Mx5 Venture 2Ltr Stiff Gearbox and "Clunks"

Hi from a first time newbie!

I have had my Mx5 Venture for around 4 months now and it is 3 years old with 40000 miles.

Especially when cold, it is hard to get from 1st to 2nd gear and also 2nd to 3rd, it seems to “clunk” as if the cogs are not lined up correctly, also very stiff first thing going from 1st to 2nd gear.

It just doesn’t feel right.

Does anyone else have this problem?

I have been to Mazda and they call it “Backlash noise from Manual Transmission” they say something about only using one type of oil and that it is thinner than normal and that is what makes the gearbox tight/stiff when cold.

If I had brought this car from new I would not be happy.

It does have a 12 month dealers warranty so if something is wrong I’d really like to sort it out before this runs out.



This is perfectly normal on an NC. In my experience, blipping the accelerator whilst changing up when cold, helps.


Not standing in front of your actual car but I’d agree with Barry.

The six speed is notorious between 1-2 and 2-3 when cold.

I also used to find my old car would make metallic gearbox jangling noises when accelerating slowly in lower gears 


Not noticed either issue with my 2011 5 speed.

It’s a characteristic of the car/gear box on the 6 speeds.

Change the oil to that Castrol Syntrans gl4.

It’s better after a few miles driving in winter as said above.

Thanks guys

Makes me feel much better

Just ‘to prove’ how common this is, here is a very recent thread: