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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2010 Mazda 3 2.0 hatchback. It is technically an Axela since it has an Axela badge for my local market, but it is the same model as a Mazda 3 anyway.

When I am in automatic OR "manual" mode, I notice a gurgling noise between 1500rpm and 1900rpm. The noise only happens when in motion, it cannot be reproduced in neutral. The noise seems to be more prominent if I go in manual mode and select a high gear during low speed, making the engine work harder. That said, it still happens in automatic mode too. The noise happens regardless of AC being on or off and happens regardless of the blower fans being on or off. It ONLY happens within this RPM range, outside of the RPM range there is no noise.

After much Googling, I came across recommendations to replace the serpentine belt tensioner pulley wheel, which I did using the GATES 36326 part. The old pulley wheel was definitely on its way out though, as the bearings were quite noisy and had a lot of free play when the pulley was removed from the engine.

After replacing the pulley wheel, my noise still persists.

I have recorded the noise by sticking a GoPro inside the engine bay, and you can listen to it at the below links. In the recordings, I am intentionally driving at that RPM, forcing it to happen:

Link 1: Trim3
Link 2: Trim2


Any advice on how to fix this is much appreciated.
 

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Check to see if the noise continues unchanged if you put it into neutral, but stops when you apply the brakes. If so (for both), then my first suspect would be a bad wheel bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Check to see if the noise continues unchanged if you put it into neutral, but stops when you apply the brakes. If so (for both), then my first suspect would be a bad wheel bearing.
So do you mean travel along at speed until I hear the noise, and at the RPM/point of hearing the noise, immediately shift in to neutral? And if the noise persists for a few moments, then it is a wheel bearing issue?
 

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... And if the noise persists for a few moments, then it is a wheel bearing issue?
Continuous, not just a few moments. And also the noise terminated by applying the brakes is another important indicator as well. And you need to be aware I'm not saying that these things happening definitely means a bad wheel bearing - it just becomes my primary suspect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Continuous, not just a few moments. And also the noise terminated by applying the brakes is another important indicator as well. And you need to be aware I'm not saying that these things happening definitely means a bad wheel bearing - it just becomes my primary suspect.
I jacked up the front wheels and tested them for free play/movement and they are fine. I also tested as you advised and couldn't reproduce the noise. It only happens under acceleration when in that specific rev range.

Do you know what the part/spec codes are for the AC and serpentine belts for the 2010 Mazda 3 (Axela) 2.0 Hatchback are, or where I can find them? I'm going to give replacing them a go, as they are 10 years/70,000kms old.
 

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I don't think it's a good idea to use USA online sites to lookup parts for vehicles from other countries, so I recommend that you do this yourself, using whatever is available in your country.

And although I agree, based on what you wrote, that the issue with your vehicle doesn't appear to be a bad wheel bearing, be advised that the wheel 'shake' test does not identify all wheel bearing problems. Coincidently I just went through this a couple weeks ago when my daughter's 2011 3i was making a similar noise as yours is making. In addition to the wheel shake test not showing any issues, I didn't even find anything abnormal after removing the knuckle, holding it in my hands and spinning the hub. No noise or abnormal movement of any kind, and nothing but a bit of discoloration after the inner race was detached from the bearing. However the new bearings did completely eliminate the noise, so the issue was proven with certainty to be a bad bearing.

Good luck tracking down the issue with your vehicle!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I ended up purchasing the serpentine belt and AC belt from Mazda, of which the part numbers were as follows:

LFES15909
LF5115908B

After doing so, the squeaking noise as recorded above is gone, however now my AC is not working. It was working fine prior to installing the new belts.

With the plastic cover/panel removed, I observed the AC clutch when I activated the AC (with the motor running) and the clutch did not engage and start spinning. With the engine off, I can spin the clutch freely and there's no grinding. I've checked the fuse box and the fuses are fine.

During the installation of the two new belts, I didn't touch the AC compressor so I am baffled as to how the AC has suddenly stopped working.

Any help?
 

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When you turn the crank pulley bolt clockwise, does the AC pulley move smoothly along with it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When you turn the crank pulley bolt clockwise, does the AC pulley move smoothly along with it?
Yes, when the engine is running the AC pulley moves - it's just that the clutch isn't engaging.

With the engine off, I can freely spin the AC clutch; there is no grinding etc. I have checked the fuses and swapped the AC/horn relays around and it still doesn't work.

Next step is I am going to try and get 12v direct to the AC clutch and see if it activates.
 
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