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Mazda CX-7 Noise and Vibration

2

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  • It's a new 2007...the dealership had it for 4 days...they supposedly fixed the vibration with a wheel alignment (still pulls right) and 2 new tires. But, I still have the vibration over 70 and now my check engine light is on...less than 12 hours after I drove away from service.

    My vibration is felt mainly through the steering wheel...I don't believe that it can be felt in the back seat or passenger seat, but you can physically see my arm start to shake as I approach higher speeds. Have driven it on various roads/highways to ensure that it's not road specific and have had husband and sister drive it to ensure it's not "driver" error (which I love to hear :mad: )
  • maavalousmaavalous Posts: 17
    Hey... HELP! :sick:

    I have a 2008 GT AWD (got in in April) and it is exhibiting the same sort of "harmonic vibration" throughout the car at highway speeds. It is worst under power/torque and between 55 and 80 mph. It smooths out, but is still noticeable up to 110 mph. Clearly a difference between "coasting" and under power.

    They have tried:
    Tire rotate and balance - nothing odd found.
    Replacing the drive shaft - a 3-piece monster... no help.

    I have tried simulating the RPMs in different gears and the vibe only appears at highway speeds not RPMs.

    Oh, and no noticeable vibe in the steering wheel specifically... it's the whole car.

    HELP!!
  • sueb613sueb613 Posts: 3
    OK - you MUST call Mazda corporate headquarters - they are extremely responsive. This is exactly the problem I had, and it was finally solved by replacing the drive shaft. They had done everything up to that point including 4 wheel balance, new tires, front end alignment, yet the car still had this harmonic vibration that went right through your body from the steering wheel. It was especially bad in the rear seat - I know because I sat back there and couldn't believe what it felt like.

    I am convinced that Mazda got a batch of bad drive shafts -as my son who is a mechanic diagnosed the problem right at the outset.

    DO NOT STOP trying as it can be fixed. For information purposes, mine was fixed at Suburban Mazda in Farmington Hills, MI. They sent in the regional engineer to figure it out and didn't stop till it was solved.

    In the long run, both the dealership and Mazda were excellent about taking care of the problem....so you can get it fixed.
  • maavalousmaavalous Posts: 17
    It is a bit mind boggling that my dealership couldn't find anyone that was aware of this or that it wasn't already out as a TSB!!
    I think the serious vibration problem may have been fixed by replacing the tail shaft. I need to give it another 1,000 miles with no serious vibe to be certain... the original vibe didn't become apparent until around 1,000 miles. Since I now know that Mazda got a bad batch of shafts I can't be positive, yet, that the one they installed isn't also one of the "bad" ones. Statistically, it is possible.
    There is still a vibration in the car at highway speeds. It is clearly not as bad as before. Not sure what to attribute the remaining vibe to... tire, motor, suspension, overall design... very hard to say. I have a sneaking suspicion it may be related to the combination of 6th gear and low RPMs (which is great for gas mileage but is the rough-running range for a 4 cyl. motor). It seemed to be less noticeable if I manually shifted down into 5th or 4th while maintaining same speed. So, this may be a "design choice" and nothing "fixable". But, unlike before, I can get over the reamining vibe in time :o)

    Thanks for your reply and help!!
  • maavalousmaavalous Posts: 17
    Guess I jumped the gun... replacing the tail shaft (drive shaft) does seem to have fixed the problem.

    It is a bit mind boggling that my dealership couldn't find anyone that was aware of this or that it wasn't already out as a TSB!!

    I need to give it another 1,000 miles with no serious vibe to be certain... the original vibe didn't become apparent until around 1,000 miles. Since I now know that Mazda got a bad batch of shafts (confirmed by a lady in MI that had the same issue) I can't be positive, yet, that the one they installed isn't also one of the "bad" ones. Statistically, it is possible.

    There is still a vibration in the car at highway speeds. It is clearly not as bad as before. Not sure what to attribute the remaining vibe to... tire, motor, suspension, overall design... very hard to say. I have a sneaking suspicion it may be related to the combination of 6th gear and low RPMs (which is great for gas mileage but is the rough-running range for a 4 cyl. motor). It seemed to be less noticeable if I manually shifted down into 5th or 4th while maintaining same speed. So, this may be a "design choice" and nothing "fixable". But, unlike before, I can get over the reamining vibe in time :o)

    I'll only post back if it isn't actually fixed...
  • Do the test: raise the car up on jackstands. move the tire and wheel with your hand up and down and side to side. check for play. you should not have any play. if you do have play, look carefully around the ball joints, tierod ends and inner tierod.

