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Mazda5 Suspension

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  • Hi guys, I hope someone can help with good technical advice as I'm pretty frustrated here in Hanoi...

    I have an 06 Mazda5, with 47k KM. I moved to Vietnam in 07 and brought the car with me. Well, over the past few weeks as we drive there is now a nearly constant crunching sound from the front end. As the driver, it feels like its just infront of your feet and its not just happens with bumps.

    This is not the cold bushing issue (when it was cold in Canada and you went over a bump there was a single crunch sound) - which I had replaced back in early 07.

    Instead this is more constant noise and its certainly not cold here! - In Vietnam its about 30 degrees celcius each day. The problem is local Vietnam garages & mechanics either:
    a) may not know what they are doing;
    b) may be trying to cheat me by selling something I don't need; or
    c) can't speak English so we can't effectively communicate.

    Any thoughts or input as to what part(s) I might need?? Then I can try to find them and have a local garage replace/install.

    Thanks,
    Mat
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,325
    Just wanted to give an update.
    Monroe Sensatracs in the rear and now 4 new Kumho KH25 tires.

    I took the stock wheels, stripped off all the weights and cleaned them, mounted the tires, and balanced using my bubble balancer. Each only needed 1 oz of weight attached opposite the TPM sensor. So that was a good sign.

    Everything so far is good. We've put on at least 1k miles and have had no vibrations or funny noises. It tracks nice and straight and is so much quieter, too. Hope it stays this way.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • bcnorthbcnorth Posts: 1
    edited September 2010
    We have a 2008 Mazda 5. We had to have the rear left shock replaced under warranty about 6 months ago. Tomorrow the car goes in to have the rear right replaced (at 61,000km's) This is starting to sound like a known issue - shouldnt a TSB or even a recall be issued?

    Do they replace with the exact same shocks? If so, what happens when they die after warranty expires (which they will). So frustrating. Would be nice if I could get them to replace with aftermarket higher end parts, and have me only pay the difference in cost for the parts.

    Also, are you not supposed to replace BOTH shocks when you do one? I thought that was how things were supposed to go...

    I also have a vibration issue, typically around 80 km's / hr (55 mp/h) when everything is cold. Is this related to the shocks? Maybe it will go away when we get the car back...
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,325
    the vibration can be the shock, yes. So you'll have to wait and see if a new one makes it go away. If not, it is also possible the bad shocks have caused your tires to feather and that is the vibration you are experiencing.

    And, yes, in my opinion, both shocks should be done at the same time. Unfortunately, a warranty typically only covers what has failed.

    And, yes again, they will replace with OEM and they will go bad again.

    If I were you, I'd ask them if they'd be so kind as to replace BOTH with aftermarket and charge you the difference. Heck, would even be worth it to just pay for parts and they take care of the labor under warranty. Although I can't yet prove my Monroes are superior to OEM until they have been on there quite a while.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • I saw in your post that you have an '09 Mazda 5 and replaced the rear shocks with a pair from Monroe. I've looked on the Monroe website and they do not list a Monroe shock for the 2009 model. Did you use the shock for the 2008 model year? The dealership told me that the shock part number changed from 08 to 09 model, but not sure that I believe that completely. I have an 09 with the same shock issues and have been waiting for an aftermarket shock so I can dump the cheap Mazda shocks.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,325
    edited September 2010
    Yes. The change is BS, frankly. Not all companies have caught on yet, though. If you look at KYB, for example, you'll see they list the same number for '08 and '09. And, as a matter of fact, I went to Pep Boys to see if I could get the Monroes from them. They do show the same for '08 and '09 on their system, as well. They just didn't have them in stock, so I had to order them online.

    So, in short, yes, I ordered the Monroe Sensatrac #5607 for my '09 Mazda5 and they installed without a hitch and have been working great so far.

