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Mazda 3 Tire & Wheel Questions

1911131415

Comments

  • >>There is nothing wrong with the Mazda3. The car does not magically
    >>make tires wear out faster.

    Your arrogant statement here is contradicted by a fact which has nothing to do with magic: the rear camber on this car is purposely set to wear out the tires on the inside edge.

    Having recently spoken with 2 dealers, a service manager, and a regional service manager, I conclude that Mazda does this on purpose. One service person said quote "well, that's just the price you pay to get that ZOOM-ZOOM, you know?"

    The outside edges of my tires appear to have maybe 20 or 30k more life left in them, they look new... but the inside edges have NO tread left. And this is after the dealer charged me to align it, and told me that the VISIBLE negative camber is within specs. Tell me again how this car has nothing wrong with it? nothing "magical" that would consume tires prematurely? IT'S RIGHT THERE, YOU CAN SEE IT.

    Oh it's my fault? Please explain how my driving wears out the tires only on the inside edge. I'm a 40-something with a kid, I race no one.

    Rotate the tires? sure, if you want ALL FOUR to be worn on the inside and need replacement at what should be HALF of their life.

    >>Every vehicle on the road does go out of alignment from time to time.
    >> That's the nature of automobiles.

    Sure it is, but some cars are designed with negative camber to increase handling; this wears out tires on the inside edge, and requires the owner to buy lots of tires. Several models of BMW, and a couple Lexus models are built this way, according to my friend the service manager.

    Funny you didn't mention that... spoken like a guy who sells tires... "it's your fault... cars do that... just get over it and buy more tires..."

    So at your shop, when you charge people to "align" their wheels, do you mention to them when their car cannot actually be "aligned" in cases like the Mazda3? That camber angle on the rear of the Mazda3 is not adjustable, and that, even when it's within the factory spec, it's design will wear the rear tires unevenly? And: Do you think 40k is really great tire mileage on a car that weighs only 2800 lbs? I guess for you, more miles out of a set of tires is not actually desirable.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited December 2010
    "At this point, I think I should have gone with a CIVIC, or a Toyota Matrix. Would I be about even in price, by now, I wonder..."

    Funny thing, if you read the message boards, late model (8th Gen I believe) Civics have the same problem with the shoulder of the tire wearing out early due to the rear camber settings.

    FWIW, when I bought my Mazda3 I'd read a lot of tire related issues and opted to chuck the factory tires after only 700 miles. I replaced them with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires. At this point I have over 35,000 miles on the Michelins and the tires look easily good enough to last beyond the 50,000 mile mark.
  • FWIW I too read about rear tire wear before owning my 2004S. While the negative camber on mine was noticeable I did not experience abnormal tire wear with the original RSA's. I was not particularly vigilant about rotating the tires. Replaced them at 40K, with tread still above the wear bars, because I was looking for a quieter tire and had an opportunity to buy 4 used Michellin Pilot Sport A/S. These were equally noisy. The ones I ran on the rear are wearing evenly. Two of these on the front are approaching the wear bars and I will replace them with Continental Extreme Contacts in the spring.
  • mazda 3 2005 stands on alloy wheels of 17 by 6.5 inches and has P205/50R V all season tires. i would suggest you to use only these tires and wheels to avoid alignment issues
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Changing the tire size and/or the wheels will not affect the alignment in any way-shape-or-form.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 797
    edited December 2010
    "Changing the tire size and/or the wheels will not affect the alignment in any way-shape-or-form."

    Not quite true, but really, really close. If we think of alignment to only include Camber, Caster, and Toe, then that is ture.

    But if we include such items as akerman, scrub radius, and trail, then those ARE affected by changes in tire size - and sometimes those changes will have negative affects.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    I have a 2006 Mazda3 s 5-door (which has the 17" wheel/tire package standard) and the OEM tires were Goodyear Eagle GTxxx (forget the letters after GT). They were worn out at 29k and I was stunned to learn that four new replacements (same exact model) would cost over $1000 installed!!! I chuckled and the guy could tell from the look on my face that he needed to come up with a cheaper, high quality alternative, which he did. He suggested a few different tires, including two Z-rated and one V-rated options for me to consider.

    I chose the V-rated Dunlop SP Sport Signature. They were just under $150 per tire OTD. The lower speed rating translates into less road noise, improved ride quality, better wet weather traction without losing the razor-sharp handling capability! They just passed the 50k mark and still have at least another 5k left in them. I haven't experienced any abnormal tire wear on my car, thankfully. Another benefit of most V-rated tires is that they include a treadlife warranty (60k miles on my Dunlops). Very few, if any, Z-rated tires have a treadlife warranty because they are considered 'high performance'.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,574
    edited January 2011
    A bit of a late reply; I think I mentioned this before, but I got over 25,000 miles out of the OEM Bridgestones on my MS3, and that included three track days at a local road course. I next went with Pirelli PZero Nero All Seasons and they lasted over 28,000 miles. And as you know, I don't "baby" my cars... ;)