    mine was inner tierod bushings. a $15.00 part and easy fix...
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I do not own a CX7, but I have had my share of vibration problems with a 1992 Mazda Protege and 1999 Mazda 626. Both of these cars exhibited steering wheel vibration that was caused by substandard CV axles installed at the factory. Replacing the axles helped, but did not totally cure the problem. At least I did not have vibration under acceleration, which was caused by defective inner CV joints. I am so annoyed with this that I have no intention of buying another Mazda vehicle. Ever since this company was taken over by Ford, they started using crappy parts.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Ford bought controlling interest in 1997. How did that affect your '92 Protege?
  • I have had my 2007 CX-7 for 1 year and have had a noise under the front end for about 9 months. I first thought it was due to the cold winter months, but I still have it. I had the car in a few weeks ago to have the motor replaced in the sunroof (apparently I'm not the only one) and for this noise. It sounded to me like a noise in the shocks, struts, ball joints, something to that effect. I took the mechanic for a long drive over speed bumps, etc. and he said it was the bushings in the stablizer bar making the noise. They replaced the bushings, but I still have the noise. Is anyone else experiencing this type of problem? It's really irritating!! :confuse:
  • Well, so far they have...

    Balanced/rotated tires 3 times. Admitted the Goodyear Eagles are very soft and prone to cupping but mine aren't bad enough yet to be the vibe cause... only 4,300 miles.
    Replaced the tail shaft (engine to rear differential 3-piece).
    Done 4-wheel alignment.
    Put "special" synthetic lube in rear differential.

    Although the tail-shaft made a big improvement. The vibration is still there... just not as bad. I've driven a front-drive CX-7 to compare and no such vibe. Also driven Nissan, Hyundai, Audi and Acura with no vibe.
    They tested it without the tail-shaft (I didn't get a chance) when they swapped it and the vibe went away. So, clearly, there is an issue with the Mazda AWD system.

    We're still working on it... I have to say, they (both dealer and Mazda) have been great about it so far.
    I'll continue to update until it's fixed or I trade the car :(
  • ANYONE ELSE HAVE THIS PROBLE IN A CX7 MODEL? HOW DO THEY PERFORM AT HIGHER SPEEDS ON THE HIGHWAY (60-80MPH)? THAT ISN'T SOMETHING I TESTED IN MY TEST DRIVE AND NOW I'M RETHINKING THIS...
  • Sadly, I have to report no progress. The car still vibes at highway speeds. I have contacted MazdaUSA. Again, everyone is friendly and helpful... just not able to stop the vibe even with the help of the Mazda "master technician".

    There are only 4 components that are different from the standard AWD car. Since they have not said... "it's the xxxx part and we'll replace it now and you'll be all set" I have to assume there is something very wrong with how Mazda implemented AWD.

    I'll post more updates until it's fixed, or sadly, I trade it for something else.
  • DO NOT BUY A MAZDA CX-7 with AWD!!!

    Final update on my vibration saga…
    The last part they replaced was the rear driveshaft (tailshaft if you will). That knocked out about 40-50% of the vibe. Same result they had on at least two other cars I know of.
    I asked them to do better… obviously. We had gone from teeth-chattering vibration to very annoying vibration at that point.
    They had a team of Mazda engineers in Houston from Japan for a meeting. They spent 2 full days with the car. They did some form of elaborate balancing on the tailshaft. End result, maybe another 10% reduction at best.
    Realizing they hadn’t gotten rid of it, they next brought in an NVH Engineer (noise, vibration and harshness). They loaded the car with test equipment for a couple of days. In the end, they did nothing to improve the situation.

    So, I asked Mazda to trade with me for a new car of the same type. This is when it gets GOOD…
    They came back and said that putting me in a new car would not solve the problem. That the vibration was “normal” in their opinion.

    So I asked them for a refund… gee, what a surprise that they would say NO.
    So, I will pursue the Lemon Law on this for a bit. But, the Texas Lemon Law was written by the car dealers (gotta love Texas politics) and you have almost no protection. We’ll see how far I get but I may be stuck with a LEMON!!

    Bottom line, Mazda knows the car has this vibration issue. After testing/identifying FOUR units that all exhibit the vibration they could not cure it and have concluded it is “as designed”. Let me tell you, I have test driven almost all the CUVs out there and NONE vibrate like this. It is NOT normal!

    So, this car is my first and LAST Mazda… and they are NOT planning on fixing this so BEWARE!!
  • Mazda still refuses to correct the vibration... I'll be pursuing other options for getting rid of this LEMON. :lemon:

    If you own a CX-7 AWD you may have this defect and not realize it... yet.
    The vibration is evident at all speeds over about 50mph but most evident at 65 to 75 mph. The kicker is, if you typically drive less than a couple hours non-stop you may not have experienced the true problem. Once the vehicle has been driven for several hours non-stop the vibration escalates dramatically until it is almost unbearable. As if you had a square tire.

