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Mazda5 Suspension

Hey, all!

I'm wondering if anyone has experienced the following: My Mazda5 produces an ugly sounding crunching, grinding noise from the front suspension whenever it is cold outside and I go over a large bump of some sort like a speed bump or a deep undulation where the suspension really articulates. It only happens when it's cold out, and since I live in NYC and we're in winter it gets cold out here.

I took it to my Mazda Service Center - and my 5 is still there - and they have checked everything out and said that everything is fine with the car and that they didn't find anything broken or worn or anything in the front suspension. Of course, I asked: "Then why is it making such a noise?" They explained the same thing to me that they explained the first time I took it a couple of months ago (see, I was growing worried since the noise was very disconcerting to me), which is that the type of suspension that the 5 has (E-type) can make noise in the cold whether when the rubber components rub against the metal components and in the cold it makes a harsh noise over larger bumps.

They said that whenever I go pick up my car that they will put it on the lift for me and take me under it to explain what they mean. I look forward to that, but in the meantime I wonder if any of you - especially the ones in Canada where it's really cold - have experienced this.

On a side note, my car has a strange tapping noise emanating from the dashboard anytime I go over any size or type of bump on the road at at least 20mph. The tapping is not obviously heard by passengers not familiar with the car unless you pay close attention to it, but it drives ME and my wife absolutely INSANE - especially at night when I like to drive in peach and quiet and all I hear is tap, tap, tap over any road irregularity. They are taking my dashboard apart to try and find the noise since one of their "technicians" finally heard it when I took him along for an umteenth road test. Previously, they thought I was crazy since they weren't able to hear anything, but this time around the tapping/clicking noise was pretty obvious. Anyone experience this?


  • wusterwuster Posts: 153
    The tapping noise on emanating from the dash may be the windshield wiper blades "popping" off the windshield when you hit a bump.

    I had a similar problem with my Mazda3 till I replaced the OEM wipers with an aftermarket wiper.

    It was really strange. Almost seemed like the OEM wiper blades was too light.
  • isda65isda65 Posts: 74
    I have the same suspension noise problem. Have brought it to the dealer twice now and they don't have an answer. They are quite accomodating though. They always tell me to bring it in if I have a problem. But I always leave empty-handed. I read in another Mazda5 forum that Mazda is already aware of this issue and in the process of redesigning a suspension component to fix this. In my case, my right rear has had the crunching noise starting a week after I took delivery. The front noise only started about a month or two ago and is loud on cold mornings or rainy days.
  • Hey, I actually never thought of that. Perhaps, that's it. Though thinking back on the noise it may not seem to me right now that the wipers could be the problem, perhaps they are and there is no hurt in finding out if it's so. When I get my car back, I will tape the wipers to the windshield and see if it continues making the tapping noise. Thanks for the insight and feedback!!! I REALLY appreciate it. You have NO idea how much that noise drives me INSANE!

    By the way, what does OEM mean?
  • You do have the same problem? REALLY? Thanks so much for letting me know. I appreciate it. I have posted about this before and no one has replied to it, so it's good to know that I'm not alone.

    Now, where did you find out that Mazda is aware of this problem and that they are doing something about it in order to fix it?

    And you are right, my Mazda service center is always very nice and accommodating, but I always leave empty handed since they always say that my car is totally fine. And you are right about the cold mornings and rainy days. That's exactly when I have the noise problem. It may not be anything important, but it sure does sound like something's broken. Thanks so much for responding to this. If you hear anything new about our problem, PLEASE keep me posted. Thanks!
  • isda65isda65 Posts: 74
    Here's the link:

    Click on the "5 Suspension, Rims and Tires" forum. There you will see the thread entitled "Front Right Suspension Crunching". You will find that we're not the only ones having this problem.
  • wusterwuster Posts: 153
    OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer aka the car maker.
  • Regarding the tapping/clicking noise - whenever I am going between 5 and 35 mph and take my foot off the gas, I hear a clicking/rubbing noise from behind the dash. As soon as I put my foot back on the gas it stops. It is very annoying :mad:. As a result, I cannot stand to drive the car without the radio on. Does this sound like your problem or something different? BTW I have a 5 sp. manual.

    I have heard the suspension noise a few times, but haven't worried about it. I live in a warmer climate than NYC.
  • wusterwuster Posts: 153
    Does it happen all the time or during or just after making a turn?

