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Mazda MX-5 Miata Transmission Problems

speedy25speedy25 Member 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.
Thanks!
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    erics6erics6 Member Posts: 684
    It's the way the transmission is geared. Normal.
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    lateral1lateral1 Member Posts: 2
    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.
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    scubaproscubapro Member Posts: 2
    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.
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    ClairesClaires Member Posts: 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 :-)

    MODERATOR

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

    Tell everyone about your buying experience: Write a Dealer Review

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    manybmwsmanybmws Member Posts: 347
    and the first question is not an issue. This is how the car works.
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    speedy25speedy25 Member Posts: 10
    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
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    mlrhodusmlrhodus Member Posts: 1
    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?
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    bubba_29303bubba_29303 Member Posts: 1
    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.
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    manybmwsmanybmws Member Posts: 347
    Do you have TPMS option?
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    speedy25speedy25 Member Posts: 10
    Hi
    If that is traction control, no, I don't have that. Any suggestions?
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    manybmwsmanybmws Member Posts: 347
    you have to determine if you have run flat tires.
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    speedy25speedy25 Member Posts: 10
    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?
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    erics6erics6 Member 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.
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    speedy25speedy25 Member Posts: 10
    Thanks! I'll do that. Any recommendations on the snows?
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    speedy25speedy25 Member Posts: 10
    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.
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    erics6erics6 Member 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.
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    speedy25speedy25 Member Posts: 10
    Thanks. Know anything about the Blizzacks WS-50's?
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    djsteve2nycdjsteve2nyc Member Posts: 1
    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?
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    victoracingvictoracing Member Posts: 1
    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
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    speedy25speedy25 Member Posts: 10
    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.
    Thanks
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    90miata190miata1 Member Posts: 1
    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??
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    mazdaman3mazdaman3 Member 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.
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    erics6erics6 Member Posts: 684
    Doesn't sound like a tranny issue to me. Check your clutch for slippage. http://www.ehow.com/how_7687_diagnose-slipping-clutch.html Then, get a good independent mechanic to check it out.
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    bigbozer1bigbozer1 Member 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
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    speedy25speedy25 Member Posts: 10
    Thank you.
    Speedy
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    speedy25speedy25 Member Posts: 10
    Thanks for your help!
    Speedy
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member 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.
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    mitchomitcho Member 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:)
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member 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.
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    eddygooeddygoo Member 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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    tomcatttomcatt Member Posts: 1
    I recently changed the trans fluid and filter on my 1996 Miata. As I was refilling the tranny, I found it very difficult to read the tranny dipstick to determine when the fluid was at the proper level. So I went to the owners manual for help. It said the tranny hold 6.8 US quarts. That sounds like way to much. I only put in 3.5 quarts guessing that I was reading the dipstick correctly. It seems to be shifting fine. Does any one know the definite correct amount of fluid that should go in after this service?
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I have a 93 and it took less than 4 quarts.

    Disclaimer: yours may be different, the engine changed in 94.
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    440sixpack440sixpack Member Posts: 3
    about 7 months ago i came into possession of a 91 miata manual, not tso days after owning it i noticed something odd with the clutch, it just wouldnt stick, so i ordered a replacement, and within about 4 hours had it swapped out, it ran great, you could catch rubber all the way to 3rd gear. well about a month later i began to notice the same thing happenning again. so i figured let a certified mech do it. well a week and 800 bucks later, the car had a new flywheel clutch kit the whole nine yards, except the release fork and slave cyclinder, so on an so forth, well now im here today and the damn thing is beginning to slip again. i cant figure out what the hell is wrong. help
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You're laying rubber down in THIRD gear?

    My 93 can't do it at all. Do you have a turbo or supercharger?

    Sounds to me like you probably have much more than stock levels of power and you're letting the clutch absorb a lot of abuse.
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    440sixpack440sixpack Member Posts: 3
    and see thats it, i havent done any major mods to the car, just an air intake atomizer and performance ignition, other than that its all 91 stock, i just cant figure out why its eating clutches, it ate the first two before i ever even added the ignition set up, though the first clutch was an oem 91 clutch
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Wow, these things make something like 99hp at the wheels, and that's on a good day. I was surprised to read that.

    Avoid hard starts and try to match revs when you downshift, I suppose.

