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I have a very odd problem with my steering on my 08 Mazda 3 Takara. I've had it since January now and to be honest have never been happy with the steering. I've got a couple of problems with it:

1) Steering wheel vibration at speeds over 60mph. This doesn't seem to get any better or worse the faster or slower I go over this speed. I'm also convinced that I can feel the vibration through the car, however this is probably more so because I'm always the one driving it and therefore can feel the vibration through my arm. This is probably the most annoying problem.

2) The steering seems way too easily affected by bumps in the road. For instance, if I'm driving over a uneven or unperfect road service, the wheel will greatly shake from side to side (at any speed). Again, it doesn't make it unmanageable to drive, it's just hugely annoying.

To try and fix these problems I have had the alignment done at TWO different garages. Now what is odd is that at both garages, when I first drove the car away the alignment was way off. However when taking it back and stating it wasn't correct, both garages seem to have made it better. Despite this, I'm still convinced the wheel isn't dead center and the car drifts to the left a tiny bit. I also had the second garage check the balancing on all the wheels and they said that it was a little bit off and they corrected it. However £100 later (two allignments) the issue is still just as bad.

It's a shame because I really like the car however I'll be thinking about selling it if I can't get this fixed because it completely ruins the drive of the car for me.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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Have you tried to talk to other M3 Takara owners to see if they experience the same problems. I can give you several reasons why it might be doing what you are saying, but don't really know anything for sure. –  Paulster2 Jun 15 at 23:54
    
Unfortunately I don't know anyone who also has the same car. –  pezza3434 Jun 16 at 20:44
    
Your problem 1 could easily be tires; if those are new then check wheel bearings. Problem 2 sounds like suspension, possibly a broken ball joint in a control arm or a tie rod. –  dartonw Jun 23 at 16:15
    
Have there been any aftermarket modifications done to the suspension, does it have OEM tire size and OEM rims? –  Larry Sep 18 at 19:06

1 Answer 1

It's your motor mounts. I've been through 2 sets of stock, while waiting for aftermarket billet aluminum, and can say with certainty that you need to replace those motor mounts. The right front wheel is taking a beating from engine lash, and all fours will show a really gnarly tread wear pattern, meanwhile, so rotate those tires as often as possible. If you're not modifying your car otherwise, stock up and save on stock mounts. There is only a small selection of alternatives available, and they're pretty hard on related components. But until you get those scoped out, find the liquid filled rubber has sheared and is mostly flotsam, you're going to have torque transfer issues, steering wobble, terrible shimmy from 40-65. The passenger and rear mounts are ridiculous of design and application, and may fail again within 10Kmi, first symptom that shimmy. I find myself in easy acceleration mode a lot, whoops going 80 when I should be at 65, which is a costly habit. Tires and finding myself boxed in then stalled in street traffic from all around failure to engage is pretty bad, too. Not a problem with the aluminum, but hooboy does that amplify every noise and tiny little other problem's hastening. Good luck, and enjoy.

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