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Mazda 6 Fan Belt Noise

With all of the blog posts about the various problems across multiple manufactures, you'd be inclined to think that modern cars are just a little bit shit. While it's true that some cars have inherent faults, more often a single part is just underperforming in real world conditions.

This makes for some very easy blog writing for us and also lets us get in a couple of easy SEO wins but, it's bad news for vehicle owners. This week, it's Mazda's turn on the chopping block.

So why do a lot of Mazda's have fan belt noises?

First and foremost, while this issue seems to be everywhere at the moment, it mostly effects Mazda's with 4 cylinder engines from around 2012 onwards.

Prior to 2012 most Mazda's used an sprung automatic fan bent tensioner to maintain tightness on the belt. However, with various facelifted models around the 2012 year, one of the updates Mazda decided on was a hydraulic tensioner.

Why they decided to change from a perfectly good design is beyond us but, here is where the issues start. With time, the cylinders and the mounting bushes in these tensioners would begin to wear and would allow for excess movement in the belt. While this is ok in very small doses, as it became worse and worse, it became common to hear a slapping or squealing noise from the drive belt.

Needless to say, mechanics were quick to fix this issue and, as they failed, they tended to be replaced with aftermarket variants of the part.

Now, here's the real stinker. Unfortunately there has now been a number of issues with the aftermarket parts as well and failures seem to come around on a semi regular basis.

So, what is the solution?

Unfortunately with certain cars, there are just weak points that you have to live with. In this case, there hasn't been a revision or aftermarket solution that stands up to the abuse and, until there is, we're just going to have to replace them with the best available option.


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