    So, if you own an AWD and you sense any constant vibration on smooth roads at highway speeds, you have the issue. And, I'd like so ask for some help. I'd like you to reply to this post so I can determine if there are enough of us out there to qualify for a Class Action Suit. Mazda already admitted to finding one more like mine. Lawsuits are not fun, so hopefully, I can make Mazda aware of enough other cases that it will be an incentive to realize they can't ignore this issue. Ultimately, I will need to get your VIN# to prove to Mazda the cars exist... but that can come later. Right now, they are treating me like I don't exist.

    So, it appears they have me where they want me... they got my money and they are NOT going to fix the problem. A case of the big corporation showing what they really think of the customer.

    I am truly glad that Mazda does not make heart defibrillators!!
  • almattialmatti Posts: 164
    Maav; I have 2001 Pathfinder - 114k miles, it suddenly developed severe vibrations. Thought it was my son's fault _ hit some huge pothole - that wasn't the case. Rotated the 6 week old new tires, that wasn't it. Had it checked out at Nissan: Front Transfer Case and driveshaft with a U joint - slightly warped. CHECK THE TRANSFER CASE That could be a source of the problem IMO.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The CX-7 is a "base" FWD vehicle, sideways mounted engine, and therefore uses a PTO, Power Take-Off, rather than a transfer case. Front drive is pretty traditional, left and right halfshafts using CV joints. Directly driven rear driveline/shaft via the PTO with a dual electromagnetic clutch mounted integral to the rear diff'l for "controlled" engagement, up to half, of rear drive torque.

    Any vibration unique to the F/awd system would most likely involve the rear driveshaft and/or its U-joints.
  • almattialmatti Posts: 164
    wwest, maavoulous' CX-7 is AWD and does have a transfer case. On my Pathfinder, I just replaced the U joints on both drive shafts, the virbration is now WORSE than before. When the mechanic took off the front driveshaft and thus making the PF a rear wheel drive only vehicle, the virbration was 85% gone, still a small vibration sensed in the rear. I saw the one damaged U joint on the shaft, BUT he did say there is something not right in the front transfer case and thought there was a "noise". It was decided to replace the U joints fore and aft. Got it back yesterday, it's WORSE. Reason: there is a bad X-fer case gear and now that the driveshaft is re-connected to the transfer case with stable U joints, the vibration is being more firmly transmitted. I just spent $650 doing this. I should've known better: ANY VEHICLE with 114k miles , 8 years old, with bells & whistles like auto 4WD, will become a Money-pit.... What a mistake putting new tires, and new spark plugs a few months ago. Should have traded it in. Japanes cars or not that 100k miles is still a Magic Number.
  • maavalousmaavalous Posts: 17
    almatti,
    Sorry... you have been misinformed. The CX-7 is a F/AWD and virtually all F/AWD use a PTO and some form of controlled clutch in the rear differential. The Audi Quattro system is actually R/AWD and does have an xfer case (Torsen system is the BEST). But, to do that system you have to have a longitudinally mounted engine and most CUV go for latitude to conserve space.
    Your Pathfinder is actually a 4WD based on a truck design.
  • bigmick1bigmick1 Posts: 4
    I have a 2008 CX-7 AWD.

    In most respects I love the car. However, it has a FIERCE vibration between 50-63mph. Smooth as glass below 50. Over 65 a slight vibration that I can live with (after all it is a 4cyl turbo). The vibration was mild and barely noticeable when I bought the car (obviously or I wouldn't have purchased it); now it is truly teeth-rattling - especially under acceleration.

    When I first reported it, I was told it was because of how badly worn the OEM tires were after only 20,000mi (a whole other issue!) New tires, balancing, alignment, etc., still there. I have just now been told by the dealership that this is "normal" for this car. Bulls***. I am 45 (been driving for 29 years) had have had many cars, some turbo, some AWD. Never had a vibration like this (except, like another poster in a high mileage Pathfinder that had a transfer case going bad) - not even in this car when I bought it.

    I have less than 29K on my CX-7.
  • maavalousmaavalous Posts: 17
    Bigmick1,
    There are a couple of things to check before you give up...
    Don't worry about driveshaft, if you had a bad one, it would have vibrated from start. A common problem. A quick check of the CV/U joints on the shaft (there's a dozen) is all that can be done there now.
    There is an issue with the rear wheel bearing and hub that you might check. Not common but possible.
    If you've done a force balance on tires and checked both tires/wheels for round... did you hit an open manhole lately?... then that's clear.
    Warped break rotors is a possibility... worth looking at.

    Otherwise... you may be in deep poo poo.
    Mazda is buying mine back because they couldn't fix it :(
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