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Discussion Starter #1
This is just an FYI for anyone with a clunky and/or notchy 6 speed, not sure if 5 speed suffers from same design flaws.

I am at 36k miles and my 6 speed has slowly gotten to the point I have to be very delicate with my gear changes (especially 1-2) or else I would grind or get a clunk before the synchros could catch up. I know this is a common issue with the 6 speed and unfortunately my one complaint to Mazda was met with the "no problem found".

Anyways today was oil change day so I decided to have them "flush" the trans fluid, pretty certain it was just a drain and fill but they call it a flush. At $69.95 after a coupon I figured it could not hurt and if it made no improvement I figure at least I had new fluid and all the metal shavings from 36k miles of 2nd gear grinds here and there would be gone.

Night and day difference to say the least. It slides into gear like a hot knife through butter now, have not done any quick shifts into 2nd yet so the jury is still out on that little issue. Not sure the brand of fluid as it is not listed on the invoice, just 80W-90 gear oil which is the recommended weight per the owners manual.

Best $70 I have spent on the car thus far, will definitely keep this on a 3/36 schedule or thereabouts.
 

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I've been puzzled by the complaints of shifting problems too. I'm at 28K on my '10 and have never had any problems. In fact, I've found that it shifts better on quick shifts than when going slowly. This was a total reverse in tactics from my old Subaru which you could easily out-shift if you were in a hurry. I can't remember the list time I ground a gear in my Mazda.
 

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1st to 2nd gear is a real problem

I can assure everyone that the complaints are valid. I've driven a manual since the early eightys (yea, I'm old) and have never had a problem before. Mazda completely replaced my transmission at about 20K, but the 1st to 2nd gear problem has started to happen again with the new trans. There is a complete thread on this issue.

Actually it's a 15-page thread: http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2010-12-mazda-3-engine-performance/4733-help-2nd-gear.html
 

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I can assure everyone that the complaints are valid. I've driven a manual since the early eightys (yea, I'm old) and have never had a problem before. Mazda completely replaced my transmission at about 20K, but the 1st to 2nd gear problem has started to happen again with the new trans. There is a complete thread on this issue.

Actually it's a 15-page thread: http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2010-12-mazda-3-engine-performance/4733-help-2nd-gear.html
Hmmmmm good point out...I remember on my old Mazda P5 I had the WORST time getting in to 3rd gear around 36k miles...one day it literally would not go in so i slammed it in, heard a pop, it was in 3rd...shifted in to 4th and I stayed at the same RPM range...shifted in to reverse, moved forward hahahahahahhaa...found out the tranny fork broke off in to 3rd gear (apparently a "common" problem)...Ford made the transmission for those vehicles so not sure how that relates to now

I have 39k miles and have not experience any issues thus far but from what I have heard, when you go to Motorcraft, the difference is night and day...keep us posted as I am in the field for a tranny fluid change in the near future :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry for the lengthy delay getting back to this thread....work calls first.

Anyhow like said above the 6 speed trans issues have been covered here and in the MX-5 boards quite extensively. If you managed to get a good 6 speed you are very fortunate, unfortunately us with horribly adjusted shift cables or bad transmissions are left to suffer with a "no problem found" by Mazda. The 2nd gear grind is very well versed around the message boards - read up if you happened to get a good tranny car.

I have driven manual my entire life consisting of a '96 Acura Integra, '91 Toytota Pickup, '99 Neon, '03 Golf, '06 Jetta and now my '10 3. I have never had an issue going into 2nd like I have had with the Mazda, even the '91 Toyota with 170k miles on the original transmission fluid. I would pay $20 to one of the nay-sayers to drive my '10 2.5 to say my transmission is "normal".

Anyhow the trans flush is doing ok at this point. The first shift of the day is very stiff however all but 95% of the shifts (2nd gear) are butter smooth. 2nd has become a slight nightmare. Occasionally it is a clunky disaster and others it will be smooth as butter, no rhyme or reason. On the bright side it is better than it was previously.

Next go around I will try the Motorcraft and see what happens.
 

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I've tried both RP and Mobil 1 full syn gear lubes and both offer a smoother action than the oem lube. I'd recommend M1 because it's half the price of RP and works great. Went 100K miles on the RP lube with no problems and just switched to M1 recently. Another nice thing about full syn lube is longer drain intervals than with standard gear lube. I talked to a tech over at RP and he told me 100k miles or 10 year drain interval of their stuff for a M/T. You could probably expect similar drain interval on just about any good quality full syn gear lube.



The Motive power bleeder is a handy little thing and does more than just bleed brakes too :) Much easier than trying to fill from the top side especially when it's just you.

 

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Very good discussion. I changed my original tranny oil 8 days ago....car is a 6 speed with 70k and it clunked bad in second and would grind. The oil came out a burnt brown color with what appeared to be heavy (tranny debris stuff?) in it. Replaced it with royal purple max gear 75w-90 which is supposedly a non corrosive GL-4/5 {Because if you all recall we MUST use a GL-4 oil, so no Mobil 1etc. } I must say I have been a loyal fan of royal purple for many years however this transmission does not like the fluid at all, in fact it shifts WORSE now and clunks more. I will be going to the ford dealer to pick up OEM fluid tomorrow, ill keep you guys updated but I suspect a true motorcraft GL-4 oil may shift better(I'm praying), well either that or the old brown oil is going back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Very good discussion. I changed my original tranny oil 8 days ago....car is a 6 speed with 70k and it clunked bad in second and would grind. The oil came out a burnt brown color with what appeared to be heavy (tranny debris stuff?) in it. Replaced it with royal purple max gear 75w-90 which is supposedly a non corrosive GL-4/5 {Because if you all recall we MUST use a GL-4 oil, so no Mobil 1etc. } I must say I have been a loyal fan of royal purple for many years however this transmission does not like the fluid at all, in fact it shifts WORSE now and clunks more. I will be going to the ford dealer to pick up OEM fluid tomorrow, ill keep you guys updated but I suspect a true motorcraft GL-4 oil may shift better(I'm praying), well either that or the old brown oil is going back in.
The manual for my '10 6 speed shows GL-5 is ok, guessing Mazda did not use anything that will corrode with the GL-5. Miata guys seem to have had very good luck with Redline MTL and the expensive Motorcraft (Ford) synthetic.

I am planning on sticking with dealer changes with whatever fluid they have until my powertrain warranty is out. Don't want to give them any reason to deny warranty coverage should an issue arise, with how stellar the car has been so far don't expect anything to come up but you never know.
 

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good news turns out I can get the motorcraft xt-m5-qs fluid through work for $14 a quart, the dealer wants $21 a quart so ill just wait on the shipping from my works Ohio warehouse ill be ordering up a case so ill have some left over for sale locally (MA) if anyone's interested
 
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