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Mazda 3 Transmission Problems



  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Still nothing concrete from the dealership
    How long has the car been at the dealership?

    Has the dealership provided a loaner?
  • The car has been with the dealership, this time, for 15 days and counting.

    Yes a rental has been provided........ an automatic, lower level model, non skyactiv Mazda 3. DOH!

  • dbydby Posts: 3
    Thanks for your update on the analyzed data from the recorder, Squiggly. I am sorry to hear that the process is still ongoing for you, even after the data has been analyzed. I hope they find a solution for you soon.

    Here's an update on how things are going with my car:

    My car went into the shop last week and the dealer was unable to replicate the issue (not surprising considering how intermittent this issue is). The dealership has contacted Mazda Canada, and they have requested that the dealership try rebooting / reinstalling the firmware in the computer of the car and perhaps try some other things as well (not sure what). I am hoping this fixes my car, as today alone I had 2 large RPM jumps (probably 1500 higher than what it should have been) when shifting from 3rd to 2nd. Needless to say, the acceleration was strong and I threw the clutch in pretty quick once it happened. This issue is getting even more stressful now that snow and ice are on the roads where I live.

    Squiggly, did your dealership try reinstalling the firmware in the computer in your car at any point?

    Thanks again for your continued updates as you progress towards finding a solution to this issue. I will continue to update my progress as well.
  • There was a firmware update the first time I took the car in I believe.

    I am actually on my way to the dealership this am. They have requested I road test the vehicle with them to ensure that what I am experiencing is not normal performance of the car and in hopes to get me to replicate the issue.

    I am not sure what part of sporadic and random is not understood. I can't just make it happen or I would have done that 5 months ago! I can't help but feel this is a test to ensure I know how to drive a standard. I could be wrong though. I will keep you posted.

    May I ask what province you live in?
  • Back from the road test with the dealership. It wasn't that bad afterall.

    Basically we confirmed that I know how to drive the car, nothing I am doing is causing the issue (or obviously we would have experienced it then) and that the car's normal performance is not what I am referring to.

    One step further ahead.....I hope.
  • Obviously no steps further ahead. I just received this from the dealership,

    "We completed extensive testing of the vehicle electrical system this morning and reported all the data to MCI. Engineering has reviewed all the data and the vehicle electrical system is operating normal. We have made every possible effort to duplicate the concern and can not recreate what you describe is happening. There is nothing further that we can do without experiencing the symptom. MCI will no longer cover the rental. I will have your car cleaned and ready in the morning."

    Hopefully you all have better luck than I. There is always CAMVAP - Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan.
  • dbydby Posts: 3
    edited November 2012
    Yes, you can. I am from Alberta. Yourself?

    Wow, I am so sorry to hear that they just dismissed your case like that. It's very unfortunate that Mazda Canada doesn't seem to back their cars even when issues with safety concerns like this arise. It is not fair at all that because the issue is intermittent and it hasn't happened to them yet, that we have to get stuck with faulty cars with safety issues.

    It seems pretty clear in some of your earlier posts that you have had quite a few large accelerations after down-shifting. Seeing as Mazda Canada doesn't want to own up to this issue, have you considered involving the media in any way?
  • Nova Scotia.

    The more I looked into CAMVAP, it appeared that I would not be eligible because the complaint was against an alleged deficient part.

    I considered the media..... but life is too short (and currently mine is too busy) to be in a constant battle. I have been fighting this for ~6 months. I give up.

    I sucked up the negative equity and traded it in for a car that I can feel confident and safe in.

    Hope others have better luck. If I can be of any assistance with the info I have collected, by all means, feel free to contact me.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    traded it in for a car that I can feel confident and safe in
    What did you get?
  • Kia Rio 5. I really like it so far.
  • The Kia Rio 5 was my second choice. That is a very nice car.
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    edited December 2012
    I just wanted to chime in, i read a little bit. I have a 2012 Mazda 3 Skyactive 6 speed doing the same things as well. I have almost hit two people because of the busts of acceleration. The service department blows me off every time. It has 2000 miles on it now. It had 180 and I've been dealing with these issues since day one:

    Clunks badly putting it in 1st and from 1st to 2nd.
    Sticks in ALL gears pretty bad.
    Refuses to go into 1st and 2nd gear as well as reverse intermittently.
    Accelerates on its own, sometimes gradually, sometimes in bursts.

