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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a automatic 2006 Mazda3 hatchback, which I bought brand new. It's mechanically unmodified, other than some 17" Centerline wheels and Sumitomo tires, which have been on the car for the past year. But recently, on the highway, starting around 65-70mph, I feel this constant shuddering/vibration, as if I were driving over a rough/corrugated surface. I can let go of the steering wheel, and it will still drive perfectly straight, but the wheel still vibrates noticeably. I don't offhand notice any vibration or sounds at lower around-town speeds. I had the wheels rebalanced today (they did find that it was off a bit), but the vibration continues. This is just a commuter car, so I've never driven it hard, and it's still basically a new car, so it seems unlikely that the bearings or brakes would be at fault. Does anyone have any ideas what the culprit might be, or where to go from here?? ^^

I swear, I feel like something bad will happen at any moment while driving on the freeway, which makes for a tense daily commute! I'd almost say the handling feels slightly less stable on the highway too (dunno if anyone else would notice it though). I doubt it's relevant, but a month ago, I did have one of the rear tires professionally patched for a nail in it. Since the vibration is making its way up through the steering wheel, that suggests it's something up with the front of the car. Otherwise, I can't think of anything recent that could cause such a mysterious problem.
 

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i have the same problem, but not to that extent, i always thought it's the wheels needing balancing and haven't got to doing that yet. mine also feels like it needs alignment because *sometimes* it feels like it pulls to the left.
 

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I vote for wheel balancing.
 

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are the hubrings intact? have you tried rotating the tires front to back? it could be a tire defect.
I would check brakes and rotors too, 3 years old is not that new (although my brakes are still okay - and I have the same year and model)
 

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Could be something wrong with the tire. I would look on the walls both inside and outside to see if you notice any bubbles/stretch marks/defects. On my previous car I caused a bubble to form by making a turn too hard on an improperly inflated tire, which caused it to stretch. It wobbled a little until a few months later where it blew out when i was going 90mph :shock:

Thats what I would look for
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
[quote author=Tee link=topic=139542.msg3009881#msg3009881 date=1237744516]
06 had a motor mount recall.
[/quote]

Ooh, thanks for the heads-up on that. I'll try and swing by the dealership this week to see if that fixes it. If not, it's back to troubleshooting the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
[quote author=dugger_8 link=topic=139542.msg3017032#msg3017032 date=1238013076]
I had a simialr issue in my 05 around 55-65. I replaced my passenger side motor mount and it went away.
[/quote]

Was this something that you noticed from day 1, when you bought the car, or is it something that mysteriously showed up later?
 

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[quote author=Heat Racer link=topic=139542.msg3008316#msg3008316 date=1237632071]
I have a automatic 2006 Mazda3 hatchback, which I bought brand new. It's mechanically unmodified, other than some 17" Centerline wheels and Sumitomo tires, which have been on the car for the past year. But recently, on the highway, starting around 65-70mph, I feel this constant shuddering/vibration, as if I were driving over a rough/corrugated surface. I can let go of the steering wheel, and it will still drive perfectly straight, but the wheel still vibrates noticeably. I don't offhand notice any vibration or sounds at lower around-town speeds. I had the wheels rebalanced today (they did find that it was off a bit), but the vibration continues. This is just a commuter car, so I've never driven it hard, and it's still basically a new car, so it seems unlikely that the bearings or brakes would be at fault. Does anyone have any ideas what the culprit might be, or where to go from here?? ^^

I swear, I feel like something bad will happen at any moment while driving on the freeway, which makes for a tense daily commute! I'd almost say the handling feels slightly less stable on the highway too (dunno if anyone else would notice it though). I doubt it's relevant, but a month ago, I did have one of the rear tires professionally patched for a nail in it. Since the vibration is making its way up through the steering wheel, that suggests it's something up with the front of the car. Otherwise, I can't think of anything recent that could cause such a mysterious problem.
[/quote]

did you install a HUB CENTRIC RINGS when you replaced your oem rims?
 

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You should pop a wheel off if you can and look at the inside edge of the tire. I had a similar problem on mine, the car only had vibrations on the highway. Checked the balance twice both times acceptable. One day while changing my rear brakes I noticed that the inside off the tires had low and high spots. Got the alignment checked and sure enough it was out on the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
[quote author=cy|{lopsNine link=topic=139542.msg3030363#msg3030363 date=1238545472]
You should pop a wheel off if you can