A sound diagnosis? Mazda Protege 1996, 128,000 miles

The sound is like a squeaky bed spring except more plastic sounding. It appears to come from the front end. It is not affected by speed, braking, acceleration, deceleration, turning corners, shifting, going up hill nor down hill. It does not occur if the car is just idling. It started several months ago. It occurs only if the car is running (duh). Thoughts?


Describe what you are doing with the car when it actually is happening

Driving. It happens when the car is moving, and as I said not affected in tone, length, etc. loudness, or any of the other conditions I mentioned in original post.

You could always try making sure everything plastic under the hood and under the car is secure. Including the plastic splash shields under the car and the fender skirts behind the wheels.

If it’s happening going over bumps, it could be sway bar bushings

Im trying to wrap my head around this. Ok, so theres a squeaky bed spring sound but more plasticy. It does not do it at idle, nor is it effected by speed, turning, braking, etc. A bed spring sound is made when you sit on the bed or move and the spring makes its noisy sound. Is this sound constant? Or just when you hit a bump? Whats odd to me is that it only happens when the car is running. So if you had the car parked, and off, and jumped on the bumper or pushed on the hood up and down to make the car bounce - there would be no sound? This would mean to me that its not suspension related. I would check your fan, fan shroud, belt, pulleys, wheel bearings. It could be anything at this point. Hard to tell with the lack of information.

It does not happen just going over bumps but when not going over bumps either; nothing affects the sound, intensity, etc. I will however, on the bumper or hood to see if the sound happens the.

Steering wheel rubbing.

EDIT: If you can hear it by pushing on a fender, NOT the steering wheel rubbing.

@Fender1325. I did push on the hood and on the bumper and heard the same sound as above when the car was off and just parked. Might it be the steering wheel rubbing against something?


In that case, you may very well need sway bar bushings

If you or a friend have a jack and jackstands, and some basic hand tools (sockets, ratchets, extensions, etc.) you should be able to do this yourselves, saving on some labor costs

I think it is the springs in the struts making noise. The rubber isolators are probably worn out.