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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to the Mazda3 forum, and I have been reading dozens of posts on all different sorts of topics that I've had questions on. This forum is really great and I thank everyone for all of their input!

I'm seriously thinking about buying a 3 within the next few months, and I have a question regarding the automatic sport-shift system. Does using the sport-shift add "useless" wear and tear to the transmission? Will overuse cause a shortened life of the transmission?

I figure that they (Mazda) would have designed the transmission to handle the shifting, and I know that the computer has rev-limiters, etc. to prevent you from destroying the engine... But I'm still mixed up on if frequent use will shorten the transmission life. I plan on using the sport-shift mode extensively, and I plan on keeping the car for quite a while.

Thanks in advance for your responses.
 

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Nah, the sport shift is just an automatic. Just like putting your auto on your normal car to the 3 or 2 spot... just makes it a little more versatile. It doesn't actually shift right hwen you tell it to, it shifts at the next safe point for it.
 

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MZ6ZoomZoom said:
Just like putting your auto on your normal car to the 3 or 2 spot...
I've heard that "manually shifting" an automatic causes problems/wear and tear on automatic transmissions... Am I just listening to stupid people? My mechanical intuition tells me that it won't cause undue stress on the transmission.
 

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Meh... I've heard that too, I think it's BS.

Regardless, the sports shift does not put undue wear & tear on the car (well, besides the fact that you're probably shifting later than you would otherwise).
 

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SportShift is based on AT tranny.....and it will protect the engine and tranmission....it won't let u red line the car!
whereas...like the BMW SMG...is based on MT tranny....if u don't shift...u will hurt the tranny and engine...
 

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Actualy Yuki, the SportAT won't shift for you into a higher gear.

As long as you shift at decent RPMs on a regular basis and don't take it to 6000+ the tranny should be ok. Just be careful when downshifting and making unnecessary shifts.

What about a manual?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'd get a manual if it weren't for two things:

1. Most importantly, I seem to be left-footed. I have a very bad reflex time in my right foot, so going from the gas to the brake is very awkward and unpredictable. I've tried to practice and get better but it doesn't seem to be improving any. I feel more comfortable driving with both feet. The strange thing is that I have a very fast twitch-response with my left foot... When I'm driving, I keep my left foot completely off the brake and off to the left side. When I need to brake I take my right foot off the gas and bring my left foot onto the brake pedal. Maybe if the pedals were backwards (gas on left, clutch on right) I'd be able to drive a manual. Most people say, "you shouldn't drive like that" but I have never hit both pedals at the same time, ever. I have a great reflex time the way I drive (even better than any of my friends-- not trying to brag) and have complete control over the car, and I am able to execute maneuvers smoothly and precisely.

2. I do a lot of commuting and sitting in traffic, so I like the option of putting the car in automatic mode and letting it work for me.

If it weren't for those couple of reasons, I'd definetely get a manual. Number one is the most important, for safety purposes.
 

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Yuki said:
SportShift is based on AT tranny.....and it will protect the engine and tranmission....it won't let u red line the car!
whereas...like the BMW SMG...is based on MT tranny....if u don't shift...u will hurt the tranny and engine...
Yeah, it will let you redline the car. Not only will it let you redline, but it will let you bounce the rev limiter.

That isn't what he's referring to (I don't think?) though. He's just talking about shifting wearing on the transmission.
 

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Yuki said:
SportShift is based on AT tranny.....and it will protect the engine and tranmission....it won't let u red line the car!
whereas...like the BMW SMG...is based on MT tranny....if u don't shift...u will hurt the tranny and engine...
You can hit rev limiter without any problem using the manual mode. I find if you upshift right about an indicated 6500 rpm it will actually shift just before it hits the rev limiter. Actually works very nicely. The shift itself is quick but it does not happen when you tell it to. You have to anticpate it a little. I know it will hold to rev limiter. I have bounced off it twice.

Also very nice to stay in same gear. Saying you are in normal mode and you are going around a turn, and you don't want the car to upshift just tap to the left and you stay in that gear. Tap it to the right and the computer is back in control very nice.
 

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gtgray said:
I find if you upshift right about an indicated 6500 rpm it will actually shift just before it hits the rev limiter.

And you would do that, why? Power peak is before the rev limiter (and before redline, even)
 

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And you would do that, why? Power peak is before the rev limiter (and before redline, even)
Not true, the power peak of the 2.3L coincides with the redline (6500). Secondo, the rpm will drop more than 2000 rpm after up-shifting. In order to maximize the acceleration, you have to shift at 1000 rpm after the power peak, if you can, and not at.
 

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bluong1 said:
And you would do that, why? Power peak is before the rev limiter (and before redline, even)
Not true, the power peak of the 2.3L coincides with the redline (6500). Secondo, the rpm will drop more than 2000 rpm after up-shifting. In order to maximize the acceleration, you have to shift at 1000 rpm after the power peak, if you can, and not at.
Exactly unfortunately you can not get 1000 more rpms above the power peak until and unless there is an aftermarket chip flash that raises the rev limit. Usually the factory rev limit is quite conservative and the motor will happily run much higher without a problem.

Advantage 2: the longer you can stay in the lower gear the longer you benefit from the advantage of the lower gearing. So for maximum acceleration you need to shift just prior to the rev limiter. Which forutnately the sport shift makes very easy to do.

Not sure about the 3 but Mazda tachs are generally slow and read two to three hundred rpm optimistic.
 

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Edit: I would like to comment on one more point.

The optimum shifting depends not only on the gear ratios but on the power/torque curves. The thumb rule "1000 rpm above power peak" is actually applicable only if the power is not dropping fast after reaching the peak. However for most of engines, the power drops quite quick (the drop is even dramatic for diesel engines), therefore the optimal shift point could be some where in the range of 500-700 after the rpm peak. Drivers needs to get use to the engine characteristics before he can fully take advantage in order to able to perform good acceleration.
 

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I wouldn't worry about wear and tear, because its all controlled by a computer that will prevent from shifting and revs too high/low. So, unless you're out to purposely hurt the transmission, you have nothing to worry about.
 

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Autotronic/Tiptronic doesnt add any additional wear on the tranny.

I have a friend with a 98 Prelude with Tip, and she has a little over 75k and always uses the Tip. Still kicks hard.
 
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