CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Mazda CX 9 Grinding sound on slow right turn on a slight downward incline

Our 2008 Mazda CX 9 has been making a grinding sound and also the ABS light comes on when we make a right turn on a slight decline after having come to a stop. We have reported to Mazda multiple times but they always say they can’t replicate the problem and can’t find anything. I am concerned that something in the car is becoming more and more damaged because there is no way something grinding like that can be good for the car and I am frustrated that it’s never been diagnosed especially now that it’s out of warranty although I established a record of the issue long before the warranty period expired. Any ideas? Anyone have this problem with their Mazda CX 9. Anyone had it resolved and can say what it is? Thanks.

I don’t have a Mazda but would suspect your brake pads may be the problem. Maybe they are not seated correctly or perhaps they are just worn out.
How many miles does this car have on the current brake parts?

To make sure it isn’t the drive shaft(s), go to an empty parking long and drive slow tight circles. If possible, have a helper stand outside and see if he/she can hear anything. Drive in a circle, left and right. Drive in a straight line. See whether the condition occurs.
Then do the same with the brake slightly dragging (iow, press the brake pedal slightly).

It could be a wheel bearing as well but let’s see what you find doing that^.

If the ABS light comes on, then I believe someone should be able to retrieve some codes by scanning the computer. Has your Mazda dealer tried to do this?

@RemcoW can you explain why the brake pads would be the problem?

Low brake pads would cause the fluid level in the reservoir to drop, causing the red brake indicator to come on, but the OP made no mention of that light only the ABS light, which would be amber.

Ah that’s a good point. You’re right: the pads not seated right or having worn down would likely not turn the the abs light on.

Maybe some sort of slop issue with the half shaft or wheel bearing. The half shaft does does have that speed sensor ring on it. Slop could potentially make noise, allow the ring to move out of the range of the sensor and cause the the ABS light to turn on.

I think it is a good idea to roll it around in a parking lot to see what wheel has the issue under what condition. Then pop the wheel off to see what’s going on.

How many miles does it have on it?
This is just a guess, but I’ll guess damaged wheel bearings. Today’s cars use double-row ball bearing sets, and a damaged bearing could conceivable not only cause the grinding sound, but also allow enough slop to trigger the ABS light via Remco’s theory.