I have been trying to fix a problem with my 06 Mazda3 (almost 90K miles) for, maybe 7-9 months now. I just got home from getting my struts all changed for about $1200 (and I would guess I am $1700+ in the hole overall on it) without fixing the problem, and I would appreciate any insight.
It started that going over bumps would cause the front passenger tire to “bottom out” and yield a quick “thud-thud-thud” that was very distinct from sound the driver side made, which was fewer, deeper “thuds”. The, later, I got noises that initially sounded like the tire brushing against the wheel well when I made sharp right turns. The noise would be more pronounced when I would turn hard right from a stop (so I would be accelerating). I would also sometimes get the suspension to “shudder” on the passenger side when I would accelerate suddenly. It seems like the nose of the car dipping during acceleration is what gets the rubbing/grinding noise.
I have brought this up at 3 oil changes at different places and brought the car in multiple other times when it bothered me. Every time they have told me everything looks fine. The noise used to happen sporadically but I could do it intentionally if I tried. Now it has gotten worse and it even happens when I bring it to the tire place, so at least I seem less paranoid. I am comforted that everything looks in order, but have avoided even getting on the highway for months fearing my wheel would fly off.
Since this started, I have:
- replaced the tires
- rotated the tires
- replaced the brakes
- replaced the front shocks
- replaced all of the struts (2 hours ago)
and in my ignorance and desperation tried to replace the wheel bearings, cv joints, and tie rods but was told they are fine. I had to push to get the shocks replaced, using the mileage as justification.
I am going to bring the car back to where I had my struts done 7am tomorrow morning, tell them it is still happening, and see if they can take another look. If no dice maybe I’ll call car talk a few hours later.
I really dont know what else I can do. I am trying to be a responsible motorist but it is driving me mad!
Any ideas? THanks for reading, sorry its so long-winded.