Mazda 3 Transmission Problems

rienellrienell Member Posts: 2
I have a 2005 Mazda 3, auto 4 spd, 2.3 ltr. All of a sudden this morning when I put it in reverse, I get a loud, vibrating noise. ONLY in reverse. All other gears work quiet and smoothly.
I checked underneath the car; no leads, drips, drools, and pools of fluid. There is no visible damage to anything. All fluid levels are normal and don't smell burnt, and are clear.

What could this be?

I have an appointment Thursday at the dealership, but I don't want to get scammed into paying for this. I'm worried they'll tell me it's been damaged and the warranty won't cover it.

Any suggestions how to go about fixing this without getting screwed over? I can't afford repairs.


  • fasterthanyoufasterthanyou Member Posts: 131
    "Any suggestions how to go about fixing this without getting screwed over? I can't afford repairs."

    If you didn't abuse your car there is no reason for you to be worried. It should be covered under warranty. Be nice to them but if they try to blame you change the tone and ask to talk with the General Manager. If that doesn't work either, call Mazda headquarters. Do not pay for repairs done to a car under warranty...ever...unless you know you are the one responsible for the damage. Anyway, I seriously doubt they will try to put this on you. Good luck.
  • rienellrienell Member Posts: 2
    Trust me.. I'm a single parent, and have only 1 car to get to work. Be ridiculous to neglect or abuse my car. I know some people do unknowingly, but I can't afford that. I've always changed the oil on time, have my receipts, and just had the 15000 checkup done. ;)
    THis is like a freakish stroke of bad luck on my part i think.. lol
    THanks for the advice though. I've already got plans to show the service guys the fluid levels before they take the cars in so that they can't say it had no fluids. Buddy of mine told me to do that.
  • matt1979matt1979 Member Posts: 4
    I own a 2004 Mazda3 hatchback. I've had the clutch replaced at 6,000 miles which was covered under warranty. I currently have only 17,900 miles on my vehicle and I need to get the clutch and possibly flywheel replaced. They are telling me it's $1700 and not covered under warranty because the warranty on clutches is 1 year (it's been 1.5 years). Has anyone else had similar problems. They tell me at the dealership it's normal wear and tear, I know it must be a defect becasue I've driven manuals my whole life and have never had to replace a clutch at 15,000 miles let alone 2 at less than 18,000 miles. They basically told me I don't know how to drive and its my fault my clutch is worn out and that I'm SOL and I'm going to be forced to fork over 1700 bucks. I called Mazda Warranty and they said that they rely on the Mazda service dept. and as long as they say its normal wear and tear and the warranty expired I'm basically screwed. Please let me know if anyone else has had this problem. This will be the last Mazda I purchase.


    Soon to be ex Mazda owner
  • smogdungsmogdung Member Posts: 349
    That's the most outrageous thing I've ever heard, I put 130,000 formula 1 type miles on '90 Chevy Beretta GTZ...hit the rev limiter multiple times & never had any problem with the clutch ....between the 73 Triump GT6 MkIII, 76 TR7, 89 Calais QUAD 4, etc.....never had clutch problems. & drive like a maniac...maybe you are the world's worst driver?
  • matt1979matt1979 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 97 Trans Am that I haven't put two clutches in. My advice to you don't buy a Mazda.
  • tomkozskitomkozski Member Posts: 39
    I have a 2006 Mazda 3i with manual transmission. Have about 11k miles on it, and no problems with my clutch. Haven't heard of other Mazda3 owners with M/Ts having issues.
  • acdacd Member Posts: 11
    I own a '97 M3i 5M with 6,800 miles so far with no clutch problems. What problems were you having before the first replacement, and is the same thing happening now?
  • matt1979matt1979 Member Posts: 4
  • matt1979matt1979 Member Posts: 4
    I haven't had any problems with the car aside from the clutch. I contacted the better business bureau and am planning on filing a complaint agaist the dealership. has compalints of multiple Mazda owners concerning clutches on Mazda3's and Mazda6's
  • hero1987hero1987 Member Posts: 4
    i have a 2006 mazda3 hatch with a m/t and as of the past 2 weeks i've noticed that it will kick itself out of third and into neautral if i don't forcefully hold it till i let the clutch out also in reverse if i go over 10 mph it will do the same ... anybody else heard of this?? plan on taking it to the dealership tommorrow..
  • stallionrestallionre Member Posts: 205
    Yes, I heard of this. How many miles do you have on your car? Does the trans light come on? Is it showing a "D" on your instrumental panel?

