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Mazda Protege/Protege5 Tires and Wheels

lacebugboylacebugboy Posts: 1
edited July 2014 in Mazda
Hi gang,
I'm considering buying an '02 Protege5 with 78K miles on it. It's a nice car but I was shocked by how loud the tires are at speeds between 15-45 mph. The owner says the tires are newish and they looked it to me. I think they were Dunlop "high performance" tires but I don't recall the model. The noise could be a deal-killer for us so I was wondering (hoping!) that someone could suggest some low-noise tires for this vehicle. Thanks a lot.


  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    the tires are newish and they looked it ... Dunlop "high performance" tires ... The noise could be a deal-killer

    Being performance Dunlops they will likely wear fairly quickly and become quieter. ;)

    If you're looking for a set of good inexpensive replacements, you might want to look for the BF Goodrich Traction T/A 205-50 V-rated tires. I found the original Dunlops and the BFG tires equally non-noisy (but this is personal).

    Try Tire Trends for other suggestions.

    Good luck!
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684

    I had Kumho's. Quieter, but they wore badly and pretty quickly. Not a lot of choices in this tire size.
  • Proteges transmit lots of road noise to the cabin, and performance tires are generally noisy. Check out the tire tests at for comparison. I'm happy with Michelin PE2's, which have excellent dry road handling, best of class wet road handling, and less noise than other perfromance tires I've had on my '99 pro es.

    Most tires get noisier as they wear.

    You can also install sound insulation under the carpeting - not a quick job, though.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Sometimes installers forget to readjust the pressure after they install new tires.
  • Has anyone had any experience with putting 15" wheels on 2003 Mazda Protege 5? I would like to mount a set of winter tires on 15" steel rims.

  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I have 15" aluminum wheels for my winter tires. As long as the wheel clears the brake hardware you should be OK.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Agreed. This should not be a problem. If you want to save money you can use steel instead of aluminum wheels. This is going to be my 6th year on snow tires and steel wheels and they have paid for themselves in saving wear and tear on my alloy wheels and summer tires.
  • usermuserm Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Mazda Protege (120k) that needs new wheels and tires. Love this car bit don't want to spend a lot. Any suggestions? Thanks.
  • Hi all,

    I have an '03 P5. Looking to see if my 1yr. old Dunlop Graphipcs (sp?) 205/55/R15 will mount ok if I can find some cheap steel or alloy 15" wheels. Tire Rack has some for $50, but that's more than I wanna pay. Any ideas would be appreciated.


  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    A few suggestions:
    1. Steel wheels would be cheaper than alloy wheels.
    2. Smaller sized wheels (15") would be cheaper than larger (16") ones.
    3. Buying a package (i.e. tires & wheels) is cheaper than buying them separately.
    4. Buying a well-known brand allows cross-shopping.
    5. Many tire brands are owned by the same company.

    Personally, I have found BF Goodrich to be a great value as my summer "performance" (Traction T/A) tires and my winter (Winter Slalom) tires.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    This is based upon my experience with my '89 323LX, '99 ProLX and my wife's '91 Saturn SL2 and '03 P5:

    All were all-season performance or touring tires:

    General XP2000 - all went out of round after only a few thousand miles. Ditto for the second set I was given as replacements. Size was 175/70R13, on the 323. I'll never buy another set of General tires again.
    BF Goodrich Traction T/A H (185/65R14 size on Pro) - very weak sidewalls; I have to inflate them to at least 36psi to avoid unstable cornering, plus they are wearing unevenly and are very noisy at only 5,000 miles on them. I will be replacing these soon with a set of Dunlop SP Sport A2 Plus tires. Others seem to be happy with these, but based upon my own experience and that of a few friends and co-workers, I will be avoiding this brand in the future.
    Firestone FR680 (stock on '99 ProLX) - slippery on wet roads, snow, ice. Good wear, decent on dry roads. Avoid unless you will drive only under dry conditions.

    Falken Ziex ZE-512 (Pro) - Decent on dry roads (not as good as the Dunlop SP Sport A2 or SP5000), but a little slippery on wet roads. Wore faster than the Dunlops (all of them), lasting only about 25,000 miles.
    Dunlop D65A (Saturn) - Great tire wear. The rubber compound on the sidewalls cracked (after 7 years) before the tread wore out. Decent handling and noise. Wore very evenly. I'm not sure this is made any more though. I think these were replaced by the SP Sport A2 model.
    Dunlop SP5000 (P5) - Costly. Wife got over 45,000 miles on them, but others have gotten much less tread life. Very good dry handling. OK wet and snow handling. Just very expensive.
    Bridgestone/Firestone RE910 (Saturn) - Decent tire. Better in dry handling than the Dunlop D65A they replaced, but a little less traction on wet roads. Noisier than the Dunlops too.
    Kumho Ecsta (P5) - sorry, forgot the model name, but it's one of few that match the stock size and are all-season performance tires. They are noiser than the Dunlop SP5000 tires they replaced. Wear seems even. Handling is not as good as the Dunlops, but are still a good match for the P5.

