they will have it."

    Well, you originally posted "I'm gonna just have to check the trans fluid"- not "change".
    I'm hoping you know the difference.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • sfsdfdsfsdfd Posts: 1

    I'm an owner of an '07 Mazda3 with 42k miles. The car has never given me a single problem... until Sunday morning at 3am, when the clutch suddenly and catastrophically failed at 50mph - no power to the wheels in any gear. I coasted it into a parking lot, and noticed the clutch pedal vibrating when the car is in neutral and a burning smell under the hood.

    The dealership is now giving me some funny stories.

    First, the dealer told me that the flywheel and clutch pressure plate need to be replaced for $1200+labor, and that nothing is covered by the warranty. I pointed them to the Mazda website, which clearly and plainly indicates that both components are fully covered (5 years/60k miles) under the powertrain warranty. This took several phone calls over a few hours - and I even had to email them a link to the Mazda website!

    Now, the dealer is telling me that the problem is with the clutch disc, which is not a covered item and is a normal wear item. The mechanic says that he'd like to replace the flywheel and clutch pressure plate as well - but keeps wavering on whether or not the warranty will cover them. Also, he's STILL quoting me a price of $1,200+labor for the repair, but says that he may be able to take off $500 if some parts are covered under the warranty. Oddly, he also tells me that the cost of the clutch disc, as a wear item, is only $120.

    I called Mazda's customer support, but the guy who answered the phone just called the dealership and repeated what the mechanic said. He says he opened a case for review with the district manager for my area - but the mechanic also called and said he explained the situation to the district manager, who agrees with him.

    Obviously, I have some questions:

    1) Does a clutch disc ordinarily wear out at 42k miles - and wear out suddenly and catastrophically, with no warning or change in car behavior, followed by total failure of the transmission?

    2) Does the sudden nature of the failure suggest a defect in the other parts of the clutch? And if those parts failed and burned out the clutch disc in the process, should the clutch disc also be covered under the power train warranty?

    3) What should I do about the car repairs? Should I consider towing the vehicle to another dealership?

    4) If there's a problem with an incorrect denial of warranty coverage or a sketchy explanation, what's my recourse? Do I file a complaint with Mazda HQ, or here at Edmunds, or the BBB? Or do I start looking around for an attorney?

    MANY thanks in advance...
  • chickenlipschickenlips Posts: 16
    "I own a 2008 3s Touring and not infrequently when I attempt to shift into reverse can't until the third or fourth try. I have only owned cars with manual transmissions and have been driving stick shift for 25+ years so I don't think my shifting skills/technique is the root of the problem. I've owned the car for six months and the problem shifting into reverse seems to be occurring more frequently. I tried to identify the circumstances when it happens and there is no consistency to when it occurs."

    I have this problem with my 2008 manual 3s Touring also. About every sixth time I shift into reverse, it takes three or four attempts. Since I can't reproduce it at will and since I have no other problems (I'm at 30k), I haven't taken it to the dealer. I have 20 years manual experience.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, I too have the occasional problem getting inter reverse on my Mazda3, however, that problem has been pretty much the same on every car with three pedals under the dash that I've ever owned (2 from Japan, 4 from USA, 6 from Germany). Personally I don't consider it a problem principally because reverse in most (all?) manual transmission equipped cars isn't syncronized. Whenever this problem happens I simply ease the clutch in just a hair to offset the gear cogs inside the transmission ever so slightly, and "snick", the shifter clicks righ into place.

    Hope this helps. :)
  • ejhayes1ejhayes1 Posts: 11
    Exactly. I usually have to let the car roll an inch or let the clutch out a little bit if the cogs aren't lined up. Not a problem if this is what you experience. My previous Honda's, Subaru's and VW's have been like this.
  • Had the EXACT same thing happen to my 3 at 39K. Lets here from a lot of other owners! This absolutely is premature failure. I've driven clutches for 35 years and have never had one fail this quickly or shred the way this one did. Must be bad alignment of plates or very cheap lining material. Cost me $1314.82 for a new Pressure Plate, Pilot Bearing, Throwout Bearing and Clutch Plate. Bought the car....No kidding...3 months ago. Paid $1100 extra for "Premier 36,000 mile Extended Coverage" Guess what, does not cover clutch...."wear item". I was LIVID!!! Dealer was totally worthless. I love Mazda's, but this has soured me forever. I guess the dealer inspection done before the car was resold meant nothing.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    "Bought the car....No kidding...3 months ago."

    So in your case, how can you be sure the problem was not due to abuse by the first owner?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,035
    So in your case, how can you be sure the problem was not due to abuse by the first owner?

    That's exactly what I was thinking.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited June 2010
    In the last two months my 16-year old son has gone from the jerk-jerk-screech-stall (ewww, what's that smell?) stage of driving a stick shift to pretty reasonably competent at stirring his own, all of the learning was done in my Mazda3. What's the bet if I trade it in a couple of years down the road and the clutch fails shortly after the car finds its second owner, they come on here and fuss about what a piece of junk Mazdas are due to the premature clutch failure. :-p

    Best regards,
  • Just recently I've noticed that when I depress the clutch on my 07 Mazda 3 GT sedan, I hear a bad squeak under the car. It sounds like a spring that hasn't been greased.

