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Ask Jared D Your Own Question
Jared D
Jared D, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 1334
Experience:  Shop Supervisor at County Fleet
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I have a 2004 Mazda 3 manual, never had any problems until

Customer Question

I have a 2004 Mazda 3 manual, never had any problems until recently. It had rained heavily in san antonio and i hit a big puddle. From that point the AC would make a motor boat noise until it dried out. That problem went away once it dried out. Now a couple of months later, there is a light sputter sound when coming out of neutral from a stop that seems most relevant when the AC is on...it used to not happen at all if i'd turn the AC off when coming out of a stop in 1st, but now it still will. It's not insanely loud, but is becoming more frequent. I don't feel a loss of power and don't feel it hesitate when making this sound (maybe VERY slightly), but the sound is there. No check engine light. I do wonder about suspension issues, too.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mazda
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can feel it on the gas pedal coming from center or passenger side, just a guess from the vibration that comes with the noise.
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

I think you may have torn the transmission motor mount. The mount is on the driver's side on top of the transmission. It may have torn when you hit the puddle, or it was just then when you began to notice it. It is loudest when the AC is on because it requires more torque form the engine because of the increased load from the AC compressor. The easiest way to tell if the mount is out is to look at the mount and see if it is covered in rubber bits. It's tough to see because it's under the battery box, but you can usually sneak your and underneath it and pull it out covered in rubber from the mount.

The noise from this mount is occasionally confused for an exhaust leak because of the rattling noise it makes which gets worse as it wears out.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would this noise from the transmission mount stop once the car is warmed up. After driving awhile it no longer makes the sound and is back to normal. I'll check the mount in the morning and report back!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's a deep putter/almost soft grind sound. Not a metal grind but a soft grind/putter. I'll try to record it
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It really seems like the sound is coming from the passenger side or Center...definitely more passenger
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

I think it might just lessen as the vehicle warms up because it requires less torque to get the vehicle to move when the engine is at operating temperature. The first time I saw one of these I changed the rear mount, and front mount thinking it was one of them even though they both looked fine. Then when it persisted I finally realized there was a third mount- the transmission mount on the driver side. I changed it and the noise was gone.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will check it when the sun comes up and update you. Thank you!
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

Yeah, let me know how it looks. I've changed about 20 or so of those mounts since the first time I discovered it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Looking at it (and before I rent tools to take the transmission mount out) T Mount looks ok and no soft or broken rubber...motor mount has broken rubber and seems more in line with where the vibration sound seems to come from.
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

Yeah, I would agree; that mount does look a little worn. I would still change that transmission mount also, just from experience. My fleet has about 200 ford focuses and 4 cylinder fusions and they have the exact same engine and mount set-up and it seems like we have changed all of the mounts at some point.

Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

I also found this TSB from mazda. Might be a good place to check as well.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you! I have a manual though. I think this might fix my problem. When the wheel is turned all the way right there's a soft rumble/grind too...all problems started around the same time. Any chance they're all related?
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

Turning the wheel probably just puts extra load on the engine from the power steering pump and/or shifts things around so that the worn part on the mount is vibrating against metal on the frame.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You've been a great help. Thank you. I'll see this repair through
Expert:  Jared D replied 1 year ago.

I'm glad I could help! Let me know if you need any more advice.

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