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I bought my 2012 Mazda 3 Skyactiv sedan new with 80 miles on it. Right from the start, it has had a “bounce” that is noticeable between 50-55 mph. I took it back to the dealer when it had a few hundred miles on it, and they told me my tires were out of round because the car sat on the lot for a while before I bought it. They told me to drive it a few hundred more miles to get the tires back in shape. It was still doing it at around 1,000 miles, so I took it back and got basically the same story. The problem never stopped and I had them check it out again when I had the first oil change done. The responses have always alternated between “We couldn’t find anything” and “the tires are out of round but they’ll work out.”

The dealer has been horribly unresponsive, and they basically ignore the problem altogether. The last time I spoke with them, they were supposed to get me an appointment to roadforce balance the wheels/tires, but they never contacted me. I called them and they tried to say they thought someone else had contacted me about it, and they’d get right back with me. I never heard from them again. The Mazda dealer here in Lexington is the only one I have to choose from, so I’m just out of luck there.

After dealing with the dealership, I thought I’d fix the problem and improve the looks of the car by just getting some new wheels and tires. I had been thinking about it anyway, so I figured I might as well make the jump. At around 8000 miles, I ordered some 17” Enkei M52s from Tire Rack and had them sent to a local tire shop, where I bought some Michelin Primacy MXM4s in size 215/50R-17. With the new tires, there was a horrible droning/roar, so they swapped them out for some Primacy MXV4s in the same size. There was still a faint drone at most speeds, and guess what? The vibration was still there at 50-55 mph… same bouncing sensation, only with more tire noise now. The tire shop has been great at working with me, and they re-balanced the tires for me, but the problem was still there. They thought it may be the plastic hubcentric rings, so Tire Rack sent a new set. Still no improvement. I was embarrassed about having it in so often, so I backed off for a while and just tried to live with it. Finally, I ordered some aluminum rings for the wheels and had them install them today just in case the plastic ones were too flimsy or had broken. I got the car back today and there’s still no improvement.

They said they didn’t see anything obviously wrong with the suspension, tire, or rim, so what could it be? I’m at my wits’ end with this vibration. I know there are worse problems to have than a vibration – much worse – but this one problem has been with me for 11,500 miles and it’s really starting to get to me. I love (loved?) everything else about my car, but this is really turning me against it. I don’t know what else to do. If I try to take it to the Mazda dealer again, they’ll just deny my warranty claim because of the aftermarket wheels and tires. I’m basically feeling like I wasted $1,400. Any suggestions about what might be causing the problem? Sorry for writing a book, but thanks for your input!
 

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Warped rotors. Get Mazda to check the tolerance of your rotors. We had a Mazda 2 last year (which we traded in) and it had a wicked vibration enough to make my passenger seat shake while no one was sitting in it. I told them about it and they found the front rotors were out of specs. After the fix, it was better but still a little vibration. They checked the back wheels and they too were out of specs. After the fix it drove really smooth. The fix was to replace the rotors.
 

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Warped rotors. Get Mazda to check the tolerance of your rotors. We had a Mazda 2 last year (which we traded in) and it had a wicked vibration enough to make my passenger seat shake while no one was sitting in it. I told them about it and they found the front rotors were out of specs. After the fix, it was better but still a little vibration. They checked the back wheels and they too were out of specs. After the fix it drove really smooth. The fix was to replace the rotors.
I don't understand how warped rotors cause a vibration if you're not on the brakes.
 

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If they were warped he would feel something when actually using the brakes, and he didn't mention that.

Motor mounts? Maybe the suspension is just softer than you are used to and it feel bouncy? Hard to diagnose things over the internet.

And the polycarbonate hub rings are actually better as metal ones rust and disintegrate.
 

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Hm... That's interesting. I hadn't thought of the rotors. So your Mazda 2 came right out of the gate with warped rotors? I'm starting to get a bit of shuddering when I use the brakes, but only within the last couple thousand miles.

But yeah, I can watch my passenger seat wobble around, too. Very annoying. I spoke to the tire shop again, and they're going to take it in again Tuesday and check everything from top to bottom. They're going to check for warped wheels, faulty tires, bent axles, faulty wheel bearings, etc... And he said he'd give me printouts as proof to take to the dealer with me if they can't find anything wrong with the items I bought from them. I'll ask them to check the rotors, too.


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Thanks, wingzero. I've wondered about the motor mounts, too. Would the motor mounts be strictly RPM-related? I've gotten the car to the speed where the vibration starts and then used manumatic mode to switch to 5th and 4th gears, but there was no change in the vibration.


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I actually had some violent vibrations where I could see my seat moving next to me too. It ended up being my strut mounts with the ball bearings inside. Apparently they went bad and caused my car to pull in both directions (pretty weird haha). I also had cupping on my tires too though so I think that also had something to do with it. What a head ache that was -____-

It could be suspension, but I would look into what other people have suggested first. Have you lowered your car at all?
 

