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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had the car back for a week after having the clutch disc, pressure plate, flywheel, pilot bearing, release bearing, trans gear oil, engine oil and oil filter replaced and the car is still firing up far more slowly and with less umph than it used to. Kind of bogged down sounding and struggling to roll over for the first 3-4 turns of the engine.

I plan on taking it to the local dealership next week after the Labor Day Holiday to remove the transmission and inspect all of the parts that were installed.

The bite point on the clutch pedal is also much higher than it used to be and far higher than the 2.81" that it is supposed to be.

Do you think I should try anything else first to remedy either problem?

I do not trust the shop that did the work as they would not give me back the original equipment or provide me with part numbers for the parts they installed. AAA certification my rear..

At this point, I'm mainly concerned with getting the car back to optimal shape and to make sure it will be reliable going forward (kids to take and pickup from school).

Please let me know your thoughts.
CK
 
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Sorry to hear of this. It's always a crap-shoot to have this significant of work done on the car... and it not coming back feeling the same. Could some kind of vacuum hose or some kind of electrical component, say, have been forgotten on reassembly, I ask rhetorically?

The clutch pedal distance from the floorboards is a minimum, I think, not the intended value per se. Do I have this right?

Do you think non OEM cpts were substituted?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Since I had discussed it with the owner prior to agreeing to them doing the work that they had to use Mazda parts and fluids and they used Motyl gear oil and Mobil 1 and some random oil filter... won't tell me the part numbers used.. wouldn't provide the parts taken out when asked to.. who knows?

I'm just going to the dealer and dropping $175 an hour for them to drop the subframe and take out the transmission and inspect each part to make sure it is correct and installed correctly when put back.

I should have gone to the dealership to start, but none are that close and it was already close to closing so I didn't get it towed across town and went a local shop instead..
CK
 
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Since I had discussed it with the owner prior to agreeing to them doing the work that they had to use Mazda parts and fluids and they used Motyl gear oil and Mobil 1 and some random oil filter... won't tell me the part numbers used.. wouldn't provide the parts taken out when asked to.. who knows?

I'm just going to the dealer and dropping $175 an hour for them to drop the subframe and take out the transmission and inspect each part to make sure it is correct and installed correctly when put back.

I should have gone to the dealership to start, but none are that close and it was already close to closing so I didn't get it towed across town and went a local shop instead..
CK
You know, CerealKiller, in my view (Others may differ, here) there are excellent Dealership technicians, and there are "dud" Dealership technicians. With the Independents, same thing. When it comes to the Dealership doing this work, I would ask myself just how many times have they done clutch jobs on cars. I'm sure they have done them, but look at the car population of Mazda3's... Just how many are A/T versus M/T. Not a lot of the latter. And with typical Dealership labour rates, how many of those 6MT cars did the dealer work on, versus those same cars being out of warranty and the respective owners taking them to Independents? What I am saying, is that I just don't think Dealerships do many clutch jobs. And maybe, they don't really specialize in that kind of work, unfortunately.

I don't believe they are your silver bullet, here.

I don't have a solution for you, but it costs a whole lot of $ to again support the engine and transaxle, drop the subframe, separate them, drop the transaxle, etc, etc, etc... It always is possible, somehow, on separation of the components the tech "hung" the transaxle on the input shaft, within the clutch plate. I always am afraid of that happening. It can bend the input shaft, b*gger the bearing(s)...

I hope, for you, there is another way... A competent Tech might have some good ideas, without a full removal, reinstallation.

Others; do you have any ideas?

I am 'real sorry for this to have happened to you. It would drive me batty. I would be SOME choked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm trying to stay calm about it, but it's obviously not working too well.

I called around and was recommended a transmission shop that's local. He seemed pretty knowledgeable over the phone and being a transmission specialist, knows his way around a clutch.

I can pick up the Mazda gear oil for 2x$29.72 and bring it to him for when he's figured out what's what.

That may be a better option than the dealer.

Need to think this through a bit. The dealership will be a costly gamble for sure.
CK
 

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Any chance the starter pinion/flywheel ring gear has been misaligned? Or a non genuine flywheel has been used with a poorly machined ring gear.
 

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Sounds like 2 possibly unrelated problems:

1) The changed bite point, likely related to the new parts.

2) Slower cranking.

Maybe the installer can look over everything as part of their guarantee? Is a higher bite point something you'd expect on a new clutch?

Does the slower turning over happen whether you start the car in first, with the clutch all the way depressed, or in neutral? Is your battery still at 13+ Volts cold?
 

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I'm trying to stay calm about it, but it's obviously not working too well.
Don't go all cereal murderin' on us!

283870


(In all seriously tho, hang in there, I'm sure you'll work it out. Persistence is 9/10th of the game with these types of issues.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks. The only way to figure it out is to take it apart, which will require some serious labor. i.e. drop the front subframe, unhook the steering column, trans axles, and drop the transmission to inspect all of the parts.

