2008 Mazda 3 automatic 4dr - 32K w/ transmission problems - Mazda3Club.com : The Original Mazda3 Forum
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Old August-19th-2009, 09:10 AM   #1
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2008 Mazda 3 automatic 4dr - 32K w/ transmission problems

If anyone can give ANY advice it would be greatly appreciated:

I have a 2008 Mazda 3 4dr automatic with 32000 miles on it. Sunday, I noticed about a mile into my drive that there was a lag and shudder everytime I took my foot on or off the accelerator. This occurred at both high speeds, 65mph to low, 35mph. It basically felt like my car was either underpowered, or thunking through gear shifts. No lights were on on the dashboard.

Monday, on my way to the dealership, it starts back up about a mile into my trip, and I am about a mile away from the dealership (so close) before just about every single light comes on, and the car dies. (Radio, a/c and powersteering still on though). I get it towed the rest of the way there, and they said they will figure out what is going on.

Now for the best part of the story...Tuesday, my car is back from the dealership, where they said evidently NOTHING is wrong with it. They updated the computer from a PCM bulletin (I went through the most recent ones on Edmund.com, but nothing sounded like what I experienced), but have no reason for me that it died.
They went ahead and gave me my state inspection sticker and everything!

Now though, it seems to take forever to shift gears - sticking in third all the way up to 65. Staying in third all the way down to 10mph. The shudder is gone, but it feels like I've driven 100k in the car, not the 32k that's on the speedometer....

Does anyone know what the HECK is wrong? OR has had their car randomly just shut off....

Much appreciation, ATXKorben
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Old January-26th-2010, 08:26 PM   #2
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ATXKorben-Interesting to read your post..I think you need to STAY on it for sure. Every time you have an issue keep taking it in for it and keep your paperwork. I think maybe you too got a shotty transmission, but the car shutting off I don't know about that part, but that's not okay and they need to figure it out for you. I've had similar issues with mine, but not exact. My car didn't shut off or anything like that. Anyhow, I have been looking reading on line the last month or so to see if anyone else has had transmission problems with the same year/model car as mine, so I was interested to read you are having similar problems as me. Around about 26K I had problems when I'd accelerate at a green light from a complete stop (accelerating normal-not flooring it off the line or anything like that) but the car would hesitate to go (kinda sounded like it was revving but just not going!), so I took it in and they looked at it & nothing much was really done that stands out to me, but that problem seemed to stop happening. Then for the last 4 months or more I was having problems with my car shifting gears (again in automatic) sometimes around town it would shift hard going maybe 20-45 mph, well over time it progressively got worse and worse. Getting on the freeway got bad, accelerating to freeway speeds when it would shift from 3-4 & 4-5 it would shift HARD and sometimes so bad the driver & passenger seatbelts would lock and myself and the passenger would slam back and we would hear a loud bang as it would shift gears. This was happening everyday driving the car (not EVERY time would we slam back in our seats, but the shifts were hard) almost like you hit the car in reverse. Then one time getting off the freeway, again I was stopped then went to get up to about 40-45 mph I pushed the A/C button to turn the A/C off and the car slammed so HARD both my mom (in the front passenger seat) and myself driving got whip-lash the car felt like it had been hit in reverse and had a very loud BANG and had the hardest shift I thought I either hit something, something hit me, or the transmission had fallen out the bottom of the car, it was like getting in a car accident almost how hard and loud it was. I was convinced to take it in and seriously afraid to drive it anymore at that point. Well I took it in and they said the transmission fluid was dirty and black (At this time I was at about 36k) so I had the 30k warranty service done at which time the transmission fluid was drained & filled. Picked the car up the next day, went to get on the freeway & again the same thing, shifted hard and pulled back while shifting from 4-5. I decided to drive it for a day just to see how things would go & it kept shifting and banging hard while shifting from 3-4 & 4-5, so I took it back. Then they said they realized there was a "computer" update that needed to be done & that should fix the problem. Picked up the car the next day again...Still, the car was having the same problems. Then I took it into another dealership & they test drove it for 14 miles & stated they were able to duplicate the problem, however they found the transmission fluid was burned, dark & dirty (although it JUST got replaced not even 1 week prior!) & that the thermostat was OPEN and when they checked the temp. it was at 294 (well I immediately called my grandpa & family who are mechanics and have been for decades-who all told me that's crazy because if the thermostat was OPEN, first of all it would run cooler & at that temp. the engine better be replaced because then that means the engines burned up). Well, needless to say that dealer went back on their claims of it being open and at 294 & stated was closed & in the low 220's. They replaced the thermostat & 'as a courtesy to the customer' completely flushed the transmission fluid out & replaced all with new at no cost to me. I picked the car up, and while driving home...well you know what happened, it banged shifting from gear 3-4 AGAIN! I then did extensive research online, and found a BBB (Better Business Bureau) A+ Rated Mazda dealer (about an hour and a half away) & took my car in to them. They called that day, said they WERE able to duplicate what I stated has been going on & would call in to tech support (at this point I already had a tech claim # & corporate was made aware of the situation with my on-going problems as they re-set the 'computer' on my car a couple times), so they called me the next day & said they were instructed by Tech support NOT to open up the transmission and attempt any repairs, but to replace it completely. And they did, all covered by Mazda. Now, a week has passed maybe, and now I'm noticing the NEW transmission is having a problem shifting into 5th gear. When I picked it up from the dealer and got up to freeway speeds 65 mph it sounded like it was revving high and would not shift into the 5th gear, so I slowed down a bit and then got back up to speed and again was still in 4th and eventually shifted into the 5th gear. It's since done this a few times. I think if it keeps up I'll need to take it in for this new issue. It just doesn't seem right to me.
Long story short, I read your post and wanted to share MY issues I've had and am currently having. Also, wanted to see if anyone else out there has, or is having similar issues as well. This has been a very frustrating situation.
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Old January-26th-2010, 09:09 PM   #3
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Thanks TD for the moral support -

