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Demon Spawn
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758 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
ok, so to start I bought the car used it is a 2011 mazda 3 hb GT 2.5 so 205/50/17 tires it had the firestones mentioned in the title on it when I bought it, they are still almost new. However I have a noticeable noise, only at low speeds below about 35mph and even at that really only noticeable inside the car with the windows up, if I roll the driver window down and try to listen for it from the outside I cannot hear it, its hard to explain the noise but it sounds like a power steering pump that has run dry and turned hard but its very very soft and muted and not steering dependent, but it does it whether or not I am turning or going straight coasting in gear or in neutral and all the fluids are full and have stayed at their levels since purchasing the car. I bought the car and the tires had some crazy amount of air in them like 37psi the next morning after purchase when I checked at the house prior to driving for the day and had not heard the noise on the test drive. I let the air down to recommended 32psi from the door placard and have had the noise ever since. I went up to 34 PSI and it helped some but above that psi the braking takes a nose dive and the car feels floaty over bigger bumps, because the tires have too much air. It has no odd vibrations or anything else that would indicate it to be a mechanical issue with the car in any fashion.

Main thing I want to know has anyone equipped the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval A/S tire on this car/chassis and experienced this? if so I will be changing these tires soon as I feel they don't grip very well in dry, they are only barely passable in wet and that will confirm my suspicion the noise is the tires being a terrible tire
 

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Demon Spawn
Joined
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758 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
well got rid of them, noise instantly gone. it had progressed so bad where when I was in a parking lot it sounded like a wheel bearing being munched apart. could not take it anymore, got something else cooper zeon rs3-a they are highly rated, though some here say they wear fast. 40k mile warranty so we will see, if they don't get to 40k then warranty and Michelin pilot sport a/s3. these coopers after the first 5 days or so and 400ish miles are great car feels lighter on its feet then the firestones, more eager when I hit the gas, steering is lighter but more responsive (probably due to the fact the coopers are 2.5 pounds each lighter than the firestones) grip is phenomenal, dry grip blows my mind, very good. we got a rain storm the other day after I had them installed and wet grip is no worse than dry they felt very planted and confident even when I had a tailgater take off on me 90+ in the rain and the tires where great. steering response is excellent, braking is much, much shorter then the firestones ever hoped to be. (firestones where at 9/32nds of 10/32nds, so not much wear but too damned loud!) I am in texas so I don't think I will ever rate snow but need all seasons for the few months we get below 40 alot, so the tires will stick. they ride much smoother than the firestones (so much so it feels like I have new struts, the firestones bounced the car around that much, struts are in good shape, as I and my independent shop have checked them right after purchase) and no noise! no rawh noise at low speed that was getting so loud the bose stereo could not drown it out. many say the coopers get loud after 10k or so miles so again we will see, but ill take a loud tire that performs well, just not one that's loud and does not perform well like the firestones.

these coopers thus far feel, act and sound a lot like the Michelin pilot sport a/s3 did on my old 3 and protégé 5 so I think they are very comparable. time will tell if they hold up as the Michelins did to their 45k warranty (both are 500 aa a tires, so I expect the coopers to wear slightly faster then the Michelins seeing as cooper gives their a 40k warranty, but as long as they get close to 40k before being too low to use 2-3/32) and if they perform throughout their life as good as or at an acceptable level like the Michelins did (never really lost much performance as they wore) then I am happy
 
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