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Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - Nick Mazda 6 TS2

I have a 2004 Mazda 6 with 50,000 miles on the clock. I have noticed there is a throbbing sort of womp womp womp womp noise coming from the front wheel area. It is most noticeable between 30 and 50mph, I can also feel a vibration through the floor and slightly through the steering wheel. I though maybe wheel bearing but the mileage doesnt seem high enough and the noise isnt a constant groan as you would usually expect. It also makes no difference if I steer either way when the noise can be heard as it usually would if a bearing was shot. I have also spun and wiggled the wheels with the car jacked up and there is no looseness or noise and the wheel slowly spins to a stop.

I have spoken to 2 mechanics who cant narrow down what the problem is, or even what side it is. I have had the brakes, suspension and CV checked which all seem ok. I have also swapped the front wheels with the rear to try to rule out tires and the noise still remains and sounds like its still in the front, they also appear to be wearing ok. The front discs and pads have also been changed which hasnt made a difference.

The only thing I have noticed is that the wheel alignment is slightly off as the car pulls off to the left if I let go of the wheel on a straight road. I have had other cars with the alignment out and have never had the noise I am getting now, its not even that far out.

I dont want to throw money after loads of parts to eventually solve it so any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks

Nick

Top Reply

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - Nick Mazda 6 TS2

Finally fixed the problem. After a couple of long motorway runs the noise got worse. I noticed it seemed to get louder when turning right and ease off when going left which indicates a bad offside wheel bearing. Turned out to be correct. It didnt make the usual bearing noise, didnt wobble when I had it jacked up and didnt grumble when I spun the wheel off the ground so hope this helps anyone with a similar issue. Once the hub was off you could turn the bearing by hand and it felt a bit stiff & gritty.

Thanks for the suggestions

Nick

All Replies

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - TeeCee

I'd be looking very carefully at the front tyres. All the hallmarks of a carbuncle, probably on an inside tyre wall where you can't see it and usually caused by straddling road cushions rather than putting one wheel over the middle.

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - gordonbennet

TC's suggestion sounds good, swapping front and rear wheels should confirm, obviously check the front suspension etc out whilst the wheel is off, including spinning the wheels up by hand..

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - Peter.N.

I would have suggested a tyre problem but if swapping with the rear didn't make any difference the only part that rotates with any ammount of load on it is the wheel bearing, given the mileage I wouldn't have expected it but its the most likely cause.

If by wheel alignment you mean tracking, that will not normally cause a car to pull to one side, incorrect camber angle will but that's unlikely to be wrong unless some damage has occured. Unevenly worn tyres can cause bias to one side but swapping them over should at least have changed it.

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - Nick Mazda 6 TS2

I have inspected the tires and there are no bulges or anything else to be suspicious of, its so irritating when you cant pin point a problem like this, especially when I have passengers and they comment on the noise.

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - Nick Mazda 6 TS2

I have spun the wheels up by hand and there doesnt seem to be any resistance, noise or vibration so if it is a bearing it is only causing a problem under load which I would expect to get worse when I steer as this would either lighten or exaggerate the load on the dodgy wheel. I would be tempted to just get the bearing changed but its knowing which side is the problem. One of the mechanics I spoke to said we could try to spin the wheels up on his rolling road to see if we could replicate the noise but I still think distinguishing the side is going to be a struggle.

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - bathtub tom

Has it got a loose undertray or wheel arch liner?

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - Nick Mazda 6 TS2

Nothing like that, I had to take the undertray off as when removing it for a service some of the bolts sheered off and havent had it fixed. All wheel arch liners are secure. Its more of a rhythmic rotation noise that increases and decreases with speed.

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - gordonbennet

Did have a sound and vibration like this when unbeknown to me one of the drive shaft couplings rubber boots had split and dumped the grease contents.

I hated that 306 from the moment i bought it.

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - Nick Mazda 6 TS2

I checked all of the boots and couldnt see any tears, they looked in really good condition actually. There was no grease on or around the boot area to suggest that they had leaked at any point either. This is why the problem is so annoying as I have checked everything I know of that could cause the problem and it all appears ok so maybe it is a bearing that isnt giving the usual symptoms of failure. It sounds like a bigger rotation though so im still thinking a tire problem as bearings being smaller usually rotate quickly making a very fast noise whereas the noise I have is slower, probably about 2 or maybe 3 "womps" a second when doing about 40mph. I would still be suprised if a bearing had failed after just 50,000 miles but I have heard of it happening so maybe I am unlucky, either way I still cant hear what side it is to even think about replacing.

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - gordonbennet

You haven't mentioned swapping front and rear tyres yet, did you?

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - Nick Mazda 6 TS2

Yep, did this last week. Problem still present and sounds like the same area......annoyingly! I had hoped it would make some sort of change but it hasn't

Mazda 6 - Womp Womp noise from front of car - Nick Mazda 6 TS2

Finally fixed the problem. After a couple of long motorway runs the noise got worse. I noticed it seemed to get louder when turning right and ease off when going left which indicates a bad offside wheel bearing. Turned out to be correct. It didnt make the usual bearing noise, didnt wobble when I had it jacked up and didnt grumble when I spun the wheel off the ground so hope this helps anyone with a similar issue. Once the hub was off you could turn the bearing by hand and it felt a bit stiff & gritty.

Thanks for the suggestions

Nick

 

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