Author Topic: Trouble shifting into certain gears  (Read 8094 times)

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Offline pandabat

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Trouble shifting into certain gears
« on: January 16, 2020, 02:27:57 pm »
First time poster.

I've a 2017 2.0l petrol Tourer with 6-speed gearbox. Mazda UK were the initial owners of the car and I bought it from them with just over 5k miles on the clock in Sept 2018. I'd no issues until Sept/Oct of last year when I began noticing occasional issues getting the car into 1st gear from stopped position. I only have around 10.5k on the clock now as I do really low mileage. The stick would meet resistance and I'd need to go back to netral and try again - sometimes more than once before successfully getting the stick all the way up to where the gear would be properly selected. Over time the gear shifting in general seem to get more rough/clunky/noisy/mechanical at times and I've also gone on to have some similar issues getting into 5th. Mostly, when it occurs, the stick meets some resistance but with a bit of "muscling" can be gotten into gear without the need for returning to neutral but it feels like pushing the stick around/through an obstacle. Once or twice, I've been unable to get into 5th while in motion even with the extra elbow grease and have had to go back to neutral/another gear for a retry. I've also noticed a sticky shift or two into 3rd in recent weeks.

With the car sitting in the driveway with the engine off (or sometimes at lights with the clutch fully depressed), I've gone up and down through the gears (1st->2nd->3rd->4th->5th->6th and back again sequentially) and have also had the stick hit resistance (mainly between 3rd and 4th in these cases but also, one time, in 2nd).

Thing is, this is only intermittent/occasional and other times the gear shift works smoothly and without any issues. For instance, I've had at least 2 instances of some sort of "poor shift" every day for a week up to yesterday and, in the last 24 hours, no problems at all. I went up and down the gearbox ten times last night (engine off, clutch in) and had not a single glitch - on the bad days I'll hit an issue with 2 or 3 cycles!

Dealer has drained transmission fluid and checked for swarf but nothing came up and new transmission fluid was put in but issues continued. Next proposal is to take car, disassemble transmission and investigate along with Mazda HQ. They say this may take up to 2 weeks between work, back and forth to Mazda on investigation, ordering parts if needed, etc. with no guarantee that it will necessarily be covered by warranty or even that they will find anything at all.

I'm just wondering if anyone had any similar experiences with their gear shifts and what remedies had worked for them, please?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 02:29:50 pm by pandabat »

Offline apav

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2020, 12:33:10 pm »
This is not normal. The gear oil is only part of the system. Something may be wrong with the outside selection mechanism or internally to the gear box. For example under the gear lever there is a combination of plastic and metallic parts covered in white grease. Something may need lubrication and adjustment. Do not just force your way through and instead try to work around the problem to avoid causing further damage.

Because it is a 2017 car, are you sure you are not under manufacturer warranty? If you are still under warranty, give them the car for 2 weeks to take it apart and let you know what they find. If you have to pay for the investigation and then for the repair, it will be a big bill. In that case, ask them about doing the external adjustments and lubrications just in case this is the problem. Have you asked them to do a test drive with them driving and ask them for their experience?

Offline pandabat

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2020, 06:34:46 pm »
Thanks for the reply. The car is under warranty until July 2020 but there's a chance that, whatever the issue is, it's not covered by the warranty. As for them test driving it, due to the intermittent nature of the issue, there's a very good chance that nothing out of the ordinary would occur during such a drive. It's a pain in that respect!

I have mentioned external linkages in passing to them before and I don't yet believe that those have been checked but I have no idea how accessible those elements are (I'm just piecing together potential causes through the power of Google - my mechanical knowledge would fit on the back of something very small). I can ask more about those next week. The car is not due to go in for the deep dive until start of February. Maybe they're intending to start with those at that stage but it's worth asking about them again.

Thanks for the advice!

Offline apav

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2020, 04:25:27 pm »
I think you should press them for warranty repair. They could replace the outside mechanism or anything else and if it does not work out, you could go deeper.

If they test drive the car with you in, you will find out that they drive the car in a very different way to your style. So while it is an on/off issue, they may still spot it. Just try to discuss with them about trust, that if they find a problem, they will not try to cover it.

Removing the plastics around the gear lever is easy. You just pull them. I have a second generation car and I needed to do that to reach the passenger bag light which is in front of the gear lever. There was a youtube video of somebody fitting a new stereo. So he started by these lower plastics. They just come off with no tools. You just need to see how it is done or go very carefully and sense where each clip is.