    Is anyone familiar with what might cause this and will it be covered under the power train warranty?
  • phil7890phil7890 Posts: 3
    My 2005 3 wagon 5sp has developed a high pitched whine in fifth gear, only under load. Fluid level is fine and has been checked regularly. Has original clutch at 117,000 miles and shifts fine.

    Car has been great except I go through tires every 20,000 miles no matter what brand. First mechanical problem is tranny and the AC switch intermittently shuts off the compressor. Otherwise, just a new battery and rear brake pads to go to dust free ones, the car has been great.
  • It's crazy to hear someone else telling your story (i.e. mine)... I have a 2010 Mazda 3 with a little over 18,000 miles on it and my clutch went out. I've done the exact same thing and their "district manager" is "reviewing" the situation. I haven't heard back from him yet, but I'm guessing he'll follow the same route as he did you. If that is the case, I will be calling the news and would appreciate any help that I could get. One person isn't going to make a difference, but if this is happening frequently, there needs to be a recall and they need to be fixing these clutches. I've been doing a lot of research and from what I can tell, it is happening a lot and everyone is being quotes $1,200 to get it fixed. Please let me know your outcome.
  • gbriankgbriank Posts: 220
    Everyone NEEDS to go to the NHTSA website and file complaints. In the past, issues like this would have been overlooked...but not any more.
  • Add me to that list. 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 26,xx miles owned since new, it's my wife's car, she has driven nothing but manual trans since she was 16. we take great care of the car and its serviced at a Mazda dealership. last week she started noticing a smell and sure enough the dealership told us it needed a clutch. AT 27000 MILES!!!!! SERIOUSLY???? A CLUTCH BEFORE IT NEEDS BRAKES??? :mad:
    Can some other spd3 owners confirm that the clutch on the speeds were a little weird from mile 1? Both my wife and i commented when we first purchased the car (December '06. There weren't any other speed3s on the lot that weren't already purchased for us to compare too) that the clutch engaged weird.
    Also we both noticed on cold morning that the gears would grind on the first couple 1-2 shifts even with the clutch pedal depressed to the fire wall.
    I spoke with Customer Assistance last night, but they just looked up the warranty (12/12 on clutches) and told me there wasn't much he could do, except open it for review at the dealership.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,035
    edited July 2010
    Can some other spd3 owners confirm that the clutch on the speeds were a little weird from mile 1? Both my wife and i commented when we first purchased the car (December '06. There weren't any other speed3s on the lot that weren't already purchased for us to compare too) that the clutch engaged weird.

    I wouldn't describe the clutch action as "weird", although I did find it to be a bit abrupt; I finally adapted to it.That said, the clutch on my 63K mile MS3 is still good.

    Also we both noticed on cold morning that the gears would grind on the first couple 1-2 shifts even with the clutch pedal depressed to the fire wall.

    That's a gearbox issue, and it's not all that uncommon. I (along with many other MS3 owners) have switched to Ford Full Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid - problem solved.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • So I wrote in this thread back on page 19 or 20 and some stuff as happened since then that I thought I'd share.

    So I had my transmission replaced fall 2009 at 68K. About a month and a half ago they replaced the PCM because sometimes (When driving in traffic aka stopping and going quickly), the AT light would go on and the car would not shift into 4th gear. The AT light would go off and shutting the car off a few times, but the engine light stayed on. Anyway, that was their diagnosis. About two weeks later, my transmission no longer goes into 4th gear and would shudder every time it went from "park" into "reverse." I was traveling and took it to a different dealership who prints out a history of the car. That is when I find out that the transmission in the car was the FOURTH one. WHAT THE WHAT?! I was sold a car that had the transmission replaced twice in one year!!! They tell me that a fifth one needed to be put in but were waiting for an "ok" from Mazda (because the new (?) transmission was covered under warranty). Well, they never got an okay so they did some more tests on it and realized that a ground wire was loose. They charged me a butt load to have it fixed but now my car is working okay. Seriously Mazda, get your stuff together!
  • maraujomaraujo Posts: 1
    Reading your message just pushes me off the edge 'cause I had something very similar happen to me. I bought a 2005 Mazda 3 (2.3L) and initially I went to the dealership for the 1-2 shift problem which gave a slight jerk but they said it was just the way it was. I spoke to a good mechanic I know and he said it is possible that the transmission is slowly going out. I must also mention that during the same time I noticed that the AC was causing the car to drop in power drastically. I know power will reduce slightly when the AC is turned on but once again they couldn't feel it. I just found out that all this time (about 3 summers now) that the AC compressor is vibrating and needs to be replaced. Now why it chokes up so bad I have no clue, so I have to drive with my window down on the freeway. The 1-2 shift has progress and just yesterday the engine light turned on. I'm so afraid because the last thing I need is my transmission to go out. But I believe it's evitable and I just need to embrace myself for the worst. I'm just so furious because now it's at 68K miles, I'm completely short on dough and I'm still in college. I'm certain Mazda knows of this problem but like the Pinto they have done their math. They know their trans' suck but they will not do anything about them. Someone please do something!
  • clselfclself Posts: 1
    I cannot believe Mazda does this. My 07 Mazda 3 transmission went out at 40,000 miles as well. When I called the dealership they told me I no longer had a warranty, to take it to a transmission shop. I did that and then someone suggested I call and ask to talk to the dealer's manager, I did and he told me I HAD A WARRANTY TO BRING MY CAR TO THEM and they would just replace the transmission. I told him they had already taken the transmission out, he said that's fine, just have the car towed with the transmission on the side on a flatbed. Sooooo, long story short, I did that, yesterday they called and said, oh well, the transmission will NOT be covered because it was disassembled. I was on the phone all day arguing that I did exactly as they told me to do, they will not budge and are saying will cost me 3,000. Any suggestions?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    No suggestions, but did you not know you had a 5 year/50,000 mile power train warranty? (Of course, it is inexcusable that the person you first spoke to apparently did not know this, but thought that they did know that you were out of warranty.)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,035
    You nailed it...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • I have a Mazda3 with 17,000 mi. and the clutch just went bad. No warranty coverage. Just tough Luck. Something isn't right here.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, I have a Mazda3 with just shy of 31,000 miles on it with the original clutch. Why is that surprising? Because this last spring I taught my 16 year old son to drive a stick and he was none too gentle on the clutch on many occasions (the burnt rubber smell is hard to miss even when I wasn't with him in the car). Long story short, if my clutch goes out any time before the 100,000 mile mark, I'll know why. ;) Given the abuse my clutch received compared to yours, I find it amazing that it has failed so early on.

