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Hello all, long time reader but first time poster.

About two weeks ago I picked up a 2014 Mazda6, Touring with a manual tranny to replace my old Matrix XRS. So far I'm loving almost everything about the car, except the transmission...which is the reason I wanted the car in the first place.

I didn't notice it during the test drive, but now that I'm at about 1300 miles I've noticed that this transmission does NOT want to drop into gear easily. I'd say about 80% of the time there's a definite catch before it slips in, usually accompanied by a quick "grind" or "crunch". This morning leaving work it actually caught going into third hard enough that I had to pull it back into neutral and try it again, which worked but there was a nice "crunch" while it did. As a contrast, a friend of mine has a GTI and when you upshift in his, it almost seems to "suck" the shifter into gear, very smooth.

So far 2 to 3 and 4 to 5 are the worst, it seems almost impossible to shift to those two without a significant grind. Gets better when the car warms up, but still sticks quite a bit. What's telling to me is that if I'm cruising anywhere between 40 and 60 and put the clutch in, if I very slowly try to slide it into 3rd or second you can feel the "zzzzzz" of the teeth whizzing past each other, almost like it doesn't have any synchros. My old 99 sentra with 180k miles on it didn't seem to have this issue, that thing was extremely smooth when slowly slipping it into a gear.

So what I'm wondering is, those of you who have manual transmissions, is this normal? I've heard this transmission can be touchier than some, but I'm no stranger to manuals and I don't think I've ever had this much trouble with bad shifts before. I'm thinking about switching out the gear oil with AMSoil synthetic gear lube to see if that helps. I'll probalby go back to the dealer and test drive another first to see if it acts the same though. Any feedback on this would be appreciated, as I have a feeling I know what the dealer will say.
 

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Hello all, long time reader but first time poster.

About two weeks ago I picked up a 2014 Mazda6, Touring with a manual tranny to replace my old Matrix XRS. So far I'm loving almost everything about the car, except the transmission...which is the reason I wanted the car in the first place.

I didn't notice it during the test drive, but now that I'm at about 1300 miles I've noticed that this transmission does NOT want to drop into gear easily. I'd say about 80% of the time there's a definite catch before it slips in, usually accompanied by a quick "grind" or "crunch". This morning leaving work it actually caught going into third hard enough that I had to pull it back into neutral and try it again, which worked but there was a nice "crunch" while it did. As a contrast, a friend of mine has a GTI and when you upshift in his, it almost seems to "suck" the shifter into gear, very smooth.

So far 2 to 3 and 4 to 5 are the worst, it seems almost impossible to shift to those two without a significant grind. Gets better when the car warms up, but still sticks quite a bit. What's telling to me is that if I'm cruising anywhere between 40 and 60 and put the clutch in, if I very slowly try to slide it into 3rd or second you can feel the "zzzzzz" of the teeth whizzing past each other, almost like it doesn't have any synchros. My old 99 sentra with 180k miles on it didn't seem to have this issue, that thing was extremely smooth when slowly slipping it into a gear.

So what I'm wondering is, those of you who have manual transmissions, is this normal? I've heard this transmission can be touchier than some, but I'm no stranger to manuals and I don't think I've ever had this much trouble with bad shifts before. I'm thinking about switching out the gear oil with AMSoil synthetic gear lube to see if that helps. I'll probalby go back to the dealer and test drive another first to see if it acts the same though. Any feedback on this would be appreciated, as I have a feeling I know what the dealer will say.
Hey there,
Initially, I had similar issues. Not as bad as in your case, however, it was sticky and "hard" to shift. It smoothened out after about 600-800 initial miles and is fairly smooth. Cold or hot, it is ok. However, I come from the BMWs and GTI was my vehicle I traded in and the 6 transmission is not as good as the German ones.
If I were you I would have taken it back to the dealer for a check up.
 

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I would certainly take your car in for service, that is entirely unacceptable. Crunches/grinds between shifts when the clutch is to the floor certainly means the transmission syncros are not working as they should.
 

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Mine is smooth but several months ago I did experience a couple times in which it did grind between 1st and 2nd, though I wonder if I was careless in not depressing the clutch all the way. I also noticed that on both occasions I was going on a not-too-steep uphill... From time to time I will experience a bit of a resistance going into 1st from Neutral, say at a red light turning green and all of a sudden it won't go in and makes you kinda freak a little beat because you know some a-ho will lay on the horn behind you while you're trying to engage. Once it engages, no grind though. It doesn't happen often but has happened to me about 10 times since I've had it (July 2013).
 