Replacing the cables or more stuff, will mean more plastics to be removed but they will do it if needed.

Offline mareng73

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2020, 10:52:38 pm »
As its a 2017 then your warranty is good until 2020, check the date it was first registered and if when you bought it they said you had the balance of the warranty.
If in warranty it should not cost you anything.  If its even sticky without the engine running then it rules out the clutch, but its not normal and sounds as if it has been poorly treated and that's bad if its been a Mazda staff car, even a demo.
I have the pre-facelift and when its cold the change between 1st and 2nd feels as if there is no synchro ( I know what that feels like as I have been driving 40 years),  but after warming up its ok.
Do you drive resting your hand on the gear leaver as this can sometimes cause wear on some gearboxes. I have seen older models than yours that the gb has failed and needed new bearings. But everything should be done under warranty. Any communication you have with the dealer or Mazda UK make sure its in writing, not over the phone.
Has temperature anything to do with when you have trouble, ie mainly when warmed up or when cold.
As ApAv said it could be worn gear change parts rather than the gears as a lot is plastic, or it could need lubrication.
If you are going to take the centre console off to look, its best when you have just come from work and the plastic is pliable with the heater being on, as cold plastic is hard and brittle and the clips could easy break off.
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Offline pandabat

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2020, 08:43:26 pm »
Thanks guys. Car will be going in next week. There's a lot of switch gear around the centre console in the mk3 Sport Nav so I'll leave that be - I fear that I'd be as likely to break something else as find anything useful out. I'll update here once I find out what the issue was in case anyone else had similar issue in future.

Offline pandabat

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2020, 09:35:53 pm »
Just to update, engine and gearbox mount adjustments were done and shifts felt much better for a couple of days but I think that the old issues are returning again. I've not been driving much in the last week but should be back to normal commute from tomorrow so will have better idea in coming days

Offline pandabat

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2020, 09:21:57 am »
So since picking up the car, I've still been experiencing some issues. These are still very intermittent and not reproducible on demand. Since picking it up, there have been mid-term breaks from school and I've been trying to cycle more so I can't say if the problem is less frequent than before or not. Right now, I'm barely doing any mileage at all. The car was due to go back into Mazda but unfortunately the lockdowns relating to Covid-19 began and that has been postponed until normality of some sort resumes. I think a full transmission inspection was on the cards but that was in condition of being able to demonstrate the issue to a technician, which is not a given; it may happen on a drive, it may not. So, the upshot is to watch this space whenever things resume some sort of regularity again. Other than the crappy Bridgestone OEM tyres and this issue, I do really like the car but it remains to be seen what will happen. How this issue is resolved will probably have a big bearing on Mazda being considered for future car purchases.

Offline apav

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2020, 12:17:29 pm »
I think you may have a gearbox problem.

My first/previous car had the same problem of getting into first gear while being stopped. It did not do it all the time. I felt that there was a connection on how smoothly the stop was to whether the gear will engage. As the car had unknown history, I asked the garage to investigate. I thought it was a clutch problem. The garage concluded that it was a gearbox problem. When I asked them to fix it, they said run it and when it breaks, you will need another gearbox.

In the current car the same problem happens again. I do not know why but the first gear does not engage some times. The problem is not something that you can reproduce as you have realised but from time to time it can happen. It can happen in the city traffic lights or in the middle of nowhere where you have to stop for some reason and start again. It is very weird. In general there are old posts that in traffic the gearbox/clutch go “wild” and I think this is true as the car really dislikes city driving.

The problem with the other gears is there because the gearbox uses the same “axle” for the gears. Somewhere in the mechanism there is a problem. I do not think this is a very economical repair.

I think you should negotiate with Mazda before the warranty runs out. Because of the virus, they should give you guarantees that they will investigate/fix the problem. All the big businesses talk about the situation running as it is until September at least. By then the warranty will have run out. So you have made a deal with them before that.

Because your car is low mileage, there is a higher chance of something being faulty compared to older cars that have more use over the years. You should start an argument that the problem is not reproducible. When the problem becomes reproducible, you will be at the very last legs of the gearbox before failure.

