2019 Mazda CX-5 - Cupped tires

I’m told by Mazda service, my car (34896 miles) has 4 tires that are cupped. I’m told they all need replaced. I haven’t put 2,000 miles on it since I bought it. Is it reasonable to expect the dealer to replace them? Is it safe to drive as is if they are not replaced? Thank you. (I am a 82 year old woman)

Would you be willing to take the car to another shop for a second opinion?

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No , the dealer is not going to replace your tires and should not be expected to . Just go to a local tire store and if these are the original tires they probably need replaced and a wheel alignment might be needed.


It sounds like you have not owned the car for long. If so, get out your sales contract and read the warranty terms. Also, I agree that you need a second opinion, and I would never buy tires at a new car dealer. Go to Sam’s Club or Costco or possibly Walmart…after you get an independent second opinion.
If the tires are not badly cupped, and you are driving just a few miles per year at slower speeds, you might be able to wait before replacing.

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How about some pictures? Maybe your tires are not “Cupped” after 2,000 miles. Was the car new when you bought it and only has a total of 2K miles? We have a 2018 CX-5 with 34,000 miles and the tires are wearing pretty well. The dealer has suggested an alignment, but it drives straight and I don’t see any reason to do it.

I am assuming that you bought it as a used car. Is that correct?
If so, did you carefully examine the tires before you bought the car?

In any event, the first thing to be aware of is that the tires that are installed at the factory are not chosen for long tread wear. Car manufacturers choose tires on the basis of low cost, good fuel economy, and a comfortable ride. Long tread wear is not one of their priorities, and needing to replace factory-installed tires after 30k miles is not at all unusual.

The second thing to be aware of is that bad wheel alignment can cause that problem, as can badly-worn suspension components, and both are the result of driving on bad, pothole-ridden pavement and/or hitting the curb. It can also result from unbalanced tires.

So… no, the dealer can’t be expected to give you new tires. As was already stated, a second opinion–from a tire store–is a good idea,


The words cupped and feather edged are often used interchangeably but they are not the same and the causes are different.

Cupped means bad shocks or struts or possibly a lack of rotation. Feather edged means an alignment issue due to prior reasons mentioned. Since you have only had the car for 2k out of 34k miles there is at least the possibility of the car having been wrecked in the past; 2019 model regardless. Thirty two thousand miles is plenty of time to get in trouble.

Just wondering, but is this a CPO car? If so. I wonder why they would let a possible damaged car along with cupped/feathered tires pass through…
It’s also a stretch to think that all 4 shocks and struts would be bad on a 2019 model; assuming cupped is the correct choice of words.

The car needs to go on an alignment rack as a first step.

Dealers can differ, ask, bought a CPO car and after 5 months and a few highway trips when in for an oil change mentioned brakes rumbled occasionally like 6 times, ended up rusted rotors, they showed me the bubbles on the outer edge of the rotor, and gave me 1/2 off a brake job. Does not hurt to ask.

Thank you all for the good information. I don’t know what a CPO car is, and yes the car was in an accident (front end) since I bought it. Given your advice, I’ll ask for an alignment, balance, and rotation; if that doesn’t help, I’ll do tires next. Thanks again!

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CPO is Certified Pre Owned, mine came with a 1 year bumper to bumper warranty, typically wear items such as brakes and tires are not included, but it never hurts to ask. If this is a problem resulting from the accident it should be picked up by your insurance, so I would suggest going to the body shop that did the repairs for analysis, you may have recourse.

Unfortunately, you can’t un-do the damage that has already been done to the tire treads. Badly-cupped treads will negatively affect the tires’ traction and road-holding, and as a result, this situation is a potential safety problem.

I would suggest a second opinion from a tire shop. If they agree that the wear patterns are serious, you need to buy new tires. Don’t let the relatively low odometer mileage fool you into thinking that you don’t need new tires, because there are a lot of people with 2-3 year old cars who have to replace their tires as a result of perfectly-even–but excessive–tread wear.

If you buy new tires, they will be balanced as a part of the installation process, but I strongly suggest having an alignment done in order to protect the new tires from acquiring the same type of wear pattern.

And, because your vehicle has AWD, you need to rotate the tires on a consistent basis. If you fail to do that, then you risk expensive damage to the AWD system. Check the Mazda maintenance schedule to see what interval for tire rotation is mentioned by the mfr, and try to adhere to that as closely as possible. Whether you rotate the tires every 5k miles, or every 7.5k miles, or every 10k miles, you need to use the same mileage interval for tire rotation consistently.

Do the tires look new? If so, they should have a lot of tread left. The original tires may have been replaced when the lease was over. 33,000 miles, the approximate mileage on the car when you bought it, is a lot for factory tires. If they are well worn, they are original. If you aren’t sure, have a friend or family member look at them and offer an opinion. Original tires will need replacement soon anyway, and you might consider buying them now after getting the alignment checked. Cupping would be a surprise on nearly new tires though.

35k miles. Tires are. Worn. 2nd owner. No idea if tires are original or have been replaced. Accident damage. Alignment issues? Suspension damage. Lots of missing details.
Would be surprised if oem tires lasted 35k miles. Are new? Tires cheap junk?

Are the tires noisy?
I would think tires cupped or feathered badly enough to affect traction would make a lot of noise.
Definitely get a second opinion.

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You state the car WAS in an accident which I alluded to earlier so this raises a red flag to me. A dinky little fender bender with no wheel contact is one thing. A repair that cost say 3 or 4 grand would lead me to think there may be suspension damage, a bent sub frame, or other issues which was ignored.
Most body and paint men are just that; body workers. They are not mechanics who for the most part are not body and paint workers.

Have the alignment done by someone other than the dealer and make no mention of a collision. See what happens when the alignment rack printout is provided. They should explain any discrepancies to you.