Stiff gear change

I’ve checked in the ‘Transmission FAQ’ and haven’t found an answer to this so I’d like to ask for the collective wisdom if I may?


I recently bought a 2002 Mk 2.5 1800, manual transmission in blue, with 37,000 miles on. Car drives beautifully and is far more capable than I ever thought these little things could be (it’s my first MX and is used as a second car/weekend toy). My concern is that when cold, the gear change all the way up the box is slightly ‘stiffer’ than I would like. It eases a bit as the vehicle warms up, but still isn’t as slick, or loose as I’d like. All gears engage cleanly, there’s no ‘kick back’ like you would get when a syncro goes, just feels like something is done up a bit tight and dragging on the gear lever.


Any thoughts?

If it’s the 6 speed, join the club! They can be notchy from cold, but really ought to be rifle-bolt thereafter.

I’m putting Castrol Syntrans Gbox oil in our 02 6 speeder next month as recommended by a few people. It’s original oil in anyway so could do with a treat.

If you cannot find evidence of an oil change, best get it out no matter what the service schedule says. The oil is geriatric if original.

I do not hold at all with gearbox oil lasting years without complaint. I would not like to be ground to death between cogs for thousands of miles either!Big Smile

At any rate, if you are doing it yourself, mind how you go. If 6 speeds, there is a nut best left alone unless you want to collapse the linkages!Shock

In my opinion whether it’s 5 or 6 speed, time for a refresh for both the box and the differential.


 Hi there,

Got the same with both my MX’s a MK2.5 and a Mk3 both of  which the gear change is a lttle tight when cold but does get much better after a few miles.

Check that you have oil in the turret, it might be old or like my mk2 empty !!! Also the shift boots and the plastic bush and ring might be worn.



6 speeder won’t have turret oil, but the plastic bush is a possibility though I doubt it with such low miles.

Never know though.

 The six speed in my Mk1 is great since it got filled with Redline

 The mk2 gearboxes that DO NOT have the plastic bush on ther end of the gearlever do not use turret oil I am told by Mazda Service Sheet. Most seem to have the plastic bush so oil required in those ones.


Check this link out,

Six speed Mk2 turrets are splash fed and five speed box turrets have oil in the turrets.



Many thanks for the replies. I agree with the view that oils need to be changed, it’s the simplest form of preventative maintenance available, and never does any harm.