Have you figured out what will happen with your MOT on July? Does your car appear on the MOT system? My car has an MOT for July as well but it does not appear to have the automatic 6 month extension. So I am not sure whether one should prepare the car for MOT or not. I am not sure if they give the extensions on the last minute.

Offline pandabat

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2020, 08:11:08 am »
Thanks. Yeah, I do believe that there is some issue there but it's getting through the necessary hoops to get resolution is going to be the trick. Everything's at a standstill for now although there's some hope that, by July, things may start rolling a bit again. I think that there's been a warranty extension until then anyway but we'll have to see how things go in the interim.

My car's originally a UK car but I'm based in Ireland so I'm afraid I can't advise on MOT.

Offline pandabat

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2020, 06:39:54 pm »
Just to clarify, I think warranty's been extended by 2 months so up to Sept afaik

Offline pandabat

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2020, 10:04:42 am »
Further update - after a very long and winding road, it was agreed to my Mazda that a gearbox inspection would be carried out. Nothing obviously wrong was found but some synchros were changed as a precautionary measure based on what I was experiencing. Gearbox was reassembled and refitted to car and I picked it up around 2 months ago but within days I'd experienced my issues again. Flagged this to dealer and Mazda and began recording a history of issues and trying to grab a few example videos when safe and able to do so. After weeks of updating re latest issues, issue has apparently been properly escalated again within Mazda this week so will have to see what comes of that. While I appreciate that they've made attempts to fix this (under warranty, I may add) the response and turn-around time leaves a lot to be desired. The approach then seems to be to guess at the problem (rather than engage in proper investigation) which means no one is any the wiser to the root cause many months on from first contact.

Offline apav

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2020, 11:34:10 am »
This is exactly how all these traders operate. There is no evidence-based culture. You experience problems with the gears. They inspect and they pay you lip service “they all do that sir”.

There is no interest in finding out the problem. When you insist, they will do some minimal work but only if it is paid by the insurance company.

For sure the car can be fixed but they do not want to pay for it. They can change the whole gear selection set up, from the clutch pedal and the clutch, to the gearbox and the gear change mechanism. For sure this will fix the problem but they do not want to pay for it.

I know a case of a Toyota car having the gearbox open for investigation but that was not the problem. They found the problem in being something else that they had overlooked.

I am suffering from the second generation recalls. They left my passenger airbag being dead and my driver’s seat being loose on the right back side and dropping making it painful to drive.

When I contacted them, they emailed back that they would investigated. When they disappeared and I chased them again, they emailed back that they had the car in for several additional repairs. That was a shock as they never took the car back.

They did all that because they wanted to charge £100 per hour to do investigations and repairs. I contacted the local Consumer Advice Scotland and they told me that according to the Consumers Rights Act 2015 the trader has to apply reasonable skill and care.

But the burden to prove this is on me. I made a case to the ombudsman and the ombudsman accepted it. I am left with less than 3 months of MOT and getting stressed whether I will have the car fixed. The trader went over the top and deleted my case when I reached the ombudsman but what else could I do with a car that cannot pass the MOT because they vandalised it?

Once I reached the ombudsman the trader emailed me that the car is old. They tried to remove the hatch struts and they could not fit the impact wrench and so they wrapped the bodywork. There is water leaking from the struts in the car.

They removed the passenger dash and they broke it. It does not fit in properly. They have thrown it back but it does not fit as it should. The passenger airbag died and there is a constant airbag light on. If the airbag was working and there were an accident, there is no guarantee that the dash would not break and cause serious injury.

All the screws which hold these plastics together have gone missing. I found some of them loose in the car and fitted them back. But there are so many more missing. These screws should not be decorative for sure as they were hidden away. They wanted to remove some sensors that are under the centre cup holder and on the way they broke it. There is a hole in the cup holder showing the sensors below it.

All these plastics have been removed with the big hammer. As a result they have scratches and some of the securing clips have been broken. The trims that cover the driver’s seat are broken. The seat is loose and rocks on the corners.

The reply from the trader is that the car is old without inspecting the car. The reply from Mazda UK is that all the responsibility is with the trader and as the trader says that there is no wrong without even inspecting the car, then there is no wrong. Both Mazda UK and the Consumer Advice tell me that there is no law to protect me. In the best case scenario, the car will be returned to the rogue trader and they will fix it.

But the trader has no skill to fix the car. The trader will not fix the cosmetic damage. The trader will only do a bodge if they are forced by the ombudsman.

