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Thread: RPM and Shifting questions

  1. #1
    Registered Member

    Mazda 3 Sport

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    Apr 2018
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    RPM and Shifting questions

    Hello! I recently purchased a used 2015 Mazda 3 Sport, with manual transmission. Although I have driven other manual transmission cars before, this is the first one that I have owned. All of the vehicles I learned to drive in were 5 speeds, with V6 engines. Obviously this car is a 6 speed with a 4 Cylinder engine. So, please forgive me if any of the following questions seem obvious to others, as they are new to me.

    My first question is about my rpm's. Generally speaking (correct me if I'm wrong), it's ideal to cruise at around 1,300 to 1,500 rpm for maximum fuel economy and reduced engine strain, as long as you're not lugging the engine. I will usually shift up around 2,000-2,500rpm. When I am in going about 40-45mph, I will be in the 1,500 rpm range in 6th gear. When I'm on the highway at 60mph and up, I will be at a sustained 2,000-2,500 rpm. Is this high? I realize there is a lot of room left in the power band for acceleration, but I wasn't sure if my rpm's should be lower at cruising speeds in 6th gear? My fiance drives an automatic with a V6, and her car seems to stay around 1,500rpm at 65.

    My second question is regarding some shifting concerns. In the past few weeks, I have noticed some resistance in the shift lever while changing gears. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that as long as my foot is fully on the clutch pedal, I should be able to move freely within the gear box. Yes? I have never had to jam the lever into gear, but I can feel in my right hand that some times it takes a second to "click" in, before I even take my foot of the clutch. Sometimes it takes longer than others, but it usually goes in. There have been a few occasions where I haven't been able to get in gear. I was at a red light in neutral, and when I tried to shift into first, it wouldn't go. Only thing I could do was turn the car off, and on again, and then take off in first. Other time was trying to shift into 5th, and again, couldn't quite get it into gear. No grinding sounds were happening, so I just kicked it back into 4th.

    I have noticed that the resistance seems to happen at different rpm speeds. Usually if I shift at a lower rpm (1,800-2,000) I will have little to no resistance. But when I need to utilize a little more power at higher rpm's, I can feel more play in my right hand. This isn't always the case, but seems to be more frequently. Frankly it makes me a bit nervous. Could the pressure plate be going? Maybe the clutch isn't fully disengaging?

    I am under the impression that the engine and transmission are still under warranty until 60,000 miles, and I am wondering if these are issues I should have my local dealership look into. The car was bought at about 40,000 miles, and I can't speak to how the previous owner has driven it in the first parts of its life as it was bought at a dealership. It has never been in an accident, and seems to have been well maintained other wise. Has anyone had similar issues, or taken advantage of the warranty for similar repairs? Or.... are these things normal and I'm crazy? All open recalls have been updated as well, and there are no check engine lights on. Thank you! Sorry this was such a lengthy post.

  2. #2
    Registered Member concept's Avatar

    2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed

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    You might want to have the clutch pedal adjusted to see if that helps. It may be that you are not fully disengaging the clutch.
    As far as the engine's cruising speed, it all depends upon the final drive gear ratio. My MX5 cruises at about the same speed as your 3. My 3 is an auto trans, so I can't really compare it's engine speed to yours.
    Hopefully, someone who has manual trans 3 will chime in.
    2014 3S GT, Deep Crystal Blue, Eibach Pro-Kit, Enkei PF01s, Koni Sports
    2008 MX-5 Touring (Mazdaspeed CAI, HIDs, Progress/Koni Sports/Racing Beat sways, Magnaflow)
    2002 Protege ES (Sold for $1700 with 131,000 miles)

  3. #3
    ZOOOOOOOOOM ZOOOOOOOOOOOM mazdadude's Avatar

    '16.5 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD, '05 PRIUS

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    Your peak power and torque are at much higher rpms than the v-6 or v-8s you are comparing to.

    On the 2.0L skyactiv, that peak hp is at around ~500 rpm below your redline.

    On your 2015 Mazda3, when you get into the redline, the cars ECU will prevent the motor from revving any higher. So do not worry be happy! Enjoy revving that sweet little 2.0!
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  4. #4
    Registered Member

    Mazda 3 Sport

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    Quote Originally Posted by concept View Post
    You might want to have the clutch pedal adjusted to see if that helps. It may be that you are not fully disengaging the clutch.
    As far as the engine's cruising speed, it all depends upon the final drive gear ratio. My MX5 cruises at about the same speed as your 3. My 3 is an auto trans, so I can't really compare it's engine speed to yours.
    Hopefully, someone who has manual trans 3 will chime in.
    I was wondering if it could be the pedal, or the spring itself. Hopefully just an adjustment of the pedal? Not entirely sure what that would entail.

  5. #5
    Registered Member concept's Avatar

    2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed

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    I just read a bit more about this, and it seems that because your clutch is hydraulic, there is no adjustment. However, I would think that your shifter may be able to be checked for a loose hardware or improper installation.
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  6. #6
    Banned

    2015 Mazda 6

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    the RPM's you mention are rather low for a 4 cylinder engine. these engines don't mind being revved hard, so you really don't put any strain on the engine by doing so. during normal driving, I think you should not shift any earlier than 3000RPM. you do not lose any fuel by revving to 4000RPM, because that is where peak torque is.

    for cruising, I would suggest being at roughly the 2000-2500RPM range. stay in fifth gear if you are below 60MPH.

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