    I replaced them in my driveway with hand tools and a floor jack. Took maybe 20 minutes per side. The only reason it even took that long is because they have to be removed from under the A-arm, so I had to lower the car and reposition the jack each time so I could raise the A-arm high enough to get the shock out from underneath. With a lift, a shop shouldn't need to charge more than 30 minutes total for the job.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • If you look at the new Consumer Reports buying guide for 2011,it shows the same all black circle for 2009 Mazda 5 "suspension problems".I assume it will be the same for the 2010 in next years edition,after more miles are put on people's 2010 model.All the preliminary tests I have seen for the "new" 2012 Mazda 5 indicate no changes were made to the underpinnings,so I must assume the problem will still exist in this "new" model as well.Too bad,as I really would like to buy one,if it were not for this problem.
  • trishr1trishr1 Posts: 75
    Tsk, tsk, tsk...
    I wouldn't be holding your breath for too long that Mazda/Ford has any interest in building a better vehicle.
    There was a time when manufacturers of goods took some pride in building things that actually worked and lasted a long time. That just isn't in the cards for this throw away society. It's build it cheap and fast, and damn the gullible consumer... :shades:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,325
    So far, everything is a cheap and easy fix. A couple hundred bucks and some elbow grease would certainly never scare me away from an otherwise great car that I want to own. But to each his own.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Hi Larry,
    You are not alone in the brakes, vibration, shocks problems.
    Here is a comment I sent to Mazda re our 09 mazda 5.

    We (Ruth and I) have a 2009 Mazda 5. I am writing you to let you know how disappointed I am with the vehicle quality and lack of follow up on the part of Mazda and the dealership. The vehicle is a good fit for our needs and we both like it. The continual breakdown of a vehicle less than 2 years old is disappointing. We generally buy at least one new car every 4 years and at least one car every 3 years. The failure rate on this vehicle means we are not predisposed to buy another Mazda.
    Issues, problems and concerns we have;
    1.The tires failed prematurely (30,000k) due to suspension problems. A 4 wheel alignment and two tires was required to address the issue. This seems to have corrected the accelerated tire wear.
    2. The brakes began to pulsate at 60,000 Km. According to the dealer, neither this or the alignment are their concern. Replacement rotors were required.
    3. The power steering operation is erratic. I reported this to the dealer and was told they had never heard of a problem. No action was taken by them as far as I can tell. I now understand there is a recall on the vehicle for this or a problem that sounds like the one I am experiencing. The lackadaisical response from the dealership service department on a safety related item was the primary influence in my seeking another place to have the vehicle serviced.
    4. The rear shocks have failed as well as the rear suspension links. I found 29 pages of failure reports and TSBs on this problem from as far back as 2007. This is an ongoing problem. The reports indicate that the replacement parts installed by the dealers under warranty tend to fail rapidly as well. I will be repairing the vehicle with aftermarket parts that have a warranty I have confidence in.
    I will forward a copy of these comments as possible. In closing, I suggest the public would be much more likely to buy your vehicles if you had a reputation of standing behind the product.
  • timnehtimneh Posts: 4
    Have your sway bars/links checked.
  • Geez turbomurk, Looks like you're having exactly the same issues as I am with my 2007M5. I hate my dealer and when my Goodyear OEM tires wore out after about 30K (Kilometers...I'm in Canada eh) the dealer said I had to replace the tires with the same OEM units to retain my warranty. Those crappy tires were over $200 each plus install and wore out just as quickly, even after having an alignment. My car is way out of warranty now and every part I need to replace does NOT have Mazda or FoMoCo stamped on them (my rear bushings had FoMoCo on them) and the parts last much longer.

    Good luck with your letter to Mazda, let us know how it works out.

    I was going to look at the Ford Grand C-max but I heard it's a M5 underneath so don't know what to replace this M5 with.....SIGH!
  • vin71vin71 Posts: 1
    edited February 2011
    this is my first time posting to any forum. I own a 2009 Mazda5gs purchased Feb 2009 new with only 32000km on it now. First I must say that the original tires toyo proxy A05 model are about 30% tread left. how disappointed I am. funny they only have about 23000km on them as i do switch with winter tires.I was told by a mazda service rep that they are a crapy tire( wish they told me when i bought it ) so looks like i will have to spend $$ on new tires..I was recently having a ruff ride on the back end going over bumps and turned out that my rear right shock was no good, yes replaced under warranty.I was told that it was odd that it would need replacing so soon, LOL....After reading this forum and others about suspension problems I guess they fed me a bunch of B.S...well Im glad to know about what I may expect to deal with over the next months and years to come if I decide to keep this car. guess getting the 7 year warranty may help a little.thanks for all your input out there..
  • antnyantny Posts: 2
    Have 09Mazda5 for 1 week and just came from dealership for some noises when going over even small bumps,they heard it but can't identify.said to bring it back when the weather is bettermaybe it'll make a difference.never heard that one before.also 3rd day of driving one of the hubs flew off.day 5 another hub gone.Was very surprised when I called dealer and told him hubs were coming off and as I'm looking at sales photo and description I ask him why there are no alloy wheels on it but hubcaps. Didn't have an answer then,but today the service manager told me they took alloy wheels off because of problems with bad vibrations from them.anyone hear of this?
  • Thank you for an update, ford1953jimed!
    Your point only re-affirms my last year's decision to get rid off this troublesome car!
    It was such a relief to not experience those twitching fishtail motions ever again!
    kakashka is what Mazda5 is, if you know what it means...was first and last Mazda for me.
  • vicenacvicenac Posts: 229
    Upgrade like this:
    Buy the new part (preferably the Ford Focus one) cut a groove inside and fill it with lithium grease. Done.
    The above described technique was demonstrated by a Mazda technician up in Canada.
  • larry8061larry8061 Posts: 37
    edited May 2011
    I have been EXTREMELY busy and the 5 has not been the focus of attention. ALL of the rear bushing are now shot - all of them (40,000 miles). I find it hilarious that you search the web and the sites offer OEM or original quality parts. Who in their right mind would put that scrap back under the car?

