Common 2010-2011 Mazda3 Transmission Problems

The newer Mazda3 vehicles are winning awards left and right. The Mazda3 is widely recognized as one of the best compact cars on the market. Unfortunately, that was not always the case. Older Mazda3 cars have a few issues. It’s worth mentioning that Mazda has fixed or eliminated these issues in the newer models.

The 2010 and 2011 Mazda3 model years are known for having transmission issues. This leaves many of these owners frustrated with huge repair bills. Here are the most common transmission issues you’d find in a 2010 or 2011 Mazda3:

1. Clutch Failure

mazda clutch

Many 2010-2011 Mazda3 owners have had to replace their clutch within the first 50K miles. On average, owners experience their first clutch failure at 37K miles. There were some defective parts in the clutch system that caused the clutch plate to wear prematurely. Namely:

  • Release levers (clutch fork)
  • Bearings
  • Pins

These defective parts wear out the clutch discs, pressure plates, and flywheels. When not addressed in time, it will lead to complete clutch failure. When the clutch fails, it becomes very difficult to shift gears. In some cases, you would not be able to shift at all.

There was a class action lawsuit against Mazda in California. Mazda was able to get the judge to dismiss some of the claims.

2. Control Module Failure

Mazda transmission control module

Sometimes the automatic transmission is fine, but the transmission control module (TCM) is not. When the TCM fails, you’ll notice a bunch of transmission issues like:

  • Gear slippage
  • Inability to shift
  • Unpredictable shifting
  • Issues shifting into higher gears or lower gears
  • Delayed shifting
  • Poor fuel economy

Are you experiencing these issues with your automatic transmission? You have a couple of ways to try and understand the problem:

  • Get a code reader. If you see transmission code P0753A, it is supposed to indicate that Shift Solenoid A isn't functioning correctly. However, some people have found that replacing the TCM resolves this code, and that the shift solenoid was not bad.
  • You can try performing a transmission flush. If that doesn't get rid of the issues, then the TCM may be the problem.
  • Bring your Mazda3 to a shop. They’ll check the TCM for you.

If you find that the TCM needs replacing, you can order one from us. We carry genuine OEM Mazda parts, including replacement TCMs. This automatic transmission control module for 2010 and 2011 Mazda3 cars is one of our best sellers.

3. Grinding Gears

mazda gearstick

In many 2010-2011 Mazda3 cars, the manual transmissions make a grinding noise while shifting gears. This noise is most common when shifting into second gear.

Sometimes the shift stick gets stuck when the driver tries to put the vehicle in reverse. Mazda never officially explained what was causing this issue. Yet, many mechanics have found that it’s because the bearings get worn when transmission changes gears. This leads to major transmission problems that can cost thousands of dollars to fix.