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3rd Gen Protege/MazdaSpeed/P5/MP3 General/Maintenance Discussion for 1999-2003.5 Models Only (BJ Chassis)

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Old March-15th-2005, 10:33 AM   #1
Trankuility
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Why does my front end feels like it's sliding to the side EVERY time I hit a bump?

2000 Protege LX Manual Transmission

Here's the the problem...

When I hit a bump it feels like the front end of the car slides to the side a bit. What's up with that? It's bugging the hell out of me and I can only assume it's not a good thing.


Here's some background info (might help to diagnose the problem):

A while back I got some new tires put on the front end right before I took a long road trip. There was a defect in one of the new tires which I knew nothing about till a quarter way into the trip when suddenly the car kept goin BUMP BUMP BUMP BUMP BUMP...

Got the tires changed as soon as I could (which was about 50 miles later due to being in the middle of nowhere) then took the tires back to the dealer and got them replaced. A few weeks later I noticed my alignment was phucked. I THINK driving with the defected tire screwed up the alignment. Got the alignment fixed and the worn down tire (due to alignment) replaced. So right now one tire is newer and has more tread than the other.

After fixing the alignment the dealer told me that I needed a new chassis pad or somethin. Don't remember the name but he said it's absorbes the shock from the engine to the frame. Said there are 4 of em and 1 needs to be replaced.

Took the car home and the aligment was fine...then a couple days later it started pulling to the left. A week later it started going straight again BUT now feels like it's sliding to the side a bit every time I hit a bump. I ASSUME it's the wheels jiggling when I hit a bump but I don't know. But both my front end plastic wheel covers have come off while driving recently. I suspect it from the constant wigglin when hitting bumps. On top of that, every time I make a sharp turn (like when backing out of a parking space) it feels like my wheels are bumping against something.

Really...I'm at a complete loss and extremely frustrated and don't know what to do or what's up. Argh! If someone could PLEASE help me out here I'd be very appreciative.

Thanks.

Last edited by Trankuility; March-15th-2005 at 10:43 AM.
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Old March-15th-2005, 11:03 AM   #2
pro5
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Have the tires rotated and balanced, move the new tire to the back. Next check CV Joints/axles. You could have those blown. It is easier to replace the whole axle than just CV joints. Hope that solves problem. Maybe someone more qualified on forum can help shed some more light on this subject.
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Old March-15th-2005, 11:52 AM   #3
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Shaking...

It sounds like something is seriously loose in the front end. It is unlikely the tires caused it...they're just being abused by whatever is broken. Try to find a competent front end shop to check the suspension and steering out thoroughly. the hardest par tmay be figuring who in your area is any good at front ends1
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Old March-15th-2005, 12:03 PM   #4
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How long have you owned this car?
Honestly, it sounds to me as if the car has been in a bad accident and was not or could not have been fixed properly.
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Old March-15th-2005, 12:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info so far guys.

I'm the original owner of the car. Never been in an accident. Never pushed my car hard by racing or anything. Just normal wear and tear. Only thing out of the ordinary was the driving with defected tires and alignment. I was seriously broke for a while and couldn't afford to fix the alignment for about two months.
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Old March-15th-2005, 01:05 PM   #6
tom grossmann
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Get your car to a qualified mechanic ASAP , something in the front end is flexing. Either the camber or caster is changing on one side of the car. You have in effect bump steer. At highway speeds you may find yourself off the road suddenly or into a barrier.
The bad bushing on the engine tranny mount could cause this but as said get the whole front end inspected , if you allow this to continue fatique may cause a suspension failure.


Tom
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Old May-11th-2005, 09:51 AM   #7
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I just had new tires installed last year and a 4 wheel alignment last week on my Protege 5. A few days after the alignment, I was hearing and feeling a slight clunking sound going over low speed bumps, expansion joints or pulling into parking lots and it could be felt through the steering wheel. All the suspension components were fine, ie tie rod ends, sway bar end links, ball joints, etc. The mechanic doing the alignment noticed right away the clunking I was experiencing which even he said he didn't feel last week as he was pulling up the ramp. It turns out the sub frame mounting bolts had stretched enough to cause the clunking and said there wasn't much resistance with the air ratchet to see how tight they are when he backed a couple of them off. He re-torqued all of them and the problem immediately disappeared and the steering feel vastly improved. I also had a friend recently experience the same problem with a Mustang. So I would suggest having the sub frame mounting bolts re-torqued.
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Old May-11th-2005, 03:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantis
I just had new tires installed last year and a 4 wheel alignment last week on my Protege 5. A few days after the alignment, I was hearing and feeling a slight clunking sound going over low speed bumps, expansion joints or pulling into parking lots and it could be felt through the steering wheel. All the suspension components were fine, ie tie rod ends, sway bar end links, ball joints, etc. The mechanic doing the alignment noticed right away the clunking I was experiencing which even he said he didn't feel last week as he was pulling up the ramp. It turns out the sub frame mounting bolts had stretched enough to cause the clunking and said there wasn't much resistance with the air ratchet to see how tight they are when he backed a couple of them off. He re-torqued all of them and the problem immediately disappeared and the steering feel vastly improved. I also had a friend recently experience the same problem with a Mustang. So I would suggest having the sub frame mounting bolts re-torqued.
Wow, I think you may have just solved my problem as well. I've been hearing the same "clunking" noise when I go over the slightest bumps, but I only hear it at low speeds. For example it's most noticeable when I pull up into my driveway.
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Old May-11th-2005, 03:28 PM
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