Mazda 6 Forums banner
21 - 38 of 38 Posts

Registered
Joined
7,187 Posts
Following, having the same issue with my 2016 Mazda6 Touring with 74k. Randomly noticed it about a month or two ago. Doesn't seem to affect my safety at all, I just really notice a difference when I drive someone else's car, especially my friend's 2019 CX-5 Turbo. About 15k miles ago, I started noticing a clanking noise at low and high speeds coming from the front driver's side. I had 3 mechanics look at it and no one can figure out what it is - after looking at some other treads, it might be the front struts. I haven't fixed it as the mechanics quoted me $1500 and weren't even sure that was the issue. After 15k miles, I wonder if this is related? Not sure at all. I've owned it since new and can attest that the car has experienced nothing more than normal/spirited driving.
I dont know if its related, but struts and shocks should be replaced every 50k or so, so youre due.
 

Registered
Joined
224 Posts
You are correct, the steering wheel does not return to center, it returns to 5掳 outside of center and it holds the direction of any input within that 10掳 range. So when I said tracks straight, I meant when the input is 0掳.

Pulling the fuse would rule out any possibility of a mechanical issue, I will do some research on this. Does anyone know if this would cause another problem?

I know you can witness the SAS in real time, I'm trying to find out what other components, if any, someone has been able to or knows of being able to view.

thread- Wandering issue

The car has this problem at all speeds.
Any update on this problem @EJAY11 ?
 

Registered
Joined
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Following, having the same issue with my 2016 Mazda6 Touring with 74k. Randomly noticed it about a month or two ago. Doesn't seem to affect my safety at all, I just really notice a difference when I drive someone else's car, especially my friend's 2019 CX-5 Turbo. About 15k miles ago, I started noticing a clanking noise at low and high speeds coming from the front driver's side. I had 3 mechanics look at it and no one can figure out what it is - after looking at some other treads, it might be the front struts. I haven't fixed it as the mechanics quoted me $1500 and weren't even sure that was the issue. After 15k miles, I wonder if this is related? Not sure at all. I've owned it since new and can attest that the car has experienced nothing more than normal/spirited driving.
I came across this while researching. https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2020/MC-10174570-0001.pdf. I also hear a clanking noise but only at really low speeds. I originally thought it could be related, but in the previous thread I mentioned that owner replaced his entire rack and it did resolve our issue.
 

Registered
Joined
555 Posts
I came across this while researching. https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2020/MC-10174570-0001.pdf. I also hear a clanking noise but only at really low speeds. I originally thought it could be related, but in the previous thread I mentioned that owner replaced his entire rack and it did resolve our issue.
I think you meant to say "the owner (OP of a different thread) replaced his entire steering rack among several other steering and suspension component and it DID NOT resolve his issue, he ended up trading the car.

I had started a separate thread (here - Steering Dead Center) without realizing that there are other threads on the same subject. I got the alignment done and replaced the tires but the problem persists. As with all things in life you get used to it after a while, so the dead steering center does not bother me much but i miss the precise steering which once made this car special in its segment.
 

Registered
Joined
555 Posts
I dont know if its related, but struts and shocks should be replaced every 50k or so, so youre due.
I have never heard this before. Why would struts and shocks be replaced every 50k miles ? I've had Toyotas that i drove for over 150k miles on original struts/shocks and it was still troublefree when i traded in the vehicles. In any case, i doubt if changing shocks/struts would help much with this dead steering issue.
 

Registered
Joined
1,875 Posts
Shocks, struts can certainly bring the car closer to new by way of taut damping behaviour... but I'm very sure that MilR is not experiencing on-centre vagueness due to this. Though it certainly relates to how and where the car was operated (i.e. road surface "quality") - 50,000 miles usually will not bag-out these components. This is EPS related...
 

Registered
Joined
555 Posts
I wonder if the logic module for the EPS is actually integral to the EPS? Separately replaceable?
No idea but at this point i'll just drive it as is until the car market (hopefully) gets better so i can trade it and buy something new. My car has just 60k miles but its had its share of niggles - warped OEM rotors very early on (common problem with this generation), OEM dunlops wore out prematurely (again a common problem), peeling GT rims (TSB exists), leaking tensioner pulley (TSB exists), leaking oil pressure switch, one of the headlights has a clear coat failure and is peeling/fading and now the vague/dead/wandering steering.

Interestingly a search of "mazda+vague steering" brings up several reports from reddit/other mazda forums, majority of those complaints are for CX5 and mazda 3 but the description of the problem is very similar to what we are discussing here.
 

