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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I need some assistance. I have a clunk in my 2010 Mazda 3 that I am having a hard time pinpointing where it's actually coming from. Appears to be coming from the front (At times my mind is placing tricks its coming from the back) of the car when going over small bumps in the road at slower speeds. The faster I go, the less I hear it. I need help with ideas on what it could be or what I could test.


The following looked at:

*Struts shows no leakage and perfectly clean. Ride height looks good. Suspension super stiff and having a hard time to get it to even bounce during the bounce test.
*No noise when turning sitting at park with the steering wheel going left to right
*Sway bar links look ok, no grease showing. No flex on the sway bar link when pulling on them.
*Tie rods and ball joints have no grease and pass the 6 and 12 o'clock wiggle test.
*Fixed plastic shields under the car that I thought were making the noise.

Any suggestions or what I am missing when checking it over?

Truly appreciate you taking the time to read, thank you :)
 

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Hello!

I need some assistance. I have a clunk in my 2010 Mazda 3 that I am having a hard time pinpointing where it's actually coming from. Appears to be coming from the front (At times my mind is placing tricks its coming from the back) of the car when going over small bumps in the road at slower speeds. The faster I go, the less I hear it. I need help with ideas on what it could be or what I could test.


The following looked at:

*Struts shows no leakage and perfectly clean. Ride height looks good. Suspension super stiff and having a hard time to get it to even bounce during the bounce test.
*No noise when turning sitting at park with the steering wheel going left to right
*Sway bar links look ok, no grease showing. No flex on the sway bar link when pulling on them.
*Tie rods and ball joints have no grease and pass the 6 and 12 o'clock wiggle test.
*Fixed plastic shields under the car that I thought were making the noise.

Any suggestions or what I am missing when checking it over?

Truly appreciate you taking the time to read, thank you :)
Any chance of grabbing a video of the noise? That could help with the trouble shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Any chance of grabbing a video of the noise? That could help with the trouble shooting.
Unfortunately I am unable to. It's such a light clunk that even my Go-Pro won't pick it up. It only happens at slow speeds going down a bumpy road.

I did rule out the sway bar. My wife has the same car and her's feels the same for sway bar links. My guess it's the strut assembly at this point. What else could it be?
 

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Hello!

I need some assistance. I have a clunk in my 2010 Mazda 3 that I am having a hard time pinpointing where it's actually coming from. Appears to be coming from the front (At times my mind is placing tricks its coming from the back) of the car when going over small bumps in the road at slower speeds. The faster I go, the less I hear it. I need help with ideas on what it could be or what I could test.


The following looked at:

*Struts shows no leakage and perfectly clean. Ride height looks good. Suspension super stiff and having a hard time to get it to even bounce during the bounce test.
*No noise when turning sitting at park with the steering wheel going left to right
*Sway bar links look ok, no grease showing. No flex on the sway bar link when pulling on them.
*Tie rods and ball joints have no grease and pass the 6 and 12 o'clock wiggle test.
*Fixed plastic shields under the car that I thought were making the noise.

Any suggestions or what I am missing when checking it over?

Truly appreciate you taking the time to read, thank you :)
I am also getting the same thing. lol how many mines do your car have? I have about 72k on a 2011 mazda 3s gt sedan.
 

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Mazda "E" Division
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Hello!

I need some assistance. I have a clunk in my 2010 Mazda 3 that I am having a hard time pinpointing where it's actually coming from. Appears to be coming from the front (At times my mind is placing tricks its coming from the back) of the car when going over small bumps in the road at slower speeds. The faster I go, the less I hear it. I need help with ideas on what it could be or what I could test.


The following looked at:

*Struts shows no leakage and perfectly clean. Ride height looks good. Suspension super stiff and having a hard time to get it to even bounce during the bounce test.
*No noise when turning sitting at park with the steering wheel going left to right
*Sway bar links look ok, no grease showing. No flex on the sway bar link when pulling on them.
*Tie rods and ball joints have no grease and pass the 6 and 12 o'clock wiggle test.
*Fixed plastic shields under the car that I thought were making the noise.

Any suggestions or what I am missing when checking it over?

Truly appreciate you taking the time to read, thank you :)

What's left to check Engine mounts?
 

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You might want to grease the upper strut mount bearings. If they are dry they can make exactly the sound you hear, and if they are worn they might need replacing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I only have 83k on mine. I ordered a whole new strut assembly for both front end axles.

Anyone change out their front strut assembly? Do you need an alignment afterwards? Seems like every time a place touches my alignment, its way off.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You might want to grease the upper strut mount bearings. If they are dry they can make exactly the sound you hear, and if they are worn they might need replacing.
I am thinking this as well. I did compare the sway bar links against my wifes 2012 mazda 3. The move left to right so they are not seized and tight against the strut. My guess is at slow speeds the strut is compressing more and causing a clunk. Smooth on the highway though.
 

