Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Mazda 3 Tire & Wheel Questions

borgyborgy Posts: 1
Im trying to check and see if anyone has any ideas on what other wheels we can use on our 2005 Mazda 3. There must be a narrower steel wheel that would be usable. It just makes more sense to me to have 2 sets of wheels and tires,one being much narrower and snow worthy than the factory 17s. Any help on this issue would be great.. My email is


  • wildthingwildthing Posts: 25
    My '05 Mazda 3 doesn't come with Flat Tire warning. I drive steel rims in the winter with 205/50/16's and the rims that came with the car for my summer tires. For whatever it's worth I just ditched the Goodyears at tire switchover and bought something new...Nankang NS2's...they look great on the car, "V" rated, not too expensive and hopefully will last longer than the crappy Goodyear RSA's..
  • My wife and I both have '05 Mazda 3's. Mine's the sedan and her's is the Sport model. We both put steel rims and Bridgstone Blizzaks on our cars. Makes a huge difference in winter driving as the original Goodyear RSA's were useless in snow. We downsized the factory 17's for winter '16's
  • dridedride Posts: 139
    I ride on 205-55-16 Dunlop M3's in the winter and they are nice and sticky on snow and ice. I also have them on steel rims.
  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    I just moved my son's '05 Mazda 3 with 20,000 miles on the above tires to snow blow the driveway. backing up or pulling forward the Toyo's are USELESS!!! They look like they have plenty of tread but even after snowblowing they can't go up the slight incline of my driveway. My '06 Impala and '05 Ford 500 have no problem at all even when there is 5-6" of snow on the driveway. Does anyone else have this problem with the Toyo's? :confuse:
  • Can I use 16' tires on my Mazda 3s GT hatchback ? The guys over at tirerack insist that it can only take 17" rims? Thanks in advance
  • The guys over at tirerack insist that my 3s GT 5-door takes only 17 inch rims. I was thinking of getting 16" wheels and winter tires. Can someone please clarify?
  • kwk1kwk1 Posts: 39
    Tirerack says that cause that's all that's available on that car stock from the factory.
    You shouldn't have any trouble putting 16's on as long as the tire diameter is similar to the 17's. This will keep the speedometer fairly accurate and not cause any problems with ABS.
    I guess there's an outside chance the brakes could be too large for 16's, but I would really doubt it. The brakes are probably all the same size, except maybe for the MazdaSpeed3.

  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    I've seen the factory 16's on a 2.3 trim level sedan, but i'm not sure i've ever seen it on the 5 door. Maybe the tire rack guys are advising against it since it technically would no longer be oem. Sometimes they offer you optional sizes when they know that the manufacturer themselves offers you bigger or smaller rims. (they have oe 17 and 18 inch wheel sizes offered for my rabbit just because vw offers factory wheels that big as well.) I think that if you can do it to the sedan version, there should be no reason why you couldn't do it for a gt 5 door.
  • mazdrvrmazdrvr US Posts: 112
    I was curious & wanted to know if there is a difference w/ride, performance, etc... between the 16" and 17" tires (S sedans)?
  • kwk1kwk1 Posts: 39
    I'm sure the 17's have a rougher ride, but should handle better.
  • mazdrvrmazdrvr US Posts: 112
    I was reading about the tmps & as helpful it will be, it also seems like a pain in the a**. It says that you should go to your Mazda dealer for tire issues so the sensor can be connected, programmed properly (something like that...). Is that true? Would other places like Costco, Discount Tire, etc know how to do that? Plus getting tires or tire repairs through the dealership would take too long & be overpriced!
  • kwk1kwk1 Posts: 39
    I'm not sure if places like that would be able to reprogram the computer. You'd have to ask them. The computer is programmed for the stock tire size, it would need to be reprogrammed for a new size.
    IMO, it would be easier to just find a tire of similar diameter, give or take an inch. then your speedo and ABS should still work fine.

