Trying to Determine Location/Cause of High Pitch Noise - 2004 to 2016 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
Gozen
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Trying to Determine Location/Cause of High Pitch Noise

I'm trying to determine the location and cause of a noise I started to hear about a month and a half to two months ago. The noise only happens under certain conditions, so even if I was to take my vehicle to a garage/dealership, there is a pretty good chance they won't be able to replicate or hear the noise at this time.

My vehicle is a 2014 Mazda3 s Touring with a little over 29,000 miles. Towards the end of April of this year, I took off my snow tires and (steel) wheels and put my OEM wheels and tires back on the vehicle.

The noise I hear only happens at certain vehicle speeds (not engine speed) and when it is hot and/or humid outside.

I drive 30 miles, one-way, to work each day, and I can sometimes drive all 30 miles to work without hearing the noise when it is cooler outside. By cooler temps, I mean low 60 degrees F and anything lower. However, when I drive home, when it is usually much hotter outside, I may start to hear the noise after 15-30 minutes of driving. The noise seems to only happen when the vehicle is going faster than 25 MPH. It seems like I can really hear the noise between 40-50 MPH though. Once I drop below 25 MPH, I don't hear the noise at all. Applying the brakes or pressing the accelerator pedal don't seem to have any correlation with the noise I'm hearing. It's odd because for a few seconds I can be traveling at 45 MPH and hear the noise, then I can slow down or accelerate, and then I can return back to 45 MPH and I may not hear the noise immediately even though I just hear it at that same speed several seconds ago.

As it's usually only me in the vehicle, it's hard to pinpoint if the noise is coming from one of the wheels, under the hood, or elsewhere in the vehicle.

It's hard for me to give an accurate description of the noise, but I guess the best way to describe it would be like a high-pitch type electronic noise. Almost like the noise you hear if you have the Bi-Xenon HID headlights and you turn them on, then go near them under the hood and you will hear the noise. The high pitch noise I'm hearing is almost at one of those frequencies that even if I am able to hear it, someone else may not be able to hear it. The noise is tricky to hear if there is music playing, the blower is on, or the windows are down.

I did my best to try and hear the noise by putting the windows down, but it was still hard to hear and pinpoint, mainly due to wind noise since I can only hear the noise at higher speeds.

I can't say I noticed the noise when I had my snow tires on, but then again it also didn't get very hot when I had them on. I did drive on the snow tires a few days though when the temperatures did get quite high in the mid-80s to low-90s, and can't say I noticed the noise then. I didn't notice/hear the noise last year when I was driving on my OEM all-seasons.

I'm not sure if it is possible for my OEM tires to be making that noise under these conditions. I know I am in need of an alignment and re-balancing as I did not have an alignment in the 29,000+ miles of vehicle ownership. When I put my OEM all-season tires back on in late April, I did make sure to rotate the tires. It does seem odd that I only hear the noise when it is hot/humid outside.

The only other thing I can think of that I do when it is hot/humid is run the air conditioner. The AC works great and sounds great inside of the vehicle. When I did hear the noise, I did make it a point to turn off the AC/climate control system at that time to see if the noise would stop, but I did still hear the noise.

The closest post I was able to find online by searching was from @bui1trite here, http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2...ing-sound.html but I'm not sure if that noise is the exact same as the one I am hearing.

To summarize: Noise only happens at certain vehicle speeds (25 MPH or faster) only when it is hot/humid outside. Not sure if it is coming from tire/wheel area or under the hood. Thinking it is possibly coming from a tire(s) or is might somehow be related to the air conditioner and/or maybe battery.

If anyone has any thoughts on what this may be or anything else I can do to help troubleshoot or pinpoint the noise, please let me know.

Thanks!

EDIT: I drove home from work last night without the AC on, I had the climate control and blower off altogether, and the noise still started. I also forgot to mention in my original post that I did do simple things like checking the pressure of my tires and checking the torque of my lug nuts.

EDIT 2: Thanks for the suggestions.

I wanted to give an update that I had an oil change done last week, and today I had a tire rotation, wheel re-balancing, and alignment done. Unfortunately, the noise is still present and didn't change.

I did my best to record audio of the noise. I'm sure it will be difficult to hear since it isn't an extremely loud noise. You can listen to it here: https://youtu.be/VunCkgqnTWQ

I did record for 4 minutes as the noise doesn't happen constantly and will only start once the vehicle is traveling around mid-20 MPH and faster.

EDIT 3: I received a private message from another forum member who suggested looking into the diff seals. They said that the easy way to tell if it is the diff seals or not is to spray some kind of lubricant, and take it for a test drive to see if the noise comes back. They also mentioned that the seals in question are located at the trans where the axles go in.

I asked this member if I may tag them and give them credit in this post, but I haven't received a reply yet.

