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Hi All,

Long story short, I bought a used 2012 mazda 3 with 33k+ miles on it from craigslist back in 2012. I put on about 17k+ miles to date. I discover that the car's torque converter have problems last fall. I don't drive a lot, mainly on weekends to do grocery shopping, church and small groups. The problem was discovered when the car started shuddering at 25-45mph, the gear jerked at a complete stop and it feels like the gear slipped and lost acceleration. I went to a local mechanic person that I trust, he first thought that it was my axle and had it replaced to find out that it was the torque converter having problem. He ran a diagnostic test on my car and the transmission torque converter failure code came up. Another person looked into my car and accidentally deleted the code on the same occasion. I drove back to Mazda dealership but they claimed that the transmission was fine, just the intermediate shaft that needed to be replaced, and they replaced that. I doubt the dealership is honest because the first time I drove to them with a wheel bearing problem and the mechanic there said he found an overpaint which indicated that I had an accident before (which I did not have) so they refused to replace it under my warranty but when I drove back last fall, another person said it would have been covered if I went to them. Now my warranty for the transmission is up next month, I need some input to decide what to do with it with the cheapest way. I thought about these 2 'solutions' :

1. Sell it and get back few thousands before it breaks down or before the warranty is up, maybe its worth a little more than after the warranty ends.
2. Keep driving and lay out about $3-4k to replace the transmission when it breaks down.
 
Thanks!
 

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Thankyou everyone. Got a call from the dealership that they are replacing the transmission.

voonli (Sep. 22, 2016 @ 5:24p) |

Thats great news Voonli, hopefully the post helped out and didn't frustrate you to much. Sometimes the fatwallet warrio... (more)

Ma171aC (Sep. 23, 2016 @ 8:03a) |

Great job. Your persistence paid off.

taylor0987 (Sep. 23, 2016 @ 9:43a) |

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I see some option you haven't listed..

- Document your issues with the transmission and your conversation with the dealer, in email if possible. When it does fail, you will have some ammunition vs the dealer. BBB can be very helpful when it comes to car manufacture dealers.

- look into extended drive-train warranty.

Thanks for your advise, I looked into the extended drive-train warranty which costs me about $3500. I was told that it will be a limited warranty (not sure about what would be covered under the limited). Since it costs me about the same as replacing the transmission, I chose to wait till the problem arise to lay out that money. Is this a wise choise though?

voonli said:   
2. Keep driving and lay out about $3-4k to replace the transmission when it breaks down.

 

First - keep hammering away with the dealer on the warranty coverage.  No way a transmission should be failing at 50k miles.

Worst case, you need to find a new mechanic who will put a rebuilt transmission in the car for under a thousand bucks.  If the car it otherwise in good shape, that would probably be money well-spent.
 

Now, I wish bugging them help but they claimed that no codes or whatsover came up with their system and they didn't know what code I was talking about. The mechanic said he didn't feel any shuddering at all. The condition comes and goes at any time, so I don't doubt that a random mechanic who test drive my car for about 15 min cannot tell the problem. I wanted to drive back to report the problem again before my warranty ends, however if they claim that there is no problem with the car again, I have to pay out of pocket $140 + tax for the diagnostic test.

voonli said:   Now, I wish bugging them help but they claimed that no codes or whatsover came up with their system and they didn't know what code I was talking about. The mechanic said he didn't feel any shuddering at all. The condition comes and goes at any time, so I don't doubt that a random mechanic who test drive my car for about 15 min cannot tell the problem. I wanted to drive back to report the problem again before my warranty ends, however if they claim that there is no problem with the car again, I have to pay out of pocket $140 + tax for the diagnostic test.
www.mazdausa.com/contact-us

(800) 222-5500

Can you go to a different dealer to have it checked?

Has the car been having ongoing problems? You said the first problem happened whend driving 25-45mph. But then you said the current dealer can't see the problem. Does the problem not happen any longer? Or is it just random?

Sorry if you already knew all of this information--2012 Mazda has a 5 year, 60,000 mile warranty for powertrain which should include the transmission (You mentioned a warranty ending soon, is this what you are talking about?) You should not have to pay for a diagnostic test or purchase an additional warranty. Overspray from a collision repair or having a collision repair does not void a warranty. They would have to prove that the collision caused the mechanical problem. You may already know this but you can go to any Mazda dealership for warranty service. You don't have to use the same dealership as you bought it from. I'd take a soft approach when you go to the different dealer:

"Hi, I am really having a hard time getting this transmission issue fixed. Another dealership was unable to solve the issue. Can you help me get this resolved before the warranty ends?"

