Mazda 3 Transmission Problems & Overview

Launched in 2004, the Mazda 3 was designed to inject some “Zoom Zoom” into the somewhat boring compact segment. Starting in 2012, the 2nd generation Mazda3 could be ordered with the new SkyActiv-G 2.0L engine, paired with either the SkyActiv-Drive 6-speed automatic or SkyActiv-MT 6-speed manual transmission. This revolutionary drivetrain used direct injection and a simple low-friction design to increase fuel economy, without adding complicated components like turbos or a hybrid system.

Does something seem wrong with your 3? Let’s look at some of the most common transmission problems, and see what you can do to get your car back on the road.

Mazda 3 Recalls

2010 Mazda3 – 09V126000 / 5409d


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Mazda recalled 25,400 copies of the 2010 Mazda3, equipped with the automatic transmission. It seems that the clearance between the engine harness and the housing of starter motor may be insufficient. Because of this, the covering of the harness may be damaged through vibration during vehicle operation, possibly causing a short-circuit between certain harness wires and the starter housing. A short-circuit can result in engine control malfunction and/or poor transmission shift quality.


The main fuse may blow out causing the engine to stall and inability of restart, increasing the risk of a crash.


This recall began on May 6, 2009, and dealers were instructed to inspect the engine harness  and add a protector clip on the affected section of the harness. If necessary, the harness will be repaired as well. Owners can contact Mazda at 1-800-222-5500, referring to Mazda recall number: 5409d. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236

Mazda 3 Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

2004-2008 Mazda3 – TSB 05-12/08


On some vehicles, the shift position lamp in the instrument cluster does not come on in the “P” position, and the engine does not start. However, the engine can be started in the “N” position. This is due to rust on the connect- ing point of the shift cable and lock cable lever causing the select lever not to move to the location where it is recognized as “P” range. There is no issue about the transmission reaching Park. This is only an issue about the confirming “P” indicator in the instrument cluster. A slit on the mud guard has been removed to prevent salt water from getting to the location where rust would occur.


If rust is present on the connecting point of the shift cable and lock cable lever, then the lock cable lever will have to be replaced with modified one (part # B2YE-46-310). Also, it’s strongly recommended to replace the nut and washer as well.

2004-2005 Mazda3 – TSB 05-010/05


Some automatic equipped versions of the Mazda may exhibit intermittent shift shock during 1-2 upshift. This issue is caused by improper PCM calibration.


The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) will have to be reprogrammed with the updated calibrations.

Need Your Transmission Repaired? A good repair shop can be hard to find – especially on short notice. We’ll have the Cost Guide Certified shop in your area give you a call with a free estimate.

What Transmission Does a Mazda 3 Have?

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      One thought on “Mazda 3 Transmission Problems & Overview

      1. I live in Cyprus and I have a mazda 323 BH 1.5L 1995 with automatic transmission (4 gears). The car has 380 000 Km. After driving for 10-15 minutes the hold lamp is flashing and the transmission shifts until 3 gear normaly but not to 4 gear. The mechanic changed the transmission oil and the filter but the problem remains. He tried to check with the diagnosis box but there was no fault signal. What is your opinion?
        Looking forward for your comments

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