    The steering rack on the Mazda5 is electric, so sometimes you'll be able to hear the electric motor humming during a turn or just after the turn.
  • It happens a lot of the time - straight or turning doesn't make any difference. It is most pronounced when I am going about 30-35 in 3rd gear and take my foot off the gas, especially on colder mornings. I also hear it continually at lower speeds, it's just not as loud.
  • edf4edf4 Posts: 65
    Yes, here too in Connecticut. Our 5 was without any problems until we got it back from the dealer after its first oil change at 3,000 miles. While driving it home, I heard the very same "crunching" noise from the front end, and maybe the rear, whenever I hit the slightest bump, or dip in the road. On driveway aprons it is especially noticeable. I'm sure it's purely coincidental that it started after being at the dealer, but nevertheless annoying and I can't help but wonder if they "did something to it" by mistake at the oil change. I feel better knowing others have the same noise and will report it to my dealer this week.
  • bppbpp Posts: 3
    I am having the same type of noise coming from behind the dash as I take my foot off the gas. I also have a 5spd manual. I am in the Toronto area where it is cold.
  • Noise is noticeable in Washington DC when temps at freezing or below. We have a speed bump in our street and it's a nasty creaking early in the morning. Somewhat better if the vehicle has run for 15 minutes. I assume the suspension components have warmed through friction and radiational heat from the engine helps after a while.
    But it was a nice day today. Wife, two kids and the dog drove to a dog park in Virginia. Got lost a few times but that tight turning circle makes a breeze out of u-turns (should've got the nav :blush: ). Smooth, quiet, adequate power. And this vehicle is like Dr. Who's phone box, seems much bigger on the inside. Liking it better and better.
  • Does it bother you enough to take it into the dealer? I am considering calling my dealer to see if they can look into it, but I am not sure I will have luck. It is a pain to take time out to go into the dealer, but this noise bothers me. If there was a reason for the noise it wouldn't bother so much, but I don't like having to hear this noise every time I take my foot off the gas.
  • If it bothers you, take it to the dealership. Even if they don't have a solution for it yet, at least they will have a record that you have complained about it.

    I understand Mazda is working on a solution for it - my 5 is in the shop today for this very problem, and they are replacing a number of parts in the hopes that it will be fixed.
  • I believe what the clicking/tapping noise we are hearing is commonly reffered to as "clutch chatter". I began to notice it as the weather became a bit colder. I experience it when coasting and while I'm changing gears. It seems to be temperature related because when it's warmer out I don't hear a thing. I've read several cars from different manufacturers have this issue. I need to schedule a visit to have it looked at, at worst case they give me a brand new clutch. No worries.

    I also have heard the suspension noise when going over small bumps, again it's only when it's colder out. Other than that everything else is great.
  • Thanks for the input. I would be interested to know whether your dealer solved the problem, and what parts they replaced.
  • perfectofcperfectofc Posts: 155
    Seems to have mitigated the problem for now - they replaced the front left and right control arms.
  • bob_welshbob_welsh Posts: 16
    Brought my 5 in for oil change last month. Mentionned the noise when going over speed bumps or dips in the road. They told me it was the bushings on the stabilising bar. They also tried to grease them but that didn't work. So they ordered the pieces. It took 3 weeks. They replaced it yesterday and problem solved! Didn't want to say anything before just in case.

    They still haven't figure out the acceleration hesitation problem though. Can't win them all.

  • nissmazlovernissmazlover Posts: 162
    Hey, all!

    I just wanted to inform everyone that my Mazda Service center has FINALLY taken care of this grating noise that my, and others', Mazda5's suspensions have. I am SOOOO HAPPY!

    Some time ago, someone here posted a work order of what their service center had done to fix the suspension noise on their 5, and what I did was print out that work order along with all the posts in here about the noise and I took it to my dealer. I let them know that others have been experiencing the same noise and that I have a work order of a service center who took care of it. My dealer proceeded to do the same thing that was performed at the service center the work order came from. I got my 5 back and I am even MORE in love with it!

    My 5 feels even newer now, like I just drove it off the lot. They replaced the bushings with the new redesigned ones and they replaced the stabilizer bars as well. The car feels FANTASTIC and BEST OF ALL there is NO NOISE coming from the suspension EVEN in LARGE potholes, bumps or dips in the road. This morning, I took it over a large speed bump in my neighborhood at speed and it felt AWESOME and didn't make ONE noise.

    If you remember, I also complained about an annoying tap coming from my dashboard. They took apart my whole dashboard and told me they tightened up some things that seemed to be a little loose. That seemed to do the trick since I haven't heard it either. I am SOO happy about that since that noise annoyed me even more!

