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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.

I know there were many discussions about theese kind of things, I've searched the forums but I didn't find any solution.

My problem is that sometimes when shifting from first to second there's a very annoying crunchy, metal on metal feeling. It is something similar to what you feel, when your synchros are worn, and you are grinding gears. My car is a 2016 Mazda 3 Takumi, and it's been doing it from the first day, so, I don't think there's a problem with the care, more likely, I'm doing something wrong, but I don't know what, and it is driving me crazy.

I tought, maybe I'm not pushing the clutch all the way in, but I am. When it happens, I always check my left leg, and I can feel the floor. Then I thought, maybe I'm shifting too fast, not giving enough time for the synchros to do their job. But this is not the case either. I handle the gear stick relatively smoothly, every time pause for a moment before I put it in the next gear.

My problem is, that it happens only sometimes, and I can't figure out in what case. Let's say from 10 shifts, 9 are very smooth, the shifter almost goes into gear by itself, and then at the next shift, it grinds (still going in smooth, but crunches at the end). Am I doing something wrong, or is it normal, and I should let it go?

P.s: When I shift from first to second, and it grinds I sometimes stop and try to do the same shift, at the same speed, at the same rpm, so maybe it happens again, and I can find a pettern, but the next shift is always smooth :) It is random.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi.

I know there were many discussions about theese kind of things, I've searched the forums but I didn't find any solution.

My problem is that sometimes when shifting from first to second there's a very annoying crunchy, metal on metal feeling. It is something similar to what you feel, when your synchros are worn, and you are grinding gears. My car is a 2016 Mazda 3 Takumi, and it's been doing it from the first day, so, I don't think there's a problem with the care, more likely, I'm doing something wrong, but I don't know what, and it is driving me crazy.

I tought, maybe I'm not pushing the clutch all the way in, but I am. When it happens, I always check my left leg, and I can feel the floor. Then I thought, maybe I'm shifting too fast, not giving enough time for the synchros to do their job. But this is not the case either. I handle the gear stick relatively smoothly, every time pause for a moment before I put it in the next gear.

My problem is, that it happens only sometimes, and I can't figure out in what case. Let's say from 10 shifts, 9 are very smooth, the shifter almost goes into gear by itself, and then at the next shift, it grinds (still going in smooth, but crunches at the end). Am I doing something wrong, or is it normal, and I should let it go?

P.s: When I shift from first to second, and it grinds I sometimes stop and try to do the same shift, at the same speed, at the same rpm, so maybe it happens again, and I can find a pettern, but the next shift is always smooth
It is random.

Thank you.
I forgot. When I'm shifting down, from 3rd to 2nd, I always can feel the synchros working for a split second, and then it goes into gear smoothly, so I really don't think it is a mechanical issue. And the grinding happens even after the car is worm up.
 

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You're shifting wrong or it's a bad synchro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Same answer as above. Either your footwork needs some practice or there's something wrong inside the trans.

I get the odd harsh engagement from 1 - 2 sometimes, but I do recognize it as my error.
Can you give me an example, what are you doing wrong, when it happens to you? It would help a lot, maybe I`m doing the same thing. The only thing I can tell you, I always push the clutch all the way in. I`m thinking it has to do something with the timing, sometimes maybe I shift early, I don`t know.
 

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Can you give me an example, what are you doing wrong, when it happens to you? It would help a lot, maybe I`m doing the same thing. The only thing I can tell you, I always push the clutch all the way in. I`m thinking it has to do something with the timing, sometimes maybe I shift early, I don`t know.
I have the same symptoms with my 2015 mazda 3. It is possible you are not fully pressing the clutch but I have been driving for 45 years and never had this problem with any of my other cars, it is worse if you try to rush the change (mine is sold as the sports version, so I should be able to make fast changes). I have taken it back under guarantee but of course they could not find anything wrong. I intend to raise the problem again and and insure it is noted on the record so if/when the syncro gets worse I can claim.
 

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i only have this issue under a VERY hard launch and going from 1st to 2nd. the 2nd gear will not engage at all, and i'll have to meddle with the clutch or slow the car down.. other than that, i've never experience
 

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Can you give me an example, what are you doing wrong, when it happens to you? It would help a lot, maybe I`m doing the same thing. The only thing I can tell you, I always push the clutch all the way in. I`m thinking it has to do something with the timing, sometimes maybe I shift early, I don`t know.
Either because I've started to let off the clutch before I've completed the shift fully or I miss it entirely.
 

