Noise during accerleration; anyone near Cloud??

Discussion in 'General Repair, Maintenance, and Warranty' started by fireguy, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. fireguy

    fireguy New Member

    I have an 04 Mazda 3 hatch (2.3 obviously). It has highish miles (145k) and bought it with 137k. It has been making a ticking (sounds like metal on metal) noise for the last month.

    I did a full synthetic oil change right before winter. In March it started making a weird noise under acceleration from 2.25 RPM and up. I checked the oil and it was super low - drained out about 2 quarts. I used an Amsoil engine cleaner product and replaced the oil with 3.5 quarts Castrol 5W20 and 1 quart Lucas. Needless to say the noise is still there.. Upon further inspection it seems like the oil canister housing was cracked and slowly leaked out oil over the winter. I replaced the canister housing with the spin on type from the 2.0 and the oil level is still the same as when I changed it in March.

    I don't know for sure if the oil loss is what caused this noise to start or not. I've been told by a friend and the Mazda dealer that it is likely a stuck valve lifter; however, the noise does not occur while the engine is cold unless I force it (rev it up in neutral to like 3k RPM). It does not happen at all until 2.25 RPM. Another friend ran a compression check and I am at 190 psi at each cylinder. The spark plugs also look good and are gapped correctly (looked like they were likely changed at 100k or later). There is no noticeable loss in performance or mileage (I am actually getting better MPG as I try to shift before 2.25 RPM to avoid the noise). The car idles perfectly normal and starts up without hesitation. The transmission shifts smooth like butter.

    Is there anyone in the St. Cloud area or somewhere reasonably close that could have a listen or is familiar with this engine? I don't really want to stick $1000+ into a valve job that likely won't fix the problem..

    Thank you in advance.
  2. mndsm

    mndsm I'M OFFENDED!

    Only thing I can think of is the oil pump might be failing, causing it to run out of huff at higher RPM. But if it was run down on oil, and you get the tick at a higher RPM, a valve job is possibly needed. I'd have to hear it to know for sure. Any way you can get a vid of it on Youtube?
  3. fireguy

    fireguy New Member

    For what it's worth:

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Ignore the radio..
  4. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    Might just be the audio on that recording, but that sounds more like a rattling/clattering sound than a ticking. Valve noise is usually pretty sharp and rhythmic, while bottom end noise is usually deeper. Can you get a recording with the hood open? Don't get too close to the motor (sounds get distorted) and try moving the camera slowly around the engine bay while someone holds the engine at constant RPM.

    Also, does the noise go away once you reach a certain RPM?

    It almost sounds a bit like my car does on a really cold start before the timing chain tensioner gets pressurized with oil.
  5. Big Nate

    Big Nate Chaos Engineer

    Just to think outside the motor. It sounds a little like a heat shield rattling. I have seen a lot of cars that have that many miles with rusty exhaust. There is one up by the motor near the firewall if i remember correctly. Check that and this could all be 10 seconds with a sawzall away from fixed.
  6. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    Good point. All the more reason to get in/around/under the engine to try and pinpoint the source.
  7. fireguy

    fireguy New Member

    Try this one:

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    I wish it were that heat shield. Now that I could listen to it, it seems to me like the sound is coming from the passenger side of the engine. Sorry if the sound is still not quite awesome..
  8. fireguy

    fireguy New Member

    Sorry for the double post; I can't edit?

    I checked my oil again and it is full and looks clean. My passenger side motor mount looks/feels fine, belt looks good (no chunks/debris).

    Could one of the other mounts cause a noise like this?
  9. Big Nate

    Big Nate Chaos Engineer

    Isn't the timing belt on that side? Also isn't the serpentine belt tentioner on that side?

    I would remove your serpentine belt and see if the belt tentioner feels good or any other pulley on that side is tight or shot.

    with the miles you have on the car you are at the end of life of so many different things. Start with the cheap stuff and work your way to top end rebuild.
  10. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    If it's at the passenger side of the motor I'd definitely be looking at the accessory belt tensioner and timing chain tensioner.
  11. mndsm

    mndsm I'M OFFENDED!

    My guess is a serpentine belt pulley or the tensioner.
  12. escort1991

    escort1991 New Member

    Sounds similar to when my tensioner went out on my Kawasaki ninja zx6r when I had it. Otherwise, check that front heat shield on the header.
  13. DrWebster

    DrWebster Guest

    FWIW, my serpentine belt tensioner started wearing out at about 85k. No crazy rattles like what your car is doing (I replaced it right away), but it is a known wear item on 3's.
  14. fireguy

    fireguy New Member

    So anyone willing and able to help me swap engines? I've got massive rod knock and quit driving my car. I've got a new engine already and what not..
  15. fireguy

    fireguy New Member

    I don't know what the issue was: serpentine belt and tensioner were fine, the camshafts looked fine, there were hardly even any metal shavings in the oil pan.. I'm sure something in the lower end is major wack, but I haven't gotten that far and don't really care right now.

    So I swapped out the engine with an 06 Ford Fusion per this guide:

    I have a couple issues that I posted here:

    But, it seems I don't get much response there.. Can anyone here help me out, or at least tell me where the bracket goes that I have shown on the mazda3forums post?


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