I agree with others about trying to get this covered under warranty. Transmissions shouldn't be failing at 50k miles.

That said, I had a rebuilt transmission installed in my car for around $2500 when the value of the car was <$4000 without transmission issues. Why? Because I'd owned the car for 6 years and I knew the transmission was the only thing wrong with it. It'd be nearly impossible for me to find as good of a used car for $2500 + whatever it was worth in it's current state. To get a car of comparable quality, I'd need to spend closer to $8k, so the decision was pretty simple.

Of course, my friends tried to tell me how bad of a choice this was - "Why spend $2500 to fix your car when it's not even worth that much?"

jerosen said:   Can you go to a different dealer to have it checked?

Has the car been having ongoing problems? You said the first problem happened whend driving 25-45mph. But then you said the current dealer can't see the problem. Does the problem not happen any longer? Or is it just random?

  I experience it every single drive. It does happen randomly but it is on going.

faloun said:   I agree with others about trying to get this covered under warranty. Transmissions shouldn't be failing at 50k miles.

That said, I had a rebuilt transmission installed in my car for around $2500 when the value of the car was <$4000 without transmission issues. Why? Because I'd owned the car for 6 years and I knew the transmission was the only thing wrong with it. It'd be nearly impossible for me to find as good of a used car for $2500 + whatever it was worth in it's current state. To get a car of comparable quality, I'd need to spend closer to $8k, so the decision was pretty simple.

Of course, my friends tried to tell me how bad of a choice this was - "Why spend $2500 to fix your car when it's not even worth that much?"

  I just filed a complain with the dealership I went to and I'm going back tomorrow. Hopefully they can be honest and admit the problem and have it solved this time. My dilemma is that I can't get a used car at $3000-4000 and I refused to lay out $200-$300+ monthly for a car I only use on weekend. Will update you guys with it. Thank you so much for your input. 

taylor0987 said:   Sorry if you already knew all of this information--2012 Mazda has a 5 year, 60,000 mile warranty for powertrain which should include the transmission (You mentioned a warranty ending soon, is this what you are talking about?) You should not have to pay for a diagnostic test or purchase an additional warranty. Overspray from a collision repair or having a collision repair does not void a warranty. They would have to prove that the collision caused the mechanical problem. You may already know this but you can go to any Mazda dealership for warranty service. You don't have to use the same dealership as you bought it from. I'd take a soft approach when you go to the different dealer:

"Hi, I am really having a hard time getting this transmission issue fixed. Another dealership was unable to solve the issue. Can you help me get this resolved before the warranty ends?"

  Will try that tomorrow. With a complain on file, I don't think they will take it as a soft approach. I don't think they take me seriously everytime I go there simply because I am a female and look like a college student. 

voonli said:   
jerosen said:   Can you go to a different dealer to have it checked?

Has the car been having ongoing problems? You said the first problem happened whend driving 25-45mph. But then you said the current dealer can't see the problem. Does the problem not happen any longer? Or is it just random?

  I experience it every single drive. It does happen randomly but it is on going.

  You should insist that the dealer mechanic go with you on an extended drive, like 30 minutes, so you can point out exactly when it happens.

Most mechanics wouldn't notice if they were dragging a dead moose under the car...

Check with your original mechanic. Often 3rd party mechanics can file a claim w/ the manufacturer and be reimbursed from them for the work. Doesn't hurt to ask.

Record a video of this problem happening. Send the video to the dealership to be on record. Make sure to record the VIN in the video too.

My original mechanic asked me to check with mazda if I can be reimbursed for it. Is this how it usually work?

Hi everyone, just want to update you guys on my car issue.

So I decided to go to another dealership today to have them look at the transmission. The transmission guy over there noticed the issue I described to him. Agreed with me about the noise and shuddering at low Meh. I was told that he needed more time to diagnose the problem and that I should my car with them at least till tmr. I left the place this morning and was contacted about 2 hrs earlier that it was the intermediate shaft problem again (it was replaced around the same time last year at the previous dealership. But this time they are replacing the 2 shafts that are connected to the intermediate shaft. I reminded them about the replacement last year and they said they believe it's faulty part. Again, I think this dealership also doesn't want to replace the transmission. These are independent dealerships so mazda has no control over that when I originally contacted mazda.com about the issue. I showed the transmission mechanic that engine meter fell while it's shuddering at 25-45mph while I'm stepping on the gas. I'm sure the intermediate shaft will not cause the engine meter to fall while stepping on the gas.

