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Mazda6 Tires and Wheels

Okay we all know the 215-50-17s are expensive snow tires. My friend recommended I should put 205-50-17 as they are 200$ cheaper. Any suggestions? My only concern is safety.


  • Looking for a little advice.
    I have a MS6, Black, 12K miles.
    when I bought it, I swapped out the stock summers for all seasons. I went with Pirelli P zero Nero 21540 18 from tire rack.
    no trouble initially, good in some snow in jan, feb. not bad overall tires.

    The problem has been wear. One of them is wearing unevenly. had one flat already (replaces with another pirelli).
    based on tread wear indicators, i probably have 1-2K more on the three originals.

    The dealer has checked the alignment and can't explain uneven tread wear.

    I am thinking of changing out all four.
    Seems to be a limited set of choices at the OEM size. Has anyone upsized to 225 40 or 45 18's using the original wheels?
    there seems to be much more choice at that size.
    anyone else have a tire wear issue?
    door sill recomends 38psi. that is higher than I normally run, are people keeping their tires this high?

    thanks in advance
  • I am still with the original summer potenzas which I really like. With AWD I don't think you need a ALL-season..??
    Please let me know what you learn as I plan to replace with a 225/40/18 probably toyo or yokohoma.. This small size change should not cause us ANY problems..
    Later - Morgan
  • I am still with the original summer potenzas which I really like. With AWD I don't think you need a ALL-season..??
    Please let me know what you learn as I plan to replace with a 225/40/18 probably toyo or yokohoma.. This small size change should not cause us ANY problems..
    Later - Morgan

    If you live in a climate where it snows you need all seasons. "Summer" tires are not designed to deal with cold temperatures and lack the edges to bite on icey/snowy roads. If you like your summer tires, you might want to consider just getting pure winter tires on alternate wheels for when there is white stuff falling. If the stock 16" from a regular Mazda6 will clear the brakes, I am sure a set of those can be picked up super cheap.
  • UHHH No, I am not worried or intimated by snow & ice in an AWD car.. I was wondering if everyone agrees and or has anyone gone to a 225/40/18 summer tire on the stock MS6 wheels. Also, Are you sure about the edges being that different, I think it is mainly treadware and tread pattern designs and differences. Not to mention the tires' engineered compounds.
  • You are correct, the compound is different to deal with the colder temperatures, thats what I was talking about with respect to it being designed for colder temps. The edges of true winter tires are indeed different. Fine cuts in the tread are designed to help the car grip snowy or icy surfaces better.
    While its good to know you feel invincible in your AWD car, I wanted to point out that it offers little advantage when trying to do things other than accelerate, like STOPPING or TURNING. With summer tires, you will be even more at a disadvantage since you don't even have the tread compounds afforded by "all season" tires. Whats worse is once you do spin off in the ditch, your summer tires wont grip to get you back on the road, and everyone can watch all 4 of your tires spinning in the snow.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    I am waiting for a mesage stating that Mazda AWD "sucks" because you lost control of the car in the snow with summer tires. The last part, I bet, you will not mention.

    Summer tires can/will get dangerous with temperature drop. You need no snow. Dry and cold will render them almost useless.

    Wishing you best of luck.

  • Does anyone here have experience with summer tires used through winter? Good enough for cautious, limited use, or simply an accident waiting to happen? One 10mph bump would be a 4 figure repair, followed by higher insurance rates. The trouble is it would be a considerable expense to have spare wheel/tire set for a leased vehicle, and I do not have storage space. I believe the lease requires original model tires when the car is returned, so I can't just swap. I don't _want_ to drive through a winter on summer tires, there just may not be a practical choice.
  • The trouble is it would be a considerable expense to have spare wheel/tire set for a leased vehicle, and I do not have storage space. I believe the lease requires original model tires when the car is returned, so I can't just swap.

    Double check that, usually the lease calls for 4 matched tires but not necessarily what was originally on there. While it is more of a pain, you could have your snows and summers mounted and unmounted on the same rims.
    Alternatively, I would look for some regular Mazda6 wheels (cheeap)if they clear the brakes.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    I think I read a review of BMW M5 with original summer tires.
    It dusted when reviewer was dining. The car was unable to move from parking spot. M5 is not AWD but it does have traction control. I guess there was no traction.

  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    Accident waiting to happen, plain and simple. I wouldn't risk a "short trip" at all, considering that if an accident does happen, some insurance companies will place you at fault for driving on summer tires in the winter.

