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I purchased my new 08.5 Mazda 3 last summer. It was fantastic and I enjoyed the car all summer. I find it to be decent on gas, handles very well, and is a fun little car. It is a 2.0L 5MT.

This winter, however, I have had one huge issue.

I travel about 1/2 hour outside the city to go horseback riding, which involves 6 miles of gravel roads which are for the most part in great shape with only some minor snowdrifts.

After coming back from the barn I noticed the engine making a strange noise when downshifting or reversing, vibrations from the engine when stopped, and then on start-up some major "thunking" sounds as the engine turns over.

I brought it into the dealership and they told me it was ice build-up on the mounts and they chipped it off for me. They said it was partially a flaw with the way the car was designed.. However, now I have gone back out to the barn again.... and go figure the problem occurred immediately once again. I am going to talk to the manager as the service advisors advice is that I should just pay to park the car somewhere heated for a day each time this happens. Like I can afford/want to do that each week!

I feel like the car should be able to get me where I need to go. Has anyone heard of this happening?? And also -- is there a fix?!

This is my first brand new car and I'm frustrated that I'm having issues (and not fix-able ones) already.
 

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I'm assuming you are talking about the rear transmision/engine mount. The mount has some holes in it so that it will flex and transmit less vibrations. I'm guessing gravel and or watrer/snow which later becomes ice is getting into it making it more solid. I would recommend getting the corksport inserts for the rear mount, preferably some used ones from a forum member so it will allready broken in and will be less stiff. These will provide the least amount of vibrations/sound. They pretty much plug right into the holes of the stock rear mount. If you really want to keep it soft maybe to can make your own cover so nothing gets into the holes.

A lot of us have bought solid aftermarket mount woth the same sysmptoms (but we like it!)
 
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