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Engine chirp and rear thudding

Old 12-13-2012, 06:38 PM
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Engine chirp and rear thudding

Hey guys,

So I have 3 issues that I would appreciate all your input on.

Issue 1: About 2 months ago I had m engine replaced by Mazda. The reason was a failure of a bunch of tests apparently caused by a failing cat. So I had the cat and engine replaced. A few weeks after that, I noticed that the car was making a constant chirping sound. Sounds like it is coming from the bottom of the car towards the front.

I had the tech check it out and he said it was a sign that the clutch was on its way to going bad, but not for a long time. how accurate is this? I noticed the constant chirping goes away when I push in the clutch pedal.

Issue 2: 2 weeks ago I had my pads and rotors replaced. 2 or 3 days after that I noticed there was a thudding coming from the back of the car when driving over cracks and bumps and rough pavement. Sounds like it's in the trunk of the car but nothing.

I drove the tech around so he can hear it and he did. So he hoisted it up and took a look around. Everything was in its place and tightened good. But he did notice that the back left strut was blown. That seems legit to me. But they want $550 for ONE! At this point I think I will replace all 4, but any suggestions on a good but relatively cheap set I can buy?

Issue 3: After the engine replacement, I also noticed 90% of the time on a cold start it would idle a little rough. Sometimes even after driving for a bit. But usually mellows out. Tech said it was the ignition coils. For that they want $750!!! I know I can buy some coils for $200 ish, but does that diagnosis sound right? I can probably install those myself, although I never have before.

Other than these 3 things, the car's performance feels like it's brand new.

2005 6sp 85,000 miles.

I appreciate any and all advice.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:25 PM
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I took a video of the chirping sound. You'll notice it's very faint in the engine bay but blatantly clear low to the ground beside the car.

RX-8 Chirping Sound - YouTube

And more to the chirping. It comes on about 20 or 30 seconds after starting the car. Once I push the clutch pedal in, the sound vanishes even after releasing the pedal. But once I rev the engine it comes back. To me it seems like the chirping gets faster as the RPMs get higher. I can't really tell though.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:43 AM
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Issue 1 - I had the chirping and it disappeared after replacing the coils, not entirely sure why, especially when it seems clutch related but you've got to remember even in neutral with the clutch out there is a slightly higher strain on the engine than with the clutch in - it's easier to start a car with a crappy battery with the clutch in than out! So I'd definitely swap out the coils.

Issue 2 - Have a look for some performance strut assemblies, you could probably get coilovers for the price of OEM struts.

Issue 3 - Yep he's probably right with the diagnosis, the coils would cause that. FYI I managed to source OEM ignition coils in the UK for 60 and fitted them myself in an hour or so.

You may think the car performs like brand new just now wait til you change the coils/plugs/leads, the you'll feel a real difference!!

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Old 12-14-2012, 10:29 AM
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FYI, the coils probably caused the cat failure in the first place. That's usually how things go.. coils get weak, fuel doesn't burn as well, cat heats and up and eventually clogs, the engine goes. So you'll want to replace those coils pretty soon before the new cat is in the same situation. You usually want to replace them every 30,000 miles or so as a precaution.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:40 PM
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Thank you for the responses.

I just replaced the ignition coils right now. Took me about an hour. I used Import Direct coils revision B. Made in Poland interestingly. Paid $157 total, lifetime warranty. The old coils were revision A.

So right after I installed them, I went for a drive. Rough idle is gone, runs noticeably better, and the annoying chirping sound from under the car is gone as well, as you had noted.

Now pretty much what I need to do is replace my 4 shocks. The one thing I need to know though is when I order them, do I just need the shocks or should I buy new springs too? I would think brand new springs would be good but I'm not sure how that really works.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:55 PM
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I think I might have been hearing the same sound with mine...ticking noise/chirping...but I have an AT so is that even possible for it to have anything to do with the clutch....
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:40 AM
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You nailed it with the coils. They chirp when they are going out. No idea why. May be the sound of the internal arcing.

For the spring question, springs are pretty cheap and you have to take them out to change the shocks. I went with the TIEN H-Tech. They lowered the car a bit in the front and made the wheel gaps match.
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