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Mazda MX-5 Miata Transmission Problems

speedy25speedy25 Posts: 10
I just bought a new 06 Miata Mx-5 one week ago. I love the way it handles and its' head-turning looks. There is one thing that REALLY bothers me though. When I am in 6th gear driving at about 60 mph it feels like I need to shift into 7th gear(which of course doesn't exist!) At 60 mph it's doing 3000 rpm on the tach. Is this normal? It is aproblem with the transmission? engine? I would really appreciate an answer either way.


  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    It's the way the transmission is geared. Normal.
  • Assuming you have the manual transmission, the higher RPM during highway cruising is not a problem at all. The gear ratios are built that way and ultimately give the MX-5 very responsive throttling; as a result, the engine loves to spin at higher RPMs when cruising at highway speeds. My 6-speed manual spins about 3000 RPM at 60mph and about 3400 RPM at 70mph.

    I believe the automatic transmission spins at a lower RPM at the same speed, so don't be concerned if you happen to compare against an automatic transmission.
  • Can anyone help? My 1994 Saturn SL1 with automatic transmission has started slipping and I cannot maintain a safe highway speed while driving. Must it be a mechanical problem only, or could it possibly be a cheaper solution like a fuse, or some electronic sensor, etc? If so, any ideas where to start looking? If I must buy a used transmission, any suggestions on who to contact? Thanks.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    Hi, scubapro,

    Since this is the MX-5 discussion, you probably won't get much feedback on your Saturn. You might want to stop by the Saturn S-Series Group to see if the folks there can answer your questions. Hope you get this solved soon :-)


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Tell everyone about your buying experience: Write a Dealer Review

  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    and the first question is not an issue. This is how the car works.
  • I had my 2006 Sport Miatia for about three weeks. Today I woke up to about 1/4 inch of snow and headed to work. I had 3 strokes before I got around the corner. It spun out several times as I was doing 15-20 mph. I made a simple left hand turn at low speed (you better believe it!). It made the turn and kept moving horizonally. YIKES! It's my only car! I'm hearing I need winter tires. What are the best makes and models? Is there something else I can do besides winter tires? I have the 18 inch wheels. This was like driving a car on roller-skates.
    Thanks for your suggestions
  • I have done many clutch jobs in my time, but never on a car with independent rear suspension; there appears to be a strut or brace connecting the transmission to the rear differential; what kind of surprises can I expect when I begin to crack this thing open? Are there any special or unusual precautions I need to take?
  • Gears will not change when motor is running in my 92 miata. Can turn car off and they go into gear then. What is my problem? Please help.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    Do you have TPMS option?
  • Hi
    If that is traction control, no, I don't have that. Any suggestions?
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    you have to determine if you have run flat tires.
  • As far as I know, I don't have them. It's a new car and they were not listed as an option on the sticker. That should mean I don't have them right?
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Get some snow tires. I've driven my Miata in a little snow. It does okay if you drive slow. My Protege with studs does well, but it's a little hard to modulate the clutch on ice. Stops great. My 4x4 does the best. Starts great but doesn't stop as well as the studs. A set of studless or studded tires should do the trick.
  • Thanks! I'll do that. Any recommendations on the snows?
  • I recently bought my Miatia. During the exchange of paperwork, the salesman had me sign a Power of Attorney. I guess I wasn't thinking straight and I signed it. He didn't give me a copy of it. Is this standard procedure? What is his purpose in getting me to sign this? Do I need to do something about this? Thanks.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Depends on your budget. I bought the cheaper Les Schwab tires. I can't remember the brand name.

