Adjust Payment Terms ×

We want to help you find the perfect car that fits your budget. Please adjust the options below so we can estimate the most accurate monthly payments.

Estimated Credit Score or Interest Rate

Desired Loan Term (months)

How much will you put down?

All tax, title and vehicle registration fees are additional. See dealer for complete details.

Signs your Mazda has a bad transmission

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs, Tips and Tricks on Thursday, February 8th, 2018 at 7:57 pm
person's hand holding shifter

Troubles with a transmission aren’t things we think about much until they become a real problem. Many of us will never experience a shaky transmission, but it’s still important to be able to recognize some warning signs. A shoddy transmission is no good for anyone. Keep reading to find out what you should look for. 

You might also like: How to jump start your Mazda 

Difficulty shifting gears 

Your Mazda’s gears are an integral part of the whole transmission system. If you notice things like hesitation, falling out of gear, or jerking when shifting, it’s almost certainly due to a transmission issue. Bring your Mazda in so we can diagnose it and be sure. 

Grinding or shaking 

Even if your gears shift okay, they can still grind together (typically for manuals). Automatic transmissions will be more shaky than grindy. This is another sign that your transmission needs attention. You will undoubtedly hear this grinding but it can be hard to determine where it is coming from. Again, call us if you experience this. 

You might also be interested in: Fluids to check in your Mazda 

underside of a tansmission
inside of a car's transmission

Noises and whines 

For the most part, your transmission should be close to silent. One of the first indications of transmission trouble is an unusual, whiny sound or buzz. This can be heard when shifting gear or even when the car is in neutral. It’s possible that other problems are causing these noises, so it’s best to get it checked out. 

Burning smell 

Burnt anything doesn’t smell good (depending on who you ask). Your transmission fluid can leak and burn and that smell is pretty recognizable. Also, your Mazda’s gears can overheat due to excessive friction which can also produce a burning smell. 

Contact us with other questions!

12 Responses to “Signs your Mazda has a bad transmission”

  1. Molly watson says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Bad transmission is associated with a lot of problems. So, suitable initiatives needs to be taken to fix such problems to prevent an irreparable damage. Lack of lubricant in the transmission is one of main region behind the appearance of abnormal signs in a transmission. So, quality and quantity of transmission fluid needs to be inspected properly and if necessary should be replaced with suitable substitutes. Apart from this, leakage of transmission fluid has significant impacts on the transmission. So, the source of leakage needs to be identified and repaired by experienced automotive professionals.

  2. Anna buttler says:

    Bad transmission has significant impact on the performance of the vehicle. So, any abnormal sign associated with the transmission should not be underestimated. The condition of different components of the transmission needs to be evaluated at a regular interval and replacement of abnormal components is really essential to prevent irreparable damage. Transmission oil plays key role in the performance of the vehicle. So, the condition of transmission oil needs to be inspected properly and if necessary should be replaced with suitable substitutes.

  3. Emma Megan says:

    As a owner of a car we should be able to recognize the different signs of a bad transmission. Here in this blog the author has shared some of the warning signs. If there is difficulty in shifting gears, the vehicle is jerking while shifting gears, this is due to a bad transmission. Other signs of a bad transmission are fluid leaking from a transmission, whiny noise coming from transmission . Along with any these warning signs if a warning light comes on, then it indicates serious transmission issue and it should be immediately checked by a car professional.

  4. It was really helpful when you said that the transmission usually runs smoothly and without noises, so if the person hears whining or buzzing noises, then they need to take the car to the professional. That is the same thing my brother told me when he checked the car last night. For someone who knows how to troubleshoot to say something like that bothered me. I guess I really do need a mechanic.

  5. peter chirwa says:

    I need to learn more on madza transmissions plus electrics.

  6. Emily Ryane says:

    I am glad to know different sign developed by an abnormal transmission. The transmission is an important as well as an expensive component of the vehicle and appearance of abnormal behavior in the transmission should not be ignored. The reason behind the appearance of such abnormalities in the transmission needs to be identified and fixed in time to prevent any major mechanical issues.

  7. Wayne says:

    Been hearing whining for a couple of days. Thought it might be a wheel bearing or transmission. Car is a 2016 mazda 6, 33,000 miles. took to dealer today and they said transmission is bad and replacing. We only use the drive mode and not the manual mode. Not good for a car with 33,000 miles to be having trans problems. Also the low profile tires only lasted 32,000 miles. I might have to reconsider my next new car purchase.

  8. Laura Onslow says:

    Hi Wayne,

    We have a (late) 2015 Mazda 3, we heard exactly the whine described above and Mazda confirmed we need a whole new transmission. At the small cost of $7,000.
    The car is a touch over 3 years old, less than 30,000kms on the clock and accordingly to two independent checks and service centre’s, ‘immaculate’.
    I am being told by Mazda New Zealand there are no known issues with transmission in NZ – can I ask where you are based?

  9. Amy Winters says:

    Thanks for pointing out that shaky gears when shifting are a common sign of a failing transmission. I drive a car with an automatic transmission and have noticed some shaking recently. I’ll take your advice and have the transmission looked at soon.

  10. Mike Fagan says:

    2012 Mazda 3 with 109,000 kms. has a whiny noise from front of car. Dealer service says transmission and differential gear need replacing. Mazda dealer service could not answer why a one owner car with low mileage (52,000 mi) would need a transmission replaced. Car only used to travel to work and home, very disappointed by this failure.

  11. Edenfantasys says:

    Leaking fluid: If you notice any kind of fluid leaking from your Mazda vehicle, it’s probably bad news. If the fluid is reddish in color and has a sweet smell, that’s transmission fluid. If too much leaks out your performance and shifting ability can diminish quickly.

  12. Owen Doak says:

    2014 Mazda transmission is dead. 97,000 miles on the car. We heard the whiny sound month ago, got it checked out and they said it needed a new transmission. Over $5,000. Perhaps we could have had it fixed a few months ago, but I doubt it would have made any difference.

Leave a Reply