Can anyone advise what to do next?

voonli said:   Hi everyone, just want to update you guys on my car issue.

So I decided to go to another dealership today to have them look at the transmission. The transmission guy over there noticed the issue I described to him. Agreed with me about the noise and shuddering at low Meh. I was told that he needed more time to diagnose the problem and that I should my car with them at least till tmr. I left the place this morning and was contacted about 2 hrs earlier that it was the intermediate shaft problem again (it was replaced around the same time last year at the previous dealership. But this time they are replacing the 2 shafts that are connected to the intermediate shaft. I reminded them about the replacement last year and they said they believe it's faulty part. Again, I think this dealership also doesn't want to replace the transmission. These are independent dealerships so mazda has no control over that when I originally contacted mazda.com about the issue. I showed the transmission mechanic that engine meter fell while it's shuddering at 25-45mph while I'm stepping on the gas. I'm sure the intermediate shaft will not cause the engine meter to fall while stepping on the gas.

Can anyone advise what to do next?

1) Make sure the dealer documented the defect -- assuming we're still in the warranty period. You might be able to get warranty service after expiration if the defect is not resolved.
2) The dealerships may be franchises, but Mazda is backing the warranty. Tell them you have a warranty issue that is not being resolved to your satisfaction.

Don't let any one clear any codes.Independent guy does not have the test equiptment and software that the dealer has.The dealer gets specific factory codes instead of generic codes.There is data available to a trained technician its called mode 6 or freeze frame .It's a snapshot of the systems that failed and generated the code.It's
Independent mechanic replaced a wheel bearing for a trans concern? Vibrations or shudder from a wheel bearing is way different then a trans problem Makes no sense,wheel bearing would fail all the time not erratically.You should have taken it to the dealer since you knew it was under warranty.The dealer has procedures to diagnose and repair the car . Dealer tech is replacing parts to repair it while under warranty.If it's not fixed they have to continue the diagnosis and repair as long as its a covered component.The warranty repairs should have a minimum 90 day warranty or more.

Obviously, get the car fixed. It's a 55kmi low mileage used vehicle with resale value that way.
If you are afraid it will just break again, sell it and buy something else.

yaknart33 said:   Don't let any one clear any codes.Independent guy does not have the test equiptment and software that the dealer has.The dealer gets specific factory codes instead of generic codes.There is data available to a trained technician its called mode 6 or freeze frame .It's a snapshot of the systems that failed and generated the code.It's
Independent mechanic replaced a wheel bearing for a trans concern? Vibrations or shudder from a wheel bearing is way different then a trans problem Makes no sense,wheel bearing would fail all the time not erratically.You should have taken it to the dealer since you knew it was under warranty.The dealer has procedures to diagnose and repair the car . Dealer tech is replacing parts to repair it while under warranty.If it's not fixed they have to continue the diagnosis and repair as long as its a covered component.The warranty repairs should have a minimum 90 day warranty or more.

  Hi, the local mechanic I went to did clear the code when it came up last year. Since then, it has not appeared, but it doesn't mean that there's no problem with it. This dealership I went to on Tuesday has replaced the intermediate shaft along with the CV boot joints and they claimed that that fixes the problem. I doubt it. The transmission mechanic who rode with me while I drove the car said he heard the noise I described and experience the restriction in speed and  shuddering while stepping on the gas. There is also a loud clunking noise when shifting gear from park to reverse/drive while he pull over to have me drive the car. To your knowledge, do you think a bad intermediate shaft can cause all these? 

voonli said:   
yaknart33 said:   Don't let any one clear any codes.Independent guy does not have the test equiptment and software that the dealer has.The dealer gets specific factory codes instead of generic codes.There is data available to a trained technician its called mode 6 or freeze frame .It's a snapshot of the systems that failed and generated the code.It's
Independent mechanic replaced a wheel bearing for a trans concern? Vibrations or shudder from a wheel bearing is way different then a trans problem Makes no sense,wheel bearing would fail all the time not erratically.You should have taken it to the dealer since you knew it was under warranty.The dealer has procedures to diagnose and repair the car . Dealer tech is replacing parts to repair it while under warranty.If it's not fixed they have to continue the diagnosis and repair as long as its a covered component.The warranty repairs should have a minimum 90 day warranty or more.

