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n00b
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Question: Given the info below, please vote and tell me:

A) I'm just having bad luck,
B) I'm just a bad driver, or
C) 18" wheels are just an unreasonable size for driving on imperfect roads in the northeast?

Background:
I've had the speed 3 for only about three weeks. It has stock 18" wheels and 225/40R18 Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires.

The first week I pulled off a main road into an unfamiliar driveway quickly, hit a low curb, broke the bead on both left side tires, and bent the front left rim. Ok, my bad.

New wheel, two (insured) new tires, two tie rods, and rim insurance purchase later:
Tonight I am on the highway, hit a bump, and my right front tire starts losing pressure. I find a place to fill it up and hear loud hissing. I won't know the deal with the tire/wheel until the morning.

I've been driving a 30 years without hardly ever any issues, but never had rims over 16" before. I'm wondering if I should panic and move down to 17" inch wheels now, or just keep on with the insurance and inconvenience. Please advise.
 

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Silver Demon
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837 Posts
Low profile tires are more bound to bust on sudden impact (especially when over-inflated).....I think going with 17"s will take care of your problem.
 

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Registered
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105 Posts
I've only had one issue with bending a rim, I hit a giant pothole going about 40 mph, the tire didn't blow but when I went to mount some new tires (the same ones you have) the tech showed me the wheel on the balancer and it was wobbling like crazy. like nosubstitute959 said, these lo-pro's don't offer much protection against impact, and the stiff suspension doesn't help either
 

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Street Unit - Ninja Killa
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507 Posts
just be really careful I have only had low profile tires for about 8 years and I have never blow one. I be no means drive like a granny either.. just watch what you are doing ..
 

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Registered
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27 Posts
This year has been the worst in many in the northeast...i too needed to replace 2 front tires and bent a rim, but ever so slightly- there are more potholes in NY than usual, most of them have since been filled up... I've discovered a way to not destroy our cars - it's called slowing down in inclement weather or after major snowstorms...

to speed3forlife- right on.
 

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Registered
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54 Posts
Yeah, Vermont's roads are nasty this year, too. The bad thing is we won't have better roads until spring, if they even fix them.
 

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Registered
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987 Posts
yeah, i just cracked one of mine. btw...if any of you bought the wheel and tire plan like i did...when you call to make a claim, it's always a pothole, never a curb.
 

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the auditd0rk
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278 Posts
I always worry about bending a rim and have changed my driving habits accordingly - I'm always on the lookout for potholes :)

When I first bought my old 5Zigens, I managed to bend one of the rims within the first 48 hours. I don't recall hitting a pothole very hard, but I think hitting one just right and the tire being underinflated led to the bend. Luckily, the guys at Discount Tires were able to warranty the wheel and get me a brand new one. Never had an issue since.

I've also played around with tire pressure, hoping to find that perfect setting that provides a decent ride and adequate protection. With my Enkei PF01s and Yokohama S-Drives, I think 36 psi is working out well.
 

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71 Posts
Would it help to get a taller sidewall with the factory 18" wheels? I have been contemplating this for my next set of tires. I find the 40 series tires are a bit too rough.

Although I feel the very best idea is to have a set of winter wheels so I can save my nice wheels and tires for summer. Which is my immediate plan.
 

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Registered
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4 Posts
Same question about sidewall height

Hi guys,
I am wondering the same thing about the sidewall height. I found the stock wheel/tire combination too stiff for daily driving. I am used to a good ride and great handling from a BMW 318ti that I had for 15 years and just traded for a 2010 MS3.

It was winter, so I got 16" wheels and HIGH profile 205/60-R16 winter Michelins to try on the MS3. Ride was STILL too stiff, but the tires are AWESOME in the rain if you want a car that otherwise wallows like hippo in a mud hole.

So, I put on some Koni Yellow shocks and struts front and rear. Set them to pillowy soft setting. Ride is improved, but car still wallows like crazy. Going to go back to the stock tires/rims now and try this combo. Hopefully this will fix the wallow, but I am not looking forward to a harsh ride again.

I wish I could just have the MS3 motor with a regular Mazda 3 suspension....I just drove a Mazda 3 rental car for a week and it handles better than my MS3 in its current state...

Does anyone know if the Koni yellows set on soft with stock rims/tires produces a car that doesn't knock your fillings out? Or do I need to change the springs too? Or just get 17" rims and slightly higher profile tires so that the car won't wallow.

At this point, the wallow is more than I can take...So don't be tempted to get 16" rims to save money like I did, I should have tried the 17" ones first.
 
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