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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got me a gorgeous copper red GT one week ago. It now, sadly, has 250 miles on it (seems like just last week it only had 5 miles - oh wait - it did!).

Anyway, love the 6 speed, BUT I'm having problems getting it into 1st on a regular basis. It's just sometimes plain hard to get it into 1st. I have the most success when I first shift to second and then move it straight up - it slips right in. But getting it into first either from a dead stop or downshifting is difficult. I can also take the shifter all the way to the left while in neutral till it hits the side then go straight up - that seems to work, but I'm worried about hitting the side so much.

Is anyone else experiencing this? I test drove another 2.5 GT 6-speed before I bought mine and it did the same thing, so I'm hesitant to take it in for service already! Could this just be part of the "break-in" period?
 

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Got me a gorgeous copper red GT one week ago. It now, sadly, has 250 miles on it (seems like just last week it only had 5 miles - oh wait - it did!).

Anyway, love the 6 speed, BUT I'm having problems getting it into 1st on a regular basis. It's just sometimes plain hard to get it into 1st. I have the most success when I first shift to second and then move it straight up - it slips right in. But getting it into first either from a dead stop or downshifting is difficult. I can also take the shifter all the way to the left while in neutral till it hits the side then go straight up - that seems to work, but I'm worried about hitting the side so much.

Is anyone else experiencing this? I test drove another 2.5 GT 6-speed before I bought mine and it did the same thing, so I'm hesitant to take it in for service already! Could this just be part of the "break-in" period?
Are you positive you're at a complete stop (or going fairly slow)? Every manual I've driven has a lockout feature preventing you from shifting into 1st if you're going a touch too fast (something like 15 MPH or under). I guess it's to prevent you from blowing out your engine if you decide to pull out the clutch in 1st at 60+ MPH.
 

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Ridgeback, I have the EXACT same problem with mine. I mentioned it in another thread but can't remember where. It's gotten a bit better but it still gives me problems and is a huge pain the ass. I also do the shift into second then to first, then it's smooth. I kind of altered the technique a bit where i move the stick left all the way, and slightly down but not completely into 2nd, then up into 1st.
 

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I'm wondering if it's a clutch adjustment issue? If you're at a complete stop, it should go into first with only a tad of resistance--not even resistance just enough that you feel the synchros working.

If the clutch isn't fully disengaging, it would be hard to get into 1st.

Anyone else?
 

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I've had problems even when at a complete stop; just won't let me shift into first at all even with significant force, and I retry after that so as not to break anything.

Someone suggested that I put it in neutral, disengage the clutch and try again. It worked a couple times but I still have problems with that method, not to mention that it's just a pain to have to do that.

It's been noticeably better overall this past week, though.
 

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Well, there is certainly mechanical break in on tranny synchros. Synchros are basically cone shaped rings that fit within each other. When you shift, the cones make contact and the one spinning faster speeds up the one spinning more slowly, thus bringing their attached gears up to matching RPM. They also can have teeth, not quite like gear teeth, much greater space between them, but sort of the idea of gears.

Anyway, over time they sort of wear into each other and make better contact and spin up quicker. Gears also wear in, along with the transmission bearings. So it's not unusual for the shifting to get better over time with a new car.

But what you're describing does not sound normal. It sounds like a lot like clutch disengagement problem. Could be a tranny problem, but I'd suspect clutch first.

Might be worth a trip to the dealer if I were you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Argon, I remember you posting something about it somewhere too, so I looked in earnest and couldn't find it. Anyhow, we are having the same exact problem it seems - you're describing every symptom that I have to the letter. Mine too will get better over the course of a day or two but then go right back to being difficult again. How many miles on your 3?

I'm going on a long road trip (290 miles) this weekend so I'll see if it gets any better. But I am going to mention it to my dealer when I go in this Thursday for them to fix a paint chip.

I'm just having a hard time believing a car with only 250 miles on it already needs service. DENIAL is a powerful force!
 

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As a data point for this discussion, mine does NOT do this nor did the other three S' I drove...

Coulld this be an isolated problem and those effected just hapen to post here?
 

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I've also had no problems getting it in to first. Are you pushing the clutch all the way to the floor? Do you have after market pedals that might be bottoming out too high and making it difficult to fully disengage the clutch plates?

BeEvil
 

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I've just passed the 10k mark on my GT, and I am still suffering from the exact problem described above. I've asked Mazda about it and they told me it could just be a "quirk" with car, but promised to keep an eye out for others with similar problems.

I've found that the best method is to press the shifter as far left as possible and then up. This usually works but not always.
 

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I have 1700 miles or so. Yes, I am depressing the clutch completely and they are stock pedals. I need to pick up a cargo tray at the dealer sometime soon, I will mention it to them when I go.

It's not a huge problem but it definitely is a major annoyance and inconvenience to have to deal with. Does this mean I need a new tranny? It would suck to have to have some major work on it already.

I also had a paint chip, but the fucks at the dealer refused to fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They shouldn't be able to brush this off as "quirk." I did see the same behavior in the other 6 spd GT I test drove before buying mine, but this can't be "normal." Sometimes it's plain impossible to get into first, and you other MT folks out there, I'm sure, could see how not being able to engage 1st gear might actually be dangerous.

I too will mention it to my dealer tomorrow when I go in. We'll compare notes.

As far as the paint chip, argon, I bought the car at 11:30 at night, so neither me nor the salesperson saw it, but I damn sure did when I got home, in the light of my garage. Like a lighthouse in a sea of copper red mica! Anyway, I immediately emailed everyone I could think that I had just dealt with at the dealership about it. That was at 12:45 a.m. For some reason, they're honoring that email as proof.
 

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I had this problem for the first week, then I slowly get used to shift smothly. I think the trick is to minimize the down push on the shift stick then you will be able to shift into 1st gear smoothly. If you push too much (even a bit over push) will cause the shift stick go to the way between the 1st and rear gear slot.
 

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My wife's had some resistance early on, but after maybe 500 or so miles it had smoothed out a considerably. The only time there is any resistance now is if she tries to go straight into 1st from another gear (obviously at a complete stop). Its barely there though, and if she goes from 2nd its smooth as silk.
 

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My wife's had some resistance early on, but after maybe 500 or so miles it had smoothed out a considerably. The only time there is any resistance now is if she tries to go straight into 1st from another gear (obviously at a complete stop). Its barely there though, and if she goes from 2nd its smooth as silk.
That could be the problem. Are you guys down shifting to a stop? If not and you are braking to a stop then going from what ever gear and trying to put it in 1st then that may be the cause of it not wanting to go in to 1st. If you are down shifting to a stop then I have no idea what's wrong. I always down shift all the way to 2nd gear when I stop then put it in to 1st.

BeEvil
 

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In a complete reversal of my earlier post, I had this problem pop up twice over the weekend.

Once while sitting at a stop light. It was a long light, so I had it in neutral, and then couldn't get it in gear as the green was coming. I quickly slid the shifter into second and then back up into first, and I hit it no problem...I just couldn't get it into first when in neutral.

Second incident was backing out of a parking spot going from reverse to first. This time the tactic I used before, that has worked on other cars, didn't cut it. It took several cycles of putting the clutch in and trying to get it in gear before I could go.

I can't write this off as a car problem yet...I could have been hunting for gear in the wrong place...but it was a little frustrating.
 
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