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Mazda 3 Steering & Suspension Questions

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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    What kind of tires do you have on your 3? I ask because the Goodyear Eagle RS-As that came on mine are almost universally regarded as junk (in spite of their very high price tag). I've only had my car for four days now and I've already ordered a new set of tires for it, go figure.

    FWIW, while I was shopping for new rubber, I noticed that TireRack is having a closeout sale on the very well regarded Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires (they used to be $165 for the 205/50 R17s that my car needs, and while supplies last, they're $120), and so I ordered a set of four. As things stand right now, I'll have the new rubber mounted on my car next Tuesday, and that means that I'll have a spare set of Goodyear Eagle RS-As in the above size with less than 500 miles on them. Hello? Craig's list? :)

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,910
    OEM tires on a lot of cars aren't exactly something most of us would have made as our first choice! :P

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  • trosetrose Posts: 3
    So I'm hearing it is more the tires and not the car itself?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,910
    It's probably been over 20 years since I've been satisfied with the performance of tires that came on a new car in non-dry conditions. And maybe it's a bit of a sliding scale. There are so many good choices for tires right now that the tires on new cars may very well be just as good as they used to be, but I've been spoiled by putting on better tires.

    Tires are going to be the major factor in wet weather handling and I'd look there almost exclusively rather than assuming some kind of design problem with the car.

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  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 480
    I agree. I don't believe I've ever replaced the OEM tires with the same things. Always upgraded. Not necessarily to a higher price tire, but I've always found something more highly regarded for approximately the same money. Having said that, I've never had OEM tires so awful that I felt compelled to upgrade before they were worn out. I don't get a ton of rain or ice here in north Texas, but I've yet to notice any sort of poor handling of the OEM tires on my 2008 Mazda3i Touring. Perhaps with these 16" wheels, the OEM tires are less performance-oriented and better in the rain than the 17's that come on the S? Or maybe it's just because I drive like my dad in poor weather ever since I had kids of my own...
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,910
    I'm thinking that it's advances in tire technology. Prior to the mid-80's I pretty much always replaced original tires with the same brand as I wasn't disappointed in their performance.

    First time I went away from that was in the early 90's and I was amazed how much more tread life I got with a different brand. So my attention turned to "saving money" by getting better wearing and performing tires and not having to change them as often.

    I've been running Kelly tires on my cars for years now, and just got 59,000+ out of a set of Navigator Golds on my one vehicle. The Continentals that came on my newest vehicle were horrible in the rain right from the outset (again, compared to what I had become accustomed to with the Kellys) and the day they were completely shot at just under 30,000 miles was a day I looked forward to. On the recommendation of a buddy who owns a tire shop and garage I'm trying Cooper CS4's this time around. About 10,000 miles into the set and I'm very happy with them.

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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I don't know about the 2008 models, but my 2009 Mazda3 i Touring came with Goodyear Eagle RS-A 205/50 R17 tires, and no matter where you look, TireRack.com, other Mazda3 forums, DiscountTire.com, you name it, most folks think they're junk, especially on wet and snowy road surfaces. No thanks.

    Like many other folks, I usually run through the OEM tires before upgrading to newer/better rubber, however, with winter looming, the RS-As will be history by Tuesday. ;)

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • orca3orca3 Posts: 11
    trose - The 07 Touring Htchbk that I just traded for my new 09 Mazdaspeed3, had
    those same Goodyears on it and I upgraded to Kuhmos Ecsta Asx's after
    2000 miles - great price(Tirerack.com),great handling,no hydroplaning
    not for deep snow, as the 3 sits low and uses a 50 series tire. If you're
    really worried about snow and ice you might have to go to a 2nd set of
    dedicated snow tires as I'm doing with the 'speed3(Michelin x ice).
    I can't say enough for the Kumho's though, have had them on 2 different
    cars and although they're not a name brand icon - they're a real bargain
    and about half the price of the Goodyears and were very good in rain and
    light snow.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 480
    2008 i Touring (value) built after Jan 2008 came with 17's. I'm actually glad I got mine before then with the 16's. Comparing OEM 16" to OEM 17", they have longer tread life, and are cheaper to replace as well. I like the leather steering wheel and shift knob and fog lights on the value package (and that new copper red color is hot) but I'm very happy with mine and the deal I got.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yeah, one of my "issues" with my new car is the 17" wheels, I mean, really, is this a $35,000 BMW we're talking about here? No, it's an economy car that is sportier than most others in this class, and for that, 16" wheels would have been quite appropriate, especially as I live in New Hamster and have lots of snow and frost heaves to deal with every winter.

