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Mazda5 Suspension

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  • I have contemplated that for at least 5 months of the year maybe and become a snowbird.
    I attempted to contact my "investigator" at Mazda Canada but he has since moved out of this position, and it appears they closed my file. Why they would close it when they knew the fix they applied was only temporary until they came up with a permanent fix (if ever). Now that I have filed another complaint, hopefully, this will generate another "investigator" for my case - who knows. Also she was unable to tell me if the 2007 or 2008 models have the same problem or not, if not, then they have fixed it. Might need to take a ride in one when it gets really cold.

    It was interesting that this customer rep had no idea about this problem - and perhaps she doesn't. Called the dealership and yes there is another fix for the "front" bushings, but none for the "rear" bushings - why because no one has complained to either Mazda Canada or their dealership. Sure I will get the "front" bushings done but only when I need to go back for oil change or other servicing.
    The Automobile Protection Association (Ontario) doesn't know that Mazda5 owners have had a problem with their vehicle - perhaps a quick email or call to them might help.
    In the meantime, I will crunch along - search through other manufacturers' forums and get a feel for who is having problems, but more importantly, who had problems and were satisfied with the resolve - perhaps that will be the vehicle for me.
    I believe that most cars suffer from some problems, but I also believe that there are dealerships and manufacturers who value their customers and their image more than others. :surprise:
  • I have a 2007 Mazda5. With the onset of cold weather here in Minnesota, I've begun experiencing the suspension crunch. The dealer says they are aware of the TSB and I am bringing the vehicle to the service shop today. I'm eager to see what they do. From all I can tell, the U.S. TSB on this issue covers 2006 vehicles, not 2007. But my crunch is definitely there. Mine hit when the temp was about 10 degrees F. Went away after a drive of 15-20 miles. This morning it was 25 degrees, and the crunch was much reduced. For the record, I love my Mazda5 otherwise and hope this turns out to be a one-time fix.
  • c3poc3po Posts: 26
    I have a 2006 Mazda 5, live in the Toronto area and I do notice the crunching sound especially when cold. The 2007 model has the same problem, as I sat in one. Dealer gave me a courtesy ride in the 2007 model, when I got my oil change. I don't think Mazda has a permanent fix. I went around to some Mazda forum, according to the TSB on this problem, the fix was to put some grease around the joints. This is a tempoary fix, as you will need to grease it every so often. Poor design. I think they need to put some rubber between the metal components.
  • Well I guess that ends my option to trade this vehicle in for a 2007 model.
    Wonder how the 2008 model is fairing?
    Though it would be truly a kick in the pants if the 2008 model didn't have a problem as that would mean they fixed the problem but not for our models (2006 and 2007).
    My crunch has spread from the rear to the front, so at least I will go for the front bushing replacements and wait for the rear bushing bulletin to be issued. Remember to complain otherwise they won't pay any attention to the issue.
  • Update on Nov. 28 post about the crunching noise on the 2007 ... The dealer replaced the lower control bars and sway bar bushings. No discussion, no haggling. I paid $0. The fix took about two hours. The mechanic showed me a TSB that listed 2006-2007 models with a range of VINs. So the question of whether some 2007 models are included in the TSB is at least partially answered. Unfortunately, I didn't get a TSB number or copy. I took delivery of my 2007 model in February 2007. If Mazda fixed the problem, perhaps they did so after some of the 2007s rolled off the line. I'm happy to report that it dipped below 10 degrees F this AM and there was no crunching at all from my front end. Looks like the problem was solved with zero cost and fairly minimal hassle.
  • That is encouraging news - keep us posted on the permanency of the fix - there may be hope for us all.
    Haven't heard from anyone else who was in the same boat last winter - have all of these vehicles been purring along without any noise?? :confuse:
  • Nope. My suspension CRUNCH is still there, and I think I was the first to complain about it on these boards back in the winter of 2005, so it hasn't gone anywhere. It has recently started to get cold here in NYC - at times dropping down to freezing point (32 degrees). At that point is when my rear suspension has crunched over speed bumps, and other similar large bumps on the road.

    I already knew the crunch was coming back, so I was expecting it and so it doesn't iritate me or grate me as much as it used to. Nevertheless, I have printed out the TSB someone posted on here, and I will return to my dealer and let them apply the TSB fix. Hopefully, it will be permanent, but by the looks of it, it doesn't seem as though it will.