Registered
Joined
1,875 Posts
I learned that the EPS cm and the servomotor are a unit. The unit bolts-in to the steering column with a so-called "rubber" and a spacer... items 2 and 3. The drive lugs on the motor output shaft have to properly engage with the "rubber". I wonder if the rubber can/does perish? The documentation says parts of the control unit can get to 85掳C... hot!
 

Attachments

Registered
Joined
7,187 Posts
The unit bolts-in to the steering column
So, me telling you this over and over wasnt enough, but youll believe a book? I think the rubber is there only to dampen the vibrations so you dont feel it in your hands and can feel the road better.

I have never heard this before. Why would struts and shocks be replaced every 50k miles ? I've had Toyotas that i drove for over 150k miles on original struts/shocks and it was still troublefree when i traded in the vehicles. In any case, i doubt if changing shocks/struts would help much with this dead steering issue.
 

Registered
Joined
1,875 Posts
So, me telling you this over and over wasnt enough, but youll believe a book?...
The EPS system is integral with the steering column and is inseparable from it; it is not modular... but the so-called EPS "control module", which comprises the steering system logic module and the servo-motor as a unit, bolts-in to the rest of the EPS steering column.

That's what I was referring to, and it means that despite it being hard to get to (in the way of a bunch of trim removal) it appears that if the logic module or servo-motor or "rubber" goes "south", they are replaceable without the entire rack being removed. I suspect these cpts are individually available as replaceable parts.

The book you refer to is the factory svce manual.
 

Registered
Joined
7,187 Posts
That's what I was referring to
No, you have actually argued with me that there is not a completely connected shaft from the wheel to the rack, that somehow the EPS module interrupts that connection leading to a "numb" feeling. AFAIK there isnt a single car made that doesnt have a directly connected wheel to rack system, even Tesla. A piece of rubber that disconnects the power assist from the shaft wont provide a numb feeling, if anything, it would make it harder as the assist force is lessened.

Since there is a physical connection from the steering wheel, to the shaft, to the rack, to the wheels/tires, something in that or the connected suspension has to be the culprit. I am more than willing to concede if you can prove what the cause is.
 

Registered
Joined
1,875 Posts
No time, now, but we're arguing about two different things. I agree that it's not a steer-by-wire. In any case back to u later...
@TalonTsi90 , I was not suggesting that the EPS system was "steer by wire" and that there was no mechanical shaft in the system (more on this in a moment) but rather whether the control module- (and now I find, the EPS stepper motor combined as a unit) are separate from the steering column proper, and bolted-on, and (hopefully) available as a spare part.

Now the "acid test" of whether the EPS stepper/control module is affecting the wandering issue is NOT to pull the fuse for the EPS, but rather, to pull-off the EPS stepper motor /control module unit from the steering column, and to drive the car, with MIL's blaring, at highway speeds. Some folks would not do this. I would if I were convinced I could get to the bottom of the prb., and if all other diagnostic tests showed all was well.

Steering effort, in that state, would be high - for the test - but you'd be able to clearly know if the EPS system is causing the vagueness. Steering gear is geared, if memory serves, at 15.6:1. Meaty tires... Hard to steer at city speeds w/o EPS. Mebe at highway speeds NP?

So, here's my point... You know that some cars can parallel park themselves using EPS and associated sensors. It's not just assisting the steering... rather, it is moving the steering. Same with lane correction systems. The EPS redirects the car. I believe a bit of that effect is at play, here, when the car all of a sudden starts to behave with a vague on-centre feeling. At the least, the EPS is affecting the feel of the steering and the precision of the steering.

It is not necessarily a bum control module or a damaged stepper motor that is at play. The torque sensor may be the prb. Or somehow the device that says the steering is centred may have a prb (is that a clock spring of sorts?).

The reason for removal of the EPS servomotor/CM unit is that it seems to me that when the servomotor is not energized, well, I'm not sure it freewheels. Maybe it does, but maybe some sort of gearing system is at play and active, and it impacts the steering feel (like when the EPS fuse is pulled).

Those are my thoughts fwiw...

This prb has been intractable thus far, for the experts. If a person really wants to solve it, well, some more extreme diagnostic steps may be necessary. Others, YMMV 馃檪.
 

Registered
Joined
7,187 Posts
I cant drive any car but my own, so i cant back up my claims. I also cant diagnose any other car.
The effort is a LOT easier than i expected on a smooth garage floor, bit more difficult on concrete, but still doable. Mine is 16.9:1.
Part of the problem is, getting feedback from people who dont work on their own cars and arent articulated enough to accurately describe the issue. 'Vague" isnt a metric by any stretch, unless both parties understand each others meaning.

I would have to drive a 14-16 6 to see what the issue is.
 
21 - 38 of 38 Posts
Top