    I contacted Mazda, they assured me that these are not normal things to be happening and said that they would contact the dealership themselves, so i am taking the car in for the 6th time in 40 days. And refusing to pick it up until the issue is resolved. The 2011 LOANER i had for a couple days was nicer to drive and i didn't have to worry about it driving off on its own.
  • I certainly hope you have better luck than I did.

    My car was with the dealership for 3 weeks (after I dropped it off and refused to get it until it was fixed, replaced or bought back.) We know how that turned out.

    I finally told the service manager I traded the car in the day after I picked it up. He was totally shocked and amazed. I am not sure why........ Am I supposed to keep driving a car that randomly accelerates on icy snowy roads and risk my life and/or someone elses. Not a risk I was willing to take, regardless whether Mazda would be the one sued or not!

    I am curious to know how it turns out for you. Keep us posted please.
  • Thought I would add my experience on this matter as I have had the same issue (rpm surge), even well after the 'break in' period (over 5k). I could not replicate the issue for the dealership of course and they did not respond to my last email(s) for a follow up as the issue persisted. The analyst who did take the test drive with me mentioned that there's a 'relay sensor system' with the clutch/ transmission rather than the 'cable' which tells me there's a possible 'lag' in communication happening (my best guess). Keeping that in mind, I've made a point of 'touching the floor' every time I shift (up or down) and have had no problems so far. It would seem there is no 'forgiveness' in the clutch when shifting. It's easy to get a bit 'lazy' on the shift in the daily rush hour commute (especially for us women who wear heels). Anyway, I will continue to be mindful of my shifting and hope this issue is behind me (especially since I otherwise love this car).
    Hope this provides some insight for someone else.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,696
    Very interesting. With the drive-by-wire systems, not disengaging the clutch all the way to the floor could cause the electronics to be confused.

    Really, you should be disengaging the clutch all the way to the floor each time, for many reasons.

    My wife, when she HAS to drive my stick shift car, will either wear lower heals or change shoes before driving it, so that she can properly use the clutch.

    I'd suggest taking off the heels when driving and make sure to depress the clutch to the floor. I'd bet that the problem doesn't occur anymore. Good luck! :)
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    Yeah, they use the surprised facade so they don't have to take responsibility.If they think we should be paying for cars that don't work properly brand new, then maybe they should try it. This is what i had to do, i decided to just say screw the service department and their [non-permissible content removed]. I emailed Mazda several times and printed them out and made a formal complaint online and printed out my post here. At this point i didn't even care if it would help. But i decided to go in when service was CLOSED. Well it worked. The guy who i talked with was like OH HELL NO this is a safety issue, i cant believe this! He put me in a brand new one over night. DROVE LIKE A DREAM. I brought it back, made the tech drive mine AND the new one and reluctantly, after previously telling me he had driven my car several times and that basically i was being a picky brat, agreed, that the car had a problem. So Mazda FINALLY after 2 months agreed to give me a new transmission. But it took that comparison for anyone to listen. I feel like i know more than the service department does. I cried when they finally said they'd fix it. So relieved.

    Side note. The acceleration issue. After basically making me feel like i was a liar and i was an unknowing unintelligent girl, he finally chimed in saying oh yeah the acceleration is a broken SENSOR. That was after he found out he had to do my transmission. Before he was like HUH thats weird. Are you sure? IDIOTS.
  • Thanks for the replies. I unfortunately am still occasionally experiencing the surge (actually happens on the shift up as well). I will take this thread into my dealer (service & mgt) and get a resolution (whether from them or Mazda Canada).
    Thanks again to all for your post(s).
  • Glad to see someone is making headway.
  • Best of luck to you.