    I'd love to know if the 2008 version still has this problem! I don't see why it wouldn't since it's basically the same design but with a 5 speed auto - all they're changing is some parts of the interior and slight front and rear styling cues. Well, to whomever gets to ride in one in the cold, please let us know!
  • mrbwa1mrbwa1 Posts: 42
    I have a couple of questions about the suspension crunch. Our '07 Sport was purchased in October and so far no "crunch" as far as I know. It is my wife's daily driver, but she's pretty much on top of weird sounds/feelings/vibrations in the car. I have also driven it in the cold and have not heard a crunch. In order to try and help out those here with the issue I have a couple questions, and I'm open to questions as well.

    1. Does the "crunch" show up anytime when the weather is below 32F, or does the car have to be out all day/night and cold soaked to get the noise? We have an insulated garage that usually stays above freezing, but the car is parked outside all day in sometimes sub-freezing weather.

    2. Are there specific times the your hear the crunch? I have seen speed bumps noted, but is it only over bumps or even during cornering or even backing out of the driveway?

    Since it is the wife's car, most of my driving has been short trips to the store from the above freezing garage. So far I haven't heard the crunch. I will ask her more about it as well, but I'm sure she would tell me about it. Also, I can look at the VIN plate for a date of Manufacture for anyone interested if it turns out we aren't hearing the crunch.
  • 1. Does the "crunch" show up anytime when the weather is below 32F, or does the car have to be out all day/night and cold soaked to get the noise? We have an insulated garage that usually stays above freezing, but the car is parked outside all day in sometimes sub-freezing weather.
    My response: anytime the temperature falls to -10C or lower - that's when the rear end crunch occurs. If it falls below -20 to - 25C - and standing in an uninsulated parking garage all day- it soulds like the rear end is going to "break away" from the front end.

    2. Are there specific times the your hear the crunch? I have seen speed bumps noted, but is it only over bumps or even during cornering or even backing out of the driveway?
    My response: The crunch can be heard by going over irregularities in the road - minor crunch if the temp. is -10C. Going over things like big bumps - speed bumps and railroad tracks at -10C it is much louder; though at -20 to -25C the noise is loud enough for others outside the vehicle to notice it - inside it was nerve -wracking in the beginning, and as the previous poster said you know it's coming so you don't get to out-of-joint about it. It is still embarassing to drive others in this vehicle with the crunching noise. I imagine they wonder why I put up with it, or why I bought it in the first place.
    If I drive the car for an hour or so, then the noise will lessen as the vehicle parts warm up, but that only happens in the milder cold weather, in the deep freeze, it is there always.BTW, your wife would certainly let you know if she was experiencing the same problem but it is interesting that she isn't. Does that mean that some vehicles have the poorly designed bushings, while other vehicles don't?
    Also what happens once the warranty runs out and the problem hasn't been resolved permanently?
    Now I have a question for you - does your wife's VIN fit within the range of the TSB that was issued?
  • mrbwa1mrbwa1 Posts: 42
    trishr1,

    We went out to dinner last night and I got to drive the 5 in the cold. It also set out for a couple our when we were out in 19F weather, so not quite to -10C and no ill effects. We may or may not see -25C, but not until Jan/Feb. I have talked to my wife and she reports no sounds at all. I looked up the TSB and checked the VIN plate on the care. I was a little surprised to see a build date of 11/06 (we bought in 11/07). It appears that a change may have been made sometime in the 2006 run.

    I see that the VINs in the TSB are: 111238 for bushings and 120197 for the Control arm. Ours ends with 141276.

    I guess all I can say is start shopping Mazda service. So far we've had pretty good luck with service... the dealership didn't do a walk-around, so our brand new 5 had a dent and had to go to the body shop! Our 2001 Toyota ECHO had basically the same issue with the front suspension and we lucked out with a service department that replaced the entire right front suspension, fixing the issue. Unfortunately, the warranty expired and now the left does it...

    I feel really bad for those who have the issue because it ruins such a nice car!
  • 1. The cruch shows up slightly in cold weather above 32 degrees. Once it reaches that point, then it becomes more evident. It starts at the rear and then, gradually, the front suspension gets affected as well. I used to have my 5 garaged, and at the time I rarely heard the cruch, unless, of course, I left it outside for an extended amount of time, long enough for the suspension to get cold. Now, however, I have a driveway, and so the car is outside all the time and gets cold all the time. Therefore, the cruch is more prevalent.

    2. The crunch happens anytime it is very cold outside, moreso when it's 32 degrees or less. It is VERY noticeable over speed bumps, large road undulations, or large potholes. Also, if the driveway you are backing out of has a large incline, and you come out fast enough, it will crunch, as well. Minor potholes in the road will sometimes elicit smaller crunch noises, as well. But, after about 20 minutes or so of driving, the suspension seems to warm up and it doesn't make any noises, unless, of course, you go over a large speedbump at speed. The suspension has to articulate just enough for you to hear it well. If it's really cold, however, you don't really need to do much in order to hear it.

