2017 Mazda CX-9 front suspension clunking/knocking noise

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2017 CX-9 GT AWD
Thanks to the folks here confirming I'm not crazy. I, too, have the same sticky brake caliper and/or pad loosening itself upon initial brake application. It usually happens right at the first application of brakes after being parked a little bit.
My car does all the time and I was told by the dealership (and I think others on here confirmed it) that this is the ABS doing some sort of test/check and that the sound is normal. It really bothered me for the first few months of ownership because I did not know what was causing it. But once I learned the reason for the sound it's not a big deal - I still notice it and it is a minor annoyance (no other car I've ever had with ABS did this) at least I know it's not something wrong with the car.
 
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2017 Mazda CX-9
I thought about that because my old Miata used to do some kind of initial ABS self-check after first starting the car. But we've owned this CX-9 for two years now, and my spouse and I don't remember this happening from day one.
 
Hi Folks,

I've had the clunking sound from driver side going over dips and pulling into my driveway since the car had 4k miles in it. I now have 14k miles and the clunking noise has gotten worse over time. In the beginning it happened less than 5% of the time and progressed to over 50% of the time and to point where in freeways little dips would also cause it.

At 7k miles for first oil change and told dealer about noise. They checked it out and said they tightened down some suspension components and that just probably normal sound car makes. At next oil change 12k miles had different dealership check it out and they said likely control arm issue so theu replaced them but it didn't fix the problem. I followed up with the same dealer at 14k miles because the problem kept getting worse. Service manager sat in car with me and he said it sounded like it could be coming from cowl area. Left the car with them and they checked out the struts and cowl area and found the cowl panel bolts could use some re-tightening.

The fix was simply re-tightening the cowl panel bolts. I'm stoked no more annoying clunking noise going over almost any dip and when pulling into my driveway. I'll post a pic to the bolts that need tightening. Hope it helps any of you other there with this mysterious clunking noise that has most dealerships stumped on the fix.
 
Here is pic,the four bolts that need tightening are circled in red. The service manager said they weren't loose but just weren't tight enough. He said they knew it could be the culprit because when trying to loosen them they came loose pretty easy and normally they should be really tight and little harder to loosen. Good Luck! Hope it helps!
20201028_141738.jpg
 
Here is pic,the four bolts that need tightening are circled in red. The service manager said they weren't loose but just weren't tight enough. He said they knew it could be the culprit because when trying to loosen them they came loose pretty easy and normally they should be really tight and little harder to loosen. Good Luck! Hope it helps! View attachment 228636
I bought a 2020 CX-9 in September and noticed the same problem, but only now and then. Over the past 4K it has gotten much worse, just like you explained. I took it to the dealer and after they test drove it they determined that it was a bad strut on the driver's side. I told them that I hear it from the right side as well and they said they could only replace the driver's side strut because they couldn't hear the problem on the right side, and Mazda Corp. wouldn't pay for it without them being able diagnose it. They said it would have to get worse so that it could be diagnosed and then replaced. Also, they told me the strut is on back-order and they have no clue as to when it will arrive.

After reading what you said about the bolts I will go out in the morning and check to see if they are loose*. I wonder if they even checked that before determining it was the strut. I paid 41K for the SUV and didn't expect to be having issues with a NEW auto. I've already spent hours sitting in their waiting room and now will have to return (whenever they end up getting the part) and have to wait again. I didn't buy a jalopy (which it sounds like), and don't think it is right for them not to fix it immediately.

Thanks for reading and for the tip about loose bolts.

*Went out this morning and checked the bolts. They are nice and tight and then took a ride and the noise is worse than ever before. Hope something doesn't fall apart before they get the part to fix my vehicle.
 
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sm1ke

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'18 CX-9 Signature
I paid 41K for the SUV and didn't expect to be having issues with a NEW auto. I've already spent hours sitting in their waiting room and now will have to return (whenever they end up getting the part) and have to wait again. I didn't buy a jalopy (which it sounds like), and don't think it is right for them not to fix it immediately.

Thanks for reading and for the tip about loose bolts.

Hi golfergun, I understand your frustration. I recently spent an hour and a half at the dealer because I have a clicking/squealing noise when I apply the brakes at low speed. I was expecting them to diagnose and fix the problem, but all they could do was diagnose it because they didn't have the parts on hand (they had to order front brake pads and a shim kit). Their excuse was that they have never encountered this issue before, and this repair will be their first time doing it. I have to go back when the parts come in. It's annoying, but at least they're doing something about it. IMO, if this is the worst thing I've had to deal with in nearly three years, I'm perfectly fine with that lol.

It's possible that C-19 may also be throwing a wrench in the logistics of maintaining inventory, so I wouldn't expect this to be the norm.

You should see what the forums are/were like for some other SUVs like the F-Pace, Palisade/Telluride, etc.
 
I have the same problem on the left side...
Mine started on the left side, the first night I took it home. It only happened occasionally, so I didn't think much of it until it got more frequent. Now it happens over any uneven pavement or when turning the wheel when going into a parking space, driveway or turning the car around. I am also hearing it on the right side recently, but they won't even order a part for that side since they claim the tech couldn't hear anything other than the left side. Since the part is backordered, I'm stuck with the problem indefinitely. Even if they get the part and fix it, the right side will need parts by then and I'll be waiting and driving with the noise on that side indefinitely.
 
The noise is very hard now...My 6 year old asked me yesterday "dad what's that noise!" I almost died...Jajajaja
I will check tonight, the nuts of the cowl...
 
I just brought in my 2019 cx-9 with around 9k miles on it to the dealer for the same issue of a loud clunk when going over a speed bump, backing into a drive way, or making a sharp turn. Noise is only on the front left (drivers) side. Took the vehicle in for an oil change earlier than what I wanted to in order to also bring up this issue. Got a call saying that both the manager and technician were able to reproduce the clunk and that it was a faulty strut snd they have ordered the part. I’ll need to bring the vehicle back sometime next week when the part comes in. I’ll report back if this fixes the issue or if I need to ask about those coal bolts.
 
These might have been posted in other threads but I didn't see it here, couple of TSB's that might apply to some of the issues described in this thread.
 

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Indiana
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’18 CX-9 GT AWD
Here is pic,the four bolts that need tightening are circled in red. The service manager said they weren't loose but just weren't tight enough. He said they knew it could be the culprit because when trying to loosen them they came loose pretty easy and normally they should be really tight and little harder to loosen. Good Luck! Hope it helps! View attachment 228636

Created an account just to respond to this. Recently purchased a used 2018 CX-9 GT and heard this sound while test driving but didn’t know if it was the shocks or something else. Glad I tried this first - no longer hear the sound as I drive across speed bumps or any parts where the car would move up/down. Thanks!
 
I bought a 2020 CX-9 in September and noticed the same problem, but only now and then. Over the past 4K it has gotten much worse, just like you explained. I took it to the dealer and after they test drove it they determined that it was a bad strut on the driver's side. I told them that I hear it from the right side as well and they said they could only replace the driver's side strut because they couldn't hear the problem on the right side, and Mazda Corp. wouldn't pay for it without them being able diagnose it. They said it would have to get worse so that it could be diagnosed and then replaced. Also, they told me the strut is on back-order and they have no clue as to when it will arrive.

After reading what you said about the bolts I will go out in the morning and check to see if they are loose*. I wonder if they even checked that before determining it was the strut. I paid 41K for the SUV and didn't expect to be having issues with a NEW auto. I've already spent hours sitting in their waiting room and now will have to return (whenever they end up getting the part) and have to wait again. I didn't buy a jalopy (which it sounds like), and don't think it is right for them not to fix it immediately.

Thanks for reading and for the tip about loose bolts.

*Went out this morning and checked the bolts. They are nice and tight and then took a ride and the noise is worse than ever before. Hope something doesn't fall apart before they get the part to fix my vehicle.
My 2020 CX-9 is now FIXED! The strut part came in. They replaced it and the clunking problem was still there on the test drive. After much investigation it was discovered that the front wiper linkage mount was loose! Tightened it and took another test ride. Problem solved.

My dealer not only gave me my first oil change for free, but also rotated my tires and gave me a 4 wheel alignment. I am SO happy with Werner Mazda and their service department that I hope I never have to go anywhere else for service.
 
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