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Mazda3/Mazdaspeed3 General/Maintenance Discussion of the Mazda3 and MazdaSpeed3

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Old March-28th-2006, 08:41 AM   #1
David2006Mazda3
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2006 Mazda 3 5 Door: AT Warning Light on: Check Engine Light on

In February 2006, I bought a new Mazda 3 5 Door with Sport AT. The car has about 1300 miles on it.

On Saturday, March 25, the AT warning light came on while I was driving at normal highway speeds. I drove the 20 minutes home at reduced speed.

On Sunday, when I started the car, the AT warning light did not come on, so I drove the few miles to the store at normal city driving speeds. The AT light never came on, but when I pressed the gas pedal while stopped at a light the car did not accelerate properly and it was shifting abruptly.

On Monday, the AT warning light and the check engine light both came on and stayed on when I started the car in the morning and the driveability problems I describe above were worse. I called the dealer and they told me to bring it in.

This morning the AT warning light and the check engine light both came on and stayed on when I started the car and the car was barely driveable. I stopped at AutoZone and Advance Auto Parts to get the fault codes read. At both places the reader gave a "Link Error" when connected to the car with the ignition key on.

The car is now at the dealer and I'm driving a rental loaner.

I will post more as things develop.

--Dave
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Old March-28th-2006, 03:14 PM   #2
David2006Mazda3
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Mazda Dealer so far unable to determine cause of problem

I just spoke with the service manager at the Mazda dealership where I bought the car. He has checked the car but does not, as yet, know what is causing the AT warning light and Check Engine light to come on or the erratic shifting.

I'll call again tomorrow afternoon to see if they have made any progress, and post the results here.

-- Dave
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Old March-28th-2006, 04:26 PM   #3
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Call back from dealer: shift solenoid, trans fluid leak, manual shift

So the dealer service department called back. To summarize...

1) There was a fault code P0771, indicating that the shift solenoid was malfunctioning or stuck in the off position.

2) There was a transmission fluid leak which had nearly drained the transmission. The service manager said this was due to a loose setscrew.

3) After replacing the transmission fluid, the car seems to shift fine in automatic mode, but will not operate in manual mode.

The service manager is going to call Mazda technical support tomorrow to try to figure out why the manual shift doesn't work. He mentioned that the car may need a new transmission.

I'm glad the car is under warranty. I am wondering a couple things, though...

1) Why were Autozone and Advance Auto Parts unable to detect the fault code? The car wouldn't even talk to the readers they used.

2) Assuming the dealer is able to get the transmission working again, should I be satisfied with that, or ask that the transmission be replaced? I can't say I'm feeling real warm and fuzzy about driving a car with a wonky transmission, even if it has been "fixed".

-- Dave
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Old March-28th-2006, 06:14 PM   #4
Caprice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David2006Mazda3
2) There was a transmission fluid leak which had nearly drained the transmission. The service manager said this was due to a loose setscrew.
I assume the setscrew is equivalent to a drain screw/plug? I'd be wanting to know who messed with it if I were them...

I hope they cover it for you.
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Old March-28th-2006, 07:29 PM   #5
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eeks

Glad I drive a stick...

Dude if it were me I'd have them replace it. Unless they literally rip it apart there is really no telling if there was damage done due to the low fluid issue. All those little tiny inlets and ports...eek.

T
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Old March-28th-2006, 08:35 PM   #6
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"Setscrew"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caprice
I assume the setscrew is equivalent to a drain screw/plug? I'd be wanting to know who messed with it if I were them...

I hope they cover it for you.
I'm kinda curious about how that happened myself. I plan to find out exactly what and where the setscrew the dealer referred to is located. It evidently was improperly installed or worked loose during operation, since the car has obviously not needed a transmission fluid change yet.

It will be interesting to see how Mazda and the dealer handle the warranty claim.

-- Dave
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Old March-28th-2006, 09:02 PM   #7
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New transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgladden
Glad I drive a stick...

Dude if it were me I'd have them replace it. Unless they literally rip it apart there is really no telling if there was damage done due to the low fluid issue. All those little tiny inlets and ports...eek.

T

Yeah, the more I think about it the more I think I'd rather have the trans replaced. As you point out, it's hard to say what (or how much) damage was done.

I plan to present the dealer with three options:

1) replace the trans, or

2) fix the trans and give me an extended warranty on the powertrain, paid for by Mazda, for at least ten years... I keep cars a long time, or

3) give me another car.

When I bought the car I was going back and forth about whether to get the stick or the auto trans. I prefer a stick, but for what seemed like practical reasons at the time I went with the auto. Now I wonder...
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Old March-28th-2006, 09:37 PM   #8
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Can you call the Dealer and find out what codes they found?
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Old March-29th-2006, 02:07 PM   #9
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Car ready: Code was P0771: Setscrew had no sealant

So, the dealer called and my car is ready. The service manager reports the following:

1) The code set was P0771.