    I complained to MCI directly twice, and they insisted I go through the dealer and the lady I spoke with wanted nothing to do with me.
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    Yeah mine happened on both as well, and it was usually in low gears like 2-4 not normally 5-6th. I would recommend trying to document when and why it happens, either way its a safety thing, just like a car not going into gear would be. If they have to ship the dealer a little black box then i would fight for that. Or i would ask to drive a new one for a couple days to see if it does it in that one. DONT GIVE UP. If you don't go away they'll have to do something. No one complains about a new car multiple times without a problem!
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    Post a complaint on and print that out as well. I was emailing back and forth with Mazda and the last email from them was saying to document everything and then i had driven the new one and had no problems. I was irate before that and told them that id see them in court, i didn't know what to do either.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    You need to make sure you complain to the appropriate goverment agency, either NTHSA in the states, or Transprt Canada in Canada, Transprt Canada at least will contact you to ask you about the problem ( at least they did with a problem I had worh one of my cars). If they get enough complaints they will issue a recall, and Mazda will have to ensure that all cars affected are fixed correctly.
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    OH ! Okay ill do that also! Cause i was surprised actually with how many people had the same complaint that there wasn't a recall. The dealer said 'Oh they have some problems under warranty but we've never heard of a transmission or acceleration problem.' I was like sure ya haven't.
  • I have this exact same problem. Do you think I could fix the ground wire on my own?
  • I have been having the same problem w/ it not going into 4th gear w/ the AT light on. Did you find a solution?
  • I saw on the link below that the 2010 Mazda3 is having more early clutch failures than other years. Should I be looking at 2011's instead? Or is this just a few bad cars in the bunch?

  • 2012 Mazda3 Skyactiv Grand touring....One year old and at 22,000 miles...

    Last Thursday My Mazda locked up in first gear and would not shift at all. Check engine light on, AT light on, AntiSkid Traction light on, fastest I could get the car up to was about 35, and was pushing 5K rpm. Dropping into manual was no use, the M light comes up, but no gear display...

    Managed to limp into the local dealership...They said the transmision fluid failed and they had more testing to do...

    I called back the next day to check on the status. My transmission is shot! They were waiting on a return call from California corporate office for the "authorization" to replace the transmission. I asked how long my car would be down and they said "at least a week!"

    Of course I asked if they had any intention of putting me in a rental or a loaner. They had to put me on hold to answer that one. Finally they decided that California would also have to authorize a rental...Honda puts us in a rental for an extended oil change.

    I went in yesterday to see if they had solved the dilemma, and of course the service dept was closed. Today marks four days of being stranded...

    I bought the most expensive extended warranty offered, I'm still under the original warranty and at a loss for what kind of authorization they would need for something so clearly covered.

    I will get to the bottom of this one tomorrow, but the length of this blog really worries me.
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    I have a bit of an update.

    I got a whole NEW transmission on 12-28-12 at 2,000 miles. Drove well for about two days and i'm back to a now MILD clunking into 1st and 2nd and id say, 90% of the time, REFUSES 4th gear completely. Have to down shift into 3rd if i am on a hill or skip 4th all together and go straight to 5th if i am able to. And even every other gear refuses quite often. SIGGGHHHHH! I wanna push this car off a cliff. So fed up with it. Never had a brand new car before and this is not a fun experience. The techs are saying to bring it in but i'm just TIRED of bringing it in. WHAT COULD MAKE A BRAND NEW CAR REFUSE GEARS WITH A BRAND NEW TRANSMISSION? Beats me. ALSO still surges MORE OFTEN NOW and thats a safe feeling!

