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Mazda CX-9 Vibration

gatorstewgatorstew Member Posts: 10
edited March 2015 in Mazda
So here's my problem w/ my '08 GT with 4k miles on it. I've got an annoying vibration at speed (>65mph) that can be felt throughout the car but NOT in the steering wheel. It's not too bad but VERY annoying like it just shakes my insides the whole time I'm on the highway. Seems to come and go somewhat and maybe gets worse when climbing and going down hills on Interstates at around 75mph. Was told it was 'normal' as usual and it was the 'stiffer suspension and low profile tires on the 20" rims'. This is my first vehicle with large rims so I just went with it at first. I then drove my mother's 08 GT and it was silky smooth.

Here's what I've done to try and fix... Balanced and rebalanced 3 different times by 3 different shops. One Mazda dealer claimed to have the Hunter machine but a search on hunter's site didn't show one there, hmmmm... I then made the dealer I bought it from exchange my rims and tires for an '09 set. Not much better. I had those balanced via 'road force' at the Mazda dealership and it was slightly better but still annoying.

I'm at a loss since it's not a vibration in the steering wheel and a FWD vehicle. I'd pay $100 or so bucks to take it to Discount Tire to have then Hunter Road Force it if I knew it would fix the issue but my luck it won't... Any ideas? I can't find anything online at all. Please help. This has been going on since our purchase of it back in Dec. Thanks!


  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    My 08' GT has no such problem. Sorry I can't lend any advice
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    Since it is a FWD, and not the alignment issue, I am guessing
    - bearing

    You might have a bad bearing on one of the wheels.
    Jack up the wheel one by wheel, (put gear to N) and turn it hard to hear any abnormal noise. Good luck.
  • gatorstewgatorstew Member Posts: 10
    Thanks. I guess my next step is to approach the dealer again and tell them to diagnose a seat/floor vibration without balancing being an issue. Hopefully they'll find something...
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    In addition, you might want to also pay attention if the vibration usually happens at specific gear (luckily CX9 shows you what gear it is on very clearly). If so, the transmission could be defected at that gear causing the vibration (hint: since it usually happens in high speed -> high gear).

    Just another thought. :)
  • gatorstewgatorstew Member Posts: 10
    I was thinking about that - downshifting into 5th to see if the vibration is still there... but couldn't I just put it in neutral while going above 70 and see if the vibration is there essentially possibly eliminating a transmission problem? thx
  • novice_kpnovice_kp Member Posts: 6
    I went to dealer for a test drive of Mazda CX-9. While I drove, my wife sat in 2nd row. She felt vibration, bumpy ride. So I sat in 2nd row. Even I could feel it. It was not a smooth ride in 2nd row. Even my 10yr old Toyota ride is not that bad in back seats. I told dealer about it and dealer seemed surprised to hear. So we tried all the trims - sport, touring and GT. No difference, I could literally feel the road in 2nd row.

    I was looking to buy this car for last few months and I am now taken back. I don't know if I should buy it.

    My questions is - is this how 2nd row ride comfort is in Mazda CX-9?

    Thank you!
  • dogdoc1997dogdoc1997 Member Posts: 32
    We just bought a 2010 CX-9 GT loaded; now when we test drove the models a few things were noted; we too told the salesman that the ride , in the front was bumpy; that car had been sitting in the cold for weeks and we believed him as it was way in the back and still had snow on it,i.e. the tires were low; second, we noted, not telling my wife, which one was FWD vs. AWD, she said she would never own a FWD b/c they always seemed to ride oddly to her; but on 3 different test drives, she always said "this one feels bumpy".. and it was on 3 occassions the AWD model, even though the salesman and I knew that the AWD really does not activate unless its needed but I agree with my wife on this one, maybe its the extra 200lbs or so on the AWD, and we have both driven Suabru's, and I have now a SAAB XWD so we know what they should feel like....I would take another test drive....we love this thing, and my wife just came out of a BMW 530XI AWD drive wagon, we :) eeded more room,dogdoc :)
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    edited February 2011
    GTs have 20" wheel. The sidewall of tires are shorter and firmer.
    It gives slightly more bumpy ride. However, exactly the way I like it.
    It might be just me.

    Check your tire pressure though. Some dealers did not lower the tire pressure from factory, who usually set them at 45psi to avoid flat-spotting during shipping across Pacific Ocean. :)
  • novice_kpnovice_kp Member Posts: 6
    Thank you guys for your input. I will go for another test drive at different dealer. BTW, all the 3 test drives I made was on FWD only.
  • dogdoc1997dogdoc1997 Member Posts: 32
    Ceric is right; the larger wheels and tires give a rougher ride and this is well documented; in fact I had talked to the dealer about buying the GT model but swapping for the smaller wheels/tires...then I thought why waste several thousand dollars$$$$$......keep trying them out; I have ridden in the back with my son alot and I do not feel the harsh ride; in fact we had dinner with a couple last weekend and they commented how nice the ride was as they got out at the restaurant...dogdoc :)
  • dadcat93dadcat93 Member Posts: 1
    I have an extremely intermittent front-end vibration on my '08 CX-9 FWD Touring with 72K miles.

