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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2017 HB Sport with MT. I came from a Toyota Camry with 250K MT and probably developed some bad shifting habits at the end.

In the Mazda...Accelerating slowly from a stop and then Shifting from 1>2 the rev's climb to about 2k then it seems like it falls flat on its face. It's a very odd feeling like if I am trying to take it easy, it's forcing me to shift early. But if I get on it, it's ready for spirited driving.

I've got about 3600 mi (mostly highway) on the car and I am having a helluva time getting consistent with this clutch and rev matching. Sometimes it shifts beautifully.

I don't want to burn it up. Any similar experiences? suggestions
 

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What rpm are you shifting at? When you shift from 1st to 2nd you should already be well past 2k rpm. You don't need to keep your foot on the floor either, just keep the engine higher in the rpm range.
 

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You can actually get the car going smoothly by engaging the clutch with only 1000-1100 RPM. It takes less than a second to fully engage the clutch because it's such a low RPM. As for the 1->2 shift, part of it is the big jump in gear ratios. But the biggest reason, is because of the torque limiter built into the tuning of the car. 2nd gear feels like you've shifted into 3rd to be honest. The 1->2 shift's jerkiness is nearly non-existent after I got my car tuned with OVTune. For downshifting, this car's throttle response is very sluggish so rev matching takes some patience and practice. The tune wakes this up a bit, but not significantly. I really don't know what else could improve it besides an aftermarket air intake, but from what I gather the stock intake flows sufficiently.
 

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2018 Mazda 3 GT
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Let the RPM climb to 3K or so in 1st gear (4K or higher if you plan on going fast through the gears) and then shift into second gear.

I've only had my manual GT3 for a few weeks now, so I've been really working hard to get this timing down.

I've learned to quick release the clutch to the point where it engages, I then start on the gas and gradually release the last 3-4 inches of the clutch length, as I continue to apply more gas. Rinse/repeat. This seems to help most as you enter 1st and 2nd gear. I release the clutch much faster in the 3rd gear and upward shifts, as they are pretty smooth shifts without it.
CK
 

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I came from a Civic manual with almost as much mileage, and it took me a few weeks to a month to get used to the clutch in the Mazda. It would seem to need a good bit of pressure at first and then about halfway through the pedal travel there was no resistance, and the pedal would crash into the floor. It would do the opposite pulling back off the clutch. It took me a little while to get it, so I was shifting smoothly too. I am good with it now, and every once in a while I am still a little jerky with my shifts. I also noticed that if I give it a bit more gas, the car seemed to shift a bit better. I did that more until I was used to the clutch. I was also used to shifting at about 2500 - 3000 rpms. I think I shift a little sooner than that now that I can keep the shifts smooth.
 

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I took a look at the manual and apparently there are two shift schedules Regular & Cruising. After I read this I did a little experimenting and shifting has improved a bit.

Regular
1>2 15 mph
2>3 26 mph
3>4 37 mph
4>5 46 mph
5>6 49 mph

Cruise
1>2 8 mph
2>3 18 mph
3>4 30 mph
4>5 39 mph
5>6 43 mph

If you accelerate past 8mph, it's like it anticipates the Regular Acceleration sequence. I'll try to estimate RPM's and add those in.
 

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LOL you can't learn to drive a stick by reading a book any more than you can learn how to swim. Just drive it, you'll figure it out quick enough. The engine need to rev to work, shifting at 8 mph isn't going to get you anywhere very fast. For that matter, you should be shifting using engine rpm anyhow. Keep it above 2500 and you'll be fine.
 

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LOL you can't learn to drive a stick by reading a book any more than you can learn how to swim. Just drive it, you'll figure it out quick enough. The engine need to rev to work, shifting at 8 mph isn't going to get you anywhere very fast. For that matter, you should be shifting using engine rpm anyhow. Keep it above 2500 and you'll be fine.
Agreed. Mazda thought these shift points were important for us to know and it helps me understand there are two different modes. This is a commuter car for me 140mi/day, high MPG and minimization of wear and tear is my goal. I notice following these shifting point helps with smooth clutch engagement and minimizes slipping. I'll keep it below 2500 and be just fine with 43MPG:thumbup1:
 

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probably developed some bad shifting habits at the end.
Probably.

Every car I've owned for 30yrs has been MT. I don't notice anything significantly different about my 3. Other than it shifts nicer.

I took a look at the manual and apparently there are two shift schedules Regular & Cruising.

Regular
1>2 15 mph
2>3 26 mph
3>4 37 mph
4>5 46 mph
5>6 49 mph
Ugh.. why even own a MT?
 

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My 2018 GT3 tells you when to shift... which is a little annoying as the recommendations don't always seem correct.

It was telling me to go from 3rd into 5th gear yesterday when I was cruising at 30 mph. WTF?

By tells you, I mean there is a display to the left of the RPMs that says what gear you are in. It will add an arrow to the right of the gear you are in and then list what gear it wants you to shift into next to that. Up or down.
CK
 
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It was telling me to go from 3rd into 5th gear yesterday when I was cruising at 30 mph. WTF?

CK
I noticed this too! I am still not used to having a 6th gear since my Civic was a 5 speed. Mine is always telling me to shift up 2 gears. Either from 3rd to 5th, or 4th to 6th. It will tell me to shift into 6th when I am going 30 mph and then tell me to downshift to 5th because I am going too slow for 6th gear. lol
 

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The logic it uses to tell you when to shift generally assumes straight, flat and trafficless roads are ahead. If you're on a flat road or slight decline shifting early will net you better MPG, that said being at the right speed/RPM for your road situation is always going to differ from the computer's suggestion.