    With that said, I was not all that shot with the aftermarket 16" wheels I looked at, and even if I had found a set I liked; the available tire sizes that won't cause speedometer error in the 16" world are precious few and far between. The other option is to stay in the 17" world by going to a 17x7.5 wheel and then moving to a 225/45 R17, however, with TPMS sensors we're taking $1,800 for the set. Said another way, more than 10% of the value of the car just for the wheels and tires.

    As you already know, I opted for "Plan-B" instead, and bought a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires in the factory size. That should last me a year or two before I'm faced with this decision. ;-)

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • does your pause/play button work on CD's? Mine does not. I called my dealer bc mine is still under warrenty and they said its only for sat. radio? but im still not sure if i trust them based on the reviews ive heard about the dealerships.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,910
    The place to discuss your pause/play button would be the Mazda3 Audio and Entertainment System Questions discussion

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  • I agree, Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires are crap. I wonder if someone at Goodyear has photos of the Mazda CEO doing something weird with a goat. These tires have been one of the major complaints from Mazda3 purchasers.

    I replaced the Goodyears with Michelin Pilot Exalta A/S tires after only about 10K miles, and the Goodyears had so little tread left that I didn't even get anything for them on trade-in. The Michelin's are amazing, especially on wet roads. Since we have four distinct seasons where I live, in winter I drive on Bridgestone Blizzak WS60's, and haven't had even one "scary" moment.
  • crowheartcrowheart Posts: 36
    How does the Mazda 3 handle on gravel and dirt roads? I am leaving for a trip where we will be driving quite a lot on back roads that are gravel and dirt. I am a bit worried about how the car will handle.

    If anyone has any experience with the Mazda 3 on roads like these please share your experiences.

    Thanks again...
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,910
    Discretion is the better part of valor. I would be very cautious taking any vehicle that's not really designed to go "off road" into a situation and expect to be able to drive it like I'm on a paved surface.

    "Back roads that are gravel and dirt" describes quite a wide range of conditions. I've been on some well travelled gravel and dirt roads that lead back to houses off of the beaten path that I'd feel uneasy about in anything but a 4x4.

    I'd be more worried about how the car will handle the road conditions than how it will handle. The ground clearance on a Mazda3 s Touring hatch is only 4.8". How rough are the roads you're talking about?

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  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I drove a rental mazda3 on a pretty well maintained gravel road in CA redwoods area. It was fine, but we were going slow both because we were there for the scenery and just because it was gravel. I did not go on the gravel roads that had very steep grades or that sounded like ground clearance would be an issue.
  • crowheartcrowheart Posts: 36
    I will not be driving the car like it is on pavement that is for sure. I have been bringing my Subaru's on those roads with no problems for years(Impreza and Legacy Wagon). You mention a 4.8 clearance on the hatch I bet my Impreza doesn't have much more than that. My Subies are old now and i don't want to bring them on the long road trip. The Impreza has 5.7 clearance so there is almost an inch difference there. Not sure what to think...
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,664
    I have a 2500 foot twisting gravel driveway. My MS3 is a blast to drive on it. A little left-foot braking or strategic application of the handbrake gets the car to rotate really well.

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

  • tj6968tj6968 Posts: 23
    I have only hydroplaned a few times... it wasn't fun. But it was in very hard rain in roads that are mostly untraveled.
  • i have a Mazda 3 2.0 liter and i have had 3 pumps in this car i`m thinking of getting a 1.8 or 1.6 version as sick of replacing the pump
    the design is crap and the waterproofing is not good too i love the car but 3 pumps in 2 years is just unbelievable.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    i have a Mazda 3 2.0 liter and i have had 3 pumps in this car i`m thinking of getting a 1.8 or 1.6 version as sick of replacing the pump
    You're out of luck; the 1.6L or 1.8L Mazda3 is not in North America. Now, if you're in Europe ...
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