Mazda CX-9 Front End Noise

randy836randy836 Member Posts: 1
07 cx-9 with 12k on it has clicking noise when turning the steering wheel at low speeds, like in a parking lot, sounds like its coming from front end. Also clanging noise from front with very low speeds going over bumps. Dealer said they hear noises, but can not figure it out.


  • bigsky3bigsky3 Member Posts: 2
    The clicking sound in the front end of my 2007 CX-9 resembles a worn out CVC joint.. only happens at low speeds while turning sharply. I have brought it to the dealer several times, after 2 new struts and some bushings the clicking sound is still there. It doesn't sound like a brake issue. The car overall has performed well in Montana conditions, but desperately needed some new treads.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    I hear a clicking sound on my CX9 only when it has been sitting for a while. My opinion is that I may need new brake pads soon because it sounds sort of like the shims/pads are a little loose and have a slight shift when putting into gear.


    The front end sound that I do have is a crunching/squeaking sound when going over speed bumps and coming out/in of driveways at low speeds (5-10 mph). It is very annoying and it sounds like a old 1970's pick up truck that has noisy leaf springs. I am ready to just replace the sway bar bushings and links because the struts seem to damper just fine plus they are expensive, so I rather start with the cheaper fix. The reason I am doing this, is because my previous Mazda5 had a similar sound in the front end, and the culprit was remedied by replacing the sway bar bushings in accordance with a TSB issued my Mazda.

    Is anyone else experiencing this noise?? I have posted my concern a few times before, but I get no response, so I am begining to think that this is just a individualized problem with my CX9 and not a mass production issue. Please chime in and just let me know if anyone else has this issue. Thanks!
  • jcpharmjcpharm Member Posts: 92
    i have the EXACT same squeaking (high-pitched) noise...especially after damp weather (dewey mornings) and low speeds as you said as well as with soft turns at those lower speeds. i can't tell whether it is from the front or rear and it annoys the heck out of me. i heard about a TSB but i thought it was for '08 models and i have an '09 so i didn't think it applied. have you ever taken it to the dealer? i plan to ask my local Mazda service dept when i take it in for my first oil change in a few weeks. let me know if your "quick fix" approach works!
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    I hate to say it but if you have heard about a TSB that applies to only 08 models, don't believe it because it probably also covers your 09 as well. The Mazda5 TSB supposedly only applied to 06-07 models...guess what... there was also 08-09 models ( and I wouldn't doubt 2010 models) having the same issue. I tried researching for a TSB as well for our CX9's but I could not find one. Let me know if you get the TSB number or if something gets resolved when you take your CX9 into the dealer. I will do the same if I get to do my fix before you do. Unfortunately I am out of warranty and I am on my own on this one. I really don't want to spend money on parts and repairs that are not going to remedy the problem at hand. If I had warranty, it would be a different story....
  • bigsky3bigsky3 Member Posts: 2
    The dealer did claim that there was some brake caliper slop and it was a manufacturer flaw. Also the struts and sway bar bushings had been replaced under warranty and the clunking has subsided(maybe the new Cooper Discoverer CTS tires helped dampen the ride), but the clicking/clunking noise is still obvious while turning sharply. This car has only 26000 miles on it and the noise has been there for at least 15000 of that. It does remind me of the 1979 Honda Civic I drove in my youth that had worn out CVC joints that clunked as you turned... funny how it sounds the same.
  • jcpharmjcpharm Member Posts: 92
    just came back from my dealer for a routine service and get this squeaking noise checked out. turns out my backing plate was bent and touching a rotor causing the noise. they bent the plate back into shape and now no more noise. thankfully, it was not a major issue.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    Apparently there is a TSB for the "click-click" sound and the low pitch squeak in the front end. The TSB is #02-006/09, I got a copy of it from my buddy at Mazda and since I am out of warranty I just bought the part (two, one for each side) that needs to be replaced and will be getting it installed at my work (non-Mazda dealership) hopefully by this Tuesday. Part number is #TD11-34-380B which is a top strut mount. It is the same part number for either side depending wether you need only one or both. I need both replaced because I dont really know which side or if both make the "click-click and squeak" sound. I really hope this fixes the problem, I will report back as soon as they are installed.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314

    Had both upper strut mounts (#TD11-34-380B) replaced on Saturday by a master tech here at my work (Moss Bros CJD - San Bernardino). TSB is useless. After replacing both strut mounts and being out of $200 including labor...squeak when going over bumps or pulling in/out of driveways at slow speed is still very prominent as before and "click-click" when shifting into reverse or drive from a stand still is still there as well. Do not waste your time and money (if you are out of warranty) in this TSB, it solves nothing!!! Mazda please do your research a little bit more in depth next time. BTW, I also had my tech lube up the sway bar bushings and check for leaky struts. He lubed up the bushings and the struts are in perfect visual condition. My next attack is the sway bar links and if that does not solve the problem, perhaps the sway bar bushings and finally front struts.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    ***LAST UPDATE***

    I finally fixed my left or right front suspension squeaking issue when going over speed bumps and/or going up/down driveways at very low speeds. It turns out that the fix to this is quite easy and very cheap. So I am screwed and out about $200 thanks to that misleading TSB that Mazda put out...Thanks Mazda, like I said, next time do a bit more research...