    It took me a while but I found POWERFLEXUSA and they have ALL the bushings in polyurethane and I didn't think they were too badly priced. They are now on order and I am awaiting their arrival.

    I did have to go buy a junk 12 ton press from Harbor Freight for $129.00 that hopefully will last more than this job. If the rears go as expected I will then do all of the fronts.

    The POWERFLEXUSA website is very easy to use and you just buy the Mazda3 2004+ parts - thank God for the 3!

    For anyone wanting that grandmothers Oldsmobile ride this may not be the way to go. I am hoping this will stiffin things up a bit particularly that damn fishtail over bridge expansion joints.

    I'll post how it goes when I get the job done which may not be until June or July.

    Larry
  • damian1962damian1962 Posts: 28
    edited June 2011
    Hi, the creaking noise on the mazda5 is really a pain in the neck. I resolved it and it's been a while since I heard any noise. It's a very silent Mazda5. It takes money to fix these issues, the way I think is ultimately the vehicle is mine the dealer cares less if I'm happy. I have always owned Mazda's and I don't visit the dealers because they are not mechanics who resolve issues but take advantage of customers.

    1) On my 5 I had all 4 coils taken out and inserted in each of them hoses. What kind of hoses? The kind which are used with water pressure machines. You buy 12 feet and insert 3 feet on each coil. The mechanic should have a machine which helps him insert the hose in tight. He needs to grease each one them so they don't corrode. What happens is the side of the tip of the coils make contact with the metal part of the vehicle and you get a crunch. It's the springs, in your case the rear ones.

    2) The mazda5 also has these black tubes in the rear which are covers (2 on each side) which go over the struts, these tubes become loose and make noise also. They need to be slit and inserted into each other.

    3) Another malady is the rear stabilizer bar which becomes loose and bangs against the chassis. What happens is the center nut becomes loose and the rear stabilizer bar slides out of place producing noise which drives anyone nuts. It is very noticeable when you driver over rough road patches.

    4) The Mazda5 is based on the chassis of the Mazda3 hatchback it's a family Micro mini van with a more fragile suspension then the Mazda3. The clamps which secure the bushings on the 5 end round and not squarely like Mazda3's and the frontal Stabilizer bar is not as strong as the one used on the Mazda3, and yes that's incredible but true. It also produces noise so how do you resolve it? You go to a Junker and buy a frontal stabilizer bar from a Mazda3 and replace the one on the 5.

    5) Shocks? K&B shocks are priced at $270.00 on ebay ( all four ). Much better shocks then what Mazda makes. Of course during the warranty period have Mazda replace them, when it's gone then use these I suggest.

    On my Mazda 3 I replaced the front links and both F&R stabilizer bars with Racing Beat stabilizer bars (Official Mazda Racing Guru's) which are thicker, stronger and make the vehicle sturdier. My Mazda 3 stabilizer bars went to the Mazda5.

    Well at least that's my experience, hope it helps ya some. Believe me, Honda and Toyota have problems too. I owned a Honda Fit and got rid of it, since then I still receive recalls from the fit. I own a 2002 Rav4 and I've had issues with it too (tranny, engine sludge, rack & pinion). Automakers are not making quality anymore. But hey, for the young folks with the time and desire I say sue them in a class action. Mazda 5 faults are really a dis-consideration to the consumer.