Shift when it feels right and when it makes sense, if you're steaming up a hill and the computer says to go up a gear - don't.
 

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I have a 2011 2.5L with a 6-speed and normally shift anywhere between 3-4,000 RPM. My previous car was a 2001 1.7L Civic with a 5-speed and there's a drastic difference in how quickly the RPMs drop while shifting. Which was the hardest thing to get used to when changing cars. Installing a short shifter helped solve the problem as the Mazda drivetrain likes faster shifting. Just keep things smooth and don't force a shift because you'll destroy the transmission synchronizers.

The car's owner manual can teach you about the car, but putting your butt in the seat will teach you more. Lastly, a tune is NOT needed to drive the car smoothly.

Edit:
Almost forgot about the A/C increasing the RPM drop while shifting. I have to adjust my shifting speed in the summer for this. Not sure if anyone else noticed.
 

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Agreed. Mazda thought these shift points were important for us to know and it helps me understand there are two different modes. This is a commuter car for me 140mi/day, high MPG and minimization of wear and tear is my goal. I notice following these shifting point helps with smooth clutch engagement and minimizes slipping. I'll keep it below 2500 and be just fine with 43MPG:thumbup1:
The most I've ever seen on the highway is about 36.
2500 is just about where the power band starts. If you keep it at low rpms all the time you'll kill your mileage because your foot will always be on the floor in the wrong gear trying to get the car to go. This equates to about 23 mpg. :frown2: Keep it in the power band and use the entire rpm range, you won't hurt it, and the car will be a lot happier. Shifting at 8mph will lug 2nd gear pretty bad etc. Using Mazdas shift points and not going over 2500 rpm will make merging onto the highway interesting to say the least. Prius drivers will be shaking their fist at you.....:laughing001:

My 2018 GT3 tells you when to shift... which is a little annoying as the recommendations don't always seem correct.

It was telling me to go from 3rd into 5th gear yesterday when I was cruising at 30 mph. WTF?
CK
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.....:laugh2:
I think OVT has a fix to remove that annoyance, or was working on one anyhow.
 

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2010 Mazda3 here, 5 speed. When I was teaching my son how to drive stick, I told him to listen for when the doors auto-locked which was 12 mph, and ideal for a 1 -> 2 shift. For shifts after that, I had him listen to the engine and glance at the tach. Now he's pretty comfortable shifting and doesn't need to listen for the door lock, but it was a good hint for beginners.

And don't lug the engine. You get poor mpg and premature engine wear. Show your engine some love by giving it the revs it needs.
 

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It’s best not to think about it too much. Having driven manual transmissions for the last 16 years, I’ve learned to just feel the revs and responsiveness of the current gear to determine when to shift. Watching the tach and/or shift indicators isn’t going to give you a fluid driving experience. Gotta feel the car.

Manual and automatic transmissions are just that; transmissions. Driving habits like acceleration can remain the same with either transmission, and shifting just needs to align. Feel the gears and learn the feedback of the power band. Then, shift accordingly.

I often shift well above 2500 RPMs since I shift when it feels right. I also average around 35 MPG with 70% highway. RPM isn’t the end all be all of fuel economy and wear. Throttle position, especially if you’re shifting too early, can be a factor.
 

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Funny how some of us learn manual easily while others struggle. I was lucky and picked it up in an afternoon. I later taught my ex wife and that took about 2 weeks before she was ready to go on the city streets.

I always found understanding the machine helpful. Read up on how a manual transmission works and the relationship between rpm, torque and horsepower.
 

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One thing outside your beloved new car you can do to practice manual techniques....SIM RACING!!! No real life damage. I learned to heel toe shift in a simulator, which is not a required skill for daily driving, but sure is fun and if you ever hit the track you'll need it for threshold braking if you don't want to end up in a wall.

You can get a g27 for $200 with full pedal setup, including clutch and hshift.. there are better sets out there but it works. Saved tons of damage by practicing o n that, then adjusting to the clutch in my real car.
 

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Funny how some of us learn manual easily while others struggle. I was lucky and picked it up in an afternoon. I later taught my ex wife and that took about 2 weeks before she was ready to go on the city streets.

I always found understanding the machine helpful. Read up on how a manual transmission works and the relationship between rpm, torque and horsepower.
It all depend what you learned on. My first manual was a 1990 Honda Accord which in my opinion had a terrible shifter - one of the first cable driven shifters I know of since even the civic was a shaft driven shifter for some time after the Accord went to cables in 1990. The advantage of cables is obviously less vibration in the shifter\cabin area from the transmission and slightly better reliability as shaft links tend to rust out here in the midwest over time, which is why most modern FWD vehicles use cables. The problem with cables is as they wear (I got my Accord with 90k on it) they are sloppy. And that's what I learned on. I eventually purchased a 1998 Protege which had a significantly better feeling shifter, not because it was new, but because it was a shaft driven linkage. That linkage rusted out and one of the two shafts snapped in 2006. It was easily welded back together (and amazingly still shifted into most gears while broken.)

tl/dr I think the best vehicle to teach people a manual on are german built or those with german transmissions. They just shift beautifully. This is why Mazda still uses a ZF built transmission in the Miata - regarded as one of the best shifting vehicles ever produced. I'd teach people to drive on a Miata or a Golf or a SVT Focus with its Getrag. They all are very forgiving and have high redlines - unless its a Golf TDI, in which case you have the advantage of diesel torque to prevent easy stalling.
 
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