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Weird sound-back left side

My Mazda 626 is making a really weird noise somewhere around the back left corner of the car (from the driver’s seat). I just noticed it a couple of days ago, ironically enough, shortly after I picked it up from the mechanic for something totally unrelated!

I really only notice it when I’m going under 20mph. It’s a dragging/clunky sound like something is loose. My husband checked it out briefly but didn’t seem to notice anything different. Any ideas out there? I know I need to call my mechanic again, but after spending over $1,000 on repairs for both of our cars, my husband and I aren’t thrilled about having to take this car back so quickly!

Could we please have some more details?

Do you hear the noise only when you apply the brakes, or do you hear it only when the brakes are not applied?
or…do you hear the noise at all times when driving less than 20 mph?

What is the model year of your Mazda?
How many miles are on the odometer?

Has your husband checked the lug nuts on the left rear wheel?

And…what exactly was repaired recently by your mechanic?

Sooner = Better on such issues. A good shop is eager to confirm they didn’t overlook anything while a bad shop suddenly ducks and dodges any hint that they made a mistake. But you will either be reassured or know you need to have a second opinion on whatever work was done.

I hear the sound whether I’m applying the brakes or not–it doesn’t constantly make the noise, but at least 50% of the time it does.

The car is a 1999 Mazda 626, and it has about 115,000 miles on it.

He didn’t check anything on the wheel–yikes, that sounds scary. Should I not be driving it until I know for sure?

My mechanic replaced the oxygen sensor. I’ve been taking this car to them for over 2 years and totally trust them…but I should probably still give them a call.

If the only thing that your mechanic worked on was the oxygen sensor, then it would seem that the recent repair work is not related to this new problem. As to what the problem might actually be…any cyber-diagnosis is really just a shot in the dark.

You have to realize that, even though this car does not have a lot mileage on it relative to its age, it IS 13 years old, and parts do wear out and parts do rust-out as a car ages.

Rather than try to reassure you–from afar–that this is nothing to worry about, I suggest that you get the car back to your mechanic a.s.a.p.

Brakes, wheel bearing, or something in the trunk rattling. If brakes, the sound will usually change when pressing on the brake peddle. If wheel bearing, the noise is usually most apparent (at first anyway) when making low speed turns, like when driving around in parking lots, and you know how to decide if it is something in the trunk – remove everything including the spare tire and jack and see if it goes away. In any event, I expect this won’t break the bank to fix it.

Could be related to the O2 sensor if they were working on the exhaust and it is rubbing against the car.