    Hope that helps answer your questions.
  • That was a very concise report and a similar experience in my vehicle.
    Anyone else out there with the same problem or have had a permanent fix? :shades:
  • riproyriproy Posts: 57
    Hi suspension problem readers,

    After having the bushings changed in Nov 06 and the control arms replaced in March 07, we continued to have front and rear suspension noise in sub zero temps. I went to a different dealership (where we had had our initial sub-par buying experience) and after listening to the problem, they were happy to replace the bushings and controls arms again, claiming that the previous repairs may not have involved the updated suspension parts. So, two weeks ago we had it done and voila, it has a quiet ride again. It sounds like the new car it is (we have an 06 GT 5sp with 23k km) and makes it a pleasure to drive once more.

    The last time we had the bushings replaced, the noise reappeared after 2 months. The last control arm change didn't even score us one day of riding without noise. We will see how long the current 'fix' lasts.

    with crossed appendages,
    riproy
  • Great to hear that perhaps this is the last time that you may need a fix - sounds like a bunch of junkies (Not).
    I took mine in today for an oil change - a fix for the intermittent remote starter problem (yes there is a fix for that too), and "front" bushing replacements again (second time). The Service Manager had said a few weeks ago that they could only do the front bushings (but at that time the noise was from the rear only of my vehicle) so I called Mazda Canada to lodge a complaint about the rear noise. This must have been duly noted, because they replaced both the front and rear bushings today :shades:
    I noticed no noise on the short ride home, HOWEVER, there is a note of caution, it is mild out today, -5C, so this is not a true test, but it was nice to hear nothing but road noise ;) .
    Some people ,on other forums, can't really understand why there is such a fuss about a little squeak here and there. Those who complain about the "crunching noise" may have higher expectations or standards. :P
    Anyway, I'm with you, and will cross anything that will help make it a permanent fix.
  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    I'm getting the crunch too but it disappears quickly after driving a bit. By the time I'd get to the dealer, the noise would be gone. Are the dealers receptive to this issue or do they need to hear it before doing anything?
  • I would take it to the dealership and tell them you are having a problem under these circumstances - best to write it out otherwise it's open to anyone's interpretation of the problem.
    Are you in a cool climate or cold climate? A colder climate might predict a more sustained crunch. Initially mine would crunch until it warmed up, but later on it crunched all the time.
    What year of vehicle - 2007 or 2008?

    Out of curiosity to those with squeaky, crunching vehicles regardless of model year - anyone's VIN start with "JP"?
  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    I'm in SE Michigan so cold but not extremely cold. It doesn't seem to happen unless the temperature is well below freezing.

    Mine is a 2006. The previous owner said he did have some warranty work done regarding this issue but obviously it didn't take care of the problem.

    I'll check my VIN later. What does "JP" mean? I believe all Mazda 5's are made in Japan so if that's what it means, they should all have it.
  • I own an 06 and an 08. Both VINs start with JM1CR (JM1CRXXXXXX...)
  • Sorry, my mistake, my VIN starts with JM1 not JP.

    "The original TSB number 02-007/06 covers vehicles with VINs lower than JM1 CR **** ** 111238 (before Nov 1, 2005) for stabilizer bushings fix and VINs lower than JM1 CR **** ** 120197 before Jan 27 2006 for the lower arm fix. "

    I was just wondering if all of the affected vehicles might have come from a specific vehicle type or manufacturing division.

    What a VIN means article.
    The first character in the WMI sequence represents the country where the vehicle was manufactured. Countries like the United States (1 or 4), Canada (2) and Mexico (3) are represented by numbers while other countries such as Germany (W), Italy (Z) and Japan (J) are represented by letters.
    The second character refers to the manufacturer. The characters can be either letters or numbers. For example: Jaguar (A), Dodge (B), Chrysler (C), Jeep (J), Buick (4), Cadillac (6) or Saturn (8).
    The third character represents the vehicle type or manufacturing division.
    Vehicle Description Section (VDS) and Check Digit
    The vehicle description section consists of five characters (the 4th to 8th characters) which identify everything from the body style, engine type, and braking system to model, series, restraint system, etc. The 9th character is a VIN accuracy check digit which verifies the previous VIN numbers. It is determined by carrying out a mathematical computation developed by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
    Vehicle Identification Section (VIS)
    The vehicle identification section includes the last eight characters in the VIN number. The numbers identify the model year (10th character) and the assembly plant for the vehicle (11th character). A number or letter may represent the model year. For example: 1998 (W), 2000 (Y), 2007 (7) or 2008 (8).
    The 12th to 17th characters are the actual serial number of the vehicle—these last 6 digits make the vehicle unique (think of DNA). It can also help to identify whether the vehicle was the first, the hundredth, or the last vehicle off the manufacturer’s assembly line. This is valuable information for collectors.

