I got new snow tires put on my mazda a few days ago and ever since my cars front and back ends seem to float around corners as if they don’t have enough air in them. Do you think that its the tires that are doing this or did they screw up my sway bars when the jacked it up?
You might want to bring it back and have them check the struts.
When struts get old, and the vehicle is put on a lift and raised, it hyper-extends the struts past their normal travel. This can damage the valving inside the struts where they lose their damping effect for the springs, and this can result in a floaty ride.
If it is found that struts valving was damaged when the vehicle was raised, it’s not the shops fault. It just means that the struts were worn and were due for replacement. And raising of the vehicle exposed how worn they were.
Verify the air pressure in tires.
Also what specific make and model winter/snow tire did you buy?
The strut issue is a remote possibility, and they would have been on the verge of failing anyway, for that to have pushed them over the edge.
The real issue is the rubber compounds on snow tires is softer than all season tires, the sidewalls are much softer to allow better flexing, and the tread blocks have much more siping in them.
All these combined lead to a much softer, and vague feeling from the car as you drive them on the road. Some snow tires are much worse than others, too.
The tire pressure was at 35lbs when I checked it earlier before I posted and on the tire it says 50 lbs so I put more air in them and nothing had changed. The tires are Runway Enduro RWT-1, they are 195/55 R15.
Please reduce the tire pressure back down to the recommended pressure according to your car’s tire label.
The pressure listed on the tire itself is the MAXIMUM pressure that your tires can be safely inflated to, according to the tire manufacturer. This is NOT the recommended tire inflation pressure.
You increase the chances of a blow out if you keep the pressure set to the maximum value listed on the tire sidewall.
According to Tire Guides, the only Mazda that came with 195/55R15’s was a Protege - and it came with V rated tires. I’ll bet that those off brand winter tires are Q speed rated. - and that would completely explain it.
I agree strongly with a 195/55/15 size. You likely had decent high performance or ultra high performance tires on so the difference is drastic.
Inexpensive winter/snow tires have a squirm due to tread especially at warmer temperatures(>50F). The squirm will likely reduce as temps drop somewhat. The more modern designed winter tires(Bridgestone, Michelin,Nokian) have eliminated this.
There are inexpensive winter tires that work okay, the key is getting finding it. Off brand tires unfortunately is complete hit or miss in my experience dependent on who was contracted to make the tire.
In general winter tires are great in snow and ice, but not as good on dry roads. You should not drive as fast on winter tires, and certainly cut back on aggressive sport style driving. Winter tires have deeper tread, softer rubber, and more open tread that can distort under high speed turns and stops.
If you can’t get used to these tires, or you feel unsafe driving them, perhaps you need a different brand of winter tire? Or, you can switch back to your other summer tires and take your chances when it snows. Sometimes there are compromises that you have to make, in this case less performance from the tires in dry conditions to get the benefits in foul winter weather.