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Car question - chain rattling noise over bumps

mmathis 6,891 948 May 2, 2011 at 02:09 PM
I've got a 08 Mazda 3, ~25k miles on it, and about 2 weeks ago it started making noise when going over bumps. It sounds like a chain rattling, and is coming from the rear driver wheel area. Took it to the dealer, who inspected it, and found a broken rear spring in the suspension. They want ~$300 to replace it ($70 for the part, $200 for labor, plus tax). Does this seem reasonable?

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#2
If that is not covered under warranty I would take it to an independent garage. More importantly why did the spring break with that few of miles? I also believe most of the times these are replaced as pairs. Can anyone verify this?
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#3
The actual spring broke? I would think that would cause more problems than just a rattling sound. It is fairly common for the strut mounts to wear over time and cause various noises. I would suspect this first, although it would take an inspection to confirm.

How is the ride quality? Do you have excessive bouncing when going over bumps, or too much sway? This would be a sign of worn or broken suspension parts such as the strut assembly.

As stated above, an independent shop is the way to go because they will be cheaper. They will also give you options to go with other brands of parts, which may be cheaper/better.

If it were me, I would jack the car up, take the wheel off, and inspect for myself. Then I would replace any worn or broken parts I found. Then again, I have access to most of the needed tools, have a second car I can drive, and have no fear of taking things apart.

$300 sounds right coming from a stealership.
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#4
seems reasonable compared to the dealer i used to go to.

i don;t go there anymore. they always found 200-400 dollars in work when i brought my car in for an oil change. they also told me i had a power steering leak almost 3 years ago. i filled the res up to max and its been hovering at that max line for the last 3 years....

i don;t think its the spring though, you can look under the car and see. if it was the spring i think the car dips. however i would talk to a sales guy. i would think any problems you are having should be covered. the car is less than 3 years old. FWIW, you can get your car serviced anywhere and it does not void the warranty. as long as you follow the maint schedule for the car you are covered.
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Last edited by dayv May 2, 2011 at 06:13 PM.
#5
timing chain
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#6
If it's less than three years, should be covered under warranty. If over three, then I agree, an independent shop is best, or if you are mechanically inclined you can at least look at it yourself and see if you think you can tackle it. $300 at a dealer sounds about right yet is way over priced.
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#7
I would think more like a broken spring seat or a broken bolt in the seat. I would check into the warranty and see if it's covered -- with only 25K miles, surely the warranty is still in effect?
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#8
He may have said spring seat, I thought he said spring though. Unfortunately, I got the car in Feb of 2008, so it is just out of the bumper-to-bumper warranty (3 years or 36k).

I took a look under the car (without jacking it up) and didn't see anything loose. I'm not too mechanically inclined (yet) and don't have the right tools unfortunately, so am not comfortable ripping the car apart myself.

I don't know of any good independent shops in the area (new car hasn't needed maintenance before!), so will probably just bite the bullet at the dealer :/


The car doesn't dip, doesn't ride any different that I noticed. As for why it broke at such low mileage - gotta love Chicago winters, and what they do to the roads Wink
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Last edited by mmathis May 2, 2011 at 11:59 PM.
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#9
Quote from mmathis View Post :
I've got a 08 Mazda 3, ~25k miles on it, and about 2 weeks ago it started making noise when going over bumps. It sounds like a chain rattling, and is coming from the rear driver wheel area. Took it to the dealer, who inspected it, and found a broken rear spring in the suspension. They want ~$300 to replace it ($70 for the part, $200 for labor, plus tax). Does this seem reasonable?
Price seems right. However, if it is the spring itself, you will want to replace both rear springs. If it is just the spring seat, just 1 is fine.
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#10
Quote from mmathis View Post :
He may have said spring seat, I thought he said spring though. Unfortunately, I got the car in Feb of 2008, so it is just out of the bumper-to-bumper warranty (3 years or 36k).

I took a look under the car (without jacking it up) and didn't see anything loose. I'm not too mechanically inclined (yet) and don't have the right tools unfortunately, so am not comfortable ripping the car apart myself.