    Good Luck.
  • damian1962damian1962 Posts: 28
    Hi again, I installed an upgrade to the Mazda5 which I had been waiting for.

    Rear adjustable camber kit, what it does is straighten the rear tires and has in my opinion more uses then just make sure the Mazda5 alignment is so good tires wear evenly.

    Adjustable camber kits are made with stronger thicker metal and strengthen the vehicle capacity to hold weight.

    You can get a adjustable camber kit for $114.00 at ebay and depending where your at free shipping. I recommend you have it installed first by the most economical method, because if the alignment shop installs it, it would run a pretty penny. You can get a mechanic to do this for $40.00 instead of $170.00. That way you only pay $60.00 at the alignment shop instead of $230.00. Doing economically would run a total labor cost of $100.00 plus of course the already $114.00 you spent on the rear adjustable camber kit. It's your choice a total of $344.00 or $214.00. If you buy the adjustable camber kit at the alignment shop it would run up to $528.00 which is broken down as; a) adjustable camber kit $280.00 Installing 170.00 and Alignment $60.00 plus tax.

    My 5 is silent, wearing tires evenly and holding weight without a problem.

    Good Luck.

    Damian
  • Hi everyone? I am new to these forums. We are looking at replacing an aging Saturn Wagon, and the Mazda 5 looks like an interesting choice. However, after reading these forums as well at looking at Consumer Reports' black mark for Mazda 5 suspensions, I am a bit hesitant. Since the Mazda 5 has been redesigned, does anyone know if the suspension issues have been addressed? The Edmunds review alludes to some kind of suspension improvement, but I am not sure if all the causes for complaints have been resolved. Thanks in advance for your help!
  • larry8061larry8061 Posts: 37
    I spent over an hour looking at 2012 reviews. The only one that actually mentions anything significant about the suspension is at www.velocityjournal.com They do mention a front bushing getting stiffened up and stiffer rear springs but nothing about better rear bushings.

    I will say Mazda did a fine job of making it a lot uglier!

    I'd at least wait for the new Ford to come out.

    Good luck!

    Larry
  • We recently purchased a 2006 Mazda5. I noticed the ride was somewhat loud so I took it to a Mazda dealer to have it looked at. The tech told me that the tires were cupping. When I got home I did some research online and came across lots and lots of forums about the tires wearing heavily and about camber problems. I do not know much about cars so I do not know what it entails. But, I am wondering if the fix you had done will work for a 2006 Mazda5. I really like the car and the size of it is perfect. It has the capacity of a mini van without the mini van appearance which was what drew me to it. I purchased it at Carmax (I know, I know) and today is the last day of our 5 day Money Back Guarantee so I am wondering if I need to take it back.
  • damian1962damian1962 Posts: 28
    Dear Pamelagave,

    when you own a Mazda you have to spend some time tracking down details which need to be improved. The items I listed are the real trouble shooting solutions I applied to my 2008 Mazda5.

    The sound you describe we experienced them when we installed the wrong type of tire. You need to get a soft car like tire, Toyo's or Rotalla (Korean) class A not AA. It soften's the ride and is nice and quiet.

    Mazda5 are the best choice for someone who doesn't want a big Mini Van, it takes a little spending to keep on track.
  • jonat1xjonat1x Posts: 34
    We also had a problem with cupping on our 2008 5 and had to replace the OEM tires at about 40,000 miles although they had quite a bit of tread left on them

    At a cost of nearly $800, including an alignment, I put on a set of Goodyear
    Eagle RS-A tires and, 25,000 miles later, having made sure my tire shop checked them from time to time for uneven wear, I have had no recurrence of the problem and have not had to make any suspension modifications (though have put on new shock absorbers and struts recently - acceptable at this kinds of mileage.)

    We continue to be very pleased with the car but I do think that it is built down to a price and there is noticeably more body flex than when it was new - if you ride with your fingers straddling the front and sliding door the two move quite perceptibly in relation to each other.

    Bottom line - I am not confident that it is going to continue trouble-free past the 60,000-mile mark and am thinking of changing it,something I never anticipated when I bought it - I kept my last three vehicles on average eight years each.
  • larry8061larry8061 Posts: 37
    Finally got around to start on the bushing replacements. First off the 12 ton Harbor Freight press (it was available and CHEAP!) is more than enough. Feels like a 3-6 ton would probably do the trick.

