Mazda reports that some 2004-09 Mazda 3 models may produce a chattering sound from the windshield area when going over bumps or rough roads. According to the carmaker, the noise is most prominent on vehicles built before Aug. 7, 2008, and is due to the cowl panel scraping against the base of the windshield. Removing the cowl panel, turning it over and installing cushioned pads, part No. L206-50-794, over the retaining hooks should eliminate the noise. When installing the pads, fold any excess material flush with the base of each hook, as shown in the illustration. To complete the fix, reinstall the cowl panel and go on a road test to verify that the chattering noise has been eliminated.
Honda says that some 2003-08 Element models can produce a clank or knocking sound from the front suspension when going over bumps or rough road surfaces. One probable cause for the noise is cracks or deterioration in the lower control arm bushings. Installing new-design, more durable bushings from a special kit, part No. 04513-SCV-000, H/C 9125105 (includes left and right bushings) on both sides of the vehicle should eliminate the noise. Along with the new bushings, Honda recommends replacing both upper arm clips, part No. 90701-SX0-003, H/C 4635033; and on 2007-08 vehicles only, the four lower control arm flange bolts and nuts (part No. 90118-SCV-A00, H/C 8401093 and part No. 9002-S10-000, H/C 4977401, respectively).
Chrysler reports that the power sliding door on some 2008 Caravan and Town & Country minivans may begin to close then reverse direction as if there is an obstruction in the door opening. According to the carmaker, the problem afflicts vans built before March 12, 2008 at the company's Windsor plant (R in 11th position of the VIN number) or March 15, 2008 at its St. Louis plant (B in 11th position of the VIN number), and is due to overly sensitive obstruction detection in the sliding door module. Reprogramming the module with updated software is the only way to alleviate the condition. Check with a dealer for the specifics of the flash.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]