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i only have this issue under a VERY hard launch and going from 1st to 2nd. the 2nd gear will not engage at all, and i'll have to meddle with the clutch or slow the car down.. other than that, i've never experience
Yes i've had this at least once, doing a redline 1-2 shift quickly, basically just grinded the heck of it...immediately recognized as my own timing of the clutch...which is split second in this type of shift...I either jammed the stick into 2nd too soon or lifted the pedal too soon.
 

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My '17 does the same exact thing, and I guarantee it's not something I'm doing 'wrong' unless Mazda has a different shifting technique than any other car I've owned in the last 30 years. Very intermittent, it goes days before doing it and when it happens it tends to just do it once during that drive. Next oil change I'm going to check the gearbox oil level, might even change it just to see if it makes a difference.
 

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Honestly every manual car I've driven has had its quirks. It's not exclusive to any manufacturer. My old Hyundai was sometimes twitchy about shifting into 3rd.

Changing the gearbox oil can make a significant difference. Give full synthetic a try, you won't be disappointed. Just make sure to adhere to the oil spec. I believe it calls for a GL-4 oil (correct me if I'm wrong). Make sure to get the GL-4. GL-5 does not superceed 4 no matter what anyone tells you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What I noticed is, that if I accelerate harder, or simply switch gears at higher revs, it is much smoother. As I saw, the movement of my leg and hand were the same, the only difference was, I accelerated a little bit harder than usual. I also noticed that it smooths things out, if you first push the clutch in all the way, and only after that you start moving the shifter around.

But what I still don`t understand, shouldn`t the synchros take care of these kind of things? I`m not a mechanic, but as I understood, the job of a synchro is to speed up, or slow down a gear, so the transition is smooth, and you are not grinding the gears.
 

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My new Mazda 3 has an excellent gear shift but I don't drive like a maniac. When you pull the gear stick down from 1st, pause for about 0.5 sec before you shift into 2nd gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My new Mazda 3 has an excellent gear shift but I don't drive like a maniac. When you pull the gear stick down from 1st, pause for about 0.5 sec before you shift into 2nd gear.
Me neither. I never race my car. This is why I opened this thread. Even if I'm very careful with the shifter it sometimes grinds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I observed an interesting thing. It mostly happens if I change gears at lower rpm-s, let`s say ~1800-2000. If I accelerate harder, and change gears above 2000, it happens a lot less, almost never. Could this be the problem, or it is a coincidence?

What I`m trying to ask. Is there a rpm or a sweet spot where the synchros can work more efficiently and the shifting is smoother, or it shouldn`t (doesn`t) matter?
 

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I observed an interesting thing. It mostly happens if I change gears at lower rpm-s, let`s say ~1800-2000. If I accelerate harder, and change gears above 2000, it happens a lot less, almost never. Could this be the problem, or it is a coincidence?

What I`m trying to ask. Is there a rpm or a sweet spot where the synchros can work more efficiently and the shifting is smoother, or it shouldn`t (doesn`t) matter?
I generally change at low rpm like you mention and have no problems. This doesn't seem normal so have it checked, especially if still under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yesterday I asked a friend to drive my car for a little while, to see if he can reproduce this grinding, and at the end, his reaction was that this is the smoothest gearbox he ever seen :). So the problem is (was) definitely me, not the car. Today on my way to work I tried some things he told me, and my shifts suddenly became smooth, without any grinding whatsoever.

Some things he told me:
1. Start moving the shifter when the clutch is already pushed in (not during). This way you make sure your hand isn`t moving faster than your leg.
2. Take your foot off the accelerator a little earlier, maybe even before you start pushing the clutch. This way you can be sure, you are not pressing the accelerator even a little bit while shifting.
3. When shifting pull the stick diagonally towards you, this way you will feel better when the shifter enters in second gear.
4. Generally be more relaxed while shifting. Imagine you are the only one on the road, this way your are not rushing the movements.

To be honest, I don`t know what exactly the problem was, but I tried some of these techniques today, and I had no grinding. Not sure but I think 1,2 and 4 made the difference, this way I`m avoiding to rush the gear changes, and surely not pressing the accelerator while shifting.

Anyway, I only wrote this post, to help others who are having this problem, and may find this thread.
 

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oh i also found out this car can handle flat shifts pretty well...
 
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