Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Mazda 3 Transmission Problems



  • Hi,
    My '05 Mazda 3 starts on 3rd gear and it is very slow in the beginning as if I am barely pressing on the gas. It goes to 4th gear around 30/35 mph. I see "AT" and the engine light on too. Also when put it on the manual transmission mode, I don't see the gears in the dashboard. Has anybody had this happen to them? Or can anybody help me in understanding what this is about?

  • yes, all of this happened to me. The end result sorry to say was a new transmission. I was in denial for like 2 months, I put in a new pulse generator sensor. I took it to first mechanic he said it was a solenoid stuck, they changed it, one day later it downshifted to 3rd gear on freeway almost making me wreck and wouldn't shift past 4th. Everything you are saying is what happened to my car after I drove it locally in 3rd gear for a month and a half, there wasn't anymore power and I finally had to take it in. My stepdad helped me and I got a new transmission with low miles and it is working like brand new. The mechanic told me Mazdas were known for their bad transmissions.
  • oh man! was replacing the transmission expensive? i know its not cheap...what about getting a new pulse generator sensor and the solenoid, was that expensive too?
  • Yes. The EXACT same thing happen to me. Took it to aamco n they had to tke it apart n said the code reading solenoid was stuck is because mazda cars go into like a "safe" mode n will drive in 3rd gear til u get it fixed. My result was the transmission was slowly coming apart n I had to get a whole new one..well rebuilt one. End cost was $3000. But aamco charged it to an account that u can apply for n make paymnts instead of payibg all at once. My mazda 3 was only 3 years old. The fact that I had to replace the tranny before my break pads is rediculous but apprently im not the only one. Good luck.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Wow, one of my neighboors down the street has a 2006. I hope they don't have this problem too. How many miles on yours before it died? That's another reason that I only buy manual transmissions!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited November 2011
    "That's another reason that I only buy manual transmissions!"

    While my primary reason for driving exclusively manual transmissions is that I never took the time to learn to drive an automatic (can't get used to the whole two-pedal thing); also counting among my reasons is they're more fun to drive, they typically have a lower initial cost for the car, and much lower (often much-much lower) maintenance costs over the life of the car. :shades:
  • I took it to an aamco this morning and they told me that the code was reading that the solenoid was getting stuck and that the car would go into the safe mode and that's why it's starting on 3rd gear. I am not sure anymore if I should go ahead and replace it from all of the feedback that I've been getting. It looks as though that the solenoid getting stuck problem has happened to others and eventually they had to replace the entire automatic transmission. How is the car doing now that it has a new/rebuilt tranmission?
  • Well my car only had 46000 miles whn it frst strtd having a slight jerk in shifting then finally went out at 62000 miles. So far with the rebuilt tranny its been ok. I love my mazda but in the future im never getting another one as much as id like to. Aamco will tell u that there gonna hav to tke aprt the tranny n find out the problem but u have to be sure your gonna go thru with the repair cuz if not your still gonna have to pay for the labor n putting itbck tgether which comes to about 2000. After all my pprwrk came bck my tranny parts only cost about $ 800, it was the labor that raised it to $3000. Unless u have the money id apply fr the credit thing first n see if u get approved before u say yes to repairs cuz if u dnt, your stuck with coming up w that money before they give u your car back.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I've got to tell you, I don't know whether to offer advice or condolences or anything else for that matter. Why? Because if what you wrote is English, it is unreadable.

    Please, if you're coming here for advice, write your posts in such a way that those of us whom might be able to offer some help can read and comprehend your thoughts.
  • Sorry im use to texting n abbreviating my words to respond faster and this email was sent to me so I just thought id reply, which im doing on my phone. Didnt think it would be That hard to read shortened words.
  • Steven
    My daughter has a 2006 3i 2.0
    Would not start in park.
    In the engine compartment where the shift cable meets the shift linkage, water gets in there and it gets rust and corosion at that point.
    It will not let the cable travel far enough to engage Park safety switch.
    Take a piece of copper tubing about 2 feet long and hold one end at that point
    and spray some PB Blaster or WD 40 down the tube then work the shifter through its full range several times.
    It may take 2 or 3 times for for a few days, this should fix it.
  • I have 8500 miles on my car and already needs a new clutch...absolutely ridiculous. Mazda claims that it is a wear product and not covered. I have previously owned a car and ran it over 100,000 miles as a teenager before having to replace the clutch. I would love to see a recall on the cheapest clutch ever made it would seem.
  • I do not know if it is normal or not, but I noticed 2nd gear (manual trans) is extremely touchy in my car (2012 mazda3 2.0l). I have to shift extremely slowly to get my shifter to slip smoothly into second gear. I have driven nothing but manuals for 16 years and this is the first time I have experienced this issue before.

    I had a Mazda dealership mechanic row through the gears and he said it is normal and that I will have to "get used to it."

    Is an extremely touchy / balky 2nd gear normal for these cars?

