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Thread: 2017 Mazda CX-9 front suspension clunking/knocking noise

  1. #16
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    2017 Mazda cx 9

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    I still haven't had a chance to take my car back to the dealership. I do periodically check back on this forum for any new information regarding the clunking issue. After reading OKC_CX9 post, I decided to pop my hood and noticed that two plastic piece were rubbing against each other on the driver side of the cowl area. I put a piece of sink rubber gasket in between the two plastic, I think that took care of my clunking issue, at least I hope so. I did test drive around few speed bumps in my area, so far so good, no clunking noise. I hope this completely solved my issue, I will report back when I drive the car more and see if the noise if still there.[IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]

  2. #17
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    Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016

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    James, it appears that either a piece (that you replaced with your temporary rubber bit) is missing, or something is allowing those parts to move more than was intended. If you find out, please let us all know.

  3. #18
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    2017 Mazda CX-9

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    Awesome! Glad to hear my find helped someone at least!

  4. #19
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    2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by greggmischenko View Post
    Just inside each strut tower (the towers each have 3 silver bolts/nuts) there is a brace/bracket between the two towers (black horizontal bar in picture below). Each end of this bracket has 2 black bolts/screws that hold it in place and these are what need to be tightened. 12mm IIRC.

    Thank YOU!

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by James85 View Post
    My cx 9 has about only 6000 miles. Pretty much every time when I go over the speed bump, the front driver side suspension will make clunking or knocking noise. First time took it to the dealer, they replaced lower control arm but the noise is still there. The second time they said that it was the windshield cowl(loose or broken pin). I am about to call the dealer for the third time. Does anyone else having the same issue? What could it be?

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gBhziLE6uuU

    In the above link, itís the video that I took which show the clunking noise. I donít know how well you guys can hear it. But, itís the same recording that I showed it to the service writer.
    This one seems like an easy fix given the obvious nature of the knock. When the dealer replaced the LCA, where you given an explanation as to why? I personally require the dealer to sketch out either on paper on on their whiteboard, the exact reason why they believe replacing anything on the vehicle is required to solve a mechanical issue. Otherwise, I could end up in a parts swapping contest - which is nothing more than a proverbial hunting expedition by another name. A good mechanic should know the mechanical nature of the vehicle well enough to bring a scalpel to solving the issue with precision as opposed to a parts swapping jack hammer in the hopes of one day solving the problem.

    The knock I'm hearing sounds structural. It clearly sounds like two components coming together under force and by way of motion. This means, they are at least two components that are spatially off-set from each other and located in the same relative location. The noise travels deep into the cabin and the sound wave being produced has a relatively sharp peak with relatively low pitch - this indicates Large Components are most likely involved. The larger the components involved the larger the coupling or binding device used to seat them together. These components seem external to the Engine and Transmission. They also seem attached to the Frame or Chassis. It certainly seems to emitted from near the front and it seems to be triggered with the compression of the front suspension.

    Was the Strut Assembly checked? That would be my first area of interest. Engine mount checks would be my second. My guess would be that between those two areas the culprit would be found.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by James85 View Post
    I decided to pop my hood and noticed that two plastic piece were rubbing against each other on the driver side of the cowl area. I put a piece of sink rubber gasket in between the two plastic, I think that took care of my clunking issue, at least I hope so.
    Sounds a lot harder than two plastic pieces under the hood coming together. Not sure what dB you used to record the video's audio, however. Seems really loud in there - like metal-on-metal contact with compression of the suspension or up/down movement of the chassis.

    Good to hear you are no longer getting knock, though! Congrats - but please do report back if it emerges again.

  7. #22
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    2017 Mazda cx 9

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    Quote Originally Posted by White Pearls View Post
    Sounds a lot harder than two plastic pieces under the hood coming together. Not sure what dB you used to record the video's audio, however. Seems really loud in there - like metal-on-metal contact with compression of the suspension or up/down movement of the chassis.

    Good to hear you are no longer getting knock, though! Congrats - but please do report back if it emerges again.
    So far so good, but I will definitely do more speed bump testing whenever I can. I use iPhone 8plus to record the video audio. It is very loud in person. First time I took it to dealer, it was for clunking and popping noise. When I make a hard turn, (all.the way
    Right or left) it would pop one time or two popping sound simultaneously. Popping sound is gone now that LCA was replaced. Second time took it to the dealer, they said it was because of loose windshield cowl. They kept my car at the dealership for quite a few days both times, they had to gave me rental both times. So, I would assumed that they had look at or tightened everything already. Like I said I will report back if anything comes up again.

