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Thread: Maddening shifting issue - 2012 Mazda5 with 6-speed manual

  1. #1
    JMJ in NC JMJinNC's Avatar

    2012 Mazda5 Sport 6-speed

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    Maddening shifting issue - 2012 Mazda5 with 6-speed manual

    I have a 2012 Mazda 5 sport with 6-speed manual transmission, just rolled 105k miles. Over the past few months I've been having issues with the manual transmission, specifically moving the shifter laterally from the 3-4 shift gate to the 5-6 shift gate. It's not so much an issue of the shifter going into 5th. It does that fine; the issue is that it feels like there's a lockout preventing the shift lever from moving horizontally from 4th to the 5-6 vertical path.

    I'v already replaced the shift lever mechanism and the shift cables, but the problem persists. The problem happens about 2/3 of the time, and the shift lever can be slammed into the 5-6 path and shifted into 5th normally. However, about 1/3 of the time the 4-to-5 shift goes normally, smooth as glass.

    I can detect no pattern as to when it will happen. Fast shifting, slow shifting, long delay, clutching spee.... no impact.

    Has anyone else had this issue? I'm about ready to have a shop drop the tranny, but would like opinions and estimates on cost and availability of replacement transmissions. Also, will a Mazda 3 tranny fit? Much easier to find than a Mazda 5 transmission.

    Other than new rear shocks, brakes, and a dead battery, my 5 has been running fine.

    Thanks - JMJ

  2. #2
    Registered Member Silentnoise713's Avatar

    2008 Mazda5 Grand Touring; 2009 Honda Fit Sport/Nav MT

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    Do you ever experience it going from 2 to 3? How about down shifting from 5 to 4? How about double clutching 4 to 5?


    Try and check the clutch slave. You have to lift the boot (dust cover) to look inside if might be slowing leaking. The concern is not the loss of fluid but air getting into the system.

    Next I would try to bleed the clutch or if you have never done so flush the whole braking system. Forzda has the ingenious idea of sharing the clutch and brake fluid. If one degrades, you get double the joy. Clutch slave failure if not unusual and is very cheap and easy to replace, just don't try to rebuild it unless you have all right tools.
    Last edited by Silentnoise713; 09-17-2018 at 02:56 PM.
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  3. #3
    JMJ in NC JMJinNC's Avatar

    2012 Mazda5 Sport 6-speed

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    Thanks for responding.

    Do you ever experience it going from 2 to 3? No.

    How about down shifting from 5 to 4? No

    How about double clutching 4 to 5?
    No

    The transmission goes into each gear just fine. The problem is moving the shifter laterally from the central vertical shifting "lane" (3-4) to the rightmost vertical shifting "lane" (5-6). I thought it was a broken shift lever mechanism (had this before when the reverse lock-out broke), so had that replaced that with no improvement. Next, thought the shift cable was jamming when pulled (and the top ferrules on the cable were cracked). Had the cables replaced - no improvement.

    Try and check the clutch slave. You have to lift the boot (dust cover) to look inside if might be slowing leaking. The concern is not the loss of fluid but air getting into the system.

    Next I would try to bleed the clutch or if you have never done so flush the whole braking system. Forzda has the ingenious idea of sharing the clutch and brake fluid. If one degrades, you get double the joy. Clutch slave failure if not unusual and is very cheap and easy to replace, just don't try to rebuild it unless you have all right tools.


    Not sure if it has anything to do with the clutch at all, based on the symptoms, but I'm stuck on this one.

    Any suggestions are welcome. JMJ

  4. #4
    Registered Member Silentnoise713's Avatar

    2008 Mazda5 Grand Touring; 2009 Honda Fit Sport/Nav MT

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    try adjusting the shift linkage cable? Since this is not a consistent behavior, it'll be hard to figure out.
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  5. #5
    JMJ in NC JMJinNC's Avatar

    2012 Mazda5 Sport 6-speed

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    Thanks for the discussion. Right now if I preload the shifter to the right while still in 4th gear, it will go into 5th almost normally when I make the shift. Forget to do this and I might get locked out of the horizontal shift lane and have to put it back in 4th and try again. I'm managing until I can find a convenient and reputable transmission shop to offer an opinion.

    Thanks all - JMJ
    Last edited by JMJinNC; 09-30-2018 at 09:41 PM.

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