    I only have 700 miles on my car and I hope this is not a precursor of problems.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Was this the new Skyactiv 6MT? If so, the shifter was smooth for me in all gears during a recent test drive. No touchiness that I noticed.
  • No, 5 speed manual transmission.
  • caleb9caleb9 Posts: 5
    I have the same problem with my 2009 Mazda 3 manual transmission. I bought it with 52,000 miles on it, and it didn't start until it had around 70,000. It doesn't do it all the time, but it is a little troubling. I took it to a transmission shop, and they took it for a test drive and couldn't find anything. Apparently because it didn't do it for them. The only thing Mazda told me is that they would replace the entire transmission, and since it's out of warranty, I'm not going down that road. I would keep taking it back to Mazda if I were you. Ride in the car with them while they shift to prove it to them! One answer I got online was to double clutch, i.e. shift into neutral and then a second time into second gear. This seems more trouble than it's worth at this point, however, because it doesn't do it all the time.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, I have no such a problem with my 2009 Mazda3 with the 5-Speed manual.
  • dgehdgeh Posts: 1
    Hi, I read most of 359 forums on Mazda3 transmission & clutch problems. My husband & I bought this car, Mazda3 hatchback 2.3L 2007 manual shift. Only 44K...already wear/tear clutch. No warranty cover & we were told by Mazda dealership that clutch kit $1,500, $230 for mobile motor, nitrogen, and our brake pads/rotators in front need to be replaced $510. Total $2,500... I went to Autozone to check honest prices on clutch kit...only $229.?? plus taxes, front pads $22, a pair of rotators $120. Should be under $1,000 plus labor work. I read all of your forums and it made sense why I hate this car since my husband bought it. He refused to trade it in. We still have Honda CRV 2003, it only needs small maintenance & still going strong. I think we should file complaints because I am 360th to complain about Mazda's transmission/clutch.
  • This is far from a horror story, but nor is it 100% good news. I bought my Mazda 3i 2006 5-speed new and was immediately thrilled - best car I've ever owned, easily. After maybe 18 months I noticed an occasional very alarming brief grind when shifting into 2nd gear. It got more frequent and I took it to the dealer. They were about to tell me they couldn't duplicate it, when it finally did the same thing to the tech driver, twice. So they agreed to rebuild the MT under warranty. (In retrospect, this may have been a case of the local dealer milking Mazda USA for warranty labor hours, because I'm told it would have been cheaper and quicker just to replace it.) Anyway, after that it was improved, but still not quite like new. I'm a decent authority because my previous 300K miles were all 5-speeds, 3 different cars, and none of them acted that way at any time.

    Well, today I'm at 80K miles, and I've just learned to shift slightly differently - rather than jamming it directly from 1 to 2, I pause for a fraction of a second in neutral, kind of "feeling" for the slot. The other gear shifts have no issues. Bottom line, this is still by far the best car I've every owned. I've basically spent zero $ in 6 years other than oil changes and the like (knocking on wood). But there may be a slight design flaw with the MT.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I've communicated with a few folks who've reported the same second gear issue as you, and I've recommended a switch of the gear oil to Red Line. So far at least, each car that's had it's gear oil changed has immediately stopped the second gear grinding.

    For my part I've been using Red Line in my last five cars since they were new; not to improve any second gear issues, but to improved shifting feel, especially during the winter.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited January 2012
    A few comments:

    1) I rather doubt we're going to hear from you again as I suspect you're hear to fuss and then never to return.

    2) I rather doubt you've "read most of the 359" posts prior to yours; if you had you would have discovered that the vast majority of the folks reporting issues in this thread were talking about their automatic transmissions.

    3) While I'm on the subject of you not having read all of the posts in this thread; there is a healthy mixture of folks complaining about Automatic related issues, folks complaining about Manual related issues (many of which were about non-clutch related issues; see the post after yours), AND other folks offering advice and condolences. Said another way, I'd be surprised if there were even three or four dozen independent complaints about the clutch.

    4) Brakes at 44,000 miles? Sounds pretty normal to me regardless of the make or model of the car. Do enough city driving and the brakes will be gone at 30,000 or less; do enough long distance highway driving and the factory brakes can easily last to 100,000 miles. Said another way, you have nothing to complain about here.

    5) Did you buy your 2007 Mazda3 s new or used? If used, then you have no way of knowing how much abuse the previous owner heaped on the clutch.

    6) I taught my (then) fifteen year old son to drive a stick in my 2009 Mazda3, and he was none-too-gentle on the clutch while learning. My car is quickly approaching 55,000 miles and has no problems with the clutch at this point (although given the beating he gave my car I wouldn't blame it if it failed soon). My fifteen year old daughter is going to be learning to drive a stick in my car this summer, and what my son didn't complete (relative to destroying the clutch), my daughter probably will.
  • coakubcoakub Posts: 1
    i had this same exact problem in July 2011 they refused to admit there was a problem when the clutch died at 19k and only 6 months old. ended up getting it towed out of mazda to a garage and had it repaired with an aftermarket performance clutch for totaling 900 dollars(labor and parts, new clutch was only 130 dollars for whole kit...Kentucky Clutch ftw). Im currently still experiencing issues with the car from the dealership screwing something up electrically and causing shorts throughout the car. The latest issue is that my battery plum up and died out of nowhere and wont restart. They also cant fix the electrical short and Im about to Lemon Law this piece of crap vehicle and go buy a Toyota
  • My wife and I have had a lot of problems with our 2012 Mazda 3 manual 6-speed transmission. We test drove the i-touring (skyactiv) model and thought that the shifting was shorter than we were used to, but very smooth. We ended up buying this model.

