Piston Slap: Do We Have ALL The DATA?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap do we have all the data

TTAC Commentator Supaman writes:

Hey Sajeev, remember that Mazda 6 that had the headliner problem? The dash storage problem? Got another one for ya.

From what I understand, the 2006 Mazda 6 V6 manual is fitted with 3 engine mounts: left, right and (dog bone) lower. The lower mount was replaced last year (on my birthday coincidentally) and less than a year later, I noticed it had gone bad again after feeling the engine rocking a bit in the bay. I carried my beloved back to my mechanic who replaced the lower mount (under parts warranty) and asked him to check all the mounts. According to him, all were ok. But just last week while I was doing my oil change, I noticed the lower mount (which is right behind the oil pan) was already going bad.

This baffled me and also caused the mechanic to again scratch their heads. One of them noticed, believe it or not, a FOURTH mount located directly above the lower unit. They took the car off the lift before I could look at it but a quick internet search doesn’t turn up anything regarding this mystery FOURTH mount. Any ideas?

Sajeev asks:

While this isn’t an easy question to answer for yours truly, I don’t have access to something like an ALLDATA account. But I am (and never proclaimed to be) a real mechanic. Then again, I wouldn’t say no if the kind people at ALLDATA or their competition decided to hook a brother up. It seems like a better shill than being in the pocket of the automakers with free press cars and pointless/lavish vacations.

But seriously, does your mechanic use an online repair manual like ALLDATA or Mitchell? This information is stupid easy to get from any mechanic with a $500 (or less) computer and a monthly subscription to this service. Get back to me, I think this is a good for a common sense automotive analysis in the Information Age.

Supaman answers:

Well…you wouldn’t believe the conversation I just had with my mechanic.

After a week of leaving him to search for this 4th mount and hearing no answer I called him just now. Apparently because my car is so rare (V6/manual…points?) the mounts are different than they would be in an automatic version and the parts aren’t usually stocked.

So I asked him about that online database you mentioned where I’d imagine the car’s specs would pop up and he didn’t have an answer to that.

He eventually found the part through a Mazda dealership and has to special order it. I’m still haggling him on giving it to me for free since I really consider the previous repairs to be incomplete and negligent on their part. He’s treated me well over the last 8 years (and 3 cars) but this latest stunt has me questioning the garage’s integrity (the store manager in particular). May need to start shopping around for another mechanic or ratcheting up my auto repair skills. I’d love to hear what the B&B have to say about this.

Sajeev concludes:


Honestly, I feel that access to these databases is absolutely necessary for any automotive wrench that hangs out a shingle and wants to earn your business. Computers are cheap. The monthly subscription will pay for itself after a few hours of farting around “the old fashioned way” to get information. Best and Brightest, is this a fair conclusion?

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

Join the conversation
3 of 21 comments
  • Ian Anderson Ian Anderson on Aug 01, 2011

    My dad's life long friend/our mechanic works in a garage built in Bristol Borough in the 1920s, and some of the tools are original to the building. He doesn't have a computer, period. Whenever he needs access to one he calls up the transmission shop down the street that he deals with or the shop around the corner where he gets the emissions part of inspections done. They all have an Alldata account. It was kind of embarrassing for him though one day when my dad and I were down there and I figured out why my mom's car was throwing a code by looking on my smartphone before he could look it up in the Hyundai book... If you want to start wrenching yourself, get on a forum that has at least one or two dealer techs on it. If nothing else THEY have access to Alldata and might help you get parts at the MSRP instead of marked up.

  • Cabriolet Cabriolet on Aug 01, 2011

    Jellodyne You were close with 50% but Mazda dealers add 100%. Went to a Mazda dealer a few years ago for a caliper rebuilding kit for my Protage. The dealer wanted $75.00 for a kit containing 3 pieces of rubber. I told him he was crazy and purchased same at Auto Barn for $7.50. Sold my Mazda shortly after that. They are crazy. Cabriolet

  • SilverCoupe I am one of those people whose Venn diagram of interests would include Audis and Formula One.I am not so much into Forums, though. I spend enough time just watching the races.
  • Jeff S Definitely and very soon. Build a hybrid pickup and price it in the Maverick price range. Toyota if they can do this soon could grab the No 1 spot from Maverick.
  • MaintenanceCosts Would be a neat car if restored, and a lot of good parts are there. But also a lot of very challenging obstacles, even just from what we can see from the pictures. It's going to be hard to justify a restoration financially.
  • Jeff S Ford was in a slump during this era and its savior was a few years away from being introduced. The 1986 Taurus and Sable saved Ford from bankruptcy and Ford bet the farm on them. Ford was also helped by the 1985 downsize front wheel drive full sized GM cars. Lincoln even spoofed these new full size GM cars in an ad basically showing it was hard to tell the difference between a Cadillac, Buick, and Oldsmobile. This not only helped Lincoln sales but Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria sales. For GM full size buyers that liked the downsized GM full size 77 to 84 they had the Panther based Lincoln Town Cars, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victorias that were an alternative to the new GM front wheel drive full size cars that had many issues when they were introduced in 1985 and many of those issues were not resolved for several years. The Marks were losing popularity after the Mark Vs.
  • SCE to AUX Toyota the follower, as usual. It will be 5 years before such a vehicle is available.I can't think of anything innovative from them since the Gen 1 Prius. Even their mythical solid state battery remains vaporware.They look like pre-2009 General Motors. They could fall hard.