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Mazda 3 Tire & Wheel Questions



  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Is it really so different? That might be a problem if I can not hear any music while driving.
    Good question. According to the ratings, the noise level is "good" not "unacceptable" so I would be surprised if the Potenzas are so loud that you will not be able to hear music. But, if you are concerned you know there's another option that is "superior" according to the results.
  • mrgreymrgrey Posts: 7
    That might be a problem if I can not hear any music while driving.

    The Mazda 3 must be the loudest car I've ever driven. I can almost never hear the bass with it at max, there must be zero sound insulation in this car. So I can understand your worry. I personally can live with the noise because I bought my Mazda for the safety rating and handling - but it is annoying.
  • mrgreymrgrey Posts: 7
    Yeah, I've just checked our Mazda 3 - we are now at 34,000 miles, and the Turanza EL400s on the rear are down to 2/32". Time to replace this week. I note that these tires have terrible reviews on Tirerack.

    The tires on the front are fine - my wife has the car serviced, I wonder if they were never rotated? Does anyone know whether it is advisable to put new tires of a different type on the rear (such as the Pilot Sport), while keeping the same older tires on the front? Will this cause additional wear on the new tires? - Thanks.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The fact that the rear tires are worn and the fronts are in good shape suggest that the tires have been rotated exactly once.

    On a car like the Mazda3 it is not a good idea to mix tire types, your best bet will be to buy a set of four and be done with it. FWIW, I'm about the replace a set of Pilot Sport A/Ss on my Mazda3 after over 45,000 miles; I'll either opt for another set of Pilot Sport A/Ss or a set of Continental ExtremeContact DWSs.
  • mrgreymrgrey Posts: 7
    Thanks for the response - I just went on Sears website, and they don't list the Pilot Sport A/S as a tire type for my car. I have the vanilla Mazda 3 Touring Sedan (I think this is "i"? - it doesn't say this anywhere on my documentation). I wonder why Sears doesn't recommend them for the Mazda 3 - they definitely sell them.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited August 2011
    I have a 2009 Mazda3 i Touring Value Edition which came with 205/50 R17 tires; this may or may not be the same size as on your car. If your car came with say a set of 195/65 R15 tires, then Michelin doesn't make the Pilot Sport A/Ss in that size (the do make them in the 205/55 R16 size however).

    FWIW, for my tires I simply order a set from and then take them to my dealership to have them mounted and balanced; they're easily competitive with the local tire shops on the mount/balance price.
  • mrgreymrgrey Posts: 7
    Thanks - I'll check out their prices. I have Turanza 205/55 R16 89H at the moment.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Take a look at the Continental ExtremeContact DWS while you're on the TireRack site.
  • hae3hae3 Posts: 2
    I'm thinking of buying the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus for my 2005 Mazda 3. I drive 60/40 highway/suburbia and drive about 12-15K a year. I live in NJ so I need tires that will perform in rain, snow, and sleet. I am not a performance enthusiast and don't know a lot about tires but I've read on this forum and on a few others that people are happy with these tires. I'm willing to buy them but would prefer less expensive tires if they will last as long and perform as well as these. Any suggestions? My tire size is 205/50/17. Thanks in advance!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    See the post right above yours; the Continental ExtremeContact DWS isn't quite the high-performance tire the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S is, however, in pretty much every other metric (including price), the Continental beats the Michelin.

    I run the same tire size on my 2009 Mazda as you run on yours and my current set of Pilot Sport A/Ss have just over 45,000 miles on them and are beginning to show their age (or more correctly their miles). I'm currently leaning toward the ExtremeContact DWSs when replacement time comes in the next four to five thousand miles.
  • hae3hae3 Posts: 2
    Thank you for your help! I'm going to look up those tires now to price them out. :)
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    shipo, I can thoroughly recommend the Continental's and think you would be very happy with them. I've purchased many tires and wheels from TireRack over the years and these have been a great choice for our Mazda 3 (2007 s Grand Touring, 52,000 miles with no problems). In fact I liked them so much I bought another set to replace the Michelins that were on my wife's Lexus RX.
  • mrgreymrgrey Posts: 7
    Ok folks - one last question on the Continentals - I've looked around online, and many people are saying that Continental tires have serious tread separation problems. Has anyone experienced this? My Mazda dealership also warned me against them for this reason - not that I particularly trust the dealership.