    I am on another forum that is huge with Mazda people. I have red about others who have the similar problem like you have. Let me find out why.
  • aabang665aabang665 Member Posts: 1
    hey guys, i have a 2006 mazda 3 just put a cold air intake on it. the problem is. when ever it rains the filter sucks up water into the main intake. now. this has happened to me before but not as bad. any other time it would rain. it would turn over but just get alot of white smoke now it rained pretty hard here the other day... i have removed all the water from the intake. but. now it wont turn over. everything electric works in the car. lights ect ect just wont turn over. i changed the battery. that didnt seem to be the problem. i have a feeling it may be the starter but i dont know how a starter on a brand new car can go so fast. its either the starter is not getting enough juice from the battery or. theres a problem with one of he wires coming from the battery to the starter.. if anyone knows what i can do besides take it to a shop please leave opinions

    PS. yes im a dumbass for not buying a cover for the filter to begin with... :mad:

    thanks a bunch
  • stallionrestallionre Member Posts: 205
    That sucks totally. When the installer installed my CAI, there is a silver metal cover that is bolted onto the CAI pipe. I do see that the car has vent in the plastic areas of the wheel well and I am afraid that when it rains that the water will come in and hit the metal cover of the CAI filter. I think that the place where the CAI filter is, totally sucks. I wonder why it would placed n the wheel well.
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "i have removed all the water from the intake."

    Uh, how much water was IN the intake? How much water may have gotten into the engine? It sounds like the engine may be locked up.

    Try taking the spark plugs out and see if it will turn over (taking the plugs out gives the water some place to go). Have somebody watch the spark plug holes to see if water is coming out while the engine turns over.

    Put a COVER on the filter. They make those for a reason. You do NOT want to get water into the engine..... :sick:
  • stallionrestallionre Member Posts: 205
    Even with my cover, I am afraid of getting water in the engine. This sounds like a design flaw to me. I am happy that I never drive the 3 in the rain, since I have three cars. I save one for the rain and two for the shine ;)
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "This sounds like a design flaw to me."


    With the stock intake or the aftermarket CAI?

    I'd be VERY surprised if it was even possible to get water into the engine with the stock intake unless you drove through high water and actually SUBMERGED the inlet.
  • stallionrestallionre Member Posts: 205
    I was referring to the CAI that is not stock. The high performance one that can be added after you buy the car.

    Is he talking about getting water in the stock air unit? If so, then he drove through some deep waters, or in fact he forgot to put the cover back on the air filter unit.

    I thought we were talking about the after market CAI install, where the filter now sits in the lower left front wheel well on the driver's side of the car. :D

    If so, then there is suppose to be a metal over that is in the shape of an octagon. This has to be bolted to the CAI pipe, if not then the filter will get wet. :cry:
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "Is he talking about getting water in the stock air unit?"

    No no no; he was talking about getting water in his aftermarket CAI. I just wasn't sure if you were talking about a design flaw in YOUR aftermarket CAI or in the design of the stock unit. But you cleared that up; thanks.

    btw - how did we even get on this subject in a thread devoted to transmission problems????
  • hero1987hero1987 Member Posts: 4
    i have about 24k on it. it never showed any lights or anyhting on the instrument panel .. i took it to the dealer yesterday and they confirmed what i ahd suggested that it was something to do with the synchro in 3rd gear ... they said it was the synchro linkage .. and some other componet... they are going to replace it under warranty ... which is a suprise cause from what i can tell the warranty isnt much of a warranty..

    im also a member of that forum
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "it never showed any lights or anyhting on the instrument panel"

    I think the lights that stallionre was referring to only apply if your car was equipped with an automatic transmission, which is why he asked if a "D" was lit up on the panel.

    Since you have a manual transmission, no trans-related lights in your instruments.
  • stallionrestallionre Member Posts: 205
    OK, I hope that the dealer will fix it.
    I never see you on the other forum. Is your name hero1987 over there?
  • hero1987hero1987 Member Posts: 4
    i understood he was talking about an auto trans...

    no its been awhile since ive been on it .. umm i believe my name is "menus1987" on it
  • stallionrestallionre Member Posts: 205
    Oh I see. These forums sure can take hours off of your life. Reading, posting, reading, posting all day and night. HMMM so fun stuff. ;)
  • hero1987hero1987 Member Posts: 4
    yeah .. i use to have the time but as of late its been hectic ..

    but when in times of questions the forums are the best source of info.
  • leighna17leighna17 Member Posts: 2
    I have an 04 Mazda 3 and for the last 2 1/2 months it has been acting up. When I start the car and go to put it in reverse, or any gear for that matter, it will not budge. I had to call the dealer when it first happened to me and he told me where the gear shift release was. So, I have needless to say had to do that every single day. I don't know what is causeing the problem but the dealer wanted to know if the brake lights were coming on when I pressed the brake to change gears. And yes they are. I really REALLY need help so I don't get taken when I take it to the dealer. Any clues??
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    What you're talking about is a safety feature so you can't accidently knock the car into gear when you're not ready for it to be in gear. It's not something that needs to be fixed, it's just the way the vehicle operates.

