Author Topic: Mazda 3 road noise  (Read 5327 times)

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Offline Mister P

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Mazda 3 road noise
« on: September 15, 2013, 04:52:16 PM »
I’ve had my Mazda 3 for two and a half years and I feel I need to express my opinion/review of it now I’ve really settled into it.

It is difficult to know what to get these days, so I decided on three: Ford Focus, Mazda 3 or Vauxhall Astra. The Astra I wanted had only been on the market for six months so it was outside of my price range. The Focus, although a good car, tends to look a bit bland so this left the Mazda 3 as my choice. The only reason the Mazda was on my list was because of its looks. 
I went to my local Mazda dealer and found a Mazda 3 Sport 1.6, 09 plate. It was one owner with 7500 miles on the clock. This one had the keyless entry & start. So I did the deal and went for it, I now wish I hadn’t.
 
My biggest gripe with it is the horrendously high level of road noise, I know it’s mentioned in the reviews but I don’t think they make enough of an issue about it. I thought I’d get used to it but I can’t, it’s got to the point now that I hate driving it. Even with the sound system up loud and the windows open I can still hear it. In the 45 years I’ve been driving I’ve never driven a car that kicks up so much racket.  I can even feel it through the steering sometimes.

It’s like a constant thunderous roar and when I go over any sections of resurfaced road it goes into, what I can only describe as, a hollow sounding louder noise. I’ve had new tyres on the front (different make) and it makes no difference. I can’t really fathom out why it’s like this, it’s supposedly based on the Ford Focus, but that car doesn’t make anything like as much noise.

When I moan about it, the dealer says it’s because it’s got low profile tyres. Well, I’ve just driven a Vauxhall Astra with even lower profile and wider tyres and I can’t hear any noise at all. I think there is something fundamentally wrong with the design of the suspension, it’s as though there is no rubber bushing between the suspension mounting points and the chassis. I reckon if I took the wheels off this Mazda and put them on another car there would be no noise. Likewise, if I took the same size wheels off another car that had no noticeable road noise, they would be noisy on the Mazda. 
   
The other thing that I notice is the noisy first gear. When I pull away it sounds like an old lorry. When I took it for the first service I moaned about these things and they said they all do it and arranged for me to borrow their courtesy car of the same model. It was two years later than mine with the same mileage and that made just the same noises as mine.
 
Fuel consumption is not that good. If I drive it very gingerly I can get high thirties on the motorway.  If I drive it at a normal rate on the motorway and round the town, it’s low thirties. Driving 350 miles to Cornwall at a reasonable pace I only get 43 MPG. My Vectra which was a 2.2 with another 50 BHP and 65000 on the clock and was heavier, returned 41 MPG on the same run to Cornwall.

On the positive side: it handles well and is light on the steering and the gear change is nice. The climate control works very well too. If it wasn’t for the road noise it would be a nice car.
   


           

Offline Wash

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Re: Mazda 3 road noise
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2013, 07:20:22 AM »
It's all down to a lack of sound deadening, the Focus (and the Astra) have more sound deadening and as a result you get less road noise in those cars. If you want to keep your car but you want to get reduce the road noise then you can buy sound proofing materials to help with this.

Offline Mister P

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Re: Mazda 3 road noise
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 08:27:28 PM »
Hello Wash, thanks for your reply.

I have thought of that but I’m not convinced it will make that much difference. If someone has done this and it cures the problem it would be good to hear from them.
I’ve been on a lot of sites investigating this and there are photos of people with their cars stripped out and putting soundproofing in but they don’t make much comment on whether it solves the noise.
If it is that simple why don’t Mazda do it, now that there is so much publicity around this subject?  They’ve had long enough to sort it.

When I first got the car I took a friend of mine out in it to see if he noticed it. I didn’t say anything about it beforehand; I just said what do you think of the car? He said it was a nice car but picked up on the road noise saying “There’s a lot of road noise and it would get on my nerves on a long journey, I wouldn’t expect that from a car of this quality”. 

I’ve copied some comments from a website (spelling errors included) and also the address of the site itself, for you to look at if you wish, regarding this subject. One of the comments mentions the ‘funnelling effect’ which I’ve heard from a few sources, including my local Vauxhall dealer who test drove my Mazda with a view to me trading it in. I can’t really get my head round that either.

Quote regarding fitting your own soundproofing:
‘All great suggestions =) , but you shouldn't have to do this — it is bordering on not fit for purpose and is the kind of thing you would expect from Proton or Chery, not from one of the leading automakers’.

Quote:
‘Is this normal for Mazda 3?
Yes it is unfortunately normal. The current and previous shape suffers from noise entering the cabin. It’s the way the shell funnels the noise in’
‘What if anything can be done to reduce road noise?
Other than quite tyres which you have added and possibly adding more sound deadening material, pretty much nothing :-(‘

Site these comments came from:

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2102461

Offline Nick

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Re: Mazda 3 road noise
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 08:59:06 PM »
Can't say this is scientific but I went out in my recently bought '09 plate Mk2 1.6 sport with a noise level app running on my phone.
Around town (30mph) it sat at 60dB peaking at 72db occasionally. On the motorway(70mph) it sat at around 70dB peaking at 80dB on the noisiest tarmac.
When driving around town the most noticeable noise came through the doors when traffic was passing in the opposite direction. Thought I'd left a window down a bit but hadn't. Other than that.......

All done without radio on etc.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 09:25:42 PM by Nick »

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Re: Mazda 3 road noise
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 08:59:06 PM »