    Somewhere I read on a post perhaps or elsewhere that the bushings they had used were a plastic material, but the service tech said they were rubber which is the opposite if what I read and the reason for the problems. Does anyone else recall what the defective bushings were made of?
  • OK, so I got the new 08 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, have been experiencing and driving below freezing temps here in NYC and I have not heard ONE crunch from the new 5! I don't know if it's because it's so new and if the noise will rear its ugly head later, but, for now, I am enjoying a very quiet, composed, refined and NON-CRUNCHING suspension. Just thought I would report that to you guys. Seems as though Mazda has fixed the problem.
  • trishr1trishr1 Posts: 75
    Sounds like they have things under control - for some.
    I did take mine back in for the front bushings; however, they also replaced the rear ones as well because I had registered a complaint.
    The outcome - no CRUNCH - not even at -25C. One of the front desk people said that the reason for the initial problem was the fact that the "rubber" bushings get cold and turn hard and therefore there is insufficient cushioing effect.
    I found that "interesting" because I had read way back that the bushings they chose for this vehicle were "not rubber" but some plastic material which would not stand up in colder climates, hence the squeaking and crunching problems.
    I'll take what I can get but I am concerned over the long term how things will pan out after the warranty expires?
  • I purchased a new Mazda 5 in August '07, and at about 5800 km (when the weather started getting really cold here in Winnipeg- mid Nov.) I started to get the loud crunch from both front and rear when I hit even the slightest bump in the road. Fearing a safety problem, and upset because this is my first Mazda, I contacted the dealer. I was reassured however, by the service rep who knew exactly what the problem was, saying that it was a problem with all Mazda 5's, and made an appointment for replacement of the front and rear stabilizer bar bushings. I had to wait over the Xmas period until January 7, '08 for them to get the bushings in, apparently there was a temporary shortage of the parts. With the replacement of the bushings the vehicle is now totally free of the "crunch", despite temps approaching -30°C. and I hope it stays that way. Thanks to all who posted on this problem, particularly trishr1, your overall input answered a lot of my questions.
  • trishr1trishr1 Posts: 75
    Thanks for the post and glad to hear that your problem has been solved.
    I'm happy to report that my second fix, done before the holidays, and applied to both the front and rear bushings has withstood the cold temperatures (-30 C) here in Winnipeg.
    This is not the case for all Mazda5 owners unfortunately here and elsewhere, but it should be. :( Perhaps I will see you around town, but at least I won't hear you coming. :shades:
  • Same here, I'm also in Winnipeg. I have a 07 GS Phantom Blue with 16in Steelies right now. What colors Mazda5's do you have? Mine also have the "crunch" right now but I'm waiting for my schedule for oil change later this month before I had it corrected.
  • Also in Winnipeg - have a 06 Phantom Blue as well. Am still bothered by "the crunch" and have had the following replaced: front sway bar bushings, front control arms and the most recent replacement were plastic isolators placed between the bushings and locator rings. Still crunching! Am curious to know if the stabilizer bar bushings which skiff0001 mentioned are the same thing as the sway bar bushings??? Will have to ask about this.
  • riproyriproy Posts: 57
    We had our 06 Mazda5 GT manual at the dealership in December to have the suspension problem addressed again. The bushings and control arms were replaced for the second time at all four corners at that time. It was great (as i reported here) until the temps dropped to -19 C two weeks later and sadly, the problem was back. It is better in some respects - the noise for the most part disappears after about 15 minutes of driving (this was the case yesterday in -13C), but over serious bumps, you can still hear it.
    According to Mazda Canada, the parts that they replaced are the same as the parts they put on as replacements.
    If the 08s have eliminated the problem (i hope they have, but i have my doubts), then these "new" parts could be used to fix the 07s and 06s since the design i believe has not changed, but they do not seem to have a true fix for this (according to my email back-and-forth with Mazda Canada).
    What do you all think?
  • I am not sure I understand how some cars are fixed and others are not. If they are replacing the same parts that is? :confuse:
  • riproyriproy Posts: 57
    I am not sure either. A year ago when the bushings were first replaced i thought our Mazda was fixed too, but 2 months later the problem returned. This time it took less than 2 weeks.
  • mrbwa1mrbwa1 Posts: 42
    So I was driving the other night and temps are finally in the 0 to -10 C range and I hear a crunch over bumps. I was thinking that maybe I was not immune to the suspension problems with our '07 Sport. turns out I had forgotten that I left a 15 lb Crowbar in the plastic tray in the rear of the 5 to take back to my Dad. I though you guys would get a kick out of that one! good news is no crunch!
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