1st-2nd, 2nd-1st and reverse gear change MK4

I bought my MX5 RF 2.0 [Sport Nav] last Sept (2017 plate in ceramic although DVLA have it as Silver). Haven’t used it much but looking forward to going on some local rallies when matters change regarding the virus. Would like some advice on improving the gear change (I don’t think it’s as sweet as it should be). It’s not (‘rifle-bolt’) easy to select. 1st and 2nd most tricky, 3rd OK, 4th-6th seem OK too but I have no benchmark with which to compare. Reverse can also be stubborn. I’m inclined to think there’s something out of alignment or perhaps its the gear oil? 8,900 on the clock, just one previous owner - don’t know how it was driven though. Clutch fluid reservoir appears to be topped up, assuming I’m looking in the right place! (top left under the bonnet?).

Re the colour on the V5, all main dealers register their vehicles on the AFRL (Automated First Registration and Licencing) system these days. All the details for the car, including the colour, are provided by the manufacturer. The AFRL system then uses that information to create a vehicle record.
So, it was Mazda that put your car down as silver (rightly or wrongly)
DVLAs system can only hold a limited amount of information in the colour field, so colour names are lost and are instead replaced with Red, Black, Blue etc.
You can get the colour changed on your V5 by contacting DVLA if you want

In regards to the gear changes, I would put a few more miles on it and see if it beds in. My 1,500 mile car isn’t smooth and I’m fully expecting it to get better with more use.
However, it is worth noting that some guys in the USA have noticed alignment errors on transmissions, particularly where warranty work has been carried out on the gear box, usually a replacement, and the new part hasn’t been aligned properly.
There are also apparent issues with the ND1 blowing up transmissions, but that is with very heavy autoX use

Many thanks that’s very helpful. Regarding gear changes, perhaps I’m being a bit impatient. I’ll give it a few more 100’s even a couple of 1000’s miles and note any improvements, if any.

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The gear selection on 1st, 2nd and reverse when the oil is cold can be a little reluctant. Any rush seems to be met with resistance. This appears to be consistent across ND1, ND2 and NC owners.
If it is baulking even with hot oil I would suggest using any warranty you still have to have it checked out.
An oil change may help. If you can get to Rodders in Sheffield he can supply and fill with his own secret blends for both gearbox and differential oil.

Brought my 2.0 RF back in 2018 and when it was cold near winter time it was a nightmare to get it in gear totally spoilt the car it needs to get warm before it was OK that was around 20 miles…unfortunately for me I only worked 10 mins away…I took it back to mazda under warranty …they agreed it did not seem right…and contacted mazda uk…there answer was it is OK and not to do any warranty work…I then took it up with mazda uk…after many phone calls I was told by mazda it was a charteristic off the car…I told them I did not want a charteristic car I wanted a sports car I enjoyed driving…and this was not one off them…they said they were not prepered to talk to me anymore and if I was not satisfied they would give me the ombudsmans number…in the end I gave up and sold it with 19000 mls on it…a note to remember 2017 RF came with issues gear box was one and flat battery was another

Thanks, that’s very helpful. When this lockdown ends that will be one of my first tasks. Have already checked out his website and will make contact. Will see how the car behaves over the next couple of months and then proceed :+1:

Oh dear that sounds sad. Interesting to note Mazda’s poor response. I do hope that doesn’t happen in my case but my car is just out of warranty anyway :frowning: Watching many YouTube videos I can’t find any comments or concerns about the gearbox. They all refer to it as ‘rifle-bolt’, ‘superb’, ‘easy’ etc. I’m not getting too despondent though as I think there is a solution somewhere along the line.

They are all the same, my car originally had a V1 gearbox and now has a V5, they all drive the same and are all prone to failure (its just a matter of mileage / time) not necessarily autox or trackdays. I had the same experience with Mazda UK and was too told the ombudsman (utterly useless, just look at the reviews) i upped the ante and kept kicking off before ending up with the V5 which improves my odds but i still expect it to grenade in my ownership at somepoint.

Just type in nd RF gear box faults on google.there is pages of it…or may be not… :grimacing:

My first ND 1.5 (65MY) had no issue with gear changes, when I swapped out to a 2.0 (17MY) it often ‘resisted’ going into reverse and first gear when cold. Once warm all was ok.

Thanks that’s helpful. I too notice a difference with gear changes in the warmer weather so I’ll be interested to see how it goes during the summer :slight_smile:

Went out yesterday for shopping, a short round trip of 2-3 miles and there was a definite difference/improvement to the gear changes. I can only assume the much warmer weather had something to do with it. Perhaps ‘thinner’ (gear) oil or some special formula (if such a thing is possible) would help for the cooler weather? Anyway I was really pleased with how much easier and more enjoyable the drive was. 8975 on the clock (March 2017 plate).

Ask “Rodders” opinion on the ND gearbox! :flushed: :wink: