2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mazda 3 S: We Might Have a Problem

January 31, 2014

2014 Mazda 3 S

See all those warning lights on the gauge cluster? They weren't there when I started driving home last night, but they lit up like that twice after some odd noises from down below.

The first time around I was just putting along in traffic at around 15 or 20 mph when I felt a sizable clunk from the transmission. Then the warning lights came on and the car felt like it was in some sort of limp mode. I got off at the next exit and headed for a parking lot. Along the way the transmission felt like it had no fluid in it, with lots of spinning gears and not much forward movement.

I parked, turned the car off, checked the tires (they were fine), waited a few minutes and then restarted it. At this point, only the check engine light remained on so I gave it a go. Much to my surprise the transmission had returned to normal and the car drove fine. I drove another 15 miles or so without incident.

Then it happened again, and in the same way as before. A clunk, followed by warning lights, followed by very little forward motion. Turned the car off and back on and all was good again.

This morning the check engine light was still on but the car drove fine, which is good as we'll be driving it straight to the dealer to see what might have happened. Update to come.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor@ 2,490 miles

Most Recommended Comments

By stovt001
on 01/31/14
4:23 PM PST

Enjoy your circa 1970 4 speed transmission and circa 1971 1.8L 4 cyl in that Corolla. And we all know no Toyotas have ever been recalled because of faults. Um oh wait a sec.... Anyway back to the Mazda, I think you're past the point where "might" describes the probability. This is indeed a problem, no "might" about it.

Recommend  (33) (15)

Report it

By reminder
on 01/31/14
2:52 PM PST

Looks like the Stingray is going to be one of the cheapest to own if the rest of the fleet keeps taking a dump.

Recommend  (19) (2)

Report it

By gslippy
on 01/31/14
3:05 PM PST

This is where the value of Edmunds' long-term testing really shines. You'd never see this in a 10-minute test drive. I can't believe mfrs ship stuff like this.

Recommend  (11) (3)

Report it

Research Models


Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Mazda Mazda3 in VA is:

$135 per month*
* Explanation
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific