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#3133265 - 09/23/13 10:04 AM Mazda 3 front end loose feeling over bumps
ryan2022 Offline


Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 1427
Loc: Peterborough
Hi guys,

My Dad has an 06 Mazda 3 sport.

Its got 50k miles or so, and has a strange issue. Our mechanic says the motor mounts are fine and front end is tight.

Dad drives quickly at times, and says its most noticeable on on ramps hitting small bumps. It skittered across the pavement and feels unsettled.

He isn't pushing it to its limits, just enjoying the car.. I'm wondering if its the shocks, but it seems premature.

Any thoughts from 3 owners?
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#3133268 - 09/23/13 10:07 AM Re: Mazda 3 front end loose feeling over bumps [Re: ryan2022]
Boomer Offline


Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 1831
Loc: Pennsylvania
Tires? Tire pressure?
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2013 VW Passat TDI SE, 42,100 miles
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#3133280 - 09/23/13 10:18 AM Re: Mazda 3 front end loose feeling over bumps [Re: ryan2022]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 7899
Loc: Ontario, Canada
That does sound like shocks if the front end is tight, maybe very high tire pressure?
Try driving it on broken and patched pavement, if one front tire imitates a basket ball then you know that strut is blown.
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#3133281 - 09/23/13 10:19 AM Re: Mazda 3 front end loose feeling over bumps [Re: Boomer]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 6675
Loc: Ohio
Alignment shop and make sure gas tank is half-way filled up.
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#3133291 - 09/23/13 10:36 AM Re: Mazda 3 front end loose feeling over bumps [Re: ryan2022]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 10484
Loc: NH
Seems early for struts, but "way back when" it seemed to be general consensus that on my vintage Jetta the OEM's were done for around 40k. Most people drove past that point until it failed inspection with completely dead struts--but the cognescenti were convinced that the struts were not up to par at 40k.

Maybe the same here? Struts just not as good as they used to be? Especially after a number of years of "occasional" spirited driving?
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#3133307 - 09/23/13 10:48 AM Re: Mazda 3 front end loose feeling over bumps [Re: ryan2022]
nitehawk55 Offline


Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1081
Loc: Ontario , Canada
I'm thinking struts too unless the mechanic missed something which is possible .
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#3133310 - 09/23/13 10:49 AM Re: Mazda 3 front end loose feeling over bumps [Re: ryan2022]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 10603
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
The strut tops (bearings) on my 1991 626 were toast at 30K miles. Three to 4 Bearings all knocked out of the race.
also make sure tire are no more than 2psi over-inflated and the wheel bearings do not have excessive play ( wiggle the tire with each end jacked off the road <or> on a lift). Also grab the rack under the car by the tie rods and see if you can feel if the inner joints (in the rack) have slop. While your under there check the AS bar links and ends any problem which would have been obvious to your mechanic on a quick visual.


Edited by ARCOgraphite (09/23/13 10:52 AM)
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#3133331 - 09/23/13 11:02 AM Re: Mazda 3 front end loose feeling over bumps [Re: ryan2022]
GSCJR Offline


Registered: 01/20/13
Posts: 1002
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Sounds like you need struts.
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#3133384 - 09/23/13 12:05 PM Re: Mazda 3 front end loose feeling over bumps [Re: ryan2022]
Quest Offline


Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 7357
Loc: beaver land EH?
methinks struts and sway bar end links.

Typical with the ever-so-compact FWD these days....esp. with struts where over 90% of the mechs out there mis-diagnosed (or simply cannot diagnose defective/weak struts properly).

Q.
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#3133724 - 09/23/13 06:32 PM Re: Mazda 3 front end loose feeling over bumps [Re: Quest]
ryan2022 Offline


Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 1427
Loc: Peterborough
Thanks guys, I appreciate the responses.

I'll start the hunt with Dad.
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2011 Ford Ranger XL 4 cyl. Quaker State 5w20


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#3134074 - 09/24/13 06:10 AM Re: Mazda 3 front end loose feeling over bumps [Re: ryan2022]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 8788
Loc: Western NY
My daughter's '06 Mazda 3i was doing a similar thing on the highway. When we'd go over broken pavement, the steering wheel was viberating from side-to-side and very sloppy. We ended up installing one lower control arm and both front struts(loaded) and rear shocks too.

Now, it's perfect!
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#3134505 - 09/24/13 12:44 PM Re: Mazda 3 front end loose feeling over bumps [Re: ryan2022]
FordTrucks71 Offline


Registered: 09/19/13
Posts: 75
Loc: metro Detroit burbs
Simply struts! 50k mis can certainly end the service life of any cars struts...replace rear shocks to for best performance!
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