    FWIW, since the time when most (all?) manufacturers began moving to hydraulic clutch actuation I've noticed what I consider to be a higher number of reports of premature clutch failure from drivers of cars from all over the world. I wonder if the problem is due to improperly bled hydraulic lines.
  • I have a 2007 Mazda Mazda3 wagon and the transmission has been bad since at least 30K. I brought it in but the mechanics kept saying they couldn't find a problem, etc., although they noted the transmission fluid was discolored. They didn't want to change it because it would void the warranty.

    I brought it in regularly every 8K miles. Finally, at 62K they figure out that there is a problem and I need a new transmission! What a miracle! The transmission fluid has been discolored the whole time because the transmission is wearing out.

    The dealership tells me it's out of warranty and Mazda company won't help. They wouldn't even allow me to use the $85 diagnosis fee toward changing my transmission fluid rather than changing the entire transmission. They have told me to stick it where the sun doesn't shine in more ways than one.

    I had plans to pass this car on to my daughter when she learned to drive shortly and buy a Miata. But I have completely reversed any decisions to deal with such a company anymore, considering how they treat customers.

    It seems with all of these complaints about the transmission that a class action lawsuit is in order to get Mazda to issue a recall.
  • I have recently been having the same problem. It has gotten worse over the past three weeks. Were you able to get this problem resolved and if so what all did it entail. Thanks
  • My 2007 Mazda 3's clutch first went out at 29,000 miles. It's gone out again this summer at 63,000 miles. I hate this car.

    My previous two Honda Civics (both manuals) ran for 130,000+ miles without ever needing any clutch or transmission repairs.
  • hi..well after reading everyones problems with their mazda transmissions I guess I'm puttin mazda on my list of bad vehicles. I too have a mazda 3 2007 n sbout 2 weeks ago I noticed the AT light came on n my car wouldn't shift past 3rd gear.. But before that. Around 30000 miles I noticed my car would make a slight jerk when shifting into 4th gear. My car is now at 103000 miles n this light is jus now coming on. I took into the dealership, and for $108 to diagnose it. They tell me the transmission had an Internal failure n will have to be replaced. The mechanic had mentioned to prepare for the worst because this problem he's seen many times before n it usually ends up with the transmission being replaced. So now I'm out of warranty n it's gonna cost me $2300 to fix it. Idk what I'm gonna do. I wish I had known this sooner dat mazdas have [non-permissible content removed] tranny problems. You'd think with this many..theyd do somethin about it!!
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    You have 103,000 miles. While it is unfortunate to have a $2300 repair bill at any time, sometimes machines do break. Perhaps the design of the machine is perfectly reasonable and you were just unlucky and got one that broke at 100K mi. There is no manufacturer that has a power train warranty that goes beyond 100K mi, probably because random failures start occurring at about that point.

    What is the expectation, how many miles with a 0% failure rate is acceptable?
  • yes that is true....but why would at only 30000 miles when the car was still practickly brand new would it start acting up already. When I descriebed the jerking into 4th gear, the mechanic told me it waz a sign the transmission was already being worn down. I've had 2 other vehicles that lasted years with far more miles before small things started needing repairs...but not the whole transmission. I've done alot of researching, and to me, it jus seems mazda gave far too many probems with their transmissions acting up early on.
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