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To OP, your car may have a problem.

But one thing I have noticed (my car still has less than 700 miles), if you want to keep the stick moving as cleanly as possible through the gates, you need to push the clutch in to the disengagement zone while you are still on the gas a bit when taking it out of a gear to go to the next gear, to the point the engine holds revs to almost reving up until you get the stick all the way out of gear, then you can get off the throttle completely until you are into the next gear. Hopefully that makes sense.

I sound like Steve Jobs teling an iPhone user he's holding it wrong and affecting the reception...

I know most manuals benefit from this technique a little, but this unique skyactiv linkage seems to rely on it. Do it for a few stoplights and inability to access the gates should go away completely.

If not you've defiinitely got a problem and need to see the dealer for warranty work.

Also Mazda has bragged about reducing friction losses in the manual transmission, which if the pattern holds true with the engine, means they are alread using some pretty slippery stuff for the transmission fluid, although maybe it's too thin just like the motor oil? I'd personally experiment using Redline MTL given my past experiences with it's improvement in shift quality rom regular transmission fluids.
 

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Make an appointment. They probably have a few TSB's for similar situations. Probably start out with a drain/refill of the transaxle.

Mine occasionally snags. It's certainly not the best shifting also doesn't have a rubbery feel. It's a solid 8/10 box, IMO. It has gotten better in the last 1,000 miles but still isn't as crisp and telekinetic as some out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the feedback everyone, I have an appointment on Wednesday to have it checked out. I was able to drive my brother-in-laws 3 series today, along with a previous gen Mazda 3, and neither one had any issues when trying to slowly slide it into gear. No grinding whatsoever.

to solar: Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try that out tomorrow while heading to work. One thing I noticed is that this car must have a gargantuan flywheel, it holds revs for almost 2 seconds after pushing the clutch all the way in and then sheds them very slowly. Makes fast shifting almost impossible, but it probably helps them get their mileage numbers.

If they don't seem to be able to help my situation, I'll probably try filling it with amsoil. It's their 75w-90 instead of the recommended 75w-80, but I've had good luck with it in the past and it's what they recommended for this vehicle. If that doesn't work out I'll definitely try the redline mtl.
 

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You are welcome, but don't get me started on the flywheel!

After having an 8lb flywheel in my miata the 6 feels like I'm dragging a boat anchor through the asphalt in 1st gear.
 

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This was discussed before. Same here, but I let the engine along with the trans fluid warm up, no more than 3min every morning (when blue temp indicator goes out)...just the right time I load my stuff prior to taking off every workday.

I also do lateral left "push" 1st-2nd shifts..same as lateral right "push" 5th-6th (as indicated in the M6 manual) shifting methods. I also pause sometimes semi-1/2sec from 1st-neutral-2nd shift at times...and I always make sure to press the clutch pedal deep against the footwell wall. By doing so the following, the "crunchy" never happens on my shifts.

Another "mod" I will do, right around 10kmi (now at 8,260mi on the clock), I will DIY replace (or find a local Indy Japanese specialty shops to do it, lots around my area) the stock OEM Mazda transmission fluid for some synthetic Red Line MTL 75W80 (around 2qts approx, spec for our 6MT)+ a tube of Liqui-Moly MoS2 Anti-Friction for gears.

http://forum.mazda6club.com/engine-drivetrain/267489-mt-smooth-shifting-but-not-all-time-2.html#post3712001

I think the "crunchy" shifts has to do with Mazda's tight "H" Sky-Activ 6MT pattern design...to mimic that of the short throws of the Miata. Just my random 2 cents musings, on the "quirky" 6MT trans. I learned to live with it. :)
 

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Not sure... Works perfectly for me. 500 miles on a car. To me clutch, gearbox, engine works just right. I'm coming from BMW and have some stuff to complain about but gearbox here is very nice. Take it to dealer
 

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Exb5 I've got my manual right here and it doesn't say anything about the lateral pressure method. that technic workers with my miata but doesn't work with my 6 cause the gears are tighter than the shift gate. Maybe,my gearbox and the ops are at the crap end of the too tight tolerances and yours is nice and loose, or I wonder if I need to just be more careless and ram it from shift to shift until everything loosens up.
 