This is what they try to do with your car. They want to show that they did something. From what I have seen, I do not believe that a franchise has the skill to open a gearbox and investigate. It is impossible to imagine this when I check the attention to detail they paid to my car.

The problems with the traders are the deregulation and the lack of interest in their job. As long as there are no laws to protect the consumer, no trader is interested in doing the job properly. There is a deep sick mentality of the class system. I am the trader. I can say anything and they will believe me and not the customer because I am the qualified trader and the customer is some kind of finance buyer.

But most of these school drop-out apprentices just cannot do any job without damaging your asset. It is meaningless to come back that the car is old just because they do not know how to do their job.

There is a good chance that they replaced some of the synchros because you told them that you experience difficulties in specific gears. I had a coolant change in Halfords. Before I let them do their witchcraft, I highlighted to them that they had to use FL22 coolant. But it was like talking to the wall.

They used a random coolant and the car was left with no water and runs cold. So I went back and did a second change. I explained to them again about the concept of using the right coolant. They did not get it. When I explained that the original coolant was orange and they used a green coolant, they replaced the green coolant with an orange one.

But then the problems did not go away like your gears are not any better. When I did my homework I found out that the Comma coolant that they had to use is violet. These apprentices never bothered using the right coolant with the right instructions because it did not matter to them. When I told them orange they fit some random orange product.

I feel that is how Mazda operates. You told them about the gears and they replaced the synchros for these gears. But they did no real investigation to find out what is going on. So the problem is still there but for them they fixed it. Your case will become harder and harder from now on.

I think you should negotiate to have the gearbox investigation carried out by a gearbox specialist. With a specialist you have more chances of finding the problem because they do these investigations every day. I have my 2 cases with 2 different ADRs because Mazda and Halfords are just fronts with no technical knowledge and interest.

I am not sure whether you can be compensated to do these investigations to the specialist. From my ADRs this appears to be the way. You get some money as the traders do not apply reasonable skill and car and you fix the car elsewhere.

Try to do a google search for a “gearbox specialist” and email them your story. Because these people do this every day, they know where to start based on your description. Take what they say and email back Mazda and explain that you got this independent advice for such work. Mazda must either do this job or pay you to do it externally.

After months of back and forth with Halfords, they agreed to replace the wrong coolant with the right one, together with the thermostat. But as the pandemic started, I did not do anything. They emailed me that I should not worry and I should wait until the pandemic eases.

But the pandemic got worse and worse. When the MOTs restarted on August, Halfords replied that now so much time passed that they will not repair the car. They argue that the 11 years and 125K miles coolant is now too bad to replace it. The ADR does not agree with them though.

I am afraid Mazda postpones you in a similar way. It is part of the trader culture. You will need to speed up your case. You need to put down a timeline, when you started noticing the problems, when you contacted Mazda and when Mazda took action. You want to show that the problem is over a long period and Mazda takes it easy and does not try to fix it.

I am afraid that if the car could be repaired by Mazda, they would have already done that. But the gearbox is beyond their skill and they cannot do it. You will go back to them asking for a new gearbox and they will come back to you that there is no problem.

All that happens because the traders operate in a semi-legal fashion. They cheat on the customers selling them lies and promises. When the customer insists, then they consider the customer being one of them, semi-legal persona. And this is where the customer loses because of the deregulation. Being innocent nowadays does not pay off.

Offline pandabat

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2020, 02:16:20 pm »
My bad - I omitted to say above that, when the gearbox inspection took place, it was actually done by an external specialist and the dealer was totally above board about it.

To be honest, I'm not even convinced that it's the gearbox itself at this stage - starting to think it's something a little off in the linkages, in the clutch or a bad mount somewhere that is shifting occasionally just enough to cause the issue. But you could fit what I know about the mechanicals on a very, very small napkin so I'm just guessing :)

Reclutching appears to fix the issue when it does present as does possibly lifting the clutch a little (on some occasions, at least). The problem is that when the issues arise you are usually at a junction with many cars behind you or travelling at 5th gear speeds so there isn't really time for slowly and methodically debugging the problem in those scenarios.


Offline pandabat

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Re: Trouble shifting into certain gears
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2020, 02:16:51 pm »
Sorry to hear about your woes though - they seem to have rightly botched things up there!