    After about a week of using the car we noticed that it occasionally didn't want to go into 3rd gear. It would completely block us from going into the gear. We also noticed that the shifting was very rough, especially into 3rd.

    We took it into the dealers and they said we might be driving it wrong or the gears might need to "wear in". We both have been driving manuals since 16 so we aren't driving it wrong. We waited a couple days, but when the car wouldn't shift in the middle of an intersection for my wife and she was almost rear ended we took it back to the service station.

    This was the first car of this model any of them had driven, so they didn't know what it was exactly supposed to feel like. At first they said everything was normal, but after the service manager took the car home at our insistence he told us the next day that corporate was flying in an engineer from Japan to check out the transmission. The car has less than 500 miles on it and they are replacing the transmission and the shifting cables. Obviously something wasn't right.

    Two weeks later the dealership agreed to replace the car since it must have shipped with a defect. We decided to test drive the car again to get a feel for what a new one should feel like, but we experienced the exact same problems that we had when we brought our car into the service station! The test model had 11 miles on it when we drove it the very first time and was smooth. 70 miles later the same test model felt very rough and just didn't want to shift into 3rd or 4th.

    We no longer have confidence in this model at all. At this point we are trying to contact Mazda corporate for a refund because the dealership wont help us. If our experience is any indication there is a serious problem with the manual transmission on the skyactiv models.
  • I have noticed rpm surge in the past few days with normal driving, but all of a sudden while going uphill, and the vehicle lost the power. So I had it towed home (still under 3 year roadside assistance program and free for 1st 15 miles). This morning (01/29/12) Start the car normally and shif the gear to 1st and rear and the car does not move like yesterday.
  • I have a Mazda Speed 3 with a Manual Transmission, We purchased the care 04/2010, then in 09/2010 we had it in the shop for repair work because the car would not say in 2nd gear and sometimes wont go into 2nd gear at all and we only had 3419 Miles on the car, Then in 12/2010 we had it back in again for the same problems at this time we had 4258 miles on the car with the same problem, Then we took it in in may 2011 for a front end alignment and complained of the transmission problem again. So in 12/2011 they took the car again to fix the same problem. Our mileage is at 11,000 miles. I am wondering if anyone is having the same issues? Mazda is blaming us for the transmission issues with 2nd gear. They want us to pay to have the transmission replaced even thought the car is still under manufactures warranted. Has anyone had the same issues? If so any suggestions as to what to do? They still have our car and have had it since December.
  • Yes, there are a good many reports of problems with second gear in Mazda 3s on this forum. I don't have an answer. I tried someone's suggestion to use (synthetic) Red Line gear oil. That has helped, but not solved the problem. I would think the manufacturer would have to pay to replace the transmission. Unfortunately for me, my car is out of warranty. It's a 2009 with 86,000 miles. It started at approx. 65,000 miles.
  • Thank you Caleb9, My car is 19 months old, and 11000 miles and they are Refusing to fix it after they have fixed it twice without actually fixing the problem correctly. They say its our fault the way we drive the car, The car has been driven the same way every day. Right now the dealer still has the car with the transmission out they want us to pay for a new transmission and labor work on it. They say its because :sick: of uneven tire wear when we had it to them for a front end alignment as well.
  • After reading alot of the posts, I guess I've been lucky. I put alot of miles on my car for work and it has served me well, but at 120K miles I experienced a knocking noise when backing up and down shifting in lower gears. I ended up having the transmission rebuilt by AAMCO due to worn out bearings. They also resurfaced the flywheel and replaced my original clutch. The difficulty shifting from 1st to 2nd became more pronounced after the rebuild and the reverse and deceleration whine is horrid now. I'm now at 143K miles and the knocking is starting again. It is much worse when backing uphill. Any ideas? I'm thinking just go for a new tranny rather than mess with rebuilding this one again.
  • This definitely sounds like a warranty issue. Clark Howard has talked about situations like this. I would look on his website to see what you can find, or call or email him. I believe he has said something about contacting Mazda Corp. of America about it. In other words, go over the dealer's head.
  • Hi moogoogaipan,
    I just got a Mazda 3 skyactiv manual and am experiencing the same type of thing. Every once in a while shifting into 3rd, 4th, or 5th feels rough and requires extra pressure or requires shifting to neutral and cycling the clutch.

    I really like the car, but this shifting thing is kind of annoying. Is this just something that will go away once the car is broken in a bit? Did you ever get the problem fixed???
Sign In or Register to comment.