I'll probably take it to the transmission shop that was recommended to me next Wednesday... waiting is going to be rough though.
CK
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Any chance the starter pinion/flywheel ring gear has been misaligned? Or a non genuine flywheel has been used with a poorly machined ring gear.
Very likely. I will report back once I know for sure.
CK
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmm.. went for a quick drive to get some coffee (for me) and snacks for the kids.

I decided to take a roundabout method home to listen to the car driving and try to get used to the new bite point on the clutch.

I've noticed since getting the car back that there is now a cyclical whirring sound when going 40 mph and higher that is coming from the left of the engine bay, behind the front left wheel and near the transmission roughly. Transaxle maybe?

I just called the transmission shop and they said to drop it off Tuesday at 9:00. :(
CK
 

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I fully support the transmission shop idea. I have known good quality shops that won't do tranny work, they sublet it to a proper transmission shop. There is many reasons why to do this, including what was mentioned above about dealerships and independent shops not having any real proper transmission experience. Also having access to proper tools, many of which are specialty and expensive, most shops even dealerships won't always have all those tools, depends on the tech. I am also very sorry to hear all this is happening, the Mazda has been such a good car to all of us on here and I hope you will be successful at persisting at it until its fixed properly, and it feels again the way it should. Hang in there, lots of deep breaths when needed, it ALWAYS helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Transmission shop inspected it.. confirmed the sluggish startup, whining and whirring noises, which he said were most noticeable in 1st gear.. he also said the clutch is super buttery, but said that may not be a bad thing, just part of getting everything replaced and lubed up.

He bled the hydraulics and said the bite point is good and that there is no air in the system.

He will replace the Motylgear oil trans fluid tomorrow with the Mazda gear oil and see if that makes a difference with the noises.

Claimed the sluggish startup may be a symptom of a bad battery.. 10.2v at startup instead of 11 or 12.. not sure how it was fine before the service and then went bad afterwards though?

To take out the trans and inspect the parts will cost $1k in labor or so... ugh..
CK
 
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Any chance that they left a wire a bit loose somewhere when they pulled the transmission to do the clutch, maybe on the starter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'll get the battery and starter checked out next.

I'd hate to take it back to the shop that did the work, but the work was warrantied for 2 years or 24k.. this stinks.
CK
 

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Transmission shop inspected it.. confirmed the sluggish startup, whining and whirring noises, which he said were most noticeable in 1st gear.. he also said the clutch is super buttery, but said that may not be a bad thing, just part of getting everything replaced and lubed up.

He bled the hydraulics and said the bite point is good and that there is no air in the system.

He will replace the Motylgear oil trans fluid tomorrow with the Mazda gear oil and see if that makes a difference with the noises.

Claimed the sluggish startup may be a symptom of a bad battery.. 10.2v at startup instead of 11 or 12.. not sure how it was fine before the service and then went bad afterwards though?

To take out the trans and inspect the parts will cost $1k in labor or so... ugh..
CK
Sounds like the transmission shop you took it to knows a thing or two about transmissions... I would bet they can put the car on a lift, connect the exhaust to the fume collection system, and run the car in the various gears (possibly also partially supporting the wishbones very close to the front wheels to lessen the half-shaft angles)... and then they can listen for the whining noises...

I'm not sure that listening, even with a mechanic's stethoscope, would truly allow them to pin-point the issue causing the whining... but maybe they can do so.

Arathol's idea re a loosely connected wire or wiring sounds to me like it could have merit, re the slow starting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes. They have a bay with stationary front and rear wheel setup for testing the trans and listening to it without road noise issues.

He said he could clearly hear whining noises on acceleration and whirring on deceleration.

He wants to switch out the trans and engine fluids first before doing any further costly work. I brought the Mazda 75w80 gear oil and Moly 0w20 engine oil with a new Mazda filter and gasket.

Hopefully that will fix the noise issues and then I'll just need to figure out the sluggish startup.. Hopefully it is just a loose wire, like arathol questioned. If not, I may need to have the trans taken out again. :(
CK
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got the car back today. Clutch feels less buttery and the whirring and whining sounds seem to be gone. Mazda engine and gear oil to the rescue. :)

It is still starting up super sluggishly though.

The battery is OEM from a dealership and not even 7 mos. old. I'll head back to the dealership to get it checked/replaced. If that doesn't fix it.. then I'll ask that they check the starter out.

I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.
CK
 

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I would have thought you would have been ableto change the engine and gearbox oil yourself, its not difficult, axle stands or better still drive up ramps that is all required. A claw type oil filter removal tool and a allen socket for the sump plug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes. I have done oil changes and transmission fluid changes on the car, but it was already at a transmission shop that was checking for other issues. It just made more sense to have them do it instead of pissing off my apartment landlord by servicing it at home.

Also, hauling a hydraulic jack, stands and equipment up and down 3 stories isn't much fun.
CK
 
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