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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have this annoying rattling sound coming from the rear of my 2010 when I go over bumps or even ripples in the road. In fact, the "ripples" can be so minor that you don't even feel them in the car because the suspension is absorbing them. I believe I've narrowed the source down to the plastic guards on the rear shocks. Has anyone else experienced this? Any thoughts for a fix? I rode in the back seat this morning with one of the rear seats down so I could hear better and it really makes some noise. I'm one of thse obsessive-compulsive rattle/squeak haters. To me, it just screams poor quality.

EDIT: It's not the plastic guards on the shocks after all. It's more of a metallic rattle. It seems to be coming from the rear wheel wells or thereabouts.
 

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I have a similar annoying rattle. I was able to pinpoint it to inside the trunk somewhere around the rear speaker assemblies behind the rear seat headrests, on the driver's side. Does that match where you're hearing your rattle?

I took mine in to see if the dealer could find it (the one time the dealer didn't damage my car!), and even had the service advisor take a ride with me. When I'm in the car, it rattles all the time; of course when he gets in, it made the noise twice. He said he heard it but who knows? It's a different rattle too; it's not deep like rubber on fake leather, or rubber on plastic. It's higher-pitched like a cricket-sound, though not as loud.

What'd the dealer say? The usual -- "Could not recreate customer complaint." Nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Our sounds are different. Did you try riding in the back with one of the rear seats down (preferably with someone else driving)? Next chance I get, I'm going to put both seats down and climb into the trunk while my wife drives.
 

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i got the same noise coming from the trunk. -really annoying.

you can remove the spare tire cover/floor mat and bang your fist around the spare tire to trigger the noise.

but i still havent had any luck trying to isolate its source.

glad im not the only one.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
you can remove the spare tire cover/floor mat and bang your fist around the spare tire to trigger the noise.

but i still havent had any luck trying to isolate its source.
I've removed everything including the spare tire and I still get the noise when I drive. I'll try banging around back there to see if I can trigger the noise.
 

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i said what the heck and gave the plactic guard a look around.

only thing i noticed i can tighten was its plastic nut&bolt.

although when tightened, both rotate.

so i had to -and somehow manage to use one hand to hold the bolt to not rotate while tightening the nut.

all in all, IT WORKED FOR ME!

annoying noise is gone and its been weeks.

hope it never ever comes back.
 

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That's good to know, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i said what the heck and gave the plactic guard a look around.

only thing i noticed i can tighten was its plastic nut&bolt.
Are you talking about the plastic guard on the top portion of the rear shocks? I don't see a plastic nut and bolt. Where is it? I would LOVE to solve this problem. Glad you did.
 

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Theres a plastic nut and bolt inside to where green arrow is pointing. I only tightened the one in the driver side. It seems "tricky" where if you over tighten it, it will become loose again. So you have to feel the point where you have to stop tightening. -again, both nut and bolt rotates so you have to keep the bolt from rotating with the nut.

Hope this helps you.


 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the clarification. I was looking on the passenger side but now I see that the nut you're referring to is concealed behind a plastic dirt guard on the passenger side. It's open and visible on the driver's side. Anyway, I snugged both of them (they were fairly tight already). I don't think this is the cause of my rattle, but I'm glad it solved your problem.
 

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Hi all,

I have a 2010 Mazda3 i Touring (5 speed). I've also noticed the rattle. It is more apparent with the windows up and back seats folded down (and radio off:). It appears to be coming from the rear - I believe it is closer to the left rear than the right rear. I have tried adding some felt padding underneath the trunk mat (between the plastic guard and the metallic area where the spare tire sits.) This didn't help. I also tried rubber padding the license plate frame, etc., but that didn't do anything either. I've also driven a friend's vehicle (same year/model), and heard the same rattle in their car. It is subtle, and only seems to come around during moderate bumps over grooved roads, small potholes, etc. Large bumps such as speed bumps don't seem to cause it. It doesn't seem to be dependent on weather, how long the engine has been running, A/C on or off, etc. It is probably suspension-related. It sounds like metal against metal, but it could be metal against plastic or rubber.... I'm not really sure.

I took it to a Mazda dealer/shop over the weekend. Here's what I've learned:

The rattle isn't due to the loose nut that edongs mentioned - at least not in my case (although I was hoping it was - it would have been a quick fix). The auto tech checked the service manuals - the nut is not a typical metallic nut used for fastening - it is some sort of plastic - it is not meant to be fully tightened (odd as it sounds)

Adjustments for rattles are covered for the first 12,000 miles or first 12 months (whichever comes first). So if you want it taken care of - take care of it quick!

Unfortunately, the tech couldn't pinpoint the source of the rattles. I'll have to come back on a weekday. Apparently, the service guys can call up Mazda help directly on weekdays. They might have some suggestions on what to check.

If anyone out there has had this problem resolved, I'd really appreciate it if you could post how the rattle was fixed, who fixed it, what was rattling, etc. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I started this thread and I finally took the car to the dealer for the rattle. I was not optimistic that they would even hear it. Anyway, they did and it appears they fixed it. The tech said the left rear shock nuts were not properly torqued. I have not heard the rattle since, but I'll be listening carefully for a while until I'm sure it's gone. I hope this helps someone.
 

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Thanks! I am going to take my car to the dealer tomorrow and suggest they do the same (properly torque the left rear shock nuts). I will post the results.

To make the noise more obvious to the tech, drive with the rear seats folded down, and remove the trunk carpet and foam/tools underneath. In other words, remove everything (except for the spare tire, in case you need it:) The rattle should be lound enough so that anyone listening can hear it then.
 

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I went to the dealer yesterday. They torqued, adjusted, etc. all shocks, but the rattling was still there. They are going to replace the rear shocks for me. The tech mentioned that the rattle seems to be a growing problem. The rattle is usually so faint, so it is going to take time for '10 3 owners to hear it, but when they do, it is likely that they'll be torquing/replacing a lot of shocks. I'll post after the rear shocks have been replaced.
 

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I had the rear wheels of my car off the other day. I noticed that only on the left rear shock there were vertical rub lines from the plastic dust guard riding up and down. The paint was actually worn through on one of the lines. My take on this whole situation is that when it is cold outside the plastic is harder and bangs and clacks around on the shock. I noticed that the rubber boot that holds the plastic dust guard is very soft and lets the guard move around a lot. I live in florida where the winter temp is normally in the 70-80 degree range. Lately the temps have gone down into the 40's and low 50's. It seems that whenever the temps drop here i hear the clacking noise. When the temp goes back up the noise goes away. Matter of fact most of the other rattles in the car go away when the temps go up.
 

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Ive been hearing an odd clanking sound too... So I noticed on the rear drivers side tire there was a black plastic bolt that was loose, if your facing the rear drivers side tire, under the wheel well on the top right side. I tightened it up and the clanking stop, then I decided to replace it with a 10mm metal bolt. My guess after looking at the plastic bolt is that it wears out and comes loose. The replacement bolt I put on solved the clanking noise from the everyday vibrations. Hope this helps someone.
 
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