Posted this in another part of the forum, but its specific to the mazda3-
First post- I am a prospective mazda3 buyer and test drove 6 different ones today. I tested used mazda3's from 2005 to 2008 models. On 3 of the 6, the ignition made a strange noise upon turning the key.
Upon turning the key and starting the car, the engine made a grinding noise, sounding like metal scraping on metal. Once the engine got running it went away, or atleast I didnt notice it. Every time I started these three cars it did it.
The first one I heard it on, I figured the car was messed up and wrote it off. I went on to test 2 others that made an identical noise and got worried. Is this normal? Im obviously not going to buy a used car with mechanical issues, but if 3 of the 6 i tried made the same noise, is it normal? If its a problem, any clue what it could be? The cars otherwise ran perfectly fine. Thanks for any input.
Register today for free or log-in if already registered to remove this ad!
... The first one I heard it on, I figured the car was messed up and wrote it off. I went on to test 2 others that made an identical noise and got worried. Is this normal?
... If its a problem, any clue what it could be? The cars otherwise ran perfectly fine. Thanks for any input.
There were some minor changes between the 2005 and 2006 models, but nothing I am aware of that should cause a noise such as you describe? But there are several possibilities.
Cars that have been retrofit with solid urethane or harder aftermarket motor mounts do sound different when cranking and upon initial start up. I'm not sure I would describe it as a metal-to-metal sounds though, just cruder. Less civil. These mounts also cause what will seem like a "kick" upon initial start up as well, but it then goes away.
A car with weak or bad motor mounts might make a noise like you are describing. The R.S. upper mount is fluid-filled and if the rubber bladder is cracked and the fluid has drained from it the mount can drop slightly so that there is an aluminum-on-aluminum situation.
And the lower transmission mount, or "torque" mount might cause a noise like this also. These soft factory rubber mounts are known to crack or break away with time (or abuse) and need to be replaced. That would be a steel to aluminum sound.These are both easy fixes, but the mounts are around $100-$130 apiece.
If it had been only one car, like you I might've thought it had been mishandled and had a messed up ring gear or starter pinion, but its odd that half of the ones you drove made the same noise.
Let me ask you, were all the cars that made the noise earlier, or later model year cars?
Also, did you drive both manual and automatic transmission cars, and was one type of transmission making the noise you describe?
What kind of mileage did these cars have?
Can you narrow down for me the year and engine/transmission the cars that showed these symptoms?
I drove 5 automatics and 1 manual, and the manual did not make the noise.
the first car that made the grinding noise was a 2008 with 70k miles.
second car was a 2008 80k miles.
third was a 2005 60k miles.
again, once they started they all ran normally. the best way to describe the noise was if you had a metal blade whirring and it was nipping another metal plate. just the sound of metal tapping metal, getting faster and faster. considering half of the vehicles i tested made this noise I was very surprised to see no responses on google. i otherwise love the car so im anxious to figure out what it is.
Hmmmm.... Well I have to say after 6 years on these and other Mazda/automotive forums, as well as some 40yrs of personal experience, I have never heard of this particular symptom either... unless as I said, its a bad starter pinion or ring gear??
Idler pully bearing have been known to go bad and engine mounts but most of those noises are heard after the engine is running, or driving as well as on start up.
All I can say is if you find a car you really like and want to buy, take it to a "trusted" local mechanic and pay to have it checked out. Stay with the car if you can and make sure the mechanic is checking everything. The process should take several hours to complete if a thorough inspection is done. Yes, it will cost a bit up front (+/-$100) but could save you tons of headaches and repairs later.
I tested 4 more today, 1 of the 4 made the noise. I called a local mazda dealership service station and told him my situation and he gave me a vague answer, but said he kind of knew the noise I was talking about and that its typical. he wouldnt really delve into a source or reason, so he may have been bsing me, but he did say he knew what i was talking about.
i talked to a neighbor that seemes to be knowledgeable of cars, and he said he thought it had to do with the starter. that it wasnt something to be completely worried about, and that when its cold sometimes cars that havent been driven a lot may make the noise? no idea if that even makes sense, but at this point il take anything. i really like the mazda3, and am hoping this weird noise doesnt decide whether i get one.