Faint squeaking noise: mechanic now or later

mazda
mazda6

#1

Former rental bought at 19,000, maintained according to the severe section of the manual since I got it. Transmission replaced at 50,000 under warranty–no other problems to speak of.



For some time now, I’ve noticed a faint squeaking noise sometimes, generally when I accelerate harder than normal. It’s hard to place where it comes from–sometimes it seems like to the front right, sometimes it seems almost underneath me. Other than that, the car runs fine–no other funky noises, no lights on the dash–the temperature gauge seems in the right place, gas mileage seems about the same as usual, all the fluids seem where they should be.



So, given that I actually work for a living it would be much easier to wait until the next oil change (about a 1,000 miles or so) to bring this to my mechanic’s attention–but not if this is going to leave me stranded,or,worse, damage my car. So the question is, mechanic now or later?



Scrabbler


#2

Edit: car now has about 74,000 miles


#3

It could just be the serpentine belt slipping a bit. If the car is in park, will it squeal if you rev the engine? If so, you could raise the hood and have someone rev the engine while you pinpoint the noise.


#4

Faint squeeky noise could be a brake pad wear warning indicator. If light brake pressure makes the sound go away it confirms you need to have the brakes pads checked for wear and replaced as needed.

I won’t wait for your oil change. It could be minor, but then again…


#5

did you have a brake job done around the time when this faint noise started?


#6

Scrabbler, How Does This Hit You ?

Could the noise possibly be coming from your seat ? (Not your seat, but rather the Mazda’s seat)

It seems like you’d notice that getting in and out of the car. You could try sitting in the parked car, engine off, and imitate acceleration forces against the seat withyour body.

Mazda’s got several Technical Service Bulletins that include your 06 Six in remedies for seat squeak complaints.

squeaking noise from contact between the seat frame and the urethane seat back pad - remove seat trim and seat back pad and install Mazda silencer material (by part number depending on whether car has side airbags or not)

squeaking noise from under driver seat - lifter lube mechaism with molybdenum spray grease

squeaking noise from the front seat back due to contact between the seat frame and the seat frame spring - remove the seat trim and seat back pad and wrap vinyl tape around the clamp portion of the spring

squeaking noise from leather seats caused by leather surfaces contacting each other - tape off certain areas and apply silicone grease

Please tell if this is a possibility or if it’s nuts. You don’t say if the noise is a brief squeak or a more continuing sound.

CSA


#7

MoeParr: I’ll do what you say and report back

Uncle Turbo and cappy208: The car has never had a brake job done. The last time I was in the mechanic’s shop I was told I had about 30% left on the pads. That was about 9,000 miles ago (Because of scheduling issues, I had to use a quick lube shop last time I changed the oil–I used a locally owned shop I trust more than Skippy Lube) I have a hard time believing it’s the brakes, since it happens on acceleration, not deceleration and not braking.

CSA: You’re not nuts–I’ll check that and report back. The squeak seems to last for a few seconds. It’s so faint to my ears that it’s darn hard to even give a direction. The best analogy I can give is that it sounds like air escaping from a cylinder. It’s rather intermittent, too–it doesn’t always happen.

Scrabbler


#8

If it is a “squeak” but can also be compared to air escaping from a cylinder then it may be coming from one of the vacuum lines that controls the HVAC. This would make sense with hard acceleration since the vacuum suddenly drops at that point. Something that is just a little bit loose could do some vibrating at that point.

It can be hard to find but you might look along the firewall for any vacuum lines that feed through the wall. If you can find where they connect you could cap off the manifold feed port, go for a drive and see what happens. (Of course, your HVAC controls won’t work during this time).


#9

74K miles and no brake job as yet? 30% pad left 9K miles ago also leads to brakes as a strong possible. If you wait for noise and scraping when you brake it is too late to save the rotors. The wear indicators give you a little bit of notice before damage to rotors. It is a squeek that you’ll hear when you are not using the brakes, as soon as you touch the brakes the squeek stops. The noise you are describing is consistant with a brake wear indicator noise.

Regardless, you are due for a brake job and you should have the brakes checked for pad wear soon.


#10

For the interested, I tried to duplicate the noise on the way to work and back, and after work–here are the results:

  1. Twisting, squirming, pushing against the seat every which way produced no results.

  2. Revving the car at idle produced no results–either with the A/C on or off

  3. I was never able to duplicate the squeak when the car was moving slowly (e.g. city speed). I was able to duplicate it a number of times at or near highway speed.

  4. I was never able to duplicate it with the air conditioning off–I was able to duplicate it several times with the A/C on.

  5. At least once, the squeak occurred after I accelerated but had then let off on the throttle.

  6. The squeak is brief, a second or less–think of a basketball shoe on a gym floor. It appears to be coming from somewhere ahead of me.

Scrabbler


#11

I’m not yet letting go of the possibility of a minor vacuum line leak in the HVAC controls that “chirps” (quick whistle) when the vacuum changes considerably (wide open throttle, vacuum plummets/just after getting off of the throttle (vacuum shoots up). This would come from under/behind the dash and/or at or around the firewall.


#12

Cigroller–I’m very mechanically challenged. I just tried to attach a picture–if it attaches, is this what you are talking about?

Scrabbler


#13

The large black ones on the right look like heater hoses - so don’t do anything with those. I can’t say what the silver box is w/out being able to find the other end, but the vacuum feeds to the interior would be much smaller - very small black hoses, either hard plastic or rubber.

Not much time now - I’ll see if I can find something that helps out with the Mazda 6 later.


#14

Follow-up:

Wound up waiting about 500 miles, then taking it in. Here’s what I was just told over the phone by the mechanic:

  1. The brakes had plenty of wear left–he said he had no trouble replacing them, but. . .
    So I’m holding off on that

  2. The serpentine belt looked a litle glazed–he thought that might be causing some of my issues, so he suggested replacing it–sounded like cheap insurance, so I okayed that.

  3. The bad news: he said the air compressor was leaking oil “pretty badly.” He said it did not need to be addressed right away, but it did need to be addressed. He quoted me $1,600, saying a lot of other stuff had to be done to warranty the work (he explained what that was, but it went right over my head.) Right now, I’m thinking sometime before next summer.

Scrabbler