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • I got 22,000 miles out of original tires for a 2007 Mazda 3. After that many miles, despite traction control, the car would not go int the snow.
    Got Goodyear Eagle GT tires. 33,000 miles later on these 50,000 mile rated tires, the car won't go in the snow.
    I'm middle aged (47) and I had two Proteges before this 3. If this is the result of Mazdas now being "Zoom Zoom" cars, this will be my last.
    Sad: As the traction control did nothing to get me up a snow covered hill today, a Toyota Corolla passed me.
    Guess my next car will be a Subaru.
  • If superior traction in winter is a priority you can do a lot better than the Eagle GT! With the RIGHT tires you could have zoomed-zoomed past that Corolla.
  • If there is more than an inch of snow on my driveway, which has a small-medium incline, my car can not make it up the driveway. I have to get significant momentum to get up and into the garage using the factory installed tires. I can't count how many times I have made it only halfway up the driveway before spinning the tires, losing traction and the car skidding sideways down the driveway. Now I'm at 51,500 miles and I have to get new tires. I'm looking for suggestions for brands of tires that will help so that next winter (living in Chicago) I won't have to continue going through this.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hands down the tire that is getting the most amount of buzz for cars like yours is the new(ish) Continental ExtremeContact DWS model. They're long-lasting, have good traction and aren't too expensive.
  • eoghan1eoghan1 Posts: 57
    I run snow tires in the winter on steel 16"rims. I recently bought these continentals in 215/50R17 but have not run them yet. I would be interested in hearing and comparing your experience if you decide on them. I had been running Michelin Pilot AS sports in 205/50R17 which are supposed to be all season tires but, despite being a bit noisy they were not great in snow. Otherwise they are a great tire but expensive.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yeah, a bit noisy at certain speeds; no question there. :)

    To be sure my Pilot Sport A/Ss have just seen their last winter, however, they still have more than enough tread depth to make it through to next November without needing to be changed out. By then the tires will have an easy 50,000 miles on them; not at all bad for a tire that is a "Performance" tire first and a long-lasting "All-Season" second.

    I'll keep you posted.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    We have three vehicles and are running the Continental ExtremeContact DWS on two of them - highly recommended as a capable all season tire for most areas of the country.
  • I have a 2010 mazda 3 hatchback sport. THere has been a consistent problem with tire wear and scalloping specifically. I have put on 40 000 miles this year. I have bought BLizzak tires ( at ~200 each ) on the car as the winters are cold and snowy where I live. So far, I have gone through 5 winters tire this season and 5 all season tires in this time.
    I thought that it was due to the amount of driving I do. HOwever, I have since discovered that Mazda 3 has an internal problem with cambering which leads to the tires getting scalloped. this cambering apparently is not a "design flaw" as the mazda people have told me that it was designed with this in order to take the corners better. HOwever, this EATS up your tires. They suggested that I buy from them, a $500 dollar sway bar kit that would correct " MY " problem.
    Has anyone else had this experience with the Mazda 3 eating up tires?
    When I went to look at the Mazda, I was upfront with them about how much mileage I will be putting on the car. I was told that the Mazda 3 was the perfect car for that amount of mileage and would serve my needs well. This was at a mazda dealership.
    t
  • same thing happened with me. It took forever until they finally admitted that the mazda 3 was designed this way. no one told me a thing. I was told that the car was PERFECT for my driving and would never pose a problem. 10 tires later- still no one told me anything. it wasn't as if I didn't ask and point out the severe problems I was having.
    alignments every other gas change? and the car can' be aligned? wth? of course, they will sell me a 500 dollar kit to fix my problem.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited April 2011
    Were I in your shoes I'd be taking a hard look at the tires. I heard about the lousy OEM tires that come on Mazda3s right before I bought my car, and the day after I took delivery I ordered a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires for it and had them installed after only 714 miles. I'm now knocking on the door of 50,000 miles and still have that same set of Michelins on the car; I figure they'll easily last through the summer and fall, and I'll replace them before the snow flies once again.

    FWIW, tire scalloping seems to be nothing new for any number of cars set up with good handling characteristics; my BMWs were a prime example. With relatively soft winter tires and summer performance tires both of my cars experienced tire scalloping within 10,000 miles. That said, when I chucked the soft compound tires in favor of all-season rubber with a tread wear rating of 500 or better, the problem was solved. When I bought the Mazda I just "assumed" the problem would be similar to what I experienced with my BMWs, hence the installation of the Michelins on my brand-new car.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    It sounds from this forum that some tires seem better suited than others to the Mazda3. Maybe it would be useful, to list these for the benefit of others. Let's build a list identifying suitable (+), not suitable (-) and undetermined quality of tires for the Mazda3.

    + Michelin Pilot Sport A/S
    ? Continental Extreme Contact DWS
    ? Bridgestone Turanza 400 (2011 OEM)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Good call. :)

    On a dedicated Mazda forum a number of folks have installed the Continental ExtremeContactDWS tires on their Mazda3s and Mazda5s (same basic suspension, same basic tire issues) and while the jury is still out due to this being a relatively new tire, all reports so far are positive.