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Thanks for the suggestion, MattGentle. Hopefully they'll check for that when the go over it again on Tuesday. And nope, I haven't lowered the car. The only thing I've done to it is the wheels and tires. I thought it would be pretty simple. Lol


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I had a vibration on my Accord at certain speeds. Turns out I had a bent rim. It was a little better after they rebalanced the front pair, but didn't go away fully until I replaced the bad rim. I also had vibrations caused by rotors/pads on another occasion as mentioned above. I don't know which was the real cause because i replaced both rotors and pads at the same time.
 

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Hm... That's interesting. I hadn't thought of the rotors. So your Mazda 2 came right out of the gate with warped rotors? I'm starting to get a bit of shuddering when I use the brakes, but only within the last couple thousand miles.

But yeah, I can watch my passenger seat wobble around, too. Very annoying. I spoke to the tire shop again, and they're going to take it in again Tuesday and check everything from top to bottom. They're going to check for warped wheels, faulty tires, bent axles, faulty wheel bearings, etc... And he said he'd give me printouts as proof to take to the dealer with me if they can't find anything wrong with the items I bought from them. I'll ask them to check the rotors, too.


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It happened over time. I've seen this on a disscussion board mazda 2 owners complaining about vibrations due to warped rotors. They mentioned that the metal design might not take the heat given on hard braking. I mentioned this to Mazda and sure enough that's what it was.

Like someone said, the warped rotors ends up hitting the brake pad.
 

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Just got a call from the tire shop. The wheels and tires road balanced perfectly, so they decided to dig a little deeper. When they checked the front end, they found that the control arms and engine cradle were loose! He said they got a few turns out of the control arms before they were tight again. How does this even happen on a 1-year-old car with 11,000 miles?! I haven't driven it yet, but I still think I'll be making a trip to the dealership!


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Just got a call from the tire shop. The wheels and tires road balanced perfectly, so they decided to dig a little deeper. When they checked the front end, they found that the control arms and engine cradle were loose! He said they got a few turns out of the control arms before they were tight again. How does this even happen on a 1-year-old car with 11,000 miles?! I haven't driven it yet, but I still think I'll be making a trip to the dealership!


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The robot that was supposed to torque them got tired lol

Hopefully its fixed now
 

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Lol apparently they're overworking those robots. But unfortunately, tightening everything up didn't really do anything. So now I have an appointment at the Mazda dealer on Monday. Wish me luck!


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Has your problem been resolved?
I think I have warped rotors. Some vibration while driving around 50mph and a bit of shuddering/pulsing when braking. Had tires rebalanced, didn't help at all.

What is really strange is that I also have vibration when in idle! The vibration comes and goes very regularly when idle (~750rpm). The whole car vibrates starting small then reaching a peak in intensity then going back to no vibration. Each 'cycle' is about 10 seconds (vibration start to end is about 7 and normal is 3).

Any ideas? Motor mounts, bad spark plugs, etc.?
 

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skyactiv
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Has your problem been resolved?
I think I have warped rotors. Some vibration while driving around 50mph and a bit of shuddering/pulsing when braking. Had tires rebalanced, didn't help at all.

What is really strange is that I also have vibration when in idle! The vibration comes and goes very regularly when idle (~750rpm). The whole car vibrates starting small then reaching a peak in intensity then going back to no vibration. Each 'cycle' is about 10 seconds (vibration start to end is about 7 and normal is 3).

Any ideas? Motor mounts, bad spark plugs, etc.?
does this happen with or without ac on?
 

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Just got my car aligned. It was out big time and ate the inside tread of the two front tires. I've read somewhere that mazda are aware of this issue coming out of their factory? I'm hoping that this rumour isn't true. Either way it cost me to align it and need new tires. It caused a constant low vibration which only showed up when I installed wider aftermarket wheels. More width, more grab. This could be the cause that the OEM tires get chewed fast.
 

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It's a product of to much camber and toe. Also factory tires aren't good. Get the alignment sent your way. Factory specs are very wide and are almost always in the green. And just because it's in the green doesn't mean it won't wear bad. I don't have my spec sheet anymore. @mazdaspeedmyk has some good specs to have the car set at.
 

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Just bought a new 2013 Mazda 3 i Touring Hatch, automatic. I'm now at around 1000 miles, and, since I drove it off the lot, I've noticed this same front end "hop" from 50-55. It doesn't come through the steering wheel, but rather through the frame to my legs. It feels like the engine itself is vibrating.

I'm taking it in Friday to have the dealer check it out. Anyone have a magic bullet solution or, better yet, TSB?

--Seth
 
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