    It began about 6 months ago, and happens perhaps once in every hour of driving, but it might happen twice back-to-back and then not happen again for hours or days. It feels like I'm going over a "washboard" surface for about 1 second, and then goes away. Just like an old 60's vintage live-axle RWD car with bad shocks on a worn-out road. It happens at around 30-50 mph, during light acceleration. It might be associated with going over an expansion joint or rough pavement. And maybe only at the 3-4th or 4-5th shift points, although I'm not certain of that. Or it might be a combination of a shift while going over rough pavement. The problem can't be reproduced by going over the same road at the same speed. One shop drove the car for 4 days before seeing the problem!

    Tires (replaced at about 50K miles) have been balanced and front struts replaced (with Monroe SensaTrac's), but that hasn't helped, and problem seems to be getting more frequent.

    One repair shop says they believe it is the "centrifugal clutch override solenoid", but that was based only on their online searches for similar problems. No error codes have been recorded.

    Anyone else seen similar symptoms?

    Dad Cat

  • dsc888dsc888 Member Posts: 6
    I took delivery of my 2011 CX-9 GT on Saturday and noted chassis shimmy on the highway like the OP. I was upset and was ready to go back and complain until I found this thread. I checked my tire pressures and sure enough, they were all at 36 psi. I let out 2 psi to get them all back to 34 per factory spec. And the vibration is gone.

    The factory 20 inch rims look fantastic and definitely enhance the responsiveness of the car. I'm in the minority when I say that I like a firm riding car. I traded in a 2011 Subaru Outback because it was simply not big enough for my growing family and it handled awful after the recent redesign. The CX-9 is 900lbs heavier but can run circles around the Outback. Money well spent!
  • gatorstewgatorstew Member Posts: 10
    To me there's a difference between a somewhat harsh ride due to large rims and low profile tires and a balance issue. What I was feeling was just like tires being out of balance but mechanics these days don't seem to want to diagnose anything.

    I forgot all about this thread until I received an email about someone replying to it. Update... shortly after my last post here a couple years ago I took it to Discount Tire and gave them the history as posted in my original post. After I watched them balance the first 3 using the road force machine, they then took the 4th one off, put it on the machine and then took if off the machine. The guy then called 3 other guys over to help. They proceeded to deflate the tire completely and physically turn the tire on the rim. After they got done the mgr showed me a piece of paper that showed the one tire getting special help pretty bad out of balance spec. He said the tire wasn't 'matched' with the rim from the factory. I wasn't expecting to feel much difference on the way home. However, the issue was and is resolved. So I don't think Mazda is doing a good job of matching the tires with the rims at the factory. The best news of all? Discount Tire didn't charge me a thing. Hope this helps someone else down the road. No pun intended.
  • dsc888dsc888 Member Posts: 6

    Good follow up post. Thanks for sharing your story. I've had my share of out of balance rims and that's what my CX-9 felt like on the highway initially. There was a oscillation in the chassis that can be felt in the seat of the pants but not in the wheel. I will pay more attention and have the dealer look at them if it comes back. The factory 20 inch rims will exaggerate any minor defect whether it's poor balance, excess road force, or a bent rim.
  • vegas2004xc70vegas2004xc70 Member Posts: 6
    edited December 2011
    These postings communicate the same dilemma that we're in with this problem! Same car, Grand Touring CX-9, 70,000 miles on it, and this front end vibration is getting worse over time. I've been to the dealer 3 times and also to another reputable place to get it checked thinking that maybe they could figure it out. The dealer started by telling me that there aren't any problems they could find; then they pointed to my tires, claiming that they were defective...70% treads left on these Pirelli Scorpions @ $225 each, so I'm not about to scrap them. Went back to Discount Tire to have them thoroughly check the balancing...all good. Dealer then said to replace a wheel that was "dented"...barley visible. Bought a wheel for $ change.

    Now, the vibration and "jumping" is way out of hand. Cornering, acceleration, name it.

    Given that some of you have already replaced the struts and tires and that didn't work, I'm not going to do the same thing without any results. BUT, the Road Force Balancing sounds like a real possibility.

    I am desperately looking for a solution; I love this car but if this doesn't get figured out, the car will be GONE.

  • gpomjr2gpomjr2 Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone solved this issue? I have an 08' CX 9 AWD that shake/wobbles in rear at around 35-40 on throttle only. Take your foot off the gas and its gone. I replaced the driveshaft but only very slightly better.
  • nlcjrtnnlcjrtn Member Posts: 1
    I am currently chasing a vibration that only occurs when power train is under load. Strangest part is it seams to be less in the afternoons ???? Not when shifting just when under acceleration usually on uphill pull or constant acceleration. AND more pronounced when loading the left front wheel. Have balanced 3 times, replaced front axle, still looking. Roadforce appt in the morning. Will let you know when I find it.
  • oztrackeroztracker Member Posts: 4
    Problem solved all you need is a 2oz tube of "Lubegard Dr Tranny's Shudder Fixx" change the auto transmission fluid then add the FIX, has nothing to do with tyres or wheels etc. Had my CX 9 2007/8 model with 190000 klms on the clock worked perfectly for me, let your Auto Transmission specialist do it for you, he should also be able to supply the product. Good luck
  • oztrackeroztracker Member Posts: 4
    Dr Tranny's can be purchased through Repco Stores here in Australia, But it is an American product, There is another one called (Smart Blend) Synthetic Shudder Eliminator, USA Product Good Luck
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