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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, I just got a brand new Mazda 3 i Tourting (Skyactiv) stick shift 3 days ago. It is my first manual car and I'm not sure if I'm just not experienced enough or there's something wrong with the car.

I'm able to get smooth shifts from all gears except starting from standstill. It always jumps no matter how fast or slow or smoothly I release the clutch pedal. It even does this when I get moving without using throttle.

It connects the gear, the car starts rolling, and as I finish releasing the clutch the RPMs will drop and go back up, causing a jerky motion...

Most likely I'm at fault here by not having any experience but as I mentioned earlier, I am able to shift smoothly from all others gears (well, most of the time, but when not I know for sure it was my timing), but I don't think I've managed to get even one smooth start from a standstill since getting the car 3 days ago.

Is anyone else expericing this issue? Perhaps it needs to be broken in?

edit: also something else I noticed, that only happens when starting from standstill, is that sometimes the RPMs will drop briefly before rising as mentioned abve, and other times my RPMs will shoot up to ~2k and I would get a super quick start and relatively smooth start. Again, not much experience but I'm pretty certain it isn't because I accidentally pressed the throttle too hard (not sure though because it hasn't happened too many times)
 

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With the jumping sounds like your letting go of the clutch too early or not giving enough gas. Im just going off with what I picture in my head. And with the second part with the RPM's that's unexplainable since I have one of the 09.5 MZ3 and it does that sometimes
 

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Sounds like you're just learning stick. My MS3 is my first stick car too and it took me a couple weeks to be smooth in first. One if the things I did was to just slowly let the clutch out and see where gear engages, without giving it gas. This helped me know when to give it the gas. Keep at it and it should get better.
 

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takes awhile to feel the engage point.

I've learnt to only let the clutch in so that it grabs, until the car has gain enough speed then I let go slowl.
 

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Hello all. I have had my MT Mazda 3 itouring for a week and am still adjusting to its shifting, despite coming from a scion with 5 speed and 30 years MT experience (VW, Saturn, Scion). Not smooth yet but I'll get there and so will you. First gear I think requires more increasing RPMs while releasing the clutch than I am used to. Still enjoying it though!

Sent from my MOTWX435KT using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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I've found on the MZ3 that when you feel the clutch begin to engage, if you give it more gas, it smooths it out...

I, too, have many years of driving manual cars, and the MZ3 is a little odd when it comes to 1st gear...
 

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I learned on a Porsche 944S so when I test drove the MZ3, I was expecting a clutch like the Porsche had. WRONG! It's no where near as stiff but I still found the Porsche easier to drive. It has a gutted exhaust so its easy to hear what you're doing and I go by sound. I still cant really get the 1st gear start where I want it in the summer in my MZ3. I do better when its colder and the a/c is off. I'm also really good at it when I am in a drive through with the window down because the engine echos off the wall and into the car very nicely so I can hear exactly when it's engaging. I also like it when clutches have a very short engagement. I drove my neighbors Datsun 280Z which had a stiff clutch like the Porsche but an engagement like the MZ3. I also drove his Ford Ranger which had the longest engagement ever. Every car is different. You'll get there. I think we just have to let it out slower than we want or give it more gas than we want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
OK I found the problem. I was doing nothing wrong, the AC is messing with the transmission somehow!

If the A/C is turned on, I get VERY slow acceleration (especially from standstill. It's not only slow but begs to be upshifted to second before I even finish releasing the clutch pedal, and extremely jerky), the gears need to be shifted at least 1k RPM earlier than without AC, and jerky (non-smooth) gear shifts.

With A/C off it's a total night and day difference. It's just like what I imagined driving stick would be. Incredibly fun, total control, very fast acceleration, very SMOOTH acceleration and shifting!! even from standstill, and I can pump up the RPMs WAYYYYY higher before it needs to be upshifted. For example 1st it wants to be upshifted at about 2-2.5k with AC on (3-3.5k max, otherwise I can hear the engine is way overloading), with off it can easily go to 5k comfortably and takes off like a rocket.