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I can thoroughly recommend the Continental's
    Interesting. Tire Rack classifies them as All Season tires. How would you rate their performance in the winter snow and sleet? Would you say they are as good as dedicated winter tires?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,715
    edited August 2011
    All-season Continentals came as OEM equipment on my Nissan Versas and I've been less than impressed with the traction performance. I switched to Cooper CS4's

    On the subject of all-season vs dedicated winter tires, I'd say that while you may live in an area where you can generally get by with all-seasons, as I do, dedicated winter tires will always give you better snow performance without question

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  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    dedicated winter tires will always give you better snow performance without question
    Agreed. That's what I have always understood.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    I run dedicated winter tires on both the Mazda and my wife's RX (in Minnesota). So I can't comment on how the Conti's perform in the snow and on ice. However as I recall from reading the user reviews on TireRack, most believe they offer very good winter traction for an "all season" tire. Based on my experience there are no "all season" tires than perform as well as good winter tires in deep snow, and especially on ice. If you've never owned a set of modern winter tires you'd be amazed at how much of a difference they can make in poor winter driving conditions. P.S. Normally I would purchase a pure summer tire for the other 8 months of the year, except the Mazda is primarily driven by our teenage daughter, so going fast is NOT a priority! And the wife's Lexus RX is obviously not a performance vehicle so an ultra high performance tire wouldn't be the best choice there either! ;)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited August 2011
    As some of y'all know I'm running down the last few thousand miles of life on the 205/50 R17 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires mounted on my 2009 Mazda3 and am actively evaluating what I'll buy to replace them. To date I have about 46,000 miles in the Michelins (which I had mounted on my car when there were only 714 miles on the odometer, the OEM Goodyears were absolute junk), and while it seems likely they'll last until the 50,000 mile mark, winter will be looming large by that point and with the thin tread (not yet to the wear-bars) I wouldn't trust these tires in so much as a dusting of snow.

    So, with the above said, I've been planning on either a second set of Pilot Sports (which have gotten considerably more expensive over the last three years), or a set of Continental ExtremeContactDWSs. A recent check of tires meeting my requirements (i.e. good handling, long life, passable in snow) revealed a new player on my radar scope namely the Yokohama AVID ENVigor. The reports seem to indicate the Yokos will outlast the Michelins, will handle nearly as well as the Michelins (something the Continentals cannot claim), and yet will cost a bit less than the moderately priced Continentals. Suddenly my short list looks like the following:

    1) Yokohama AVID ENVigor at $119 per tire
    2) Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus at $195 per tire
    3) Continental ExtremeContactDWS at $131 per tire

    I know several folks with the Continentals and they've been very happy with the tires, however, the numerous complaints of soft rolly-polly sidewalls has me a bit apprehensive given that the roads around here in New England are anything but straight. With the good handling reports and good treadwear ratings the Yokohamas are generating, that tire has materialized out of nowhere to be placed on top of my short list.

    I'd love to hear from anybody with experience on the relatively new to the market AVID ENVigors.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    205/50 R17
    Have you considered downsizing to 16" winter tires? The Mazda3 easily accomodates a 2055/55/16 tire. This could save you a few dollars.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Nah, I've gone that route on other (RWD) cars; I don't like the trade-off when the roads are clear in the winter (which is most of the time, New Hampshire really gets after it when comes to snow removal).

    As for savings, given that the Yokos are reasonably inexpensive to begin with, I don't see how I could amass much savings. Now on my BMW which came with summer performance rubber worth $350 per skin, yeah, the trade-off made huge financial sense. :)
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited August 2011
    given that the Yokos are reasonably inexpensive ... I don't see how I could amass much savings.
    I see your point (especially if you had to purchase 16" rims as well as tires).

    Here is a tire site with quite a few user comments on the Yokos:

    As you noted, snow handling does not seem to be its forte.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited August 2011
    Snow handling isn't exactly the forté of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/Ss which are currently on my car and they've served perfectly well. When you consider the number of my miles driven in the snow during the winter is a bare fraction compared to the number of miles driven on cold but otherwise clear roads, and considering that if snow is deep enough to really be an issue I can work from home, winter tires don't seem to be very cost effective for me. :)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited August 2011
    Mazda isn't the only manufacturer which configures their cars with rear camber set up for racing so nothing new there; I rather doubt the class action suit will yield much of anything except for some profits for a few lawyers.

