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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I have a 2016 Mazda 3 with an automatic transmission and 43,000 miles on it. I'm not sure if I'm having transmission issues or these are all normal for these cars because it's been years since I've owned an automatic and this is my first Mazda. Hopefully someone can shed some light on these problems.

The first thing I've noticed is when the transmission is cold from the car sitting off, if I back out of a parking spot then put it into forwards, it hesitates badly waiting for the torque converter to engage. I typically have to give it extra throttle to get it going but then the car lunges forwards and darn near gives me whip lash. I do give the engine a couple minutes to warm up before I pull out but I know this doesn't warm the tranny much. When I've driven the car and it's fully up to temp then this isn't an issue. Could it be a low fluid issue? I don't know how to check the fluid in these dipstickless transmissions.

The other issue I have is that it seems to want to up shift really early lugging the motor down and doesn't want to downshift when I need it unless I really get on the throttle hard. This is a pain because I live in a hilly area and I'm constantly having to get on the throttle hard to get up the hills because it refuses to downshift normally. The transmission seems fine on the highways and my gas millage seems great so maybe this is just normal for these cars.

I hope someone can shed some light on this.

Thank you!
K
 

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it seems to want to up shift really early lugging the motor down and doesn't want to downshift when I need it unless I really get on the throttle hard
Just speculation, I'm no car expert. But I think this is intentional and it's about mileage. I recommend you take advantage of manual shift mode. When you're approaching a hill, shift down ahead of time! I make heavy use of the feature. I also do this on the highway when preparing for a pass.
 

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Get your auto transmission checked out by the dealership - because the car isn't suppose to be giving you a whiplash to be honest. My brother's 2016 Mazda 3 doesn't do what you're describing and my 2017 Mazda 3 AT got replaced a few weeks ago with less than 1,600 miles on it, this may be an on going issue with Mazda 3 AT acting weird or need replacement. Luckily, you're within the 5 years/60k miles powertrain warranty, so it shouldn't cost anything.
 

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My MZ3 is an MTX, but my wife's CX-5 seems to experience these two anomalies in your OP. The latency after shifting from R to D I consider unusual and seems relative to an underlying mechanical issue. That said, repeatability on my CX-5 isn't 100 percent and it has been doing it for years (it's a 2013).
As for the frustrating transmission behavior while driving, that is common among all Skyactiv ATX. The TCM features adaptive logic, but as a baseline, the TCM targets conservative operation - rather, it wants to achieve ultimate efficiency and sometimes, especially on hills and stuff, it seems to go a little bonkers. Still, those annoyances aside, it's pretty impressive how well Mazda implemented both efficiency and performance strategies. Those are difficult to blend.

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I had a 2014 AT and it did not hesitate or jerk when starting off. I have a lot of hills and it seemed to shift without lagging the motor. The first problems definitely needs to be checked out though for sure.
 

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My 2016 AT has real hard shifts if im just leisurely driving and not giving it much gas. The RPMS will lower and then ill feel it almost bang into gear. Only happens during the 1-2 shift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm glad i'm not the only one having issues. It seems to me that it shifts from 3rd to 4th way too soon but that may be for fuel millage. I have been using the manual shift option from time to time, not as fun as a real manual trans though. I agree that the reverse to forwards could be a low fluid problem but wanted to see if anyone else had the same opinion. I wonder if the dealership will charge me to check it or not since it's still under warranty?

Thanks
K
 

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I have a 2016, 40,000 miles on it and I have had a few rough instances from reverse to forward, but not as rough as you have explained. What I have learned from switching from a Chevy to a Mazda is that you can't switch from reverse to forward as quick, still learning. My 16" wheels seem to peel out a lot, overall, very happy with fuel, performance and handling...
 
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