I got the transmission flush done two weeks later as a separate mechanic said my fluid was looking a little dirty - problem seemed resolved for about a month, but now my car is revving itself on cold starts...And being Texas, it ain't that dang cold here.

It can't seem to pull itself up a hill, and constantly feels like its about to stall out.

I do need to stick on it as obnoxious as this is; I bought a new car so I wouldn't have to worry about any used car problems. Now I am seriously doubting my judgment...

Good luck with your problem too - get some helmets for while your driving eh?
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Old January-27th-2010, 10:36 PM   #4
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Ha, thanks. I know what you mean I was saying the exact SAME thing, this is a NEW car not used that's why I'm so frustrated too. I had issues with my car going up hills as well like it would have more frequent shift problems going up inclines. Well, anyways do stay on it. On cold mornings I've noticed it having issues shifting off the get go too, I'm in Northern Cali and it does get pretty cold here. Anyways, good luck and I hope everything gets resolved with your car..
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Old April-3rd-2010, 07:52 PM   #5
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I've been having the same problem with my mazda as well. i have a '06 mazda. I've taken it do the dealer a few times and complained and they always found nothing wrong...
Its due for transmission flush/emmisions flush or whatever it is and I may have to do them to see if it works..Though Im not sure I wanna spend that money on both.
*mine would shift hard from 2gear to 3rd gear while slowing down-then speeding back up its like it gets caught shifting down/up.
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Old June-11th-2010, 12:30 PM   #6
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2008 Mazda3 Gear 3/Solenoid C Trouble Codes: Auto Transmission

I've been driving my 08 Mazda3 2.0 auto for almost two years. Bought it used w/ 20k and it gets a lot of miles (25k/yr) but has been always been reliable.

The past couple weeks I noticed the same hesitation you're describing when accelarating on small inclines, ie highway entrance ramps. Was planning to take it in for complete flush of all fluids but the death of my transmission beat me to it.

My check engine light came on this morning and it was a struggle getting it shift out of 2nd gear. Pulled to the nearest mechanic for a transmission test and the codes ran:

P0762 Shift Solenoid C Stuck On
P0733 Gear 3 Incorrect Ratio

He said the transmission fluid had burned little pieces of metal in it.. quick fix would be to change the solenoids but advised a new transmission would be the better way to go... a $2200 repair job.

It's an 08 w/ 60k miles on it. That's a pretty hefty repair bill that's long since been covered under warranty. So that's all out of pocket for me. Now the question arises, if this is a typical problem in Mazda3s under the condition I drive (70 mi/day/mostly highway/heavy traffic but not racing around) do I bother investing $2200 now and worry that it could happen again? And judging by the stories shared here, it could be as early as next year at only 20k mi.

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Old July-9th-2010, 09:19 PM   #7
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2004 M3 auto having problems

I finally found a M3 forum that has others talking about tranny issues.

I have a 2004 5door with the auto. 77,000 miles...and maintained meticulously.

Driving on the highway the other day...the engine suddenly rev's up to 6000 like i threw my car into neutral. Tranny seems to have disconnected from engine. I let off the gas...it seems to reconnect...and then it happens again. I begin to pull over...

I make it to an exit. At this point...it shifts just fine in stop/go until i can make it to a parking lot. Fluid is full and looks new.

So now I'm worried the torque converter is starting to go...or maybe the tranny. It pisses me off...since I know I'm gonna get stranded somewhere if i drive it very far from home now.

From what I hear from Mazda service dept...unless it totally fails...it is hard to diagnose. (apparently some of you have experienced the same thing with the dealerships..."oh...it's fine. nothing found wrong". Yeah...right)

Do these trannies have issues? How much would one cost to replace at a dealership?
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2008, auto, automatic, cost, fluid, flush, gears, mazda, problems, protege, shifting, shudder, shuddering, top, transmission

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