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Mazda 3 Rattles, Bumps, and Squeaks



  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I experienced a similar problem this month when my 2002 Mazda Protege5 started rattling upon startup and when accelerating. In my case, it turned out to be some loose heat shield clamps, etc. Once they were removed, the noise disappeared.
  • m3touringm3touring Posts: 4
    Hi all,

    Like a number of 2010 Mazda3 owners, I've been hearing the metallic rattle coming from the rear when going over small bumps (especially with the rear seats folded down, radio off, windows up, and rear carpet removed). I took it to the dealer to get diagnosed; they replaced the rear shocks with new ones.

    The rear shock replacement didn't get rid of my rattle after all. I took it back to the dealership. They determined that the rattle was coming from the fuel tank. They called up Mazda directly to ask about repair/replacement. Mazda is aware of the problem, and indicated that the splash guard within the fuel tank is loose, and, therefore, rattles over minor bumps (this is very apparent with the rear seats folded, radio off, etc.) The dealer also looked for the issue on their brand new (i.e. unsold) 3s sitting on the lot - they all have this problem. I guess only those of us with sensitive hearing actually notice it....

    I asked the technicians if this problem will grow worse, or if it will cause major damage to the tank. They said it wouldn't.

    Anyway, since all fuel tanks on all 3s will have this problem, there is no point in replacing the fuel tank with a new one. Repairing it seems pretty difficult since the problem is within the walls of the tank. I've called up Mazda customer service reporting this, but all I got was that "this problem will be looked into".

    My own solution to this is to find some lightweight, but sound-absorbing foam and stuff it around the spare tire. It will help with the overall road noise too.
  • Sorry for the delay getting back to you. I went to the Dealer and I went out with the mechanic to reproduce the noise. Of course it would not make the noise. The noise is similar to a loose washer on a bolt and is on the Passenger side. The guy probly thinks I'm nuts! I need to have him ride w/me above 65Mph
  • saaksaak Posts: 9
    Thank you for the information. I, too, had been wondering what the heck was making that soft rattle in the trunk area when driving over rough pavement. I suspected it may be coming from the spare tire, or from the tools and equipment stored around the spare tire. Never would have guessed it was from the fuel tank -- how weird. In any case, this is a minor issue (even for those of us with sensitive hearing). The car is solid, and amazingly rattle-free and squeak-free in all other respects.
  • mel00mel00 Posts: 1
    I have a 2010 Mazda3 sport hatchback and I had this same rattle. I finally figured it out myself because I didn't want to risk having the dealership dismantle and cause something else. Remove the panel that covers the back middle break light (next to the hatch window). I used masking tape to cover the plastic inserts that snap into the adjacent panel. It not only makes a tighter fit but it totally stopped the squeaking noise. Good luck!
  • Hi

    Did you ever figure out what was causing this? I am in the EXACT same scenario that you were. Just wanted to know what ended up happening because I am trying to figure out if this has something to do with them towing my vehicle.

    please let me know what you ended up doing with your mazda3.

    thank you
  • Thanks for the info, but I don't have the hatchback m3 (I have the sedan). When you say "middle break light" do you mean the one attached to the rear windshield on the interior? Did you have a squeaking noise or a rattle?

  • I have also noticed a buzzing noise when I first start the A/C and the car is at a standstill. The buzz goes away after the first few seconds. The A/C seems to be working fine. I think it is normal for this car.
  • Most likely engine mount #3
  • My Mazda3 has just over 700 miles and recently developed a clunking noise in the rear end. Sounds like a loose muffler or gas tank rattling every time I hit the slightest bump. Drove my friend to work the other day and he said it sounded like we were bottoming out with every bump. Took it to the dealership this morning where they test drove it for 2 miles and said they heard nothing. They checked everything underneath and found nothing. I drove it home and the clunking remains. How did I end up with a lemon after reading all the great reviews?
  • Hi mazda3mistake,

    The clunking problem you have sounds pretty severe. The noise that some Mazda3 owners (both hatch and sedan), such as myself, were describing sounded more like a minor "tick" or metallic tap than a "clunk". One thing you could do, to make the sound more audible, would be to drive with the rear seats folded down (with radio off, windows up, etc.) Better yet, have your friend drive your car while you sit in the back (with the rear seats down) and video record the drive on a phone or something.
    If the dealer gives you a hard time about repairs, remind them that the car is well within the warranty period.
    As for my "tapping" sound, I had my rear shocks replaced and that stopped the tapping for a while, but it returned. There are a lot of alternative theories as to what the sound is. Check out: g-sound-rear-dust-guards.html

    Hope this helps.
  • damian1962damian1962 Posts: 28
    If you haven't resolved the noise issue yet I have some advice for you;

    1) Try to find a Mazda Distributor plant vs the dealership. Mazda Distributors will fix and resolve your problems.

    2) Take the car as if you were going to have it aligned at a reputable shop. Have them check the noise for you. It might be a busted shock or any component which secures your suspension. Once the shop tells you what it is then go to the Mazda Distributor with the diagnosis and they will fix it without a hassle.