    To get out of Park after you start the car, your foot MUST be on the brake, and while your foot is on the brake you press the gearshift release which allows you to put the car in gear.

    To give you a scenario of why this is a safety feature, imagine you're parked in a parking lot at a Walmart or someplace like that, and the car did NOT have this safety feature. You've started the engine, but decide to adjust some packages you put in the backseat or deal with a child in the back seat,and when you turn and reach into the back, you accidently nudge the shifter and pop it into gear. Engine running, no foot on the brake... the car is going to move, and probably hit something or someone.

    But since you have to have your foot on the brake pedal AND press a release to get out of Park, the assumption is that you are ready to drive and are putting the car into gear on purpose.

    There's nothing to take it to the dealer for. If you take it to the dealer, he's just going to (or should) explain the operation to clear up the question you have. That's why he asked you if the brake lights were coming on to see if there might be a problem with the part of the safety feature that involves the brake pedal. When you step on the brake pedal, it closes a swich that lights the brake lights and allows the gear shift release to operate. Both things need to happen to put the car in gear.

    There's nothing to diagnose or fix. A quick check of your owner's manual should verify this. :)

    If you have a chance, join us for our weekly Mazda Club chat tonight and we can talk about it live!

    The Mazda Club Chat is on tonight. The chat room opens at 8:45PM ET Hope to see YOU there! Check out the schedule
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    I don't think the host understood your post.

    As I understand your problem, you ARE stepping on the brake pedal (and this is verified by the brake lights coming on) and yet the transmission STILL doesn't come out of 'Park'?

    Also, is the 'gear shift release' located under a little cover next to the shifter?

    If you ARE pressing the brake pedal, and you must STILL use the gear shift release, then YES, you need to take the car in. It may be a simple adjustment for the shifter.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Member Posts: 3,159
  • mjgeemjgee Member Posts: 2
    We are buying a 2007 Mazda3 4-door sedan (2.3L) this week. We've test driven several models, but have been hesitant to consider the manual transmission, although we love it! Can any one share their experiences with the Mazda3's manual shift (in the 2.3L) in winter driving/wet roads, ice & snow/ bumper to bumper traffic, etc. Satisfied? Unhappy? Neutral? I know the gas mileage is supposedly better with the manual. Is this true? Your feedback will be very helpful!
  • farnsworthfarnsworth Member Posts: 1
    So I'm not exactly a car expert, but I did a lot of research and just bought a Speed3.

    I asked the folks at the dealership when should I be shifting gears? They told me 5500 RPMs, which leaves me around 4000 RPMs in whatever gear I'm driving around in.

    That seems a little high to me, but I'm not sure if I just need to get use to it or if I'm on the road to doing serious damage to my new car.

    What RPM range do you shift around, and what RPM range do you have your car at when you are going a constant speed?

  • smogdungsmogdung Member Posts: 349
    Just got a new Road & Track magazine....MS3 wins over 4 other cars....they say that although red line is 6750, & rev limiter at 7000, for best results (acceleration) shift at 6000.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Member Posts: 3,159
    Well, shifting past 5,500 is useless, for the turbo is no longer producing boost.

    If you are driving around town from point A to point B, shifting around 3,000 to 3,500 will do just fine. If you want to drive for performance, shift at NO HIGHER then 5,500.

    Don't worrie, you won't harm the engine doing either...
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "...and what RPM range do you have your car at when you are going a constant speed?"

    Ummm, if you are DONE accelerating, put the car in the highest gear allowable for that speed. Your owner's manual should specify the mph ranges for each gear. Typically, I'd try to maintain at least 1200 rpm;

    There's NO reason to simply be driving around at 4000 rpm. :surprise:
  • zzoomp09zzoomp09 Member Posts: 32
    I haven't driven the automatic enough to compare with the manual's fuel economy and I have a manual 2.3 hatch, but the manual is performing better than I expected. If there's snow, at first, if you're not used to or haven't driven a manual in a while, you'll have a hard time getting out of a few inches of snow. But as the winter progressed, I was able to get a handle of the car and got used to how it drives in the snow, and get out of snow piles.