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solar365, it is somewhere indicated around the transmission section. It mentions specifically the 5th-6th shifting to that effect. So I apply the same method to the opposite side, the 1st-2nd.
 

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I'm not having many grinding issues or problems with getting into gear. I do let the car sit long enough so the rpms are at lest below 1000rpms. I now shift about at 3 rpms rather than before. 1 to 2nd can be rough but I let the car drive and not rush it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
ExB5: I did read through that other thread, but my situation seemed somewhat different. I'm getting used to the different shift methods needed with this car, but I still have trouble believing that simply trying to slowly slip it into 3rd gear when decelerating can cause that much grinding. I've driven manuals my whole life and have never driven one that requires this much babying. A guy riding in the back seat could hear the "zzzzz" of the teeth whizzing past each other when I was experimenting today. No matter what kind of odd shifting style this thing needs, I can't believe the synchros aren't able to handle a slow shift at near idle. Only thing I can think of is maybe my clutch isn't releasing completely. Guess we'll see on Wednesday, and if they insist this is normal, it'll be time for some Amsoil to see if that helps.
 

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ExB5: I did read through that other thread, but my situation seemed somewhat different. I'm getting used to the different shift methods needed with this car, but I still have trouble believing that simply trying to slowly slip it into 3rd gear when decelerating can cause that much grinding. I've driven manuals my whole life and have never driven one that requires this much babying. A guy riding in the back seat could hear the "zzzzz" of the teeth whizzing past each other when I was experimenting today. No matter what kind of odd shifting style this thing needs, I can't believe the synchros aren't able to handle a slow shift at near idle. Only thing I can think of is maybe my clutch isn't releasing completely. Guess we'll see on Wednesday, and if they insist this is normal, it'll be time for some Amsoil to see if that helps.
Wait, you're having grinding while shifting into 3rd, when decelerating? I never had that issue. Are you up shifting (from 2nd) or down shifting (engine braking) to 3rd? Either way, that is not normal. Neither way it happens, on mine. Even on the old 6MT that came with the car, it never did that (though that orig 6MT was so "loose" shifting from the day I took delivery and eventually slips from 3rd to neutral, two months into ownership...that the unit was deemed a "safety hazard" according to my dealer, as relayed by Mazda Corporate).

Yes. Bring it to the dealer and have it replicated, a drive along with a Mazda Tech (I'd do that, if I were you..I did and insisted on that ride along, while on my 6MT replacement claim) to have it rectified. Better yet, fire an email to Corporate and get a case number prior to the dealer visit. You get better leverage on warranty claims, with a case number. Good Luck and keep us updated.
 

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Another thing, Ofted42. Are or were you fully depressing the clutch pedal against the foot well wall when the grinding happens, upon initially slipping to 3rd? If so then that indeed, is not normal. Either up or down shifting.

As I mentioned above, email Corporate and describe the grinding event (be firm, that this is not normal)..and get a case number, prior to the dealer visit.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yep, grinding while shifting into 3rd while decelerating. I don't engine brake, but usually will slip it into third while coming up to a corner so it's ready after I turn. Yes, the clutch is completely depressed, no question about that. I clutch, pull it out of 6th (or 5th or 4th), and slip it into third. If I do it quickly and pause a bit just before it goes it, about 70% of the time it goes in okay. But if I slowly shift into third you can feel the "zzzzz" of the gear teeth sliding past each other. Even though it usually works fine, I don't recall having a manual transmission where slow shifting while coasting can grind them like this. Synchros should prevent that. I'll post up here after the appointment to let everyone know what happened. Thanks for the advice. Anyone have the e-mail to send this to beforehand? The mazda website is a mess when it comes to finding contact info.
 

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Preliminary word from the dealership today after looking at it. "Seems fine to us, was smooth as silk". And this is the same guy who rode with me and jumped out of his seat when I tired third and you could hear them grinding. If they end up giving it back without working on it I'm going to beat the hell out of this thing until the transmission falls out, then see if they notice anything wrong. I'm so tired of incompetent auto repair, dealership or otherwise, words cannot describe. :mad:
 
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