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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

A few months ago I had an intermittent clunk in the front left of my 2010 mazda 3 2.0L Sedan MT. Since it was constantly near 0* out, I figured it was ice. Now several months later the problem has either reappeared and/or gotten worse. ANYTIME driving <25MPH (cant hear it anything over that) I can hear and kind of feel a clunk in the front left of the car. It happens when I hit the smallest of bumps, cracks, etc and I noticed it happens if I jerk the wheel left.

I had jacked the car up and literally grabbed and wiggled everything I can get my hands on on the left side. The only thing that wiggles is the axle which moved in and out just slightly (1-3mm, not entirely sure). I checked to make sure the endlinks are snug, the top nut on the struts are snug, etc. I have NOT replaced or done any modifications to the front suspension.

I need to get this issue resolved by the end of August, as my wife is getting ready to go on a 2000mi+ trip to live with her mom while I'm at school so time is of the essence.

Any ideas on what my issue may be?

Very Respectfully,
Kris
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Upper strut mount shot? Bad CV joint? Ball joint?
The more I look into it, it sounds like the half-shaft is dickered. I guess the shafts arent supposed to have ANY play, I figured a little wobble was fine but I guess not. There's a symptom some people complain about a ticking as they turn to that side which I dont personally experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The more I look into it, it sounds like the half-shaft is dickered. I guess the shafts arent supposed to have ANY play, I figured a little wobble was fine but I guess not. There's a symptom some people complain about a ticking as they turn to that side which I dont personally experience.
Half-shaft/CV axle***. Not entirely sure what the difference is
 

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Half shaft is the whole assembly, CV joint is the universal joint in the middle. A CV joint failing is not uncommon. When the CV joint fails you usually replace the whole half shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have the car jacked up again. Is it normal for there to be a bit of a noise from where the cv meets the transmission when rotating the tire forward to back and vice versa? Trying to figure out how to upload a video of the sounds.
On a side note, I made an appointment with the nearest Mazda dealer about 2 hours away tomorrow. They want 120$ just to look at it. Yikes.
 

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Demon Spawn
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could be quite a bit. its hard to diagnose these issues online. your best bet is to get under the car and feel/look for loose components , its usually hard to tell if ball joints and tie rods have too much play at home, have a shop check them, its pretty cheap to just have the suspension and steering inspected most places. in my 08 3 i had a clunk really bad like that for a few weeks and it turned out to be the main bolt that held the control arm backing out! glad i saw it before my control arm fell out! clunks over bumps are typically loose bolts, worn strut mounts, worn bushings, bad shocks or even loose stering components like rack and pinion mounts
 

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Demon Spawn
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I have the car jacked up again. Is it normal for there to be a bit of a noise from where the cv meets the transmission when rotating the tire forward to back and vice versa? Trying to figure out how to upload a video of the sounds.
On a side note, I made an appointment with the nearest Mazda dealer about 2 hours away tomorrow. They want 120$ just to look at it. Yikes.
yes a slight friction like noise is normal as you have two components that have to touch and rotate right together, if you notice any dead spots in the rotation or spots where its hard to turn the axle then you may have an issue. cv axles typically wont clunk over bumps they typically make clicking noises on turns or thump thump thump all the time at lower speeds
 
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