    I am sure there are people who can do this by themselves but a second pair of hands is quite useful.

    The Powerflex listings of course are for the 3. The rear trailing arm bushings fit and aren't much of a hassle. The bushing sidewall on the, I believe it was the outer bushing, isn't very thick so its a close call to press it out. The Trailing control Arm/lower bushings also fit and aren't a hasle.

    We are just using the press and the ol deep well impact sockets for "dies".

    The listed sway bar bushing for the 3 at 25 and 25.5 won't fit. My bars are measuring 23MM in the front and 20 in the rear. It appears that Energy Suspension has those part numbers and I will know for sure tomorrow.

    I'd hate to hear what the dealerships get for this work!

    Larry

    2008: 5: Manual
  • larry8061larry8061 Posts: 37
    The rear is done and back on the ground. Test drive showed no movement in the suspension and no "knocking"! It also "feels" better. While it was apart I did replace the OEM shocks (one of those was shot we come to find out) with the Koni yellows.

    On the front: Dropping the A-arm on the drivers side is not a particularly big deal. Replacing the front bushing is also not a particularly big deal however, it took more boogie from the press. The rear bushing wasn't available so I didn't do anything with it and after looking at don't plan too any time soon.

    The front sway bar bushing aren't going to be done either because the bolts on the drivers side are very difficult to get out - I don't believe those bushing are causing me a problem and we didn't need the hassle today.

    The A-arm on the passenger side however, is a totally different matter. The front bolt comes out and hits the power steering pump (just love Japanese design - or lack of same) before it clears the hole. We finally got it out and modified so it would fit back in.

    Front Koni's go on tomorrow. Since we have had this apart before to install the lowered springs this isn't excpected to be a big deal.

    The Energy Suspension sway bar bushing did fit on the rears however, they are a bit bigger so if you are looking for the exact stock look - keep looking.

    Larry
  • trishr1trishr1 Posts: 75
    Hi Damian,
    Things had been pretty good (no noise) for awhile and then with the very hot weather, it started again - creaking, cruching over bumps or anthills. Annoying....
    I sent your "fix" to my mechanic to see if he can get this together for me.
    I may send it to another mechanic who runs his own small repair shop and he may be more willing - although he told me to get a toyota.
    If you have anyother news about the permancy of this fix, I'll certain willing to listen.
  • Two weeks ago I had my fourth set of front and rear bushings replaced in my Mazda 5. Because its now off of warranty I asked my local dealer in Winnipeg to help me out because paying close to three hundred dollars to "fix" something for the fourth time seemed ridiculous. The dealership arranged for the Western Canada Mazda service rep to drive my car for the day and see what he said before I elevated the issue with Mazda Canada. As it happened a Mazda engineer from Japan was also in the same day as the service rep and they both drove my car. Sure enough they could hear a crunch / poing coming from the right rear area of the car. The service rep authorized the replacement of my rear bushings again at Mazda Canada's expense. They also indicated that the bushings had been reformulated again to try and solve this problem once and for all. According to my dealership service manager this will be the fourth or fifth reformulation of the bush compound since the 5 was introduced in 2006. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! ( Again !!)
    PS I'd like to thank my dealership service manager and general manager for stepping up to the plate and arranging for the Mazda rep to check out my vehicle and not leaving me in the lurch.
  • For $300.00 you might be able to buy ALL of the bushings aftermarket in a material that will actually hold up (if you can't do the labor yourself there is the labor cost). 4th or 5th time? Seriously? Their engineers know better than that........

    Good luck though!

    Larry
  • trishr1trishr1 Posts: 75
    edited September 2011
    Thanks for the update.
    Sorry to hear that the saga continues and likely will forever. Once they have your money that's pretty much it.
    I too met with the Western service manager but it was totally an unsatisfactory meeting. Never did anything at all.
    Haven't had much issues since end of warranty fix to the bushings except that now in really hot weather it creaks and bounces. Going in to a private mechanic to see what he suggests. The TSB for boring out the bushng centre and filling with grease wasn't an option the mechanic wanted to take, so maybe I need to look for the fellow from Winnipeg who helped the Protege 3 people out with the same issues with their bushing (Mazda car).
    All cars have some issues but I don't think Mazda will ever have the same loyalty as others enjoy.
    Give me my Subaru cope back which cost me in total $2500 in all the 15 years I had it.
    Hmmm ... :shades:
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