    I hope they recall the whole damn thing.
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    edited January 2013
    If you don't mind me asking, what was your negative equity? I have made TWO CAR PAYMENTS and i do not want it anymore. I am seriously considering getting out of it and getting into ANYTHING else. Im sick of Mazda's dismissal. Especially since my transmission is new and i have put 700 miles on it and its a piece of [non-permissible content removed] again. NOT FUN. If they'd drive the car for a whole day or more, they would be able to 'replicate' (i hate when they use that term) the concerns. Ridiculous. Im sorry to hear others are in this same boat still.
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    Oh i'm sorry, drive OUR CARS and tell us it's good, Must be nice having ONE of the 'good' ones. Keep us updated. We will live vicariously through you.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    I can understand why you are upset, but it is possible the shifting problem is just something that needs to be adjusted again, the surging though is a totally different issue and sounds like something Mazda needs to figure out. I don't recall where you are, but if there are good lemon laws there I would let them try to fix it the requisite number of times and if it isn't fixed see if you can make them buy it back under the laws.
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    I was starting to look into the lemon laws here, i am in WA. The guy today was basically like we can keep it and have a tech drive it home and back to work. And if we can replicate it yada yada if not, i am not sure what we would have to do. And i drove another 2012 and a 2013 NO shifting problems whatsoever and they drove them with me. So i dont think its how im driving it. They think the surging is not a big deal but it is when you're slowing down for traffic and your car isnt wanting to. Its scary. The good thing is that the tech today was like i dont think youd waste this much of your life if you didnt know something was wrong so we will just slowly try to eliminate things. But i dont want to spend that much time in that service department, ya know? Its frustrating.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    I never thought it was the way you ( and the other posters with the surging issue) were driving, I do think it is some hang-up in the drive by wire settings, making it do some weird thing because it thinks the throttle is still pushed or something, a problem with how it is reading the throttle position, or something, maybe set up a weird for emissions, or maybe the sensor is just not working the way it is supposed to, but working enough to not throw a code, I don't know as I am not an expert ( and it appears no one is, not even the manufactures) but it certainly doesn't sound to me like everything is working the way it I supposed to.
  • Hi Doug. I believe I have a similar problem. I have an Mazda 3 auto skyactiv 2012. I have a grand total of 2900 kms. Had it for just over 6 months. Problem started out with a slight shudder at a light. Didn't think much of it, but it was a new development. I also noticed recently when I accelerated there seemed to be a slight pull back on power. Again, I didn't think much of it and I tried to gun the motor to determine if it had power or not. Last Saturday I was out and about and the traction control light came on and stayed on. I had not touched the off switch. Made it to a gas station for gas and started machine up again. Traction light still on plus check engine light and AT. Drove to a nearby parking lot and called Mazda hotline. While sitting idling and pressing accelerator the tach would not go over 2,000 RPM. Anyhow, tow truck comes in very good time and we take unit to dealership. They had courtesy car waiting which was very nice. Phoned dealership on Monday and they said it was a solenoid problem in the transmission. No part available in Canada because you have to purchase the whole assembly. Be about a week says dealership. Do have courtesy car so that is also nice. But, a new car down with something like this. Hardly acceptable at all.
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    No i know you weren't suggesting that i was just stating i didn't think that was it. Its really just a mystery to everyone.. its a nightmare. Last i was told it could be a sensor. But.. they apparently didn't find one in need of fixing. Im not sure.
  • Update: Jan 22, 2013. Touched bases with dealership today. Apparently solenoid is located outside of the transmission so this would not be a transmission problem per se. Service rep says once part is received it is only about an hours job to complete installation of solenoid assembly. A defective part so hopefully newer assemblies have been updated. I recall my experiences with a brand new 1993 Nissan Hustler 6 speed manual transmission. When descending a steep hill the gears would pop out and go into neutral. Dealership did not believe me at first, but I finally convinced them of the defect. They took the transmission apart and fixed the problem. Never had another tranny issue after that. Also, the water pump went early in that vehicle, but once replaced never had another issue with that. Trouble free driving up to to 340,000 km. Great work vehicle. What I am saying is that new vehicles can have issues and still remain good investments. Let us hope that this is the case here with this Mazda.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    I have been thinking about it, and I really think it has to be something with the throttle, either the throttle position sensor is lazy and not reporting the position of the pedal properly, the pedal itself ( or should I say the electronic portion of it) could be slow to respond sometimes, could be a problem with whatever controls how the engine is responding to throttle inputs, or some weird thing in the programming for emissions reasons. No I haven't helped isolate anything have I? I wonder if the are reports of this happening I other markets with the skyactive engine or just North America? If not I really do wonder if it is some bug in the programming for North American emission controls, if so maybe they could try a European file in the car temporarily to see if it changes anything ( probably not for a variety of reason, but just putting ideas out there). In any case I hope that they can either figure this out for the people havering this issue, or come up with a way to make you happy without hurting you financially. Good luck
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    I do appreciate all the thought you put into it, it does make me think. And i will try to speak with Mazda and the dealer about all of this to see what they think. Its just crazy that you think of it and maybe they're not! I hope we all get our issues figured out. Cause i love the car other than this problem and i never had ANY problems with my 04' 3. I loved it.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    Well I hope I helped a little bit, but not that sure I did. I haven't been following Mazda fan boards have there been a lot of complaints about this, or just a few? Is you dealer willing to let you use a demo 3 skyactive with a manual for say a weekend to see if it does the same thing? I am just wondering because if it did the same thing it is possible it is what Mazda considers "normal behavior" and then you would have to decide if it is something you could get used to or not, if not I could see you having to take the financial hit and get rid of it and not buying another Mazda, which would be a shame considering like you said you like the car otherwise, and have had good experiences with Mazda in the past. Our Mazdas have given good service as well, but they are not the skyactive models so don't really mean anything with this particular issue, again hope toucan get it sorted out.
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    They already had me do that and it drove nothing like mine, it was quiet, smooth driving and shifting. They did offer me that option again and i declined because i KNOW that it will drive better, so what i might have them do is compare the two once again to make sure that the things that are happening now are 'normal' yeah. It has got to be that the skyactiv is new still and they're working out the kinks. Which is unfortunate for those who own the first year but at the same time, its normal for things to have to be worked at i guess. Im going to just breathe easy for now knowing that its under warranty should anything terrible come of this.
  • Update: Jan 25, 2013

