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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I searched the forum but I couldn't find a proper answer to my questions
I own a Mazda 3 from 2017 with currently 20k miles on it.
I have to admit that I already hear/feel quite some 'interesting' noises coming from the car, besides the noises that it should make of course ;-).
Coming from Volkswagen/Audi I have to admit if does concern me a bit.

One of the noises that concerns me is a mechanical 'clunk' sound when releasing the brake pedal.
This sound is produced every time I release the brake pedal, near the end of it's travel range, also regardless of outside temperatures.
It seems to be produced by the mechanics behind the brake pedal, but I'm not sure.
The dealership was quite vague, 'it's perfectly safe to drive with' .... ??

The other sound is produced when driving over speed bumps/cobblestones.
A mechanical sound appears which sounds like something came loose on the front suspension.
Had it checked by 2 dealerships, 1 points to the strut bearings (worn after only 20k miles?) and dealership #2 want to install bump stops (crazy) and don't suspect the strut bearings are causing the sound.

The reason why I'm not letting the dealership fix this is because it will cost me money regardless (the above items are not covered under the extended 2 year warranty), so I would like to have a bit more information before I am getting screwed by the dealership, as you can imagine.
Does anyone hear the same noises from their Mazda?

Thanks!
 

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With releasing the brake pedal, I've always had a very light clunk. It's just play in the linkage and not a concern. Keeping in mind that this is very quiet.

The struts are a concern. I do know that there was a TSB with the strut bearings.
 

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1 points to the strut bearings (worn after only 20k miles?)
poorly lubed strut bearings is common in the gen3. you can crack them open to apply new lube, or get a new set.
it could also be some nuts that just need to be snugged up
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good to hear the the clunk in the brake pedal is also heard by other M3 owners, I don't think it is really loud, just annoying. I will have it checked in May when the car goes in for maintenance.

A set of new bearings is quite cheap, also for the quality brands. I think I will replace them myself (I found a nice DIY on this forum for lowering the car which covers 90% of the work that I need to do to have them replaced).

I was hoping that a TSB means that Mazda will cover the expenses, but I think I was naïve in thinking that :-D. 450 euro is quite some money to have it done by Mazda.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Recently I replaced the strut bearings of my Mazda in the hope that this would eliminate the ‘clunk’ over speed bumps/potholes. Unfortunately the clunk remained, but less pronounced. Moreover when opening up the bearings they were greased up sufficiently. Because of this I decided to als install the coil spring protectors as per TSB. After this the clunk is even more pronounced (left and right), and is now annoying the hell out of me. There is also a TSB for replacing the dust boots of the brake caliper slide pins, but I don’t suspect these since the clunk is not noticeable when operating the brakes. Also when checking these slide pins there was still plenty of grease and very little free play.
I am on the brink of repeating the entire exercise again and remove the coil spring protectors as that seemed to have the softest clunking noise.

I am out of things to check, does anyone know what the next thing should be to check??
 

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Could be something else loose in the suspension such as ball joints. Sounds like there's excessive play somewhere. Jack the car up and see if you can find it with a prybar.
 

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That noise I heard when turning...going over small bumps... I thought the sound was coming from the rear...I really thought so... I had an independent repair dealer install Moog rear sway bar links (since I had upgraded to a Progress rear sway bar). Well, the next time I took the car in back in early 2019 to the Mazda dealer, they took it out for a test drive and said the noise was not from the rear... they even disconnected the rear sway bar links to verify while test driving, but the front brake caliper slide pins that needed to be relubed. They stated that as there in the design that due to some free play, this was the cause. Well after about a year or so, the sound has come back... I still think it's from the rear, but there were two technicians were test driving it since my dash cam heard them talking about it coming from the front. - - - not the back. Me, I dunno... i've learned to live with this slightly annoying noise.
Recently I replaced the strut bearings of my Mazda in the hope that this would eliminate the ‘clunk’ over speed bumps/potholes. Unfortunately the clunk remained, but less pronounced. Moreover when opening up the bearings they were greased up sufficiently. Because of this I decided to als install the coil spring protectors as per TSB. After this the clunk is even more pronounced (left and right), and is now annoying the hell out of me. There is also a TSB for replacing the dust boots of the brake caliper slide pins, but I don’t suspect these since the clunk is not noticeable when operating the brakes. Also when checking these slide pins there was still plenty of grease and very little free play.
I am on the brink of repeating the entire exercise again and remove the coil spring protectors as that seemed to have the softest clunking noise.