    I'm so glad that my car isn't making any weird noises anymore and I just wanted to share this with y'all! If your car is making the same noise, please go to your service center and have them replace the bushings and stabilizer bars and you'll have a smoother riding, tighter handling, noise free perfect little micro minivan!
  • yarisyaris Posts: 3
    That's great news Nissmazlover. I could not find the previous post with the work order though. Could you direct me or possibly print your work order for us to bring to our dealerships? Thanks!!!
  • Hi Everyone,

    I have a similar problem, except that the noise/clunking is coming from the rear suspension.

    I took it to the dealer and they said it was the right rear shock, they replaced it but the noise is still there. It almost sounds like a loose tool moving around and it annoys me to death.

    Anyone have this problem?
  • trishr1trishr1 Posts: 75
    I have recently purchased a Mazda5 in October 2006. All was well until I had the tires changed for winter driving, and it snowed like crazy. Shortly after this, I noticed the "cruching" noise from the rear of the car - it was like the independent suspension really was independent from the front and back. The noise is particularly pronounced when it is cold, and whenever I run over a bump in the road. I also "felt" that the car was not really as stable as it was in October and November. I am reading with great interest all of the "fixes" that have been applied to this problem. Today while at the dealership for the three month check, I noticed that the rear bumper just behind the wheel well had separated and there was a gap in the wheel well (sorry I am not very tenchnical). They fixed it but told me that someone had bumped into my car. Yet there was no sign of any damage whatsoever. I am not stupid, I intuitively knew it was related to the suspension.
    What I need to know is whether there is an actual service bulletin and where I might find this.
  • Here in Toronto ,,nice and cold and lots of crunching in the front end. Complained to the dealer and their response was "were not sure what could be causing that noise". So we lubed the bushings as per Mazda Canada ,that lasted two days -took it back they replaced the control arm and that lasted one night .Thanks to every one in this forum I now have enough ammo to to go to the dealership and tell then like it is , I also notice when the car is sitting at idle and you turn the wheel the lights dimm considerably. Am I the only one who has experienced this ?? Maybe it's that electric motor on the steering ? My wife loves her M5 and with a second kid on the way it's the perfect family car . Unfortunately fighting with these clowns to get it fixed is my department :mad:
  • The North American (US only) identifies a problem with the suspension system and issued a permanent fix. However, it appears that there is an inconsistency in how dealership in Canada offer/apply the permanent fix. My dealership is trying to convince Mazda Canada to provide a permanent fix but they have not received the okay to do this. My "fix" was "nothing" because I would have been back on their doorstep the instant it happened again and I don't think they want that. No greasing, no control arm fix.
    I'm not sure why they would not do the fix for all as it seriously compromises the image they are trying to project of a quality car. It is a known problem with a known fix. Perhaps Transport Canada needs to get involved?
  • In my rush to send this I forgot to provide you with the TSB number 02-007/06. It 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.
    Be aware that Canada does not seem to be included in Mazda North American Operations Service Bulletins or at least that's the excuse I got.
  • thanks for the link . Ive been busy at work the last few days , but I will be going to the dealer hopefully on tuesday . So trishr1 I will let you know what happens ,also I have looking everywhere and reading alot about this problem and somewhere along I read a post from a guy in Montreal who said he got his car fixed with what the dealer said were the new redesigned parts . Well see what happens on Tuesday,,,ill keep you posted... :confuse:
  • I will be very interested in hearing what happens with your car.
    I recall reading the Montreal post and thought I would try to email him and find out exactly what they did and how receptive they were to making the changes.
    I haven't heard from my Service Manager as yet but it is early in the week.

    Where's Phil Edmonston (Lemon-Aid) when you need him - I hope he is reading these emails.
  • thanks for the link to TSB. We purchased our van in April 2006 and it exhibits the rumbling noise while going over bumps slowly. We had it to the dealer on 6/8/06 and they said something was loose in the rear bumper and tightened it up.
    Unfortunately the problem persists. Now with temps in the single digits we are hearing loud crunchy noises from the rear end of the van. The dealer said this is normal and their is no fix for this problem. I will be taking the van in to the dealer on 2/12/07 armed with the TSB to at least deal with the rumbling noise from the suspension.

  • Are you from USA or Canada? I wish you every success with the TSB and I might suggest printing off a few of the emails from Mazda5 Forum where people have had the problem rectified. They just can't continue to hoodwink people into thinking this is normal because it isn't. Beware that the crunchy noise (likely bushings, sway bar etc.) could extend (as it has in mine) from the rear to the front then you'll really hear the crunching big time. I keep thinking on really cold days here that the rear and front ends are going to fall off. I know it won't happen but I'd love to call Roadside Assistance and tell them to come and pick up the front and rear ends. My slogan for Mazda is Zoom Boom.
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