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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
More 6MT woe. Adding a stiffer transmission mount and reinforced rear motor mount has allowed me to have a better feel of what the drivetrain is doing.

Now, we all know how the engine 'bogs down' if you let out the clutch slowly without giving it gas. The idle speed of the engine has to overcome the inertia of the wheels during the friction zone to get the car moving.

When I am in the middle of the friction zone (At least I think it's the friction zone, it's hard to tell with this car) the RPMs drop fairly significantly, the drop in the torque moves the engine around, and is impossible to get a nice smooth shift in.

Does this sound similar to what your Mazda3 is doing? Before, the car would just buck and jump around so much I had no idea what was wrong and the only way to shift smoothly was to ride the clutch for 2-3 seconds longer than I would have normally had done otherwise.
 

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How many miles are on yours? Mine was at 78,000 when it did something similar. Went away after changing spark plugs.
 

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squelshy451, I think I know what you mean.
It happens when I am driving in a queue with shifting up and down again all the time at relatively low speed.
It drives me crazy that it is so hard to drive this car smoothly in this situation.
There no problem at all when you can shift up with more speed but in a queue it is terrible.
I wish there was something to improve this.

Dik
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Barely 10,000 miles.

I'm gonna go test drive a Toyota 86 later today. I really don't care if I bought new tires last month, this has been the most disappointing ownership experience. Not that it's been horrible, but just the chasm between expectations and reality. Sure it handles alright, you have a fair bit of confidence by the feedback from the steering wheel, but all the complaints I've had about this car makes me wonder if the journos were paid for their reviews. Stock shifter was mushy and throws too long until I put in a short shifter. Only one review mentioned the numb clutch pedal and none mentioned the excessive drivetrain movements. Too much wheel gap, found no signs of sound deadening when I opened up the door panels.
 

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When the car is at idle you can't just engage the clutch without applying the throttle and the expect the car to move without the engine protesting a bit. The solid mounts just make it much more apparent. You need to learn to open the throttle a bit at the same time. Every vehicle I have ever driven in the past 40 years has been this way, I don't expect the Mazda 3 to be any different.
 

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Been driving stick for 23 years, the 3 is no different than any of my previous cars.
 

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My 2016 3 does have a seemingly small "friction zone" as we are calling it here (I don't have a better term). At first it felt almost binary to me, so I do think it's a little more difficult to operate in that zone on this car because it's such a small part of the pedal travel. That said I really don't have any problems driving the car - if anything when i switch between my Subaru and this i might have a hiccup to adjust.

My daughter is learning to drive stick, or perhaps has already learned. She learned on the subaru (2003 car), and when she drove this deemed it "much easier". I actually prefer the more extended friction area of the subaru, but to each their own
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When the car is at idle you can't just engage the clutch without applying the throttle and the expect the car to move without the engine protesting a bit. The solid mounts just make it much more apparent. You need to learn to open the throttle a bit at the same time. Every vehicle I have ever driven in the past 40 years has been this way, I don't expect the Mazda 3 to be any different.
This behavior if I"m not applying any gas is understandable, normal even.

What grinds my gears is while I am in the midst of giving it gas while letting out the clutch in the friction zone, the engine drops in power even though my right foot is at the exactly same position. I'm giving it gas, I'm just not sure why the revs drop so much so far into the friction zone. The clutch feels 80% engaged at this point when the engine bogs down a bit. It usually does that at the beginning of the engagement.
 

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You need to get the rpms up more, maybe 2k or so, and learn how to coordinate the right foot with the left foot when engaging the clutch. Its not a matter of keeping the throttle in the same position, that won't work and will result in the problem you are experiencing. Let the clutch out slowly until the rpms drop slightly, then use the throttle to keep the rpms up as the clutch is fully engaged. It can take a lot of practice to get it right if you don't have somebody to show you how its done.
 

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I get where the complaint is coming from, but it's a workable issue, with some practice.

You will also need to do something that we are taught not to do, which is ride the clutch a little right after you engage 1st and 2nd gear.

When you launch off of the line and you get the timing just right, it's a feeling of pure joy.
CK
 
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