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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good afternoon, everyone! As a longtime Honda owner, I decided that Mazda fit my needs a little better, given that they really let the accountants suck all of the soul out of Honda products from about 2001 until this newest Civic. My 1998 Accord has been a great car for the past 8+ years, but at 215,000 miles and its age, there are things that just aren't worth taking care of. I almost went with Acura over the Mazda3, which is what my wife drives, but I didn't find any decent TSX's with a manual for sale in my area, and I like the smaller size, more features, and visibility of my car! Having 4 doors is great, and I think I want to go start doing a few formal track day HPDE's and autocross events just to really enjoy the car.

My Mazda3 a 4-door 2.5 liter, 2012 model year with 40,000 miles, Grand Touring with a 6-speed manual transmission. My only real criteria for my next car were a manual transmission, reasonably fun to drive, and HID/LED headlights. Needless to say, this Mazda3 has blown me away. I got a reasonably good price on it, and it looks relatively unmolested! I've attached a photo, as if none of you have seen a completely stock 2012 Mazda3.

There's a big quirk with it. Curiously/annoyingly, the transmission is weird when shifting into 1st gear. Sometimes, when completely stopped at a light, I will be sitting with the car in neutral, and my foot completely off of the clutch, as I've done on the MANY MANY cars that I've driven over the years, so as not to sit there wearing out my leg, or the throwout bearing. The light will turn green, I'll go to shift into first, and the shifter will only go halfway into the gate. It does this about 5% of the time, so not too often. I'll let off the clutch, re-press, and shift into second gear then back into first, and it will go in without issue. The dealership mechanic said that it felt normal when I went there to have it checked, but I didn't mention this specific issue. The transmission feels healthy to me as there is otherwise no grinding or anything, so I'm not certain if it's just a linkage adjustment, or needs some good synthetic trans fluid, or both.

I've done searches here and found TONS of discussions on the transmission issues. However, I'm trying to sort through the ones that replicate what I'm discussing. I found someone that mentions this occurring with a brand new transmission, but no resolution:
Transmission issue with first gear - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
(Edit: Sorry, I was using google to search, and posted the link to another forum. Hope that it isn't too much of a no-no. Regardless, here's the pasted link from THIS forum for the correct tab):
http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/...1341-shifting-into-1st-gear-manual-trans.html

Regardless, I'd like to deal with it. I'm an experienced manual transmission driver, so it was only slightly inconvenient to me, but I wouldn't want it to happen to my wife, or anyone that I let drive (family, friends, etc). Has there really been any TSB or solution that I haven't found yet, adjusting the shifter in an way? Again, I'm experiencing no grinding, but I just don't want the transmission to catch halfway down the shifter gate.

I've been looking at oil threads as well, and THAT is actually driving me crazy, haha. Depending on which year owner's manual you look at, the transmission oil recommendation is sometimes "GL-4" and is sometimes "GL-4 or GL-5." Weight recommendation changes from 2010 2.5 liter's 75w-90 to 2012's 75w-80 despite the same transmission. Some people are using "GL-4/GL-5" rated oils with great success, while others claim if you use GL-5 then it will destroy the car. I'm definitely going synthetic, but can't decide on whether to use Motul, Redline, Royal Purple, Amsoil, Motorcraft, Synchromesh etc. The same is true of engine oil, btw. And for some reason, my manual says to use 0w-20 in the US, and 5w-20 in Mexico. It makes me assume that the recommendation changed for political reasons as much as technical.
 

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Well first, welcome to the forum. If you don't get an answers to your question here try posting it in the 2010-2013 Mazda 3 Engine and Performance sub-forum. The problem might be a first gear syncro. When it happens again try putting the clutch in, blip the revs then try putting it in gear. If this works I think it's the first gear syncro but there might be more ideas. Buying a used car you never know how the last owner drove it. He might have thrashed the trans by downshifting to slow the car down instead of using the brakes, what I call the race car wantabe. Hope you find the answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, guys! I'll go post in the more technical forum. Rdrokit, I don't believe that it's the synchros because when I'm moving, it slides into gear without issue. When I'm in first gear and holding the clutch when I come to a stop, then shift into neutral and back into first, it's fine most of the time. If I slightly let off the clutch where it's "caught" then it pops into gear. Plus, given that so many other people seem to have the same issue, especially those examples I posted, plus others with brand new cars that experience it, I feel that it's gotta be some detrimental design on Mazda's part, or mis-alignment, etc.

I've been looking at the H-street SCCA solo class. Tempting . . . Going to swap to synthetic fluids, and then see what's open here in DFW.
 
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