    Nonetheless, the noise comes from the actual bump stops that "should" glide over the strut's rod when compressing. The problem is that the bump stops are either made of a material that does not glide smoothly on the shaft or they are way to tight to glide on the shaft. The cure for this is a simple squirt od white lithium grease on the top and bottom of the bump stop.

    Jack up your CX-9 and lift the dust boot that covers the bump stop squirt some grease. Lift the bump stop and squirt grease on the bottom part as well. Glide the "now" smooth bump stop up and down to lubricate and distribute the white grease on the strut rod/shaft. Repeat this process on the opposite side (left or right) and voila! no more annoying noise/sound.

    Since this part is somewhat exposed to water/snow/other external elements this procedure may or may not have to be re done. Hope this helps!
  • euphoniceuphonic Member Posts: 1
    Wow, is it really working? Why can't Mazda find soemthing that simple out themself? This whole squeaking and clonking noise, like an old spring loaded sofa in grandmother's garden shack, started after only 3000 miles with my 2008 CX9. I had the struts and shocks replaced at about 10k but the noise came back after only a view weeks. When I asked my dealership to have this checked again they pretended they couldn't hear anything!!! One of their technicians even told me that this would be perfectly normal and acceptable for a car that size after I took him for a spin and demonstrated him the unmistakable sofa noise. Anyway, thanks for the tip with the bump stops. I'll try that out this weekend!
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    Still no noise after lubing up bump stops with white lithium grease. It has been a little more then a month now and even with torrential rain we had all last week still no noise. Awesome cheap fix!
  • emgee11emgee11 Member Posts: 5
    Hi vg33e power:

    I hope you check this out... I have an 07 CX-7 which actually has a similar problem. Low-pitched squeak/groan at low speeds over bumps/dips and making left turn (intermittent) as well as the click-click sound changing gears.

    This sounds like the same issue you had, think it is worth trying out your fix?

    I've read a TSB for the CX-7 and it says the rubber isolator wears prematurely and causes the low-pitched squeak.

    But your fix is nearly free, is it easy enough for a non-automotive guy to do?

  • davichodavicho Member Posts: 190
    Hello, I have since made a new username but to answer your question...yes it is a very easy fix that anyone can do. As long as you have a floor jack or if you want to put some elbow into it and use the spare tire jack that Mazda provides. All you have to do is jack up one side at a time as to fully extend the suspension and spray away at the strut rod and the rubber bump-stop.

    As far as the clicking goes. Mine still does it but I have learned to live with it and ignore it. There is also a fix for it but I have not gotten around to do it nor do I know if I will ever get around to it since it doesnt bother me that much.

    Hope this helps.
  • leobreauleobreau Member Posts: 1
    I'm glad that I found this post because my issue is very similar, yet different and it's got the dealership stumped. I'll describe it as well as possible and hopefully someone else can identifying with this problem. Our CX-9 is a 2008 that we bought way back with only 10,000 miles on it; now has about 73,000.

    I'll start by saying that I'm very mechanical; I do most of my own repairs on our older cars like 1990 Montero, 1993 and 1994 Volvo 940's, and a 1992 Volvo 240 wagon, especially suspension, brakes exhaust, etc.

    Whenever the car accelerates, there is an obvious wobble feeling in the driver's side front wheel. When I go over a slight bumps or speed bumps, the same wheel makes a squeak and bumping noise like something is loose. When you accelerate quickly, the wobble is worse but eases off as you back off of the throttle.. It's also prominent when turning to the right and there is more pressure on the left side.
    I've been to the dealer 4 times and they keep telling me that the car is fine!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! They first said it was out of balance wheels, then defective tires (Pirelli Scorpions that are still 50-60%)...Discount tires took each wheel off and showed me that they are all fine.

    I'm so discouraged because I really like this car and think that it's one of the best that we've owned (comparing it to Volvo xc70, Dodge minivan, and new Montero) but this is a pain in the neck and I'm ready to get rid of it.

