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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 10 minutes into my drive home from the dealer after purchasing my MS3, my ankle started to hurt. Although I have tried different seat positions, the issue has gotten much worse in the 2 months/1800 miles I have owned the car. I have to ice down my Achilles tendon and my heel every night just to (almost) keep the pain down to "almost tolerable" during my 20 minute commute each day. I have even tried supporting my thigh with a folded up towel under my right leg. The issue seems to be a combination of design flaws - the seat does not support my thigh, the accelerator is too close to the center console (foot cannot bend to the right), the seat height adjustment also adjusts the "tilt" of the seat, and the seat cannot trvel farr enough back. For reference, my legs are relatively long (34 inch inseam). I have never had a problem like this with any car. I have driven literally dozens of cars in multiple countries - sometimes for 1000 miles in one shot - and this is the first car to have this effect. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
 

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Did you experience any of this during your test drive(s)?

I have the same leg length, but I didn't notice any discomfort. I did notice that the pedels were a little "close" and the console does interfere slightly...
 

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Although some of us in here like to believe we know everything, the bottom line is we dont...My suggestion is to go to a doctor because Im sure they know a little more about this than us performance junkies on the mazda 3 forums.
 

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I don't know... I can't see this car being much different than any other car once you adjust the seat and everything. I can't see any reason why this particular car might cause you more ankle pain than another car. I'd ask a doc though if I were you.
 

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Yeah, go to a podiatrist. He'll let you know.
 

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Sounds to me like you have a very tight soleus muscle (lower calf). I used to experience a very similar pain in my soleus when I was overusing it at the gym... too many seated calf raises. My sports-med doctor at the time was able to remedy the problem with 2 simple stretch routines, which completely fixed the problem within a few weeks.

1) Start off with a regular calf stretch of the gastrocnemeus (upper calf), with your hands against a wall, then bend the rear knee down towards the floor. You should feel the stretch in the soleus. Be careful not to push it too far, but gradually increase the stretch over time.

2) Place the balls of your feet and toes agaist a wall, with your heel on the floor. The other leg should be back. Slowly bend the front knee and lower your body towards the floor.

Disclaimer: I'm not doctor... Just a gym freak. If the pain is severe I'd suggest you go see you GP, and get a referral to a specialist. An RMT (registered massage therapist) might also be able to help you. And like you said you've been doing, icing down the affected area will help.
 

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Try raising your seat if you can to make the angle of your leg between the thigh and the foot less severe.

Also you could try moving the seat back as well.
 

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Like everyone else said , go see the doc. Also, the pedals are close together on purpose... a little technique called heel-toe... you might have heard of it. :lmao:
 

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I had similar issues with my 2004 MZ3---for the first month and a half no matter what I did I had discomfort and could not get the seat positioned correctly. I have a 34 inseam as well and am
6' 3" tall. All I can say is that I found the best position for me was seat almost fully back, seat back at about 75 degrees and my right leg resting on the center console just below the knee and right foot cocked to the right about 75 degrees as well. Also I can say as I spent more time in the seat, the buttocks areas settled in some giving me better thigh support and by the time I traded my car in I was 100 % comfortable. I was worried about the same problem occurring in the MS3 but it hasn't---feels just like my old car did.
 

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[quote author=P5_2_MS3 link=topic=70527.msg1233841#msg1233841 date=1172518166]
Sounds to me like you have a very tight soleus muscle (lower calf). I used to experience a very similar pain in my soleus when I was overusing it at the gym... too many seated calf raises. My sports-med doctor at the time was able to remedy the problem with 2 simple stretch routines, which completely fixed the problem within a few weeks.

1) Start off with a regular calf stretch of the gastrocnemeus (upper calf), with your hands against a wall, then bend the rear knee down towards the floor. You should feel the stretch in the soleus. Be careful not to push it too far, but gradually increase the stretch over time.

2) Place the balls of your feet and toes agaist a wall, with your heel on the floor. The other leg should be back. Slowly bend the front knee and lower your body towards the floor.

Disclaimer: I'm not doctor... Just a gym freak. If the pain is severe I'd suggest you go see you GP, and get a referral to a specialist. An RMT (registered massage therapist) might also be able to help you. And like you said you've been doing, icing down the affected area will help.
[/quote]

Also being a gym freak, I can vouch for this advice.

I feel that ankle pain you are describing post calf training day. What I do is anchor the heel closer to me and away from the pedal, and only use the ball of my feet to depress the pedals. This way, the gastroc and soleus aren't full stretched anymore thus relieving some pressure on the achilles. My two cents!
 

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i had this after a heavy calf training day and could barely push the clutch in. I thought my friend was going to have to drive me home...
 

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You can use a broom handle to push down the accelerator. You can have you legs chopped off below the knee that would help the pain however you would need some electronic device to push the pedals for you.

In all seriousness if your getting cramps may need to do some stretches a little excersise in the morning. However why are you asking us ..go to the doctor!
 

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Turbo therapy. Accelerate quickly as often as possible, this will stretch your tendons and you'll forget all about the pain. :lol:
 

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mY SUGGESTION: Take your doctor for a spin in the sPEED3 he will be so impressed he will offer a huge discount for the fun he had, thus saving you valuable $$$$cash. :D
 

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You need to call your dealer and ask for Mazdaspeed ankle replacements. Be sure to tell them you have a speed3 and not 6. I got mine and they were quite cheap and I agree it's definitely a design flaw.
 

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I agree that the 3 does not have the most comfortable driving position for the right leg and foot with the center console being so wide(In my opinion). Also the gas pedal feels very light, the lightest I have experienced anyway, so you can't rest your foot on the pedal at all without accelerating or revving which I notice in city and highway driving(Does that make any sense :dunno:). However, I do feel more stress on my ankle compared to my other cars(Maxima, S10, Mustang). But this is something I noticed on the test drive and I have gotten use to it and it does not cause me any pain(1300 miles of :woohoo: so far). By the way my inseam is also 34. Unfortunately I do not see a fix for this, you will just have to get use to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you for the replies - especially the serious ones. I did not notice the ankle issue during the test drive - all 5 minutes that the dealer agreed to. And, in all the (very) many cars I have driven I have never experienced this issue before, thus my link to the vehicle. I will try some of the ideas you suggested. Things that have helped (besides icing the Achilles) include putting the seat back all the way, removing the lower side console panel to get another 1/2 inch for my foot, and putting a folded up towel under my right thigh.

By the way, I do not mind the spacing of the accelerator and brake - just the very limited distance between the accelerator and console. As an engineer, I see no reason why Mazda felt the need to make the console twice as wide as the one in my old Integra GS-R.
 
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