    It definitely has the zoom-zoom performance in bumper to bumper traffic. I've accelerated this car at more than 5500RPM's in the 1st and 2nd gears and it just zips through almost everything!
  • mjgeemjgee Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the feedback. We ended up getting an automatic S-GT sedan (2.3 L). We've only had it for 2 days, but really love it. It has the variable auto/manual transmission and that has been fun to experiment with so far. Sort of the best of both worlds. I can really make better use of the road with the manual aspect - it has amazing getup and go! :shades:
  • lu_mazda3_2004lu_mazda3_2004 Member Posts: 1
    hi, i had my mazda2 since 8/04.... manual tranmision. my system bought the same car 4 months later, automatic trans... i got the oportunity to drive the two ( manual and automatic ) I rather to driver the Manual is much much fun, and in the road you can feel the performance of the car better.

    the only thing that i don't like about the Manual trans is tha t in the highway the combination of the manual in 5 speed is not so good, at around 70mph to 80.. manual is at 3200 to 3500 rpm... AUTOMATIC TRANS is only 2800 to 3200rpm... so in highway Automatic is less money that Manual...

    Now in the city... hooo is very different. My car ( MANUAL TRANS ) does between 380miles to 420 per tank. around 12 to 13.5 galons of gas.

    In city Automatic trans does 320 - 380miles per tank

    any buying a mazda is a great :) experience and is very driving and enjoying the car. i haven;t got any problems with the car.. mazda 3 2004 with 45k miles. so far i love the car... i'm thinking in rpl the car for another mazda, probably the RX8 or same mazda 3 but the sport...

    conclusion for me.... both are great but i love manual...
    great in montains, down hill, turns... gettining in the highway specially when ever are turns...
  • kidoctorkidoctor Member Posts: 5
    Bought a brand new Speed 3 last Wednesday at Hayward Mazda (had 38 mi on it and had the No. 4 Engine Mount Bolt (Mazda recall) replaced before accepting it). I drove it back to SF (35 mi) without any problems and parked it for 20 min(good neighbourhood). Afterwards, got back into the car and drove it 1/2 mi and the clutch started sticking (I would press the clutch pedal the entire length of travel, shift, let up on the pedal, which would spring back about an inch only, but not the full distance - had to lift the pedal with the back of my foot). This happened twice (over about ~2 blocks) then the car stalled (some smoke was coming out of the hood and I smelled something- probably the clutch-burning). The engine would start but I could not engage the transmission with the engine on (could do it with it turned off). I had it towed back to the dealership and they said it was the PCV valve but I have doubts (since an earlier tech said that they were replacing the clutch master/slave cylinders). Things that didn't happen: never rode the clutch, never overrev'd the engine (I babied this thing for the 2 hrs I had it), temp never went past halfway, never ground the gears, no "safety" lights went on, and have been driving stick for 17 years (yeah, I'm old). It's a week later and it's still at the dealership. I want them to replace the clutch but they refuse to. Anyone have this happen to them or have any ideas? Thanks.
  • sssfegysssfegy Member Posts: 132
    Mazda recalled the all weather mats because they were too thick, and would make the clutch feel like its sticking, but I don't think its that, since you could not engage the tranny, just a thought.
  • kellbell130kellbell130 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2004 Mazda 3 S, four door a few years back, brand new. It is a 5 speed. I too, had to replace the entire clutch after having the vehcile for 3 days. Luckily, it was under warrenty but the dealership tooks its sweet time replacing it. The guy whom replaced the clutch was a JERK! He was accusing me of not being able to drive clutch and that I had no idea what I was doing.

    I mean, the ENTIRE clutch was shredded. He even saved my fly wheel and all the gears and showed them to me and my boyfriend at the time. I mean, he really went out of his way to make me feel like a piece of crap.

    I KNOW how to drive manual. It was a bad clutch. I am relieved to see others here had the same issue and I was not the only one. The day my clutch died was one of the worst days of my life. I felt awlful. I only had that car for THREE DAYS!