    In my case, in spite of how well the relatively expensive Michelin's have performed, and in spite of the fact that I've never really been a fan of Continental tires, I'm tempted to give the DWSs a try.

    At this point I'd give the Conti's a conditional "+". :)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    A couple of "not so much" votes:

    The stock Goodyear Eagle RS-As that came on many 17" wheeled versions of the Mazda3: A hard and fast minus (can we rank them really bad, kinda-sorta like "---"?)

    While I have no personal experience with them, every report I've read about the Toyo Proxi (sp?) tires seem to be pretty negative as well: Another minus.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 479
    My inner tread blocks also wore more quickly due to the negative camber. One shop recommended, if they are not directional tires, to simply have them taken off the wheels and mounted "backwards", so that the inside moves to the outside. Too much trouble to do that regularly, but I may give it a try if I notice the same uneven wear when I've got 15-20K on the current tires.
  • eoghan1eoghan1 Posts: 57
    FWIW While the negative camber on my 2004 hatch is apparent I have not experienced unusual or uneven wear or cupping with the original RSA's(replaced at 35k) or the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S's I am currently running at 58K. Both brands became somewhat slippery in the wet, under acceleration, as they wore down but not to the point of feeling dangerous. I plan to replace two of the Pilots with the Conti's in 10K or so. I test drove the 2010 redesign and found little to encourage me to trade up. At this point I envision driving the 04 for quite a while.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires on my Mazda3 are a directional tire that cannot be rotated in the classic sense. I simply swap fronts and rears on each side every fifteen-thousand miles. Were it not for the fact that we get pretty significant winters up here in New Hampshire, I suspect these tires would go an easy sixty-thousand miles before needing replacement.
  • Has anyone tried moving down a size of tire to prevent these wear issues? I have a 2008 with 41K and need to buy the car a 3rd new set of tires. I live in the northeast, and the potholes and premature wear are killing the 17"s I have on it--I was thinking about going to a taller 16", lose a little handling, but hopefully get more life out of them.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited April 2011
    I too live in New England and when I bought my 2009 I was a little annoyed by the fact that the Mazda3 i Touring Value Edition came with 17" wheels while the more expensive Mazda3 s Sport had 16" wheels. I wanted (and bought) the "i" and decided that if the 17s became a problem I'd worry about downsizing later. The good news is that after nearly 50,000 miles I haven't had any issues (other than replacing the junk OEM Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires after only a week).

    At this point I don't forsee any change in wheel/tire size at any time in the future.
  • tjmazda3tjmazda3 Posts: 1
    Hello, been reading the forum and appreciate the discussions. I've got a 2004 Mazda 3i 2.0 sedan and am looking for some new tires. I run separate snows in the winter since it can get pretty nasty where I live in Southern Maine. Tire size I'm looking at is 205 55 16 and am focusing on overall value/wear, and wet weather performance/safety. Not so concerned about snow performance since I use separate tires in the winter. From the discussions here and consumer reports (prices are local quotes I could find), I'm focusing on:

    - Michelin Pilot Sport A/S ($164)
    - Michelin HydroEdge ($141)
    - Continental ProContract ECOPLUS ($131)
    - Continental Extreme contact ($124)
    - Hankook Optimo H727 ($117)

    Realistically, I'm focusing on the last three due to price (might consider one of the Michelin's if there's a compelling reason to). I've noticed that with the Mazda 3's lighter weight, wet/safety is the biggest priority, but I'd like them to last.

    Consumer Reports seemed to favor the Mich. HydroEdge, Cont. ProContact, and the Hankook Optimo H727 for wet conditions. I'm no expert so appreciate any shared experience/advice. Thanks in advance!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited April 2011
    Tire size I'm looking at is 205 55 16 and am focusing on overall value/wear, and wet weather performance/safety.

    Is there a speed rating that you're considering? For example, would a "H" rated tire be adequate, or would you want more performance with a "V" or "W" or "Z" rated tire?

    Have you checked Tire Rack? It seems to me to be the best site for tire reviews. For example, you can enter your specs and see the results or you can select the Survey Results tab and then Standard Touring All Season to find a chart listing recommendations by hundreds/thousands of users.

    Tip: Buying a set of tires can save you money as many brands offer discounts for a set.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Here's the latest version of the list identifying suitable (+), not suitable (-) and undetermined quality of tires for the Mazda3. If you have information about other tires for the Mazda3 feel free to add to this list.

    + Michelin Pilot Sport A/S
    + Continental Extreme Contact DWS ("conditional" rating)
    ? Bridgestone Turanza 400 (2011 OEM)
    - Goodyear Eagle RS (OEM on earlier Mazda3)
    - Toyo Proxi "every report I've read ... seem(s) to be pretty negative"
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    automomous, may I ask where you found this list? Interested to find out what made the rating for the Continental Extreme Contact DWS "conditional" as I run these tires (in the Spring, Summer and Fall) and have been extremely happy with them.
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