CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Bad Tires?

I have a 2006 Mazda 3 Grand Touring sedan with about 70K miles on it. I recently had to replace the tires which I did with Hankooks that cost about $85 from tiresdirect.com. Since I had them installed, the car has ridden pretty rough and sort of “bounces” when I go over a mildly bumpy stretch of road. My mechanic says that this is because the tires are cheap/poor quality, but I’ve always had cheap tires and never had this problem before. I wonder if there is some problem with the suspension.



Thoughts?

Have you checked the air in your tires. A lot of people “assume” that the max tire pressure rating on the sidewall is the proper pressure. That is wrong. The proper tire pressure is listed in your owners manual and on the door placard on the vehicle. There are bad Hankooks and then there are good Hankooks. Check the air in your tires since “bouncing” can be dangerous especially at interstate speeds.

You should also consider the possibility of a bad shock or strut. Sometimes the act of raising the car in the air may cause an aged shock or strut to fail or become very weak.
This does not happen every time a car is raised on the lift but it does happen.

This is not the fault of whoever mounted tires; just one of those things that occur with aged parts.

Tires can be vastly different from one another in the same size. Especially if your size is performance(sport) one as they may also make a touring version(comfort)

What specific model Hankook do you have? Tire inflation also is important. Unfortunately every tire model out there is compromise made up of many factors including price, construction, noise, longevity, comfort, traction… and it may not be the right mix for you.

Unfortunately you found the serious downside of buying online. No easy returns, ride quality guarantee etc.

Check tire inflation too, it may be over done.

Check the speed rating on the car and if it matches what your new tires are. If it is different, (If I remember correctly your car calls for a “V” speed rated tire) if you have a S or T speed rated tire on there it could create these symptoms as they are a much softer side-walled tite than you should have and will cause DRASTIC differences on how your car handles.