    Does it slip when you baby it, i.e. under normal (slow) starts?
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    440sixpack440sixpack Member Posts: 3
    well i would say moderate gas push and it will slip, id say about a third of the gas pedals distance and it will slip, but now even weirder, ive noticed it only slips when the shifter shaft is hot, when the tranny is cold it grips like a champ. but as soon as it gets hot i have no mainstream acceleration, clutch just spins over, but as soon as you let off the gas, it catches quick
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    polarmiatapolarmiata Member Posts: 1
    Hi I get a popping noise at the left rear wheel when braking. I cganged boyh axles and it did not fix it but it does roll smoother down the road and I serviced the rear differential.
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    mx5elimx5eli Member Posts: 1
    I'm having the same problem with my 93 miata. I've had the clutch replaced a couple times and the master cylinder for the clutch fluid. But yet it contains to slip when the car warm. If the engine is still cool drives like a champ. Have you figured out the problem yet.
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    deh2620deh2620 Member Posts: 1
    My 6-speed xmission doesn't seem to shift well. With only 35k, it's hardly worn out and has, in my view, never really shifted smoothly. It particularly doesn't like to shift quickly and often is hard to shift into 2nd. If I step on it in first and try to shift into second, it often doesn't synch well - particularly if it is cold. Is this an unusual problem? Do I have a lemon, or is this normal?
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    chlear909chlear909 Member Posts: 1
    squell noise in 4rth and 5th gears .stops when clutch is depressed. :)
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    luvmymazda99luvmymazda99 Member Posts: 2
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    luvmymazda99luvmymazda99 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I have a 1999 5 speed Mazda Miata and lately when I am changing gears it makes a grinding noise and "fights" me a little to get it in gear. This just started. Do I need to have the clutch replaced?
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    neighborsneighbors Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Miata SE 6 speed. It sometimes makes a rather loud growling sound only when the clutch is engaged, even shifting to neutral or another gear will not stop it, but It stops when the clucth is let out. I don't know if it is the clutch or transmission?
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    kseguinekseguine Member Posts: 1
    I Was backing up my sloped driveway and when I stopped on the level surface the car would only go into reverse something seems to jammed any clues of what is going on? So I Can save a tow Thanks you KSeguine
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    116549116549 Member Posts: 17
    I just bought a 1991 Miata with 95000 miles on it. When the car is in neutral, it does not vibrate very much and idles at 750 rpms. But when you put it in any gear with the clutch pedal in, the rpms drop to 500 and it begins to vibrate more. When the clutch is out, there is not any vibration, and there is no vibration with the clutch pushed in and in neutral. Any ideas?
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    IM1RU12IM1RU12 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 LS with less than 29K miles on it. It frequently is either hard to upshift into 2nd or grinds a little when it goes in. Sometimes I get a lesser version of this when upshifting into 3rd. Other times it's as smooth as can be. It happens less at high RPM shifts. It never happens on downshifts. My mechanic says there's nothing wrong with my clutch or its hydraulics. My problems seems similar to those in posts #41 and#47. My wife's '93 Miata, with 100K miles still shifts perfectly smooth under any and all driving conditions. Her shifter stays rock solid when getting on and off the throttle in any gear, but mine moves a little fore-and-aft. My mechanic checked my engine mounts and said they're fine. Can anyone shed some light on this?
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    rkirkwoodrkirkwood Member Posts: 4
    I bought a 2008GT used.I usually do my own oil changes and maintenance, but cannot find where to check or add ATF. Not even mentioned in the owner's handbook...any help?
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    IM1RU12IM1RU12 Member Posts: 2
    Oops. I didn't mean to refer to posting #47. #44 was the other one that sounded a lot like my problem.
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    jveastonjveaston Member Posts: 1
    hey everybody
    I have a 99 5 spd miata and we got it used with about 40,000 gentle miles on it and no significant parts replaced
    lately when I try to get up to a relatively higher speed (45ish), the rpms spin up to 5000 and stay there. the car will still hold the speed and I can accelerate but it feels like the car is working wayyyy to hard to do so, like it's super underpowered or something.

    is this a sign of a slipped clutch? i havent done the parking break- 4th gear stall test yet but I thought I'd ask you guys and see if anybody had any input

    thanks!
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