    Any similar experiences; any ideas?
    Thank you.
  • davichodavicho Member Posts: 190
    I think what you have here is two separate issues. The "wobble" and the "noise". Unfortunately I can't help you with the wobble other then to speculate on the root from it. As far as the suspension noise, I guarantee you that the fix is a simple lube job on the strut rod as described previously. Now as far as your wobble...

    1. Bad strut
    2. Bent axle shaft
    3. Bad half shaft or half shaft bearing
  • emgee11emgee11 Member Posts: 5
    The lube fix as described by the original poster worked for me as well! I siliconed the strut shaft, moved the bump stop several times and for two weeks running now not a peep! Fantastic and simple.

    As for wheel wobble, I would assume the dealership would have checked the wheel bearings??? I'm not sure if they could develop enough slop/play to cause symptoms like you described. Worth a quick check yourself.
  • deluvsandydeluvsandy Member Posts: 1
    Should have checked this site before going to dealer this morning. They just rotated tires and lubed suspension and "could not replicate noise". Mine only happens when going in reverse (out of parking spaces, etc). Will have to DIY with my husband on the bump stops or take it to my mechanic - I have a 2009 CX9 still under warranty.
  • emgee11emgee11 Member Posts: 5
    Hi Davicho,

    Thanks for replying and the info.

    Shortly after finding your posting, I did just what you described. I wiped down the strut shaft as best as I could and sprayed a silicone lubricant in there. Slid the bump stop up'n'down a pile and ever since no more groaning/creaking. Beautiful! And so far it has lasted, even now with the slush, salt and sand we have on the roads too. :D

    As for the clicking... in my case it turned out to be a No.3 engine mount (passenger side). It has a slow leak and has been losing oil for close to 6 months now. The clicking is quite pronounced and there is more engine noise as we get more vibrations in the frame of the car. Going to have the No.3 engine mount replaced in the next week or so - just got to call in an appointment.
  • davichodavicho Member Posts: 190
    Hello emgee,

    I am glad that the shock rod lube worked for you. Have you noticed any leakage on the floor from the #3 motor mount? I still have the "click-click" noise myself but I have not noticed any leakage on the floor. Mine may still be the splines...I have not gotten to them nor do I know if I ever will, I've managed to get used to the "click-click" not very bothersome to me anymore. I'll inspect my #3 momtor though just for kicks! Thanks!
  • emgee11emgee11 Member Posts: 5
    edited December 2011
    Hi davicho,

    Yep I have a slow leak on that side of the engine. I cleaned off the splashguard and put some new cardboard on the ground below that area and by the next morning I have 3-5 drops of oil on the ground. The clicking got progressively worse over the months (first hear it back in August and today it is significantly louder and more pronounced, due to the loss of oil in the mount).

    With the click-click, I could barely hear it from outside the car with the engine running. It was very pronounced inside the car's cabin. If I put me ear as close as I could to the front passenger wheel well I could just make out a faint clicking. The way I could recreate the sound without driving was by doing the following: hold down the brake and change into drive, then put it in reverse (still holding the brake) and then back to drive, and so on.

    I wish I had picked up a stethoscope from Princess Auto as it would have made diagnosing the cause simpler.
  • davichodavicho Member Posts: 190
    That is exactly what mine does but I have not seen any loss of fluid and I can definately hear it outside as well as inside the cabin....hmmm, interesting!!
  • emgee11emgee11 Member Posts: 5
    "If I put me ear..." <- what the?! I'm writing as if I were a pirate on the high seas... anyways.

    The technician told me that, typically, when a motor mount fails (at least those he's seen) it'll loses everything in one shot (all the oil in the mount). Mine has been a very slow leak and he said not as a common.

    The other times I hear the clicking is when braking, just as you ease up on the brake and the car is settling down (a shift in load on the car) and when I accelerate from a stop (again, a shift in load on the car).

    A new mount and labour is going to run me $390. Guess it could be worse. I'll be getting it done in the new year. No real rush, other than clicking and I think a bit more engine noise due to vibrations being passed into the body frame.
  • vegas2004xc70vegas2004xc70 Member Posts: 6
    Thanks for the replies. I've already of course checked the bearings. There is no play at all in the bearings...everything seems tight so I don't think replacing them would do much. I just thought of perhaps checking the top end of the strut while lubing the shaft, to make sure that the top mounting bolts are tight...possibility!

  • vegas2004xc70vegas2004xc70 Member Posts: 6
    Yes, very likey to have one of these issues. I don't know if I originally mentioned an accident in the front driver's side way back when and that the dealer repaired everything...likely didn't catch one of those. I'll check them out and use process of elimination if I can visually see it.
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