    Other than that, I have not had issues with the car or clutch. It is an absolute joy to have and drive.
  • kidoctorkidoctor Member Posts: 5
    Which dealership did you buy/service the car from? I'm at Hayward Mazda and they did the same thing to me. They've had my car for 12 days now, have replaced the slave/master cylinders, waited forever to get a special tool to bleed the system, and after all that, now say it's MY fault and that I shredded the clutch (I've been driving stick for 17 years). The kicker is that they had the District Manager INSPECT the clutch last week and he said that it was FINE. I'm on Mazda Axela Forums and there's at least 3 more people who have had the same problem.
  • smogdungsmogdung Member Posts: 349
    What's the highest RPM you ever dropped the clutch from at a stoplight? Truth please....
  • kidoctorkidoctor Member Posts: 5
    2500 rpm. Truth. It was a brand new car. Not going to mess with it for at least the first 1000 miles.
  • kidoctorkidoctor Member Posts: 5
    Picked up the car today. The problem was that the clutch was completely shredded (see pic below). After trying to drive the car, the mechanics figured the clutch plate was busted up but they were handcuffed by the Mazda Techline Procedures and ended up replacing a bunch of clutch components before finally opening up the tranny. Mazda Corporate replaced essentially the entire clutch system (said it was a "onetime goodwill gesture"). The mechanics still don't know what went wrong - said the only time they've ever seen a clutch like that was after a hard race but admitted it's impossible to burn out a clutch in 38 miles (and I never drove it hard). Bottom line: I have my car back, it drives great, and Mazda Customer Assistance is 1-800-USE-LESS. The clutch is nice and tight and it shifts well. Only bad thing is that the burnt clutch smell lingers and will probably take a while to get out of the engine.
  • minomino Member Posts: 1
    I bought my mazda 3 in Oct 2005 used with 23,000 kms on it. The tires that come on the sport model look great and handle on dry pavement well, but are crap in the rain and snow and the tread life is crap. Bought snows for the winter. Problem solved.

    had problems with the check engine light, both low beam headlights burning out within days of one another, leaking washer fluid tank, cracked plastic skid plate, door trim continually falling off, a funny noise coming from the front drivers window when closed from the half way mark, a rattling noise from the rear of the car and the front dash, and now static in my stereo whenever i use the rear wiper blade.

    I took my car into a dealer about a month before a relatively large road trip as it needed some new fluids and I wanted them to look at my clutch/transmission as I noticed a lag in the shifting so I wanted it looked at. Dealer told me the drove it an found nothing. checked the odometer only to find out they hadn't driven at all (reading was the same). 13 days later, clutch gone, only 103,000 km on my car. Mazda wanted $1600 for the job, I got it done for $1100 with parts that have a lifetime warranty.

    Filed a complaint with Mazda Canada, basically told me it's driver error which is a load of crap. I was willing to pay for parts if Mazda covered the labour as I can appreciate parts wearing out (even if prematurely) and given all the problems and amount of $$$ I had already spent with Mazda, I figured they would be able to do something for me. All the offered me was 10% off. Trying to sell my car now
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769

    You put on a fair amount of kilometres (80,000+) in under 2 years; roughly 50,000 miles for all you non-metric types.

    Did you replace the clutch this year? What did Mazda Canada mean by "driver error"?
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,041
    No offense intended, butI seriously doubt that you will find any new car manufacturer that will cover the cost of replacing a worn out clutch at 103,000 km/60,000 miles. You aren't the original owner, so how do you know the clutch wasn't abused early on?

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica
    Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i
    Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • jeffreyg1jeffreyg1 Member Posts: 9
    I just ran into this discussion..I have a 04 3 hatchback car was awesome and never had issue until last friday the darned clutch just went kaput..i'm the original owner and it has only 34,000 miles and pretty much took care of the car so i'm seeing a trend here with bad clutches early on? it suck cuz my warranty expired although I have extended warranty..and the dealer are not really helping me last 2 ride's clutches lasted over 100,000 kidding...i dont think i'll own another one of these cars since i wanted the mazdaspeed 3....grrrrr :mad:
  • jeffreyg1jeffreyg1 Member Posts: 9
    ok...I found out Mazda warranty does NOT cover transmission or clutch after 12,000 i'm left with a 1,200 bill..nice..i'm selling the car..this car freakin sucks....sorry people i've driven stick for a long time..i've never see a clutch go out that early...and NO i do not race my car or gets taken care of...what a bunch of bull...
  • tiff_ctiff_c Member Posts: 531
    ok...I found out Mazda warranty does NOT cover transmission or clutch after 12,000 i'm left with a 1,200 bill..nice..i'm selling the car..this car freakin sucks.

    Do you mean that Mazda will not honor their drivetrain warranty?! :surprise:
    If it's just the clutch, no manufacturer ever covers that although I think they should especially if it's defective!
    I don't understand what they didn't cover with the transmission. Was it just the clutch or something else as well? If you find a manufacturer that warranties the clutch, I'd like to know for reference.
    Sounds like your dealer held you to the letter of the contract and lost a customer in the process. I'd have made such a noise that customers would have noticed in both the sales and the service department. They hate that as other customers always want to know why.
    You can also try to make complaints against the dealer if you think it was unfair.
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