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I only have 83k on mine. I ordered a whole new strut assembly for both front end axles.

Anyone change out their front strut assembly? Do you need an alignment afterwards? Seems like every time a place touches my alignment, its way off.
yes you should always get an alignment after any sort of suspension part change. You should be safe to drive it a few days to let the new struts settle in before the alignment. But yes I think my clunk sound went away when I installed new strut and springs on all 4 corners.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I installed the struts today with no success. The old suspension was so stiff that I could barley move it. The new suspension (Monroe Premium) actually moves when doing a bounce test. If anyone does the strut install, it can be a pain. One tip that helped get the strut back into the knuckle was to hit it hard on each side of the knuckle with a jack under the ball joint to push up on it.

Since I am able to bounce my new suspension, I think I figured it out. It's coming from the sway bar. Now the strut links are the exact same with the end links moving very easily. Could this be the bushings going out? This looks horrible to do.
 

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Mazda "E" Division
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Well I installed the struts today with no success. The old suspension was so stiff that I could barley move it. The new suspension (Monroe Premium) actually moves when doing a bounce test. If anyone does the strut install, it can be a pain. One tip that helped get the strut back into the knuckle was to hit it hard on each side of the knuckle with a jack under the ball joint to push up on it.

Since I am able to bounce my new suspension, I think I figured it out. It's coming from the sway bar. Now the strut links are the exact same with the end links moving very easily. Could this be the bushings going out? This looks horrible to do.
Sway bar brushings are cheap to replace.
Front ones are a bit harder and the rear ones is the easiest. Just soak with some PBlaster rust penetrating oil
 

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What's left to check Engine mounts?
I have very little mechanical experience, but I just purchased a 2010 Mazda 3 and have a similar issue on bumps. I missed that the front right / passenger (no 3) mount rubber is ripped and leaking oil during the pre-inspection. So like MrBen said. I would suggest checking it. My original research indicate that bad motor mounts would cause the car to vibrate a lot and you would hear clunking noise when reving, but did not experience that.

I have not replaced it yet (part is on order), but it is pretty easy to check it as it is right under the coolant tank.

I can't post pictures or links, but you will want to check the No. 3 mount. In my case the top was slightly ripped (not obvious, but could lift the rubber and no oil inside). Also I believe another way to test the mount is the rev the engine hard. From my understanding there should not be a crazy amount of movement.
 

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Mazda "E" Division
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I have very little mechanical experience, but I just purchased a 2010 Mazda 3 and have a similar issue on bumps. I missed that the front right / passenger (no 3) mount rubber is ripped and leaking oil during the pre-inspection. So like MrBen said. I would suggest checking it. My original research indicate that bad motor mounts would cause the car to vibrate a lot and you would hear clunking noise when reving, but did not experience that.

I have not replaced it yet (part is on order), but it is pretty easy to check it as it is right under the coolant tank.

I can't post pictures or links, but you will want to check the No. 3 mount. In my case the top was slightly ripped (not obvious, but could lift the rubber and no oil inside). Also I believe another way to test the mount is the rev the engine hard. From my understanding there should not be a crazy amount of movement.



Common

#3
Engine mount is the easiest to spot - dark stains of oil under it … The nuts on the engine have Loctite on it and the engine needs to be supported to replace it. .
How to identify a bad motor mount Mazda 3
https://youtu.be/wfdXrGqkMZY
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Everything is fixed.

The major noise was coming from the sway bar links. When testing on the car, they appeared to be fine. However when taken off and put in a vice, I was able to really get it to move. I did have failing struts as they were not rebounding quickly. With only 83k, I am shocked to have this many problems already.
 

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Everything is fixed.

The major noise was coming from the sway bar links. When testing on the car, they appeared to be fine. However when taken off and put in a vice, I was able to really get it to move. I did have failing struts as they were not rebounding quickly. With only 83k, I am shocked to have this many problems already.
yeah it seems to be a common issue for the sway links and the struts to go out around the same time for the mazda 3. But 83k seems not bad at all lol.
I guess it really depends how terrible the streets are in your city. Chicago is potholes everywhere :(

and nice job to fixing all the issues, your car should be good until it dies :p (basically the next time major squeaking or clunking happens, I assume it should be 160k miles) :)
 

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Same for me. I had the exact same issue coming from the rear while driving slow speeds. Turns out that the rear end links I replaced a year ago had seized up and kept clunking. A few mechanics said everything was fine. But the third mechanic pointed to the endlinks and fixed it.
 
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