    If you don't want winter tires/wheels, a good set of all-seasons will work just fine for you, and as stated previously, I'm sure the lease calls for 4 matched, evenly-worn tires, so all-seasons won't kill your lease.

    For all-seasons, I've heard the Pirelli P Zero Nero M&S are a good choice...
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Even if the lease did call for OEM tires, he could put the all seasons on and store the summer tires. Then put the original tires back on when it is time to turn the car in.
  • An accident waiting to happen. Believe me!

    car purchased 12/23/05............Salt Lake City, Utah
  • I compare the MS6 to the VW R32 in this regard.

    When I had the R32, I was a regular on There were hoards of posts warning about driving the R32 in snow/ice without changing to winter, or at least truly all-season tires; there were even a few "I learned my lesson the hard way" posts. The R32, factory equipped with Goodyear Eagle F1s, came with a strong warning about driving in snow/ice.

    The R32 was unflappable in the wet, but from everything I read, it was a disaster waiting to happen in snow/ice unless the tires were changed. The R32 and the MS6 have similar specs: both have a Haldex that stays in FWD 90% of the time, both have similar power to weight ratios, both come stock with aggressive performance tires.

    So why would the MS6 be any different than the R32 in its need for winter tires? If the MS6 were full-time AWD, it would be a better winter car, but AWD doesn't assure a contact patch for braking and turning.

    -Mister Winky
  • "Summer tires can/will get dangerous with temperature drop. You need no snow. Dry and cold will render them almost useless"

    Absolutely Agree! In all the cars and all the winter driving, I had the scariest experience ever last winter in this AWD car with the summer tires on it. All four tires spinning and the driver has NO control what so ever. Tires are hard as a rock and may as well be blown up tight inner-tubes.
  • Does anybody have the Pirellis on? How good/bad is the tire wear? I heard stock summers last about only 12K to 16K.

    I also have the same dilema. I checked with my sales guy. Tire should be of the same size. Doesn't matter the make.

    There are two options
    1) Use 17'' rims from Mazda6 and a winter tire combo ~ 1000 USD. The 17' offers more tire options
    2) Use the Pirelli's. If they don't last out the whole lease I feel option 1 may be better. :confuse:
  • eviljoeeviljoe Posts: 14
    So has anyone put 225/40/18s or other size tires on their MS6? I too did notice that the supply of OEM size tires was limited and was wondering what problems there might be in switching. How much would slightly bigger tires affect gas mileage and ride?
  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 214
    From my online research, it seemed that the Pirelli P-zero Nero was the only decent AS tire in 215/45R18. At a tire dealer, I was told that the Pirelli is a summer-oriented AS, not drastically better than the stock tires. If you consider size 225/45R18 AS tires, many more options are available- Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental, and Avon. The Michelin seems overpriced. I passed on the
    Avon simply because I have no knowledge of the company. Can anyone educate me on this brand? The Continental is a winter-oriented AS tire. My tire dealer said that customers had mixed sentiments about the Continentals. This week I am having Bridgestone RE 960AS tires put on my MS6. They are top-rated on TireRack reviews. The stock tires make 811 revolutions per mile; the RE 960AS is rated at 804 revolutions per mile, so the difference is minor.

    I can't give you any feedback yet on the new tires, but I do know that summer tires in winter are bad news. I once drove in a snow with summer tires at 5 mph and slid sideways off the road; simply no grip. If I lived further north, I would have dedicated winter tires, probably 17"; the difference is quite significant.
  • evaddaveevaddave Posts: 156
    I've seen a bunch of motorcycle tires made by Avon. I don't know anything about the quality, though.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    I passed on the Avon simply because I have no knowledge of the company. Can anyone educate me on this brand?

    Avon tires have been used on Aston Martins and Bentleys for years, and the Tech M550 A/S has been a solid performer, from what I've heard. Other Mazda6 owners have bought and used them for 17" OEM replacements, and I haven't heard anything negative about them yet. Great traction in dry and wet conditions, relatively quiet for a performance tire, and good treadlife.
  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 214
    What I read on TireRack about the Avon tires was very positive; I just had no personal knowledge. And I liked the idea of a winter-oriented AS, such as the Continental; after all that is why we are taking off the summer tires. Michelin is known for good quality. So all these choices in size 225/45R18 may be good. In size 215/45R18 the Kumho Ecsta SPT and the Cooper Zeon ZPT are also available, but their ratings are slightly less.
  • Can anyone confirm that there are no issues with additional tire width and minor height difference when using 225/45R18? I'm up here in Boston so I need to get some new All seasons very soon. Just want to confirm that the extra size fits the rim well and there are no issues with scraping any part of the body.
  • thanks for al the input.
    My friend with a regular 6 loves his Avons. thinks they are way better than OEM.
    quieter with better handling.
    has had them almost 40K and still going strong.

