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Mazda MX-5 Miata Transmission Problems



  • 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?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have a 93 and it took less than 4 quarts.

    Disclaimer: yours may be different, the engine changed in 94.
  • 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
  • ateixeiraateixeira 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.
  • 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
  • ateixeiraateixeira 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?
  • 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
  • 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.
  • mx5elimx5eli 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.
  • deh2620deh2620 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?
  • chlear909chlear909 Posts: 1
    squell noise in 4rth and 5th gears .stops when clutch is depressed. :)
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • kseguinekseguine 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
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • Oops. I didn't mean to refer to posting #47. #44 was the other one that sounded a lot like my problem.
  • 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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I had a slipping clutch on a Datsun ages ago and the symptom that stood out was that the revs would climb while in gear even though speeds would not climb. Does that happen?
  • I have a 97' miata "M series". I recently experienced a problem where the transmission (automatic) would shift through the gears normally but would not go into that last over drive gear.Causing the car to run at high RPMs.The "Hold" light is flashing and the check engine code tells me to check the shift solinoids.After extinsive checks what I found out is that that there is nothing wrong with the transmission or the solinoids.
    The problem is that the Transmission Control Module (TCM) is not sending a signal to the transmission to make that final shift.Well the BIGGER problem is that Mazda no longer makes a TCM for this model,and I can't find any Electric shops in my area that can rebuild it.
    If anyone can tell me where I can get my hands on a TCM for a 97' miata I sure would appreciate it. :sick:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Junk Yard, perhaps?

    When I had my 93 I'd visit the junk yard in CT near my in-laws' place once a year. I'd always find something I could use - a clip here, a latch there. Small stuff like that.
  • I'm having the same exact problem. Have you found the TCM yet, or another solution?
  • Greetings. I have 2008 Icy-Blue GT with a cloth top and 6-speed automatic. I noticed that on a cold day, the 1-2 is really sluggish and feels like it slips a little. Once warn, the tranny shifts normally.

    My question is this: Is there a way to modify the automatic in the 08 Miata to have firmer/ stronger shifts? I understand that the trans is computer controlled, so maybe there is a module or chip that can improve shift quality? Perhaps a different fluid type?

    Last question: Who makes the Miata automatic tranny? Is a Mazda unit, or one of the other Japanese sub-contractors? (Asian-Warner, Jatco, etc....)

    By the way, this is my first Miata and I LOVE IT!! My last Mazda was an RX3 Rotory sedan, and before that, I had a Mazda Cosmo Coupe (also a Rotory).

    Thanks!! ARG
  • hieushahieusha Posts: 2
    Hi ARG, it's been a while since your post. However, I hope you can respond to my post. I'm looking at a 2009 Miata with low mileage and a 6-sp AT. I prefer manual. I'm wondering what's your experience with your 2008 Miata6-sp AT. How does it compare to a manual. Thanks. -Hieu
  • hi, i experience an enoying noice comming from the driveshaft or gearbox area. I could not exactly locate the source of it. i have a mazda mx5, '92 miata U9, manual shift. what could be the problem. the gearbox shifts smoothly, oil on the box and driveshaft are checked. Any ideas before i have to exchange the complete gearbox and driveshaft ?! The noice is also there without engine running and gearbox in free.. so i think its source can be found in the reardriveshaft upto the gearbox.. ?! While driving around 20 - 40 km hour the noice is very well hearable and slightly gets worse while pushing the shiftstick towards 3rd gear without using the clutch. any idea ?!??!
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