I am out of things to check, does anyone know what the next thing should be to check??
 
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I've had this same problem for a long time now and I can't figure out wacky it is either. I checked everything under the front end of the car and the only thing I found was a cracked boot on one of the sway bar links.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies. 2 days ago I lubed up the slide pins again, now with thicker silicone grease, in the hope that this would solve the issue. Of course it didn't solve it. I checked if I could find some loose linkages, but everything is tight and no excessive play anywhere to be found in the suspension. Somehow I still suspect the strut because the sound became more predominant after installing the spring sleeve protectors, but I'm not going to remove them again. I checked if I might have messed up the spring protector sleeve position, but this is according the TSB (138mm from beginning spring winding). The thing is that all of this doesn't seem logical. I'm out of options, but I'm not paying a dealership for diagnosis with the chance of them also not finding anything wrong (And paying for it of course).

A few things that I did notice, maybe it makes sense to anybody: almost no clunking sound when reversing (same potholes) ...... ?
 

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Thanks for the replies. 2 days ago I lubed up the slide pins again, now with thicker silicone grease, in the hope that this would solve the issue. Of course it didn't solve it. I checked if I could find some loose linkages, but everything is tight and no excessive play anywhere to be found in the suspension. Somehow I still suspect the strut because the sound became more predominant after installing the spring sleeve protectors, but I'm not going to remove them again. I checked if I might have messed up the spring protector sleeve position, but this is according the TSB (138mm from beginning spring winding). The thing is that all of this doesn't seem logical. I'm out of options, but I'm not paying a dealership for diagnosis with the chance of them also not finding anything wrong (And paying for it of course).

A few things that I did notice, maybe it makes sense to anybody: almost no clunking sound when reversing (same potholes) ...... ?
Actually that does kind if make sense. No noise in reverse or when you hit a pothole....that tells us it's the front brakes. Think of the placement of the calipers front/back. When it reverse, the rears are on the leading edge. It's as if the fronts are just along for the ride. Brakes are not a consideration when hitting a pothole.


Check the brake mounting bracket for play. Put a torque wrench on the mount bolts. Check the pads for excessive play in the shims. Slide pins as well.

And finally...check the anchor point for the flex hose attached to your struts. It'll move for sure if it's detached.

Hopefully I'm not missing something here. Another thing to check is if your caliper mount bolts are making good contact. If a shop were to lose a bolt, they'd undoubtedly use whatever they have on hand.....such as a bolt slightly too long. Can't say I haven't done the same, but at least I was smart enough to put some thick washers in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Did some more testing today, unfortunately the clunk is also noticeable when reversing the car (mostly over potholes though). I think that the only conclusion that I can make is that none of the TSB's that are known to me addressing a suspension clunk have worked (so saved a few bucks there, one consolation).
 

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I had several clunks in the front end of my 2017 and after several TSBs I am down to one that I am just going to let ride. Not really worth my time and effort chasing the dealership around or screwing around with it in my driveway.

Quite frankly these are cheap cars for a reason and Mazda had to cut corners somewhere. Generally its with NVH related stuff but Its really a shame because they are very nice looking and handling cars, but the NVH problems are still glaringly evident. My 2017 hatch will probably be my first and last Mazda.

I spoke with a friend that is a tech at my local Mazda dealer and he said suspension noises are the #1 complaint he gets with Mazdas that are still under warranty.
 

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I guess one of the advantages of growing older, if you count it as such, is the loss of hearing. It allows one to avoid being too sensitive to noises. Maybe that's why the only problem I have with my 2015 sedan is a squeak from the attachment points which hold and lock the rear seatback up. The squeak goes away when the seatback is lowered when I put my dog back there. I figure a piece of tape on the retaining mechanism will smooth-out the junction points and make it go away, but I haven't found my getaroundtoit yet. :cool:
 

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Two things have helped. Greasing the bearings and performing the TSB where they add a small plastic piece (insulator?) on top of the spring. See the link

Also, make sure your scissor jack is tight and not wobbling in the rear.

 

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Im having this same problem as well. 40k on my car but happens in reverse with my steering wheel all the way to the left or right.

Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk
 
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