    PS: I have run a 27.4 inch tire on the front, and a 28 inch on the back with no ill effects.
  • mazdrvrmazdrvr US Posts: 112
    Also wondered if I ever wanted aftermarket tires that were a bigger size... I have to ask & call around first. I would like to go througthe dealership just because they will know what to do but can't imagine what a rip it would be!
  • Good to hear this. Any suggestions on a wheel source??
  • fayecfayec Posts: 1
    Bought a Mazda3 GT HB a month ago. Since day one, the TPMS (Tire Pressure) warning light (!) turns on when I drive. It will flicker, and then stay lit, turning off during the drive and then sometimes turning back on. I've brought into the dealership for service, and they couldn't detect anything wrong with the tires, and reset the TPMS module. However, the warning light (!) continues to turn on and off. Is this safe to drive, or is it a lemon?
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    If the tires are holding pressure at the correct level, and a reset of the TPMS module didn't work, then it would seem that the dealer should replace the module.
  • m3fan3m3fan3 Posts: 27
    i had the same exact problem the first day i bought my mazda 3. one of my sensors were broken. the dealer replaced it on the warranty with no problem. said it was very strange that happened the day i drove it off the lot.even the sales guy that sold me the car was shocked and gave me a free oil change certificate. the flickering stands for a malfunction in the TPMS system. one of the sensors are damaged(or thats what was on mine at least). and no its not dangerous to drive, however you will not be able to kno if one of the tires are loosing air while the light flickers.also i personally do not like lights flashing in my gages, just so distracting.
  • pmckaypmckay Posts: 6
    Hello Mr. Wild,
    I just got an 07 Mazda3 s 5-Door (I LOVE IT) - and it came with the Goodyear's. Not good in the snow. We drove the car home from the dealer, and couldn't make it up our driveway. Nokian WR snow tires solved the driveway hill problem.... the traction control klicks in pretty often. The snow tires are 17" also low profile perfomance tires mounted on the factory rims. I'll need rims for the summer tires now.... Anything special about the rims? Do I need special Flat Tire Warning sensors in the rims?
    About your vehicles. Did you find problems with either the Flat Tire warning, or the speedometer when you went to 205/55/16's?
    Sorry about multiple question in one post..
  • pmckaypmckay Posts: 6
    Hi Eldiano - Did you end up with 16" rims and tires? I just bought a set of 17" (performance) Nokian WR snow tires for my 07 5-door. 16" 205/55 tires on steel rims might have given me a bit more sidewall height.
    Thanks for any info.
  • If the backspacing on your new rims is the same as the old rims and the overall diameter of the tires + rims is the same you will have no problems with fit, no matter what the tire salesman says. If you change either the backspacing or the overall diameter I suggest you check for rubbing before proceeding. A good tire place will help you with the fit of a non-oem setup or they shouldn't get your money.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    well...i actually don't own a mazda 3 :blush: but what the above poster said is true; 3 17's on the 3 are actually almost the same size as the 16's; they are 205 45 r 17's if i'm not mistaken. The wheelwell's on all the 3's are the same, so you should have no problem. As long as your tread on the tires is for the winter you will be ok.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "If the backspacing on your new rims is the same as the old rims and the overall diameter of the tires + rims is the same you will have no problems with fit....."

    That's fine if your only concern is whether the rims/tires will fit without rubbing in the wheel well. But it doesn't take into account whether or not the brake rotors/calipers will fit within the smaller size rim.

    Regarding the sedan vs. the 5-door: are the 16" rims on the sedan offered only on the 2.0l version (possibly with smaller brakes) or are the 16" rims also offered on the 2.3l version?
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    Just to let you know I just bought a new 3 5 door here in Canada, and it came with the 16" wheels stock, so unless the US version uses different size brakes they should fit fine.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    i dunno about the newer ones, but someone at my church has an 05 2.3 sedan with stock 16's.
  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    I thought the 3s comes with 17". I have the M3S GT 4 door with 17", stock. Maybe the 5 door comes with 16".
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    I just checked Tire Rack's Upgrade Garage and they do not list any 16 inch wheels on dozens of choices. They do list a number of 16's for the 4 door (which is what I have) and therefore I would bet that for some reason the 16 inch size will not work on the 5 door. I have purchased at least 10 times from Tire Rack over the years, and I would be very surprised if they don't have this right.

    I would go with the 17's and choose the best tire that's right for you. Even though a taller, narrower tire would be better when the conditions are really bad, one plus with the 17" is that it will handle a little better when the roads are clear or there is just a little snow. The other advantage is that they will look better.
  • stallionrestallionre Posts: 205
    Thanks JBaumgart for this info. I have driven many cars with size 16 and 17 tires. There is a slight difference between them, However, there is a big difference in different types of weather. I have noticed that for sure, especially in the snow, rain, ice and mud. I live in Southern CA, therefore, 17" tires are the best for the weather and not only that, they look better and the ride feels smoother/better on the hot pavement. :)
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,962
    It's Tuesday, and for those of you new to the forums, that means it's time for our weekly Mazda chat. Stop in this evening to meet and greet some of your fellow forums members, talk about the cars, share some CarSpace photos and videos, and in general have a good time!

    The Mazda Club Chat is on tonight. The chat room opens at 8:45PM ET Hope to see YOU there! Check out the schedule

    Edmunds Moderator

    Need some roadside assistance? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Just purchased or leased a vehicle? Share your vehicle reviews

    PF_Flyer's 2014 Versa Note Long Term Blog
    How To Start Your Own Long Term Blog

  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    "Thanks JBaumgart for this info. I have driven many cars with size 16 and 17 tires. There is a slight difference between them, However, there is a big difference in different types of weather. I have noticed that for sure, especially in the snow, rain, ice and mud. I live in Southern CA, therefore, 17" tires are the best for the weather and not only that, they look better and the ride feels smoother/better on the hot pavement."

    For winter wheels and tires I've usually downsized for the reasons you mention. I live in Minnesota so I have lots of experience driving in inclement weather. On one of my other vehicles it comes stock with 20" wheels, but when I ordered a wheel/tire winter package I went with 18 inchers. A smaller size winter tire makes the biggest difference in heavy snow, with its taller sidewall, but it also helps on compacted snow and ice as you get greater contact pressure - more weight on a narrower width. Like most everything else in life there's tradeoffs - maintaining the stock size will give better handling for the 90% of the time when the roads have been cleared or are otherwise dry, plus as we've mentioned they look better too.
  • dridedride Posts: 139
    I have a 2005 Mazda 3s Hatch. Last year I purchased 16" steel rims and 205-55-16 Dunlop M3's for the winter. My car was undriveable in the winter with the all season 17's on. Tire Rack was great to work with. I too live in MN, and I switched tires out when we had that 80 degree day two weeks ago, now with the rate it is snowing today I'll have to switch back tonight!
Sign In or Register to comment.