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Hi there, I'm new to this forum, but joined in hopes of getting some advice.
I recently purchased a 2003 mazda6i from a private owner, and have been having some difficulty with the clutch when shifting to 1st, reverse, and sometimes 2nd. I haven't had that much experience driving stick prior to getting the mazda so I blamed it on my inexperience but it seems like I may actually have a legitimate concern with the car.

I'm not sure whether or not this is in fact the cold start/shudder issue or if it's related to something else (namely my inexperience driving stick, or possibly related to the fact that the clutch is set so high up. There's a little free movement before the clutch starts to catch but I legitimately feel like I have to move my entire leg to smoothly shift out of a stop, and I'm pretty sure I'm burning the clutch while I do it.

A possibly related issue is that when parking and driving at slow speeds, I have to kind of burn the clutch or else the car begins to shudder and make churning/stalling noises. I think if maybe I loosened/lowered it or whatever then it wouldn't catch so high up and abruptly. Then again, I don't know much, which is why I'm here.

My question to you fine folk is as follows: First off, does this sound like the shuddering problem with the clutch everyone else has been getting?

Second, what approach would be best to solve the symptoms? I'm a little apprehensive of taking it in to mazda, as from what I've read on the clutch problem sticky, they're less than helpful when it comes to fixing the problem, and if my clutch is in fact the stock clutch that has the shuddering issue, I'd rather not have them replace it with another clutch of the same design.

Should I look into aftermarket clutches, possibly a short shifter? I've heard that both mods have helped people with smoother shifts. But please, share your obviously more informed opinions. Bear in mind price is also an issue.

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