    Re: 2012 Mazda 3 Skyactiv Sport Hatchback GS Auto

    Picked up repaired unit today. The problem was a " valve assembly " and that is all that I know. Problem occurred at approximately 2900 km. Out of action for a week, but it was totally painless as my prior posts will indicate. Phoned Mazda hotline right away and a tow truck was there in minutes. Had courtesy car waiting for me etc. It is as if the incident did not even occur since I was never lost for a vehicle and the courtesy car was OK and equipped with Bluetooth etc. It was like the whole thing never even happened. Congratulations to Mazda for keeping the customer happy.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    Well in one way I am glad that their demo doesn't have the same symptoms ( at least it isn't all of them) but can feel your pain that yours doesn't work the same way. Can they check that the demo has the same version of the software ( ecu programming etc) as yours? Is it a newer build than yours. If not they really need to figure out what is making yours act the way it does. Yes it is good it is under warranty, but from what I understood, it is also a safety concern, and nothing is worth getting into an accident over. I really do hope they can figure this out for you.
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    They told me everything is the same, but what i could do is ask them that specific question so that if they dont actually know, theyd have to go make sure. I am gonna take it in tomorrow and just say hey, im not happy, can we trade up into a 13 and im gonna drive it for a WHILE to make sure it drives well. If not, then ill have to see what other options i might have.
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    Thats good to hear :) gives me a shred of hope!
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    Well you can check the build date yourself, should be on the door pillar plate ( label?), but the software version they need to check. With the problems you have he they should be trying to make it right. If they won't do the trade up, ask them what are they going to do to make you happier with your current car, if the answer is nothing, then you have a dilemma .
  • allyseallyse Posts: 15
    Oh, okay. I see, thank you. I will speak with them about that. My friend has a 2011 that has had several problems as well. Same dealership and she is just as fed up, but hers is under warranty still also. I will let her know this stuff too. Hers also whistles when she drives a certain speed and she took it in 4 times with the same complaint and they just keep saying they fixed the 'clicking' and she's like thats not even why i brought it in! I wonder if we should go to a different dealer. Cause this is a Mazda/Ford dealer. Maybe theyre just better with fords!
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    Well the dealership can make a big difference, but it doesn't sound like they are exactly blowing you off, by it couldn't hurt at some point to see if you get a different response somewhere else. I am assuming it is the dealership that you bought the car from so I would thik they would be more willing to help make things right ( if they can't fix it), but you never know. It is never a bad thing to get a second opinion mind you. In any case see what they say before going somewhere else.
  • I have an intermittent issue with my transmission. I will be riding along and all of a sudden the transmission slips from 4th to 3rd. It will happen at low speeds and unfortunately at high speeds occasionally. I have to stop the car and sometimes shut it off and it will reset. The check engine light stays illuminated but AT extinguishes. After a day or two the check engine light goes out but then the issue appears again randomly. I changed the tranny fluid as it appeared very dirty. Thankfully nothing alarming in the fluid when i changed it either. After changing it the problem went away for about a week but now the issue is back. Does anyone have any insight to what might be going on? Im guessing a sensor is faulty.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    ... all of a sudden the transmission slips from 4th to 3rd. It will happen at low speeds and unfortunately at high speeds occasionally
    As this is an AT (automatic) how do you know you're in 3rd or 4th? Are you doing the shifting?
  • Good afternoon. I have the same problem with my mazda 3 2005. on the highway this morning I let go of the accelerator and the check engine light on and its At. done it several times that I am actually fix the selenoid or valve body has you find the problem or what to do thank you
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