I don't know of any good independent shops in the area (new car hasn't needed maintenance before!), so will probably just bite the bullet at the dealer :/


The car doesn't dip, doesn't ride any different that I noticed. As for why it broke at such low mileage - gotta love Chicago winters, and what they do to the roads Wink

http://cartalk.com/ They have a place where people recommend local good mechanics. You might go there to see what people suggest. Or try twitter with your local city hash tag.
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#11
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
http://cartalk.com/ They have a place where people recommend local good mechanics. You might go there to see what people suggest. Or try twitter with your local city hash tag.
Nice, didn't know about that!

Called one of the shops listed there, he ballparked it at $700-$800 :!: I'm guessing (hoping) he was talking about more than just the spring though, said he would need to get it up on the lift to give a better estimate. Not sure it's worth the hassle to go get the car, take it to this other place, only to find their price is higher. I'll keep them in mind for next time though, as they got great reviews.

Talked with the dealer again, he said it was definitely the spring itself, not the seat. Given the age of the car, he said they didn't see a need to replace both.
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#12
Quote from mmathis View Post :
Nice, didn't know about that!

Called one of the shops listed there, he ballparked it at $700-$800 :!: I'm guessing (hoping) he was talking about more than just the spring though, said he would need to get it up on the lift to give a better estimate. Not sure it's worth the hassle to go get the car, take it to this other place, only to find their price is higher. I'll keep them in mind for next time though, as they got great reviews.

Talked with the dealer again, he said it was definitely the spring itself, not the seat. Given the age of the car, he said they didn't see a need to replace both.
Well, generally, you WOULD want to replace both, regardless of what the dealer says. It's kind of like brake cylinders -- the second one in the set or pair seems to follow and fail quickly after the one that fails first and you just save yourself a lot of time and money by replacing them in sets or pairs.

Thing is, springs just don't normally break. They wear out over years and years and get weak, but they just don't normally break. I'd check for recalls on your car to see if there is a flag out for failed springs that you may be able to take action on and get this repair for free.

Also have the car checked by someone/some shop other than this dealer and see if the diagnosis is correct. I'm really doubting a broken spring. IF you bite the bullet and have this dealer fix your car, I'm really suspecting they are selling you a bill of goods to take your money. If they are standing by this diagnosis of your vehicle, they should be able to put the car up on a lift and point out the broken part to you before you pay to have it fixed.

Spring seats will break. Bolts that hold spring seats will break. Springs just don't break under normal driving conditions. They weaken, but they just don't normally break, unless made of defective material, or are subject to an extreme impact in a wreck.

Could it be they said it was a broken or worn out strut or a shock? Even if it was one of those, you would experience some dipping or bounce -- there would be more than just a noise. There would definately be something more noticeable than a noise if you have a broken spring, too -- IMHO. Unless you only drive around the block or a couple of miles a day on a very flat road.
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Last edited by callpocket May 3, 2011 at 09:58 PM.
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#13
Quote from callpocket View Post :
Thing is, springs just don't normally break. They wear out over years and years and get weak, but they just don't normally break... I'm really doubting a broken spring. IF you bite the bullet and have this dealer fix your car, I'm really suspecting they are selling you a bill of goods to take your money. If they are standing by this diagnosis of your vehicle, they should be able to put the car up on a lift and point out the broken part to you before you pay to have it fixed.

Spring seats will break. Bolts that hold spring seats will break. Springs just don't break under normal driving conditions. They weaken, but they just don't normally break, unless made of defective material, or are subject to an extreme impact in a wreck.
This is how I feel about it too. If your spring broke you could easily see it just by looking, and the handling would be absolutely terrible.
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#14
Quote from redpoint5 View Post :
This is how I feel about it too. If your spring broke you could easily see it just by looking, and the handling would be absolutely terrible.
Maybe he said cracked instead of broken....

I'll take a look at the part when I go to pick up the car. Of course, if the diagnosis is correct, I'll also be able to tell the moment I turn onto the road - no noise means it's fixed laugh out loud
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#15
Quote from redpoint5 View Post :
This is how I feel about it too. If your spring broke you could easily see it just by looking, and the handling would be absolutely terrible.
One would think so. The last 2 cars I have owned, both had a broken spring when I bought them (1 Ford and 1 VW). The ride is hardly any different AT ALL. It was hard for me to believe that a spring was broken. But I had really vague symptoms - handling was fine, just a rare "clunk" from the rear end. Got underneath and sure enough....spring broken clean in 2. Easy to tell visually, not as easy from behind the wheel.
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