Author Topic: Trouble shifting into certain gears  (Read 891 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