  Hi, the local mechanic I went to did clear the code when it came up last year. Since then, it has not appeared, but it doesn't mean that there's no problem with it. This dealership I went to on Tuesday has replaced the intermediate shaft along with the CV boot joints and they claimed that that fixes the problem. I doubt it. The transmission mechanic who rode with me while I drove the car said he heard the noise I described and experience the restriction in speed and  shuddering while stepping on the gas. There is also a loud clunking noise when shifting gear from park to reverse/drive while he pull over to have me drive the car. To your knowledge, do you think a bad intermediate shaft can cause all these? 

  It was my bad for stating wheel bearing incorrectly. It was the axle that he changed.

Another update:

I picked up the car yesterday morning. Test drove the car with the same mechanic guy, the symptoms did not reproduce, eventhough I doubt that the intermediate shaft could affect the RPM meter to get stuck and fluctuate around 1-2, I signed off the paper and left. During the drive, the mechanic said 'you don't hear the noise and the shuddering and jerking doesn't happen anymore right?' I said yes, but these symptoms come and go, he said he test drove it after the repair and didn't experience what we both did in the previous drive. However, I had a longer drive last night, and the symptoms all came back. Since I previously had a case open, should I go ahead with the complaint or should I drive back to them first and see if it was an honest diagnosis? The mechanic seems nice and he did say I should go back at anytime if I experience the same thing again, because regardless of how I drive it, the shuddering and vibrating should not happen period. Any thoughts on this?

I have a different car, but when I had transmission issues they wouldn't appear when the car was just started, so on all those quick test drives after the car sat there after I dropped it off, they never surfaced. Finally one day I had to drive around a while and go in and have them immediately drive it and they finally experienced my issue after serveral previous attempts.

That said, it sounds like you are under warranty so if you can be persistent and get it fixed for free, and the car is otherwise in good shape, keep it. But everyone has their point where they just can't invest anymore time or worse, risk getting stuck somewhere on the side of the road.

Good luck!

Have you been able to explain what type of driving you are doing to get the concern duplicated.Example would be after starting cold driving stop and go in traffic at x mph going up hill.The data that your independent mech erased makes it difficult to diagnose an erratic concern.That's why the on board processors have the ability to test themselves and generate a code with the freeze frame data ,most independent shops don't have the software to pull this info.Take it back to dealer that just did the repair and give them info on how when concern occurs.What you should be able to do is ask dealer to put their data recorder in the vehicle ,let you drive it and when the problem occurs you can initiate the recording .Then when you go back they will have data saved to read what is out of specifications. All manufacturers have a portable data recorder for customers to road test and record with.It should record 30-45 seconds before you activate it and 60 plus seconds after thats 1 1/2 minutes of data to read.

yaknart33 said:   Have you been able to explain what type of driving you are doing to get the concern duplicated.Example would be after starting cold driving stop and go in traffic at x mph going up hill.The data that your independent mech erased makes it difficult to diagnose an erratic concern.That's why the on board processors have the ability to test themselves and generate a code with the freeze frame data ,most independent shops don't have the software to pull this info.Take it back to dealer that just did the repair and give them info on how when concern occurs.What you should be able to do is ask dealer to put their data recorder in the vehicle ,let you drive it and when the problem occurs you can initiate the recording .Then when you go back they will have data saved to read what is out of specifications. All manufacturers have a portable data recorder for customers to road test and record with.It should record 30-45 seconds before you activate it and 60 plus seconds after thats 1 1/2 minutes of data to read.


 

​​This is very helpful info. I drove the car back just now, explained to the mechanic that the symptoms came back. He will look at it tomorrow because he's on full schedule today. I have been able to reproduce the problem and explain to him and he agreed that there is a problem. Now what he says to me is that he wants to have the car fixed for me because its going to make him look like a bad mechanic but without the code, he's not able to get the transmission replaced. I don't know if I'm in the right spot to tell him about the free frame data, he might think I don't trust him, therefore won't help me further.

The issue happens when I drive with engine meter going between 1-2. The shuddering mostly comes for 2-8 seconds when the engine is at 1.5, even when I step on the gas a little harder, the car won't go. But after those few seconds, the engine meter will fluctuate all the way at or over 2 then my car will jerk and go at a higher speed. I recently noticed that it rarely happens when the car is just started, might be because the engine is not hot enough, that part was also reported today. Also, When I'm parked uphill or downhill, shifting the gear from park to reverse or drive will produce a loud clunking noise, that was also reproduced during the first test drive. 

So the data recording that you mentioned, does that help in getting the transmission failure code or that records the car behavior to show that there is problem? If its recording the car behavior, is it likely that Mazda will replace the transmission on the behavior problem?   

can you record the car problem with a smart phone or video camera? Are there any dealers nearby?

Just want to say thanks for the updates. A lot of people get help then never return.
 

Why not just drive around until the code resurfaces? Perhaps you should accelerate harder and see what happens. It's supposed to be fixed, right?

voonli said:   The issue happens when I drive with engine meter going between 1-2. The shuddering mostly comes for 2-8 seconds when the engine is at 1.5, even when I step on the gas a little harder, the car won't go. But after those few seconds, the engine meter will fluctuate all the way at or over 2 then my car will jerk and go at a higher speed.
 

i do believe that your transmission has a problem....but as an aside - this is almost my experience driving MOST of the new econoboxes since they re-tuned the automatic transmissions to maximize MPG even at the risk of making the driving experience crap and throttle response lousy.

the Ford Focus is awful about this....VW jetta with the TSI is terrible too.

Can we start saying tachometer instead of engine meter? (I assume you are talking about the tach)

solarUS said:   i do believe that your transmission has a problem....but as an aside - this is almost my experience driving MOST of the new econoboxes since they re-tuned the automatic transmissions to maximize MPG even at the risk of making the driving experience crap and throttle response lousy.

the Ford Focus is awful about this....VW jetta with the TSI is terrible too.

The Ford Focus feels terrible because it uses a dual-clutch automatically shifted manual instead of a traditional automatic.  I think the VW one is too.  They can be nice in performance cars, but when I drove Ford's implementation it was shoddy.

fatjer said:   can you record the car problem with a smart phone or video camera? Are there any dealers nearby?
I went to a mazda dealership to have the problem fixed, and no I cannot record the problem because I have no one else in my car. I also need to record the 'engine meter' to show what I experience, which mean I will be driving single handed, I don't want to hurt anyone, including myself. 

voonli said:   
fatjer said:   can you record the car problem with a smart phone or video camera? Are there any dealers nearby?
I went to a mazda dealership to have the problem fixed, and no I cannot record the problem because I have no one else in my car. I also need to record the 'engine meter' to show what I experience, which mean I will be driving single handed, I don't want to hurt anyone, including myself. 

  

Don't have a video record on your smartphone? 

 

So, I picked up my car on Tuesday without being fixed. The mechanic said he test drive the car, but he hasn't been able to duplicate the issue. I was told that the service supervisor can drive my car after hours to see if he can see the problem surface. I refused since I don't know how to handle the insurance issue if he gets into an accident with my car. So I went today again and drove it with the mechanic to show him the problem is still there. He agrees, and added that he knew it was the transmission problem the first time I went there but there's no engine light coming up, nothing to indicate the problem so Mazda may not let him order a new transmission replacement since its very expensive and no one want to grant warranty in these cases, so he had to fix the obvious damaged part - which was the intermediate shaft. Now, I requested if he can put the data recording device in my car to record the issue, he refused saying if there's no light coming up, it won't read the shuddering/vibrating and it will come up as all passed. I did not push for it but will have this on record if the transmission is not being replaced now. He will give me a call later today and we'll see what happens this time and I will report back. Thanks for all the constructive suggestions/info given by you guys.

I don't understand, you can't record it because nobody else is in the car with you but you have taken the service technicial several times with you and it's happened. Have them record it, send it to mazda and leave your car there until they fix it while you hold on to the evidence.

voonli said:   no I cannot record the problem because I have no one else in my car. I also need to record the 'engine meter' to show what I experience, which mean I will be driving single handed, I don't want to hurt anyone, including myself. 
 

what the hell are you talking about?

single-handed driving is a hazard? how do you ever put down your windows up or down, or adjust the radio??

we are being trolled...or OP is beyond help, IMO.

I didn't think of having the service guy record it, and yes I do think that single handed driving is dangerous and its unfair to compare it with putting windows down or adjusting the radio. I don't know when the symptoms are going to come, therefore I might need to record it for about 20-30 mins.

What the hell am I talking? I'm talking about safety. I'd really appreciate if you have a heart to help others out but posting mean and unconstructive comments/questions here doesn't help. You obviously are not trying to help, so why bother posting nasty comments and accusing people here? If you don't like my question posted here, please stay away from my post. Thats all I'm asking for.

Here is your help ok.

You have a service technician who experienced the issue, GET THAT IN WRITING. Once it's in writing you LEAVE THE CAR AT THE DEALERSHIP TO GET FIXED. This is not on you to prove once they experience the problem it's on them to fix and they have a certain time frame to do it in also.

Skipping 3 Messages...
voonli said:   Thankyou everyone. Got a call from the dealership that they are replacing the transmission.
Great job. Your persistence paid off.



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