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Tire problems on the Mazda 5?

My Mazda 5 began having a noticeable “thump thump” coming from its front right quadrant at about 30K miles. I took it to the dealer who indicated that the problem was caused by uneven wear on the tires. When I asked why this might have happened I was told that the treads separated and these things just happen… that kind of answer. I replaced my front two tires and the problem was resolved for the moment.

After about 7K more miles (and another regular service visit), the problem began again. And once again was diagnosed as uneven wear. This time my service advisor indicated that the Mazda 5 seems to be hard on its rear tires, which can cause uneven wear without regular rotation (which I’ve been doing, I might add).

It seems a bit unreasonable to me to be replacing all 4 tires because of uneven wear before the vehicle hits 40K.

Am I wrong? Missing something?

You may be the victim of very cheap tires. Replace the tires with highly rated tires. They are worth the money.

Alignement and suspension problems can cause tyre wear. I would suggest finding a good local alignment shop and have them take a look.

2nd vote for alignment!

Irregular wear is caused by misalignment and aggravated by insufficient inflation pressure and insufficient rotation practices.

My experience says that the published alignment tolerances are too wide. Not the target value, but the allowable deviation from that value. I think it ought to be half of what is published.

Put another way, the alignment should be within the inner half of the spec.

You should be aware that even vehicles that do not have a pull can be out of alignment. There are settings where one out of spec condition is offset by another out of spec condition ? typically camber vs toe.

Also, many alignment techs think that if the factory did not make provisions to make adjustments for the alignment, then they can?t make an adjustment and will declare the vehicle ?OK?. This is totally wrong.

ALL alignment settings are adjustable, but it may require an eccentric bolt, some shims, etc. A GOOD alignment tech will know what to do and the vehicle should leave a shop with ALL the alignment settings close to the nominal.

Some cars are jsut hard on tires. Toyota Sienna and Volvo XC90 come to mind immediately. Check the Mazda message boards, there is a lot of discussion on tire wear on this model. 40k isn’t completely unreasonable though.

Most car companies cheap out on the tires that are installed when the car is assembled, for lower end vehicles. Your Mazda 5 sounds like one of them.

Just replace the tires with good quality replacements, and have the alignment checked, and I bet you won’t have too many issues anymore with thumping.