    I was thinking about the Avons for my MS6, but I wanted to be sure about upsizing to 225 45 18. the Pirellis at 215 do actually look narrow for the wheel, but they are the recomended OEM size.

    I need to pull the trigger soon, the shimmy from the uneven tire is starting to really annoy me. I can't drive the way I want either, don't really have the confidence in the handling that I used to.

    This car,even with summer biased AS like the Pirellis was totally unfazed by 3" of snow and slush in Jan and Feb.
    It handled almost as well as my previous A6 quattro did.
  • I just had my Bridgestone 225/45R18 tires put on today. The Mazda dealer's tire man didn't blink when I said I planned to put that size on the car. The fellow who put them on today had no problems. I drove home 23 miles with no noticeable difference noted. These tire are just 10 mm, 4/10 of an inch, wider. They are only 4.5 mm taller, so the differences are minor. On the speedometer they rate 804 vs. 811 revolutions per mile; that is less than a 1% difference. I don't think there is going to be a problem. The Avons are just a little larger: 2 pounds heavier and 800 revolutions per mile.
  • Road & Track has a comparison of ultra performance AS tires in their current edition. The Pirellis did good. The tires were tested in wet and dry conditions, but I don't think it included ice or snow (I only had a few minutes to look at the article.) I looked up in the wheel wells on my MS6 today; there isn't much room around those tires. I could only get the tip of my little finger between the tire and one of the wheel supports. No problems for me, but it is close.
  • donzydonzy Posts: 5
    Just FYI, I purchased winter tires from - Dunlop Sport M3's size 215/50/17. They are the same overall size as the 18's and will fit over the calipers. They are rated very high in winter performance/treadware and much cheaper than the Bridgestone Blizzaks in the 18" size. After several months of research and conversation I found out that going to a wider tire 225/45/18 would require an auto body shop to perform a fender lip roll on the front. Has anyone had to have a fender lip roll done? The narrower tire 215/50/17 is better in the winter than the wider 225/45/18.
  • If I went to dedicated winter tires, I would do exactly as you have done- 17" wheels with tires sized to achieve the same overall height. At least in my case with all season tires, changing to size 225/45R18 required no fender lip roll or other special handling. The space available in the front is close, and perhaps insufficient for a snow tire with prominent tread shoulders.
  • With the stock 17x7 wheels, the tires will be too narrow for the wheels themselves. This will cause the tires to wear unevenly and will pose a safety factor. As a matter of fact, the stock size isn't the ideal width tire for the wheel. The 225s are better fits actually...

    If $$$$ is an issue, may I suggest buying a set of 16" steel wheels and the 205-60/16 tires? They are the stock tire size for the 16" wheels, and are much less expensive than the 17". A set of steelies (or used wheels) can be found without much $$$$ as well.
  • Has anyone had any experience with the Pirelli P400 or Pirelli Aquamile 400 ? :cry:

    Please help.
  • At 1,800 miles, I ran over a thick piece of wire (actually, it was more like a thin metal bar) and it punctured my tire right in the middle of the tread--it also banged around my wheel-well so hard it ripped off a clip holding one corner of the back bumper on.

    Anyway, I took it in and was told no warranty on road hazard or anything for the tires. Since I didn't want to buy TWO new tires, I figured I should stay with the stock brand/make of tire. IS THIS CORRECT?

    Though the soonest they could get a new Potenza RE050A XL in would be in over a week, and it would cost $220, I ended up getting one online for $200 and it got here the next day (shipping was only $15).

    Next time it's going to be Pirellis or Goodyears or something in the $120-$150 range.
  • Before I take the plunge for my wife's car, can anyone out there tell me if the Goodyear F1 (v-groove pattern threads) are superior than the others in the wet? A colleague swears by them who switched from Pirelli 6000! My wife's priority is EXCELLENT GRIP. :blush:
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