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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 04 has almost 100k miles on it.

A month or so ago my son was borrowing the car and he hit something, not sure exactly what as it was dark but it was big enough to to scratch the heck out of the undercarriage on the passenger side (luckily not visible unless you are under the car)

The problem is now I have a strange noise from the right side when I start from a stop, it sounded at first like the wheel well liner was rubbing on the tire but I've confirmed that isn't the case.


  • It's a low rumbling/grinding noise.
    The noise is definitely speed dependent, usually goes away once I get up to about 10MPH and always by about 35MPH
    It's more likely to do it when it's cold and will do it for longer (up to a higher speed).
    It will do it if I'm turning right or going straight but almost never when turning left.
    It's much less likely to do it when there is someone in the passenger seat so I think suspension geometry plays a part.
    If I accelerate more strongly (which I've been trying not to) it's actually less likely to make the noise than if I start out more sedately.
    It never ever makes the noise when I'm just driving, only when starting out from a stop.

I've inspected the CV joints and other components thoroughly and see no damage or leaking fluids.

I've jacked up the right front wheel and rotated the wheel slowly by hand and can't hear the noise or see anything amiss in the operation, of course the suspension geometry is considerably different in this case and there is no torque load whatsoever.

I replaced the front struts ~30k mi ago but in general the car is completely stock (never been lowered, still on original springs).

I figure it's either the CV joint or the differential. The fact that suspension geometry and wheel direction seems to play a part leads me to believe it's the outside CV joint.

If it's the CV joint I know it's going to need replacing regardless, so I'm planning on driving it until it gets worse or until it gets warm enough that I can comfortably ride my motorcycle to work for a couple days while it's getting fixed.

On the other hand if it's the differential I could be potentially causing harm to the transmission by continuing to drive it.

I searched and found this thread with almost identical symptoms (http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=201761.0), in this case it was the differential which has me worried.

I have an honest and reputable mechanic but he can't troubleshoot his way out of a wet paper bag do I can't rely on him to figure this out.
 

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Have you checked the wheel bearings?

If the wheel bearing checks out, before ripping into an axle, closely check the steady bearing on the intermediate shaft. I've seen that one damaged, causing a strange noise under unusual conditions. It also doesn't show up with the car in the air, because the axle/bearing is loaded differently.

A fellow tech was about to tear down a transmission for inspection when he found the steady bearing shot as he was disassembling the car.
 

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Sounds like a CV to me, but I think we need a better description of the noise/feel. CVs usually make clicking sounds when turning. If it is a hum that changes frequency then that would be more of a wheel bearing.

What about brake calipers/rotors? Alignment? There are lots of possible issues when it comes to hitting stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The noise definitely changes pitch with speed.

I looked at the brakes and rotors, they look fine and there is no strange noise, wheels easily turn by hand when up on stands, no shimmy when braking either.

I haven't had the alignment checked but the car still tracks well.
 

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I'm usually a DIYer, but I think this is a question for a shop. Most of the things it could be are pretty unpleasant to do yourself anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I'm with you, I'd definitely take it to my shop but they have proven themselves pretty terrible at troubleshooting (they could not figure out my CEL problem after several months and over $1000 of "this has to be it" work), I could try another shop but at least the shop I have is honest which is pretty rare.
 

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You need a better shop :)

and by "shop" I mean, not a dealer. Find some folks that focus on alignment work and they will be well versed in suspension issues.
 

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Hello Robert,

I came across your post when researching my own noise issue from the right front. My symptoms are exactly as you described: Sounds like rubbing noise accelerating from stop, makes noise turning right but not left, disappears above 10 mph.

Can you advise as to what that turned out to be? Was it a CV after all?

Any light you can shed will be helpful. I've already had one misdiagnosis by a "Professional"

Thanks much in any case,

Regards,

Mitch
2006 Mazda 3

Sent from my iPad
 

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My 04 has almost 100k miles on it.

A month or so ago my son was borrowing the car and he hit something, not sure exactly what as it was dark but it was big enough to to scratch the heck out of the undercarriage on the passenger side (luckily not visible unless you are under the car)

The problem is now I have a strange noise from the right side when I start from a stop, it sounded at first like the wheel well liner was rubbing on the tire but I've confirmed that isn't the case.


  • It's a low rumbling/grinding noise.
    The noise is definitely speed dependent, usually goes away once I get up to about 10MPH and always by about 35MPH
    It's more likely to do it when it's cold and will do it for longer (up to a higher speed).
    It will do it if I'm turning right or going straight but almost never when turning left.
    It's much less likely to do it when there is someone in the passenger seat so I think suspension geometry plays a part.
    If I accelerate more strongly (which I've been trying not to) it's actually less likely to make the noise than if I start out more sedately.
    It never ever makes the noise when I'm just driving, only when starting out from a stop.

I've inspected the CV joints and other components thoroughly and see no damage or leaking fluids.

I've jacked up the right front wheel and rotated the wheel slowly by hand and can't hear the noise or see anything amiss in the operation, of course the suspension geometry is considerably different in this case and there is no torque load whatsoever.