Another problem with this is that if the AC is on, I have to let go of the clutch pedal much much slower, so it's a lot harder on the clutch as well

I did extensive searching online on jerky gear shifting on the Mazda 3, figuring I couldn't be the only one. I may be new to manual but I 'knew' I got the hang of it quickly and was doing everything right. I did come across just ONE person mentioning the AC issue (he said it's as if his car has two profiles, one with AC and one without) and today I decided to try it out. He was totally right. But now I can't find the post.

I scheduled an appointment with the dealer tomorrow to get the car looked at but I have a feeling they're going to shrug it off or say it's normal. I really don't know what can be done anyway.. sucks, because it's such an amazing difference. I feel like a race driver with AC off and immediately turn into a grandma that hasn't driven in 2 years with AC on..
 

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HA! I called it earlier "I do better when its cold and the a/c is off" Another thing you can do is give it more gas. However much you normally give it, give it more. I tried this and its smoother because the rpm's are a little higher when you engage the clutch so the engine doesn't bog as much. Just something to try though. It's probably harder on your clutch though.
 

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Still sounds like a "newbie" problem to me. I've driven a stick for 11 years, all the cars i've ever owned were stick including my first Mazda and this 3 is by far the most difficult to drive... except for the Speed6 that i test drove.

It just takes a while to get used to. Yes there is a difference with the AC on/off on such a small motor there is no doubt you will notice.

I suggest saving your time at the dealership and go find some traffic, maybe even uphill traffic. You will be a pro by the time you get home.

Good luck!
 

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Still sounds like a "newbie" problem to me. I've driven a stick for 11 years, all the cars i've ever owned were stick including my first Mazda and this 3 is by far the most difficult to drive... except for the Speed6 that i test drove.
And everyone thought I was crazy, even me, when I said the Porsche 944S was easier to drive than the Mazda.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Sorry about all the questions :( But is this normal? Today I drove downtown and there was a lot of stop and go traffic, spent a lot of time just in first gear. During this time I noticed that in the stop and go traffic the car will shake occasionally when the RPM gets low enough. For example it happens around 1k RPM when cruising on first gear, the rpm will kind of jump around from 800 to 1000 or so back and forth for a bit and won't stop until I accelerate further and it causes a shaky ride.

I wasn't sure what to do. It was very slow traffic and the cars infront of me were going, but very slow.

Any tips? Thinking back maybe it was possible to change to second and maybe it shook because I stayed in first.. but not sure it was fast enough speed to change to 2nd
 

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man you guys are crazy..learning stick on a brand new car..every time I see my buddy stall in his speed 6( first manual for him ) or jerk .. I cringe... ughh..

btw to OP practice more, your doing it wrong imo. instead of holding the gas, and getting whacko starts, when you start to release the clutch, just tap tap tap the gas.. easy quick taps..on off on off til the car gets moving.. that's an easy way to start to figure it out. just quick toe taps,

I will agree..my mazda was difficult at first. in all I have stalled it at least 5 times. the clutch is so so soft. but it is really smooth too..I got used to a 6 puck clutch on my eclipse lol and transitioning to a mazda was sooo weird.

also every car i've owned was stick too! auto sucks!
 

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Sorry about all the questions :( But is this normal? Today I drove downtown and there was a lot of stop and go traffic, spent a lot of time just in first gear. During this time I noticed that in the stop and go traffic the car will shake occasionally when the RPM gets low enough. For example it happens around 1k RPM when cruising on first gear, the rpm will kind of jump around from 800 to 1000 or so back and forth for a bit and won't stop until I accelerate further and it causes a shaky ride.

I wasn't sure what to do. It was very slow traffic and the cars infront of me were going, but very slow.

Any tips? Thinking back maybe it was possible to change to second and maybe it shook because I stayed in first.. but not sure it was fast enough speed to change to 2nd
this is because your trying to drive the car in idle.. normal, not something you really want to do either imo. this is the air / fuel from idle just barely keeping the car moving and not stalling.. will be a bumpy ride.
 

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I find the stiff clutches easier so far. The 4cyl Ranger I drove was by far the worst though. That had no feel at all.
 

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I find the stiff clutches easier so far. The 4cyl Ranger I drove was by far the worst though. That had no feel at all.
i agree.. stiff clutch is easy. esp. a clutch like in my old eclipse.. it would engage like 1cm off the floor..hell ya act 6 puck sprung!
 
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