    FWIW, I've owned several cars from different manufacturers with rear camber settings tuned for racing and which are notorious for generating rapid tread wear, cupping, and tire noise, and I've found that running a set of high performance All-Season tires typically renders the issue moot. In the case of my current car, a 2009 Mazda3, I chucked the factory tires (205/50 R17 Goodyear Eagle RS-As, quite possibly the same tires you have on your car) after only 714 miles in favor of a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires and as of this writing they have 46,000 miles on them and are just about spent. The good news is that while the Pilot Sports aren't the quietest tire out there, they were constant in that department from the day I put them on until the day they come off (in the next couple of weeks); the other bit of good news is that the tread wear is pretty even on all four tires from shoulder to shoulder in spite of the fact that I only rotate them every ten to fifteen thousand miles or so.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Gaithersburg Mazda ... said it’s because I didn’t rotate the tires often enough (supposed to do every 3,000 miles they say) ... I rotated my tires at 17,000

    Tires are a tricky issue. Isn't the dealership quoting what is in the Driver's manual? If you decide to change the rotation period shouldn't you accept the consequences (e.g. premature wear)?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Given that the same post from speedster3s is elsewhere on the internet it seens as if the OP is more interested in making noise than looking for help or answers; I doubt we'll hear from him again.
  • I need to replace the tires on my 2008 Mazda 3. The dealership tires are totally unacceptable for here in MN. I'm still deciding on tires vs a tire & wheel package. My biggest question is how do I retain TPMS capabilities? I can't tell if it's a tire thing, a rim thing, either, or both.

    As long as I'm showing my ignorance, I'll also ask for thoughts on changing from the 205-50-R17 size tire to a smaller size. Smaller wheels & tires are cheaper, but I haven't found much solid information on what the tradeoffs are. I don't drive the car much over summer (the Miata is so much more fun!).

    Performance driving isn't an issue here - just getting where I need to go safely.



    p.s. I'm looking at Blizzaks, and any advice on how much loss I would incur by driving them ~800 miles/year over summer would be appreciated.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 853
    A reliable tire dealer ought to be able to set you up with a tire and wheel package that will work. Generally, going down in rim size - in your case frrom 17' to either 16" or 15" - results in a narrower tire with a taller sidewall, but about the same overall diameter.

    Your speedoameter wil be unaffected and you'll gain a bit of better traction. The idea is that snow has such poor traction that if you can get down to the pavement - even a tiny bit - will result is more traction.

    TPMS? The dealer ought to be able to get the right sensors - and prgram them so your car will function as before.

    But it isn't recommended to use winter tires over the summer. Winter tires are designed for winter use and not only will they wear rapidly during warmer weather, there is a chance that the heat generated will be too much for the tire during the summer months. Tire failures are something to be avoided.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    My biggest question is how do I retain TPMS capabilities? I can't tell if it's a tire thing, a rim thing, either, or both.
    The best source of tire information that I have found is at If you do a search for TPMS you will find a lot of useful information.

    Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors (TPMS) are inside each wheel attached to the valve stem. When you buy new wheels you will need to transfer your old sensors or buy new ones. I've never bought ones myself, but I understand from others that they can be pricey.

    In most cases if one is planning to have new tires with TPMS and also changing tires for winter vs. summer driving, it is strongly recommended to buy a tire+wheel package. In such a case, the advantage of having dedicated tires+wheels for winter driving is that the seasonal change-over is much simpler and one avoids wrecking the sensors.

    I don't drive the car much over summer (the Miata is so much more fun!)
    Have you considered using the Mazda3 strictly for winter driving with winter tires and using the Miata the rest of the year?

    I'm looking at Blizzaks, and any advice on how much loss I would incur by driving them ~800 miles/year over summer would be appreciated.
    My understanding is that driving winter tires during the summer wears them out more quickly since the tire compound has been engineered for cold not warm weather. Mind you 800 miles is not a substantial distance, so you may be able to get away with minimal deterioration.
  • I am new to the forums, so I apologize if this post is in the wrong place.

    My son owns a 2006 Mazda 3. Last winter, he ran up on a snowbank and got one of the wheels wedged in the bank. When he freed the car, it apparently pulled out some clips/clamps that hold a plastic piece located above the wheel. It has shifted and is apparently rubbing up against the tire when he turns the wheel in particular directions.

    Are those clams obtainable from the dealer? If so, are they easy to mount. I would hate to have to take it to the dealer for them to do the work unless necessary.

    Thank you!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    got one of the wheels wedged in the bank ... it apparently pulled out some clips/clamps that hold a plastic piece located above the wheel. It ... is apparently rubbing up against the tire

    If you mean the plastic rivets / grommets holding the plastic underbody to the vehicle, you can likely find something similar in a hardware store or have a local garage take care of it. I would just mention it the next time you bring the car in for service; I'd be surprised if they charged anything to fix the problem.
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