  8. #23
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    2013 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by greggmischenko View Post
    Just inside each strut tower (the towers each have 3 silver bolts/nuts) there is a brace/bracket between the two towers (black horizontal bar in picture below). Each end of this bracket has 2 black bolts/screws that hold it in place and these are what need to be tightened. 12mm IIRC.

    I tightened both strut towers and that wasn't my issue. Gonna take it to a mechanic soon Thank you anyways. I'll keep you guys posted.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by James85 View Post
    So far so good, but I will definitely do more speed bump testing whenever I can. I use iPhone 8plus to record the video audio. It is very loud in person. First time I took it to dealer, it was for clunking and popping noise. When I make a hard turn, (all.the way
    Right or left) it would pop one time or two popping sound simultaneously.
    I occasionally get the same thing but mine is not loud. Has the acoustical signature of that which would traditionally seem to come from the CV joint area - but I checked and there are no leaks, no cuts, no slits and no broken seals in the CV boots. Heard on the left front corner only on mine and typical with full lock-out turns to the right. Low OAT is a little louder than higher OAT instances. Barely audible. But, to someone like me - I'm going to hear and feel everything because I'm paying attention to such fine details where other might not. I don't like it, but I also don't like taking my vehicle to the dealer either. I'm going to try and troubleshoot it on my own when I get it back on the rack. Not getting any worse, but just hearing it on a brand new 2018 is highly irritating.


    Quote Originally Posted by James85 View Post
    Popping sound is gone now that LCA was replaced.
    Here we go. Just like "magic." Its gone! I'll start looking for TSBs on this. Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by James85 View Post
    Second time took it to the dealer, they said it was because of loose windshield cowl.
    And, this is exactly why I don't like taking my vehicles to the dealer for work. They rarely take matters seriously and they are all about Revenue Generation, not Quality Customer Service after the sale.


    Quote Originally Posted by James85 View Post
    They kept my car at the dealership for quite a few days both times, they had to gave me rental both times.
    They held your vehicle hostage and demanded ransom. Just kidding. No not really kidding at all. Nah, just kidding. Maybe not. Who knows. What does Automotive Ransom look like these days anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by James85 View Post
    So, I would assumed that they had look at or tightened everything already. Like I said I will report back if anything comes up again.
    Assuming that a dealer acts with common sense is not an assumption I would make, but I get your point. I would hope with my fingers crossed and a kneeling prayer, but I don't have enough confidence to assume any dealer would do the right thing or act with common sense on behalf of my satisfaction as a customer. I start from the 'assumption' that they simply do not care about me or my vehicle. I then work from that standpoint going forward. I'm very skeptical of Dealerships and they have lost the benefit of the doubt from me personally. Any dealership I visit must prove to me that they actually want my business and care about treating my vehicle with truth, honesty and integrity. Like finding a needle in a haystack.

  10. #25
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    2016 Mazda CX-9 GT

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    I've had my 2016 in for suspension clanking noises 4-5 times. There should be a TSB on suspension tower issues. They have replaced by my front strut towers and I think both rears as well. I just called them to have them email me all my service records so I know what they have done.

    I also get a fairly loud "click" or knock occasionally when applying the brakes as slow speed. It almost sounds like the brake pads are seating or something after the car has been in park. It's annoying, but my dealership can't seem to replicate it even though I've driven with a tech and we've both heard it.

    Definitely annoying and Mazda's service isn't what I would call 5 star.

  11. #26
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    mazda cx-9 gt 2018

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    pad wear? i don't think so, it is getting progressively worse

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggs View Post
    I have a similar clicking/spring link noise for the past several months, and the lead Mazda tech says it's my brake calipers. As the pads wear, there is more of a gap and this the new gen CX9 is prone to this. There is no fix or TSB yet. He asked me to write an email about this issue to my sales guy and they will both submit to Mazda Corp to see what they can do for me.

    In the past, this tech has been spot on with any issues I had with my 2011 CX9, and has gone to bat for me to get certain repairs covered by Mazda. So we'll see
    I just got the same diagnosis and I'm not satisfied, did you write to Mazda? Any resolution?

  12. #27
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    Good suggestions, my local Mazda Dealership retorqued all the suspension bolts under the car and my clunk seemed to disappear for a short time. It's back and even worse. My neighborhood has several speed bumps and so does my work parking lot.