    Michelin X-One - (323) Best tire I've had for wet traction and cornering, w/o being a dedicated rain tire like Aquatreds. Very comfortable and quiet, with decent handling for a touring-type tire. Tire wear was incredible. Last set of tires I installed on my 323 before I sold it (had put 20,000 miles on them by then, and wear was negligible).
    Dunlop SP Sport A2 (Pro) - Excellent dry handling and predictable, progressive cornering, best hydroplaning resistance (even better than the Michelin X-One tires) out of all the above. OK in terms of comfort and noise. Though they wore quickly, I got 35,000 miles out of them with frequent fast corners (occasional 4-wheel drifts when road conditions were right - fun, fun fun!) but moderate straight-line speeds and accelerations. Sufficient traction on snow and ice to climb hills w/o tire cables installed, but you'll need to temper your driving to be safe.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    BF Goodrich Traction T/A H (185/65R14 size on Pro) - very weak sidewalls; I have to inflate them to at least 36psi to avoid unstable cornering, plus they are wearing unevenly and are very noisy at only 5,000 miles on them. I will be replacing these soon with a set of Dunlop SP Sport A2 Plus tires. Others seem to be happy with these, but based upon my own experience and that of a few friends and co-workers, I will be avoiding this brand in the future.

    Interesting. The 205/50/R16 BF Goodrich Traction T/A tires I use on my Protege5 are V rated (similar to the stock Dunlops, 195/50/R16 V). The V rating means they not only handle higher speeds but are pricier than the H rated. I wonder if the tire construction is substantially better with a higher speed tire. I have no issues with the sidewalls to date. I routinely overinflate my tires as I like the crisp feel and the handling.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    In the same family, different-sized tires will deliver different results because of geometry and construction. The difference in sidewall height between our two tires is nominally 17.75mm. Lower-aspect ratio tires and higher speed rated tires will usually have stronger and stiffer construction (and thus, noise and responsive usually go up and comfort goes down). Perhaps that is the difference, as most satisfied users have lower aspect ratios (ProES, P5 etc. versus my ProLX).

    Out of the tires I've had on my '99 ProLX, which uses 185/65R14 tires, the Firestone FR680 (stock) and BF Goodrich Traction T/A H (also comes in T speed rating) are unacceptable, in my opinion. And yes, they are spinning in the correct direction (the Traction T/A has a unidirectional tread design). Too bad; I thought they were decent when they were new, but I thought the same of the General XP2000 tires too, and I went through 2 bad sets (they tried to tell me my '89 323LX overloaded the tires - that was a laugh!) of those before switching to the Michelin X-Ones.
  • I just picked up an 02 Protege 5 and will be driving across Canada in a week or so. So I want to get some winter tires since it has Dunlop all-seasons which I hear are crap in snow and ice. My question concerns the fact that I was going to go down to '15s but Canadian Tire tells me that they can only get 15's with 4 bolts while my car using a 5 bolt set up. I was gonna get X-Ices cause they are on sale but he says they don't come in the appropriate 16' size either. Is it possible to get 14 or 15 inch winter rims for this car? If so where?
    Any other recommendations for future winter or all season tires?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Surprisingly Canadian Tire is not that well informed about tires! They advised me that I could not upgrade to 205/50/16 tires on my Protege5 but in fact I did with no problem.

    Try Frisby's or another independent tire distributor. You can also search the net under TireTrends or Tire Rack or the manufacturers site (e.g. BF Goodrich). My 14" Winter Slalom tires are from BF Goodrich and the wheels are generic steel wheels with 5 bolts. Check also your car manual (in the appendix) for the precise numbers for 15" tires.
  • I had my wheels balanced and they put the clamp on weights on the inside of the rim. Is this the correct way to do this? Are they suppose to put the stick on weghts on the inside of the rim? I still have the vibration at 70-75 mph.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    put the clamp on weights on the inside of the rim
    On my wheels the weights sit on the outer circumference of the rim and are clearly visible. You might want to post your question to the Tires forum for general information about these weights.
  • "Picky people" seem to insist on tire weight installation on the inside of the wheel.
    Aesthetics, you know.
  • tds2003tds2003 Posts: 3
    The '03 DX I just bought has all 4 wheels bent, I can not find 4 new or used ones here, and have looked at every junk yard in the SouthEast.
    Do any of you owners have some take off's for sale?

  • Hey folks, I have a 2002 Protege 5 with 122,000 k's on it. Has anyone had problems changing summer to winter tires?? I always have to hammer like mad to get the summer or winter tires off. Tried using grease of several types. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thx, Ron
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Check with LKQ for used wheels.
    TireRack has new alloy wheels for $81 each and other vendors should have similar offers.

    Used wheels are about $65 each in my quick check of prices so I'd recommend buying a set of brand new alloys.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    Seems that most people use some form of anti-seize on the mating surfaces. Don't use it on the studs though. Check your local auto parts store.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    use some form of anti-seize on the mating surfaces. Don't use it on the studs
  • Hi everyone ,my story is i have a P5 and i need a rim because last winter i hit a pot hole on hiway going @ least 100km,it was a big hole .front end had a big thud , a few days later tire pressure went down ,took to garage and saw the bent rim ,i need a repalcement ,checked CA Tire and they have steel rims for 50+ dollars.But i need an aluminum that matches any suggestions Thanks
  • also can the rim be fixed ,mechanic said bcause its aluminum cant be repaired Thanks
  • sorry if i posted in wrong place I'm new to the forum Thanks
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You are in the right place, welcome! While waiting for a response, you might want to look through the previous posts here to see if there is anything that may be useful to you.

    Hope we can help!
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    there should be plenty of crashed P5's by now in salvage yards. Call and see if they have one. I wouldn't try repairing an aluminum wheel.
  • Thanks for reply guys and the help i'll try the scrap yard first , have good day
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