2013~2016 CX-5 Suspension noises and steering feels mushy at times

Going through all that trouble to replace LCA for just some Bushings.. hm.

Replace the end links first. Shop around. I think you'll be happy with the result.
I’m kind of agree with your point. Front lower control arm bushing has been a weak point and had been “redesigned” many times by Mazda based on several related TSBs. Unfortunately the ball joint on it is also weak and problematic. So most DIYers especially in early days chose to replace the entire LCA with new bushings and ball joint pre-installed. The price usually was under $100 for a good new aftermarket LCA and it’s easier to replace.

Nowadays the cheap good LCAs are no longer available. With high labor cost, a LCA replacement job unfortunately now could be as high as $1,000+ like @ColoradoDriver just found out.

The lower arm bushing is trash construction. A user posted a video here where he had clunking coming from his as well. Mine is all wrinkled and ripped, I'm pretty sure some of my suspension clunk is coming from it. I ordered new shock absorbers and when I have it apart i'm going to remove that bushing and fill the holes with polyurethane. Hardrace actually sells a replacement bushing (hardened rubber) for that one bushing only (literlally, not including motor mounts, that is THE only bushing they sell for the car) for the CX-5/3/6. It also comes included if you buy the Hardrace lower control arm. They already figured out it was garbage lol. Luckily it's easy to remove as the LCA just has a projection that this slides over.

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Not sure what you are looking for here. The ball joint on the 2014 is made to be pressed out. Especially if your car is a California car with no rust this should be a breeze. You need some decent snap ring pliers to remove the snap ring. Your press and 2 cups of the right size to press and receive the ball joint - though a ball joint tool (huge sturdy c-clamp and cups) will also work.
The tricky part is not pressing the ball joint but rather removing the pinch bolt that holds the ball joint to the steering knuckle and removing the ball joint from the steering knuckle. Again - with no rust this is not too much of a challenge, but for rust belt mechanics you have to know a few tricks. Heat and vibration on the pinch bolt may be necessary to avoid snapping off the head. Getting the ball joint out of the steering knuckle you can go nuts with a pickle fork since you are not reusing it. Sometimes getting some pressure on the ball joint with a long pry bar and hitting the steering knuckle with a hammer is enough to get it to pop out. Similar tricks with the outer tie rod - usually easier access to get a pitman arm puller on it and a couple of strikes with a hammer will get those separated from the steering knuckle. Good luck with your repair.
 
Took my new-to-me 2019 into the dealer about a clunk from the left front.
Sounded like something hitting the lower plastic cover.
It turned out to be a "loose piece of plastic in the cowl"
$300 to fix.
Should've kept my P5.
 
I am approaching 136k miles and the car is 11 1/2 years old. Figured didn't hurt.
If they are the originals... Then yes. I'd probably try.

But you'll still get better performance focusing first on the end links, esp if they are loose. My steering also felt loose and sloppy, like a low tire until I replaced them.

Then, a ball joint shat itself. Had the local shop replace the entire LCA, and the handling is fine again. Rather good for it's age and mileage (original struts.!)
 
 

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I disagree that the components such as the bushings and ball joints are "trash" components.

As far as I know, Japan has significantly smoother roads than North America. Japanese vehicles are designed for smoother roads. Yes, they sell their cars and other markets and should beef up certain components accordingly, but the problem lays within the roads, not the car. The cars are otherwise incredibly long lasting and well built.

The car rides beautifully on smooth pavement, and even on cracked pavement. As soon as I start riding over nastier road imperfections, especially while cornering, it's obvious that the entire vehicle would have to be redesigned for the sort of roads many of us drive on.

Hence, this is likely why Crossovers have become so popular here in North America, but these manufacturers such as Mazda will still prioritize building things optimized for their home country. I don't blame them.
 
I disagree that the components such as the bushings and ball joints are "trash" components.

As far as I know, Japan has significantly smoother roads than North America. Japanese vehicles are designed for smoother roads. Yes, they sell their cars and other markets and should beef up certain components accordingly, but the problem lays within the roads, not the car. The cars are otherwise incredibly long lasting and well built.

The car rides beautifully on smooth pavement, and even on cracked pavement. As soon as I start riding over nastier road imperfections, especially while cornering, it's obvious that the entire vehicle would have to be redesigned for the sort of roads many of us drive on.

Hence, this is likely why Crossovers have become so popular here in North America, but these manufacturers such as Mazda will still prioritize building things optimized for their home country. I don't blame them.
Can’t agree. Chris_Top_Her was a former Moderator for this CX-5 forum and his DIY experience is exceptional! I respect his “trash” comment to front LCA bushings and that many TSBs by Mazda prove his opinion.

Further my 1998 Honda CR-V EX AWD with 192K miles still has original LCA bushings and ball joints. The tie rod ends are original too. The only things replaced are rubber boots and steering rack bellows for cracks. The front suspension components on my CR-V from Japan doesn’t need to adapt bad US road conditions and have survived for 26 years without problems.
 
If they are the originals... Then yes. I'd probably try.

But you'll still get better performance focusing first on the end links, esp if they are loose. My steering also felt loose and sloppy, like a low tire until I replaced them.

Then, a ball joint shat itself. Had the local shop replace the entire LCA, and the handling is fine again. Rather good for it's age and mileage (original struts.!)
Yeah my sway bar links look bad too, so they are getting replaced at the same time.
 
It can take a couple weeks but may be quicker if you pay more for shipping
So it sounds like you might have experience with this shop. Not sure how to interpret this. Seems like they want me to put in the order before they'll actually tell me what shipping costs.

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Interestingly enough I recently did my LCA's and CV axles on the front end and about 95% of my clunks went away, but I also notice the same intermittent clunks while turning at parking lot speeds over broken pavement. I am anxious to see your answer to this problem. I'm guessing it's the sway bar links, but haven't had the time to get to the bottom of it. Also noticed what looked to be ball joint grease coming out of the back passenger side wheel the other day, great...

Edit: I am at 156K miles.
 
Interestingly enough I recently did my LCA's and CV axles on the front end and about 95% of my clunks went away, but I also notice the same intermittent clunks while turning at parking lot speeds over broken pavement. I am anxious to see your answer to this problem. I'm guessing it's the sway bar links, but haven't had the time to get to the bottom of it.
It could be the links. Or it could be the sway bar bushings.

One thing is for sure, I have seen complaints about this going back many years. Even my 2023 started doing it with less than 3,000 miles.

If it's the sway bar bushings, based on my research, it seems standard that rubber sway bar bushings are to be installed dry, and polyurethane gets greased. I've read about attempts to grease the bushings but I'm not sure what the best solution is.

One of the terms I came across is a "stick slip" condition. It seems Mazda has tried to address some of these noises: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2020/MC-10170655-0001.pdf
 
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