    So the Mazda Dealership destroyed my killer looking Grand Touring rims and gave my a rental so they fix them. The rental is a 2018 Grand Touring CX-5 and has the same identical front clunky noise that my CX-9 suffers from. This is driving me nuts.

    I'll look into the shock tower thing when I get my truck back from Mazda.

  13. #28
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    2017 CX-9 GT AWD

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    Update on my situation: Having fixed the "popping" sound myself by tightening the screws that hold the bracket/brace between the strut towers (see my prior post with picture), I was left with a metallic-sounding clunk/thud at low speeds when coming to a stop and sometimes when the wheels were turned. I brought it to my closest dealership earlier this week for an oil change & tire rotation and asked that they look into this noise/thud I've been hearing and feeling. I left detailed instructions of how to recreate the sound with the service rep. Of course, they call me later that morning and tell me that they can't replicate the issue .

    I go down to the dealership that afternoon and drive around the parking lot with a technician and we were able to recreate the sound and he actually heard/acknowledged it! Now, I must say that the circumstances to recreate the noise were different than what I had experienced in the past. It would usually happen after backing/turning out of my driveway (down a slight incline), driving down the block approaching a stop sign, and then lightly applying the brakes. As soon as I touched the brakes, and I could have sworn sometimes when just coasting and the car downshifted from 3-2 or 2-1, I would hear/feel this metallic clunk that sounded like it was coming from the front of the car and underneath the back of the engine. In my mind I was convinced it was something to do with the transmission or drivetrain.

    But in the parking lot with the technician I was able to get it to happen when pulling into or backing out of a parking spot, on relatively flat ground, with the steering wheel nearly turned all the way in either direction, and gently applying the brakes. Even moving just a few feet with the steering wheel turned and then applying the brakes would cause it to happen.

    Well, the technician took the car back and he started looking into it right away. An hour later I got a call that the car was all set - the technician took apart the front brakes, cleaned, and reassembled everything. Apparently at least one of the brake pads was not seated correctly or perhaps it was something with the caliper movement - the technician was not positive. But whatever it was, the technician believed that something was essentially causing the front brakes to "stick" or get caught up and the noise/clunk was the brakes freeing themselves up. When I first heard this explanation I did not have high hopes that the situation was actually fixed.

    But low and behold it's been a couple of days and the noise/clunk has not come back even once! The brakes feel like they grab a little better too (not sure if this is just from cleaning or if there really was something restricting the caliper/pad movement). I'm very happy with the service I received from the dealership and am glad they actually were able to hear/acknowledge the noise and actually fix it. I am self-admittedly very nit picky and often when I bring my cars in for something like this I'm told that they can't hear anything or that it's normal operation.

    Anyway, I know this is a long post but hopefully someone finds it helpful!


    Oh, one more thing - when I was driving with the technician I mentioned to him about the "popping" noise coming from the brace between the two strut towers and he said he's had two CX-9s with that exact issue there this month. Officially, there was no known issue/bulletin from Mazda and so it took him over a week to finally find those loose bolts. Apparently they are coming directly from the factory this way: bolts that are only finger-tight, if that, and end up loosening more as the car is driven. He said one of the CX-9s he just had in was only a couple of weeks old. So this is still a problem on brand new 2018 models and has been for a while, seeing as how mine is a 2017.

  14. #29
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    2018 CX-9 Signature, 2011 BMW VF620 M3

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    In a parking, can you guys go full lock left and right of the steering wheel. It seems to produce the same sound.

    I have the same sound, and I think it's the suspension bumpstops. And I think the suspension bump stop is made of the same hardness material as the bumpstop that limit the steering knuckle.

    Let me know what you guys think after listening to full steering wheel lock.

  15. #30
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    2017 CX-9 GT AWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by JsL View Post
    In a parking, can you guys go full lock left and right of the steering wheel. It seems to produce the same sound.

    I have the same sound, and I think it's the suspension bumpstops. And I think the suspension bump stop is made of the same hardness material as the bumpstop that limit the steering knuckle.

    Let me know what you guys think after listening to full steering wheel lock.
    Yes, I got a knock/bump sound on full lock when in Park. I seem to remember this occurring on the other CX-9 Touring that I test drove as well. The noise/clunk I had that was ultimately attributed to the brakes was definitely different.

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