    3) As far as shocks K&B are better then what Mazda put's out and believe me Mazda3's go through shocks like it's going out of style. I own a Mazda3 and a Mazda5 I know what I'm taking about. It's up to you, if you want to install K&B shocks they run for $270.00 on ebay (all 4 of them).

    4) Mazda3's are prone to loosen the bolt which secures the rear stabilizer bar, when this happens the bar slides to either side and bangs against the chassis. this noise is noticed when going over uneven road patches and it drives you nuts. You'll think something in the trunk is loose like the spare tire but it's the stabilizer bar.
  • My 2011 Mazdaspeed 3 developed a significant rattle in the right rear over small bumps right around 1000 miles, went to dealer and they could'nt find problem. I was frustrated and didnt want to offer to many free test drives with my new toy. The noise has continued and seemed to be intermittent, but more frequent. I'm at 3400 miles and have become use to my new car with the loose sounding rear suspension. I was thinking it might be a bad shock? I found the issue! The right (passenger side) rear sway bar link bolt was loose! It requires a 17mm wrench and a set of allen wrenches. I tightened it and checked the other attachment nuts. The noise is gone and the car sounds tight. FINALLY. Now Ive googled the know problem and find many threads about this. So why doesnt the dealer know about this simple fix??? I called and let them know.
  • drliccionedrliccione Posts: 1
    edited September 2011
    This is identical to my experience with my brand new 2011 Mazda 3s hatchback. After about 1000 miles, the vehicle developed a clunking/clanking noise emanating from the rear when going over bumps, sewer lids, and irregularities in the road. The noise was apparent mainly at speeds of no greater than 35-40mph, for some reason, at higher speeds, the noise didn't occur (or was minimal). When driving with the rear seats folded down, the noise was especially apparent. Thanks to the members who have posted on this site, I was able to learn about the problem, so as to be better prepared in case the dealer wasn't familiar with the issue. When I brought the vehicle into the dealer and explained the noise, and mentioned that there were quite a few posts on Mazda forums regarding this, he acknowledged that it is a known problem with the Mazda 3. I test drove the car with the service adviser, and after hearing the noise, he was confident that the rear sway bar linkage was the culprit. The mechanic then re-secured the rear sway bar links, and this solved the problem. Here is the notation in my work order: “Inspected, adjusted and re-secured rear sway bar links. Road tested; the noise is gone.” The car now drives without that annoying clunking sound over bumps! I was beginning to feel discouraged about my purchase; the Mazda 3 has great reviews regarding performance and handling, but those rave reviews were beginning to fade in the face of this early problem and I began to question the quality of Mazda. I feel much more satisfied with the vehicle now, and it is so much more pleasurable to drive without that noise! :-)) I would like to thank those who have posted about this problem, as it gave me peace of mind, and the knowledge to dispute the dealer in case they denied any issue. However, the dealer was well aware of this relatively common issue, and was cooperative in fixing the vehicle. (Thanks to the mechanic and service adviser at Mazda of Lakewood in Lakewood, CO for handling this issue quickly and correctly). For those who desire to work on vehicles themselves, if repair manuals are consulted, the rear sway bar is also known as the rear stabilizer bar. For instance, the Mazda 3 Haynes Repair Manual refers to it as the rear stabilizer bar, and details all linkages that interface with it. For those with the same problem, don't worry, it seems to be an easy fix if brought into a good dealer or mechanic, or can be fixed at home for those who are mechanically inclined.
  • edin06edin06 Posts: 5
    I got the same problem come off fromthe back trunk on my Mazda 3touring. I am going to let my dealer take a look and diagnose tonight.

    I hope they can fix this problem and a change the way they make cheap park in and out these car.
  • Did you ever figure out what was wrong with your Mazda I'm looking to buy one & I test drove one and it was making a noise coming from the air conditioning after it was completly stoped and I started accelerating. Wondering if it's a major problem of if I could get it fixed?
  • Unfortunatly no. The noise is a rattle at 55mph and above. Other than that, the car has been great.
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 151
    My 2010 Mazda3s 2.5L 6spd manual makes a scratchy, creaky noise when there are torque changes from the engine or drivetrain suddenly. Such as, when starting from a stop, suddenly letting off the gas, or changing gears. Also very briefly on engine startup, before the engine reaches idle speed. It has stayed the same for many months, and thousands of miles. It is purely a noise, there is no tactile feel noticeable to the driver. It seems to be louder from the driver's seat than the right front seat. I suspect a motor mount is to blame. Any other ideas? Any idea how difficult and expensive to fix? And similar experiences out there with other cars? Any idea how long it can go without completely failing? Forever? I should add, this car has helped do driver ed for two of our children, which I know isn't easy on a manual trans car.
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 151
    Hmm, there's another way you know. The company I work for exported $27 billion worth of US-made products just from the metro area I live in, last year. I don't think Japan would buy them quite so freely if I never bought their stuff in return.

    And for that matter, I didn't buy it because it was Japanese. I wanted a nice-driving, manual transmission, fairly fast, very well equipped, not too expensive, reliable car from anywhere. The $350 motor mount at 62,000 miles is really the only problem the car has ever had. What would you have suggested I buy instead?
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