    Best winter tire is Nokia Hakkapeliita but it cost $$$. Michelin makes good tires for a little less.
  • Thanks. Know anything about the Blizzacks WS-50's?
  • Depending on the state in which the dealer requested. In 49 States in the US the dealer may have you sign a Power of Attorney without rendering a Copy. Unless you live in Alaska they have to give you a copy of the power of attorney. And it may not have even been legal. I would contact the DMV for you state and ask them for more information on how to proceed with this. I got this information from a friend of mine who is a Drivers services lawyers (figths speeding tickets, license suspensions and Car dealers) How was the car paid for?
  • Hello! I want to swap a Miata engine and 5 speed into my vintage British ELVA Courier (nee MGA 1500)

    I'm looking for a junk block and tranny case to mockup and see if this will work. I'm in Phila / NJ area and will pick up, not ship, the parts.

    Anybody have experience with the swap???

    Thanks for your time and interest. Victor
  • I finaced the car, but will be paying it off in a few months. The car was bought in New Jersey, but I live in Pennsylvania.
  • I have a 90 Miata. I am trying to install the center console and shift boot. The shifter is not centered in the hole on the floor board. It is far left of the hole. Is there a way to move the transmission. The motor mounts are good. Help??
  • mazdaman3mazdaman3 Posts: 12
    I've got a '99 Miata 5-speed with 45,000 miles. I bought it last summer with 40,000 miles, and learned to drive a manual on it. Anyway, I started off to work today, and everything was fine until I got to 4th gear at about 45mph, and especially in fifth gear, the car started feeling more and more underpowered. Almost like the clutch was slipping and not connecting to the flywheel. My rpm’s at 60 are higher than I remember, and when I give it some gas, it is very sluggish, the engine revved slowly but my speed didn't accelerate like it should have. Any thoughts/suggestions?
    Also, how much damage do you think I did and how much do you think the car had when I got it? (I ask this because if I'm the one damaging it, I may just get a new car, because I don’t want to just turn around and replace it in another 5k.) Thanks for your help.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Doesn't sound like a tranny issue to me. Check your clutch for slippage. Then, get a good independent mechanic to check it out.
  • bigbozer1bigbozer1 Posts: 4
    My 1999 10th Anniversary 6-speed spins at 3000 RPM at 60 mph. That is normal. My Lexus ES300 spins at less than 2000 RPM at 60 mph, but then it is a bigger engine. I once had a 1991 Honda prelude with a high revving engine. My wife thouight it was a "slower" car than the Miata simply because the RPMs were high but the engine was strained even at higher RPMs. :surprise: :D
  • speedy25speedy25 Posts: 10
    Thank you.
  • speedy25speedy25 Posts: 10
    Thanks for your help!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    So even 6th gear isn't tall. That's interesting. I guess they're just 6 closer ratios, vs. the 5 speed.
  • mitchomitcho Posts: 1
    Ok im 17 and looking at a automatic 1990 with, 84,000. I had two adults test drive the vehicle and they both relized that the car if u give it gas it wouldnt do much than as you give it more it would over react, they described it like "snappy" or "jerky" and wasnt exactly smoot. I've had several opinion on this and some say its just how the car is. Others say this is a serious issue. If anything its the transmittion im assured. Im just looking for several more opinions, and also im going to test a 96 auto with 139k:)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The autos in 1990 had more torque but less peak HP than the models with manuals. It should be smoother than you describe, i.e. less peaky than my manual.

    I'd avoid that one.

    The '96 has a bigger, 1.8l engine with more torque, and should be a better match for the automatic.
  • eddygooeddygoo Posts: 3
    Didn't use A/C till I had about 1,000 miles on my new 2007 MX5 GT. At idle or at slow speeds between 1st/2nd and 2nd/3rd gears there is a noisy rattling sound. Reminds me of a bad clutch throwout bearing, except when clutch pedal is depressed the sound diminishes. At first I thought it sounded like a loose pulley, or a dry bearing. When A/C is turned on the noise greatly increases. Dealer kept it for a day, said it was Transmission Gear Roll Over Noise. Said I'd just have to live with it. It's a normal condition. I contacted Mazda but they never answered my emails nor phone calls. Like the guy said, guess I'll just have to live with it.
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