I replaced the front struts ~30k mi ago but in general the car is completely stock (never been lowered, still on original springs).

I figure it's either the CV joint or the differential. The fact that suspension geometry and wheel direction seems to play a part leads me to believe it's the outside CV joint.

If it's the CV joint I know it's going to need replacing regardless, so I'm planning on driving it until it gets worse or until it gets warm enough that I can comfortably ride my motorcycle to work for a couple days while it's getting fixed.

On the other hand if it's the differential I could be potentially causing harm to the transmission by continuing to drive it.

I searched and found this thread with almost identical symptoms (Mazda3 Forums), in this case it was the differential which has me worried.

I have an honest and reputable mechanic but he can't troubleshoot his way out of a wet paper bag do I can't rely on him to figure this out.
I also have a Mazda 3 with about 120,000 I started having a noise such as you describe and also thought it was the CV joint/axel which I replaced to no avail. Long story short the front passenger side motor mount was broken and after spending 34.00 and 1/2 hr replacing it it solved all my problems. It is hard to see sometimes if the mount is actually briken but if your engine jerks a little when starting and /or shift into gear from Park it is broken . Easy job to replace so advise you to start there...whatever he he probably broke that mount! good Luck
 

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Hello Robert,

I came across your post when researching my own noise issue from the right front. My symptoms are exactly as you described: Sounds like rubbing noise accelerating from stop, makes noise turning right but not left, disappears above 10 mph.

Can you advise as to what that turned out to be? Was it a CV after all?

Any light you can shed will be helpful. I've already had one misdiagnosis by a "Professional"

Thanks much in any case,

Regards,

Mitch
2006 Mazda 3

Sent from my iPad
Hey man. I have 2011 Mazdaspeed 3. I also have the same noise. Mine is when I take of from complete stop. Right only to start with but now left also. Sounds.like tire rub but it is not. Car is not.lowered. stock standard except for a bov.
 

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My 04 has almost 100k miles on it.

A month or so ago my son was borrowing the car and he hit something, not sure exactly what as it was dark but it was big enough to to scratch the heck out of the undercarriage on the passenger side (luckily not visible unless you are under the car)

The problem is now I have a strange noise from the right side when I start from a stop, it sounded at first like the wheel well liner was rubbing on the tire but I've confirmed that isn't the case.


  • It's a low rumbling/grinding noise.
    The noise is definitely speed dependent, usually goes away once I get up to about 10MPH and always by about 35MPH
    It's more likely to do it when it's cold and will do it for longer (up to a higher speed).
    It will do it if I'm turning right or going straight but almost never when turning left.
    It's much less likely to do it when there is someone in the passenger seat so I think suspension geometry plays a part.
    If I accelerate more strongly (which I've been trying not to) it's actually less likely to make the noise than if I start out more sedately.
    It never ever makes the noise when I'm just driving, only when starting out from a stop.

I've inspected the CV joints and other components thoroughly and see no damage or leaking fluids.

I've jacked up the right front wheel and rotated the wheel slowly by hand and can't hear the noise or see anything amiss in the operation, of course the suspension geometry is considerably different in this case and there is no torque load whatsoever.

I replaced the front struts ~30k mi ago but in general the car is completely stock (never been lowered, still on original springs).

I figure it's either the CV joint or the differential. The fact that suspension geometry and wheel direction seems to play a part leads me to believe it's the outside CV joint.

If it's the CV joint I know it's going to need replacing regardless, so I'm planning on driving it until it gets worse or until it gets warm enough that I can comfortably ride my motorcycle to work for a couple days while it's getting fixed.

On the other hand if it's the differential I could be potentially causing harm to the transmission by continuing to drive it.

I searched and found this thread with almost identical symptoms (Mazda3 Forums), in this case it was the differential which has me worried.

I have an honest and reputable mechanic but he can't troubleshoot his way out of a wet paper bag do I can't rely on him to figure this out.
Number 1 if he can’t troubleshoot why is he even a mechanic? That’s kind of the reason mechanics even are needed. Lots of part changers in the world. Not nearly as many knowledgeable understanding and comprehensive mechanics. That being said if it was the differential i would be surprised. The transaxle is on the opposite side of impact. The intermediate shaft could have been damaged which could cause a grinding or growl. I would place my money on it s the wheel bearing on passenger side got damaged. Physical damage to bearings can make all sorts of noises. Compared to worn out components mechanically. Which is the more common and constant growl that you hear and feel through the brake peddle.
 

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Number 1 if he can’t troubleshoot why is he even a mechanic? That’s kind of the reason mechanics even are needed. Lots of part changers in the world. Not nearly as many knowledgeable understanding and comprehensive mechanics. That being said if it was the differential i would be surprised. The transaxle is on the opposite side of impact. The intermediate shaft could have been damaged which could cause a grinding or growl. I would place my money on it s the wheel bearing on passenger side got damaged. Physical damage to bearings can make all sorts of noises. Compared to worn out components mechanically. Which is the more common and constant growl that you hear and feel through the brake peddle.
Also could be rubber supports on the power steering pump brackets
 
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