Weird wearing tires

We just had a tune up and the mechanic showed us a strange wear pattern on the inside of all four tires. Alignment, shocks, struts and other body stuff seems normal so we’re wondering what the heck? Could it be a tire thing or an assembly issue? Called Mazda and they referred us to a dealer (the purchase dealer has closed)

Unless this vehicle is still under warranty, you are on your own. Have a suspension specialist check out the tire wear and give you an evaluation. Most time, this is a free service.

Let me also say that inside wear is usually an alignment problem, at least in my personal experience. Getting the alignment specs checked out is probably the first to be done. Alignments are also not a warranty issue, but a maintenance issue, so be prepared to bear the cost of either the alignment or replacement tires.

Note: Dealers are not bad, but they generally end up costing more than independent mechanics (ask friends family and co-workers for a name of good local mechanic. That fancy waiting area comes at a price. A good independent mechanic will almost always save you money and may do a better job.

Avoid chain outfits.

You should be aware of 3 things:

  1. Some cars have alignment specs set up more for handling than for tire wear. The clue is the camber. Anything more than 1/2? tends to to generate inside shoulder wear.

  2. The published tolerances for alignment are generally too wide. I think they need to be half of what is published - and that’s the tolerance, not the target value.

  3. Even if the car did not come with built in adjustability, a good alignment shop will know how to do an adjustment. If someone tells you they CAN’T adjust it, find another shop. If they tell you there’s a kit available that will cost you extra - that’s OK.

What mazda and what tires? I had a similar problem with a 06 mazda 3 hatchback, with BFG tires, switched to michelins, and the new ones are wearing fine. Sometimes it’s just the tire and not the suspension.