2) The transmission was nearly empty of fluid. The cause was a setscrew that is normally removed to attach a pressure gage or other instrument for diagnostic purposes. The setscrew was actually tight, but had been installed without sealant, allowing the trans fluid to leak out. Obviously it was installed improperly at the factory.

3) Once the fluid was replaced, the setscrew reinstalled (with sealant), and the code cleared, the transmission functioned normally in both automatic and manual modes.

4) When the trans gets low on fluid or overheats and the code sets, the trans goes into a "safe mode" to prevent damage. (The service manager says he was told this by Mazda tech support). So there should be no permanent damage to the trans. (I kinda wonder about this one.)

5) When I told the service manager I would like to have an extended warranty on the trans, in light of the fact that it had been run low or without fluid until the AT light came on, he said that Mazda "usually" takes care of problems that originated while that car was under warranty even after the warranty expires. When I said I'd still like an extended warranty on the trans, he said I'd need to speak to Mazda. Which I will do.

At this point I'm reserving judgement until

1) I drive the car for a while, and

2) I see how cooperative Mazda is about my request for an extended warranty on the trans.

I'll post further after I talk to Mazda.

-- Dave
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Old March-30th-2006, 12:01 PM   #10
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The only reason I agreed to buy the extended warranty on my 3 was because of the transmission. A friend had a Mazda 626 w/250K miles and the one thing he had the most problems with was the tranny. Other than that, the car ran fine.

I'm interested to see how Mazda will resolve your issue. I hope they give you the warranty.
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Old March-31st-2006, 09:19 AM   #11
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Results so far of conversation with Mazda USA, and dealer invoice...

So I've had my car back since Wednesday and it seems to be running ok. I took it on a two-hour drive yesterday at highway speeds and it ran fine. One odd note, though; the brakes don't grab as aggressively as they did before I took it to the dealer for the trans problem. I wonder if they got some trans fluid on the brake disks or rotors somehow?

I also (on Wednesday) called the number the Mazda service manager at the dealer gave me to request an extended warranty on the transmission. After going through some rather surreal touch-tone menu madness ("Press 4 to hear a Mazda rotary engine"... I'm not making this up...) and waiting on hold for about ten minutes (not too bad, actually, I thought), I talked to a customer service person who took my information, gave me a "file number", and told me that Mazda would be contacting me regarding my request for an extended warranty on the trans. If I don't hear from them by the end of today I will call again.

-- Dave
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Old March-31st-2006, 09:28 AM   #12
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Invoice from Mazda...

Well, I pdf'd and zipped a scan of the invoice and online help docs, but they're still too big to post. I'll keep trying.

-- Dave
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Old April-7th-2006, 12:45 PM   #13
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Extended Warranty Offer from Mazda

So... after several calls to Mazda USA, I got them to extend the powertrain warranty to seven years and 75,000 miles.

I can't say I'm entirely happy with this arrangement or with the way Mazda USA handled matters, but it became pretty clear I wasn't going to do any better hassling about it further.

What I learned from this saga is when you buy a new car get it up on a lift and check it for leaks as soon as you take delivery, and several times within the first few weeks of driving.

-- Dave
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Old May-11th-2006, 11:10 AM   #14
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I had similar symptoms in my 04 Mazda3 hatch last night. My car has 44k and no problems to date. Driving normal, all of a sudden I realize I'm slipped out of 4th. Shift to manual, 1 through 3 ok, nothing in 4th. Initially no trouble lights. Limp home about 10 miles, halfway the AT light comes on, eventually the check engine light also. Towed it this morning to dealer. By midmorning the diagnosis was "solenoid stuck open".

Original post: "There was a fault code P0771, indicating that the shift solenoid was malfunctioning or stuck in the off position."

Dealer went on to say "Mazda does not fix in this case, they replace." A factory new tranny is on the way. Only problem is they ship ground and it will take a week to arrive.

Replacement tranny, tow, and rental car covered under Mazda roadside service.

Anyone else had similar solenoid problems? If so, did they fix or replace?

I will ask them to extend the warranty on the tranny since it is going in new at 44k.
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Old December-17th-2006, 04:58 PM   #15
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David2006Mazda3: Did you actually see where the fluid leak was coming from? The reason I'm asking is that I think I have a transmission fluid leak in my 06 Mazda3 and was wondering if it's the same problem. Here's a pic of where mine is leaking... Black thing in the picture is the oil pan (for reference)
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File Type: jpg Mazda3leaking.jpg (132.0 KB, 1670 views)
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Old December-17th-2006, 04:58 PM
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