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SOLVED: 1996 Mazda Miata with shifting problem


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brian10101
Novice

May 13, 2016, 7:25 AM

Post #1 of 11 (1388 views)
SOLVED: 1996 Mazda Miata with shifting problem Sign In

Engine size: 1.8L (I think)
Mileage: about 180k
Manual transmission

My car now gets into a state/mood/frame of mind in which it is very difficult to shift. I've taken it to three repair shops, one of which still has it, and each has been unable to reproduce the problem. (That by itself is surprising because it was a little difficult to shift even before it started acting up.)

I've found that when I drive it for roughly 30 minutes, then let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes, and then drive it again, it shows this problem. There are likely other ways to reproduce the problem; this way I described is just how I've driven it. In this state, I can shift it out of gear okay, but then shifting it out of neutral and into the next gear is difficult and sometimes impossible. I sometimes have to turn the engine off to get it into gear.

In this state, the car will also sometimes drive even with the clutch pedal fully depressed. The clutch pedal also seems to have less far to travel before reaching the floorboard than it did before the car started acting up. (I think this short travel distance is not dependent on the car's state.)

The last time I drove the car, it created a beautiful, fragrant smoking effect from under the hood and I had it towed. The most recent mechanic said that the heater hoses need to be replaced. I imagine this is related but don't know that it's causal.


(This post was edited by brian10101 on May 13, 2016, 9:23 AM)


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

May 13, 2016, 8:12 AM

Post #2 of 11 (1382 views)
Re: 1996 Mazda Miata with shifting problem Sign In


Quote
In this state, the car will also sometimes drive even with the clutch pedal fully depressed.


That right there is a clutch hydraulic issue. I would suspect the clutch master is failing as long as you don't see any external leaks in the system. Our shop has seen intermittent clutch masters and brake master cylinders go to the floor just like yours.
.





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brian10101
Novice

May 13, 2016, 8:18 AM

Post #3 of 11 (1378 views)
Re: 1996 Mazda Miata with shifting problem Sign In

Thanks for your help. Is there something the shop can do to reproduce the problem if driving it for 30 minutes or so is out of the question?


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 13, 2016, 9:13 AM

Post #4 of 11 (1368 views)
Re: 1996 Mazda Miata with shifting problem Sign In

Nothing they can really do till they actually can duplicate it. Honestly if something like that was in our shop I would give the customer the option of changing the clutch master even if the problem can't be duplicated and there are no other visual issues.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


brian10101
Novice

May 13, 2016, 9:23 AM

Post #5 of 11 (1361 views)
Re: 1996 Mazda Miata with shifting problem Sign In

Thank you for your help. I consider this question answered.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 13, 2016, 10:36 AM

Post #6 of 11 (1351 views)
Re: 1996 Mazda Miata with shifting problem Sign In

I'll second the opinion for you that a good shop will take your clear description of the problem and with your understanding and agreement just do it. It's seriously not helping your transmission so whatever it costs (bet not as bad as you may think but no real choice either) is worth it. You'll know right away when it would do it to YOU that it's really fixed or not - high bet fixed.


Good luck,


T



brian10101
Novice

May 13, 2016, 10:43 AM

Post #7 of 11 (1344 views)
Re: 1996 Mazda Miata with shifting problem Sign In

Thanks for your answer, Tom.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 13, 2016, 11:16 AM

Post #8 of 11 (1339 views)
Re: 1996 Mazda Miata with shifting problem Sign In

One more - sorry. YOU are taking the risk if YOU spell out the diagnosis but YOU are harming it also driving it like that so don't blame the shop for the one in a million that wasn't it but it will clear up the diagnosis at worst.


Hey - Consider paying full shop wages just to drive it around to witness it which would be nice but doubt free so that's towards it also.


Please come back and say it's fixed just for archives of it,


Tom


brian10101
Novice

Jun 20, 2016, 10:37 AM

Post #9 of 11 (1240 views)
Re: 1996 Mazda Miata with shifting problem Sign In

The shifting problem is gone. A few days after it was fixed, it became difficult again, though not as difficult as before, but that went away.


brian10101
Novice

Jun 20, 2016, 10:38 AM

Post #10 of 11 (1238 views)
Re: 1996 Mazda Miata with shifting problem Sign In

"went away" - so that it is no longer difficult to shift. Why it went away, I don't know.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 20, 2016, 11:06 AM

Post #11 of 11 (1234 views)
Re: 1996 Mazda Miata with shifting problem Sign In

Hydraulic clutch and even brake master cylinders can do that and correct for a while. If you didn't replace anything it will probably come back again. Almost too bad as the issue is lurking but now you wouldn't know which part is at fault if it works when testing.


Other is if air involved it might have burped back up and out. Now hard to know or really called "fixed" if you didn't find something,


T







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