I had my vehicle at my local Mazda service department the other day and mentioned to them what I was told about the seals. I wasn't sure if they would be able to replicate and/or hear the noise. In the end, and I think much to their surprise, they ended up cleaning the right axle seal and also applied lubricant to it and the noise went away. The manager of the service department said if the noise comes back, to let them know and they can order a new seal(s).

Hopefully this information can help others. Thanks again to everyone for their input and help.

Last edited by Gozen; 07-27-2015 at 09:33 AM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2015, 04:31 AM
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On another car forum some people were describing a similar noise and it was attributed to the alternator. It was usually heard at WOT.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2015, 11:54 AM
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Shot in the dark... could it be related to the TPMS?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I wanted to give an update that I had an oil change done last week, and today I had a tire rotation, wheel re-balancing, and alignment done. Unfortunately, the noise is still present and didn't change.

I did my best to record audio of the noise. I'm sure it will be difficult to hear since it isn't an extremely loud noise. You can listen to it here: https://youtu.be/VunCkgqnTWQ

I did record for 4 minutes as the noise doesn't happen constantly and will only start once the vehicle is traveling around mid-20 MPH and faster.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 02:43 PM
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Hello. So today in Toronto it was pretty darn hot and I too experienced the exact same sound you described. It Sounds like a hybrid engine (high pitched noise) between 40-60km/h. I popped the car into N and shut it off while driving and the noise was still present. I have a feeling its the wheel bearing. I have to take it in soon for service, if its still making the noise I will go on a road test with the mechanic.
Keep me posted.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 04:03 PM
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This has all the hallmarks of a faulty/damaged/warped wheel hub bearing assembly, which I just had replaced a couple of weeks ago. Solved the problem of similar noises coming from my car, and hope it works for you guys as well.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanxun View Post
This has all the hallmarks of a faulty/damaged/warped wheel hub bearing assembly, which I just had replaced a couple of weeks ago. Solved the problem of similar noises coming from my car, and hope it works for you guys as well.
Thank you for the reply. Did you replace it yourself, or have a dealership or someone else replace it? If it was a dealership, was it covered under the warranty? About how many miles did you have on your vehicle when you replaced it?

Last edited by Gozen; 07-20-2015 at 11:25 AM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Gozen View Post
Thank you for the reply. Did you replace it yourself, or have a dealership or someone else replace it? If it was a dealership, was it covered under the warranty? About how many miles did you have on your vehicle when you replaced it?
My left-front wheel hub bearing was damaged when I hit a massive pothole, so I was technically at fault. As such, it was not covered under warranty. I had a private mechanic replace mine and my insurance covered it (about $450-$500 parts, labor, taxes, etc.); however, my premiums will go up. Car had about 5,500 miles on the clock.

If your high pitched whine emerged without any obvious cause (accident), then I'd have the dealer from whom you purchased check it out (road test with aim to reproduce the high pitch at speed) and try to have it fixed under warranty.

Hope this helps and let us know how things go.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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I have an update @seanc81 , @nanxun , and anyone else keeping an eye on this thread.

I received a private message from another forum member who suggested looking into the diff seals. They said that the easy way to tell if it is the diff seals or not is to spray some kind of lubricant, and take it for a test drive to see if the noise comes back. They also mentioned that the seals in question are located at the trans where the axles go in.

I asked this member if I may tag them and give them credit in this post, but I haven't received a reply yet.

I had my vehicle at my local Mazda service department the other day and mentioned to them what I was told about the seals. I wasn't sure if they would be able to replicate and/or hear the noise. In the end, and I think much to their surprise, they ended up cleaning the right axle seal and also applied lubricant to it and the noise went away. The manager of the service department said if the noise comes back, to let them know and they can order a new seal(s).

Hopefully this information can help others. Thanks again to everyone for their input and help.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gozen View Post
I have an update @seanc81 , @nanxun , and anyone else keeping an eye on this thread.

I received a private message from another forum member who suggested looking into the diff seals. They said that the easy way to tell if it is the diff seals or not is to spray some kind of lubricant, and take it for a test drive to see if the noise comes back. They also mentioned that the seals in question are located at the trans where the axles go in.

I asked this member if I may tag them and give them credit in this post, but I haven't received a reply yet.

I had my vehicle at my local Mazda service department the other day and mentioned to them what I was told about the seals. I wasn't sure if they would be able to replicate and/or hear the noise. In the end, and I think much to their surprise, they ended up cleaning the right axle seal and also applied lubricant to it and the noise went away. The manager of the service department said if the noise comes back, to let them know and they can order a new seal(s).

Hopefully this information can help others. Thanks again to everyone for their input and help.
Thx @Gozen for following-up and letting us know what happened. It's always nice to learn new things and gain some new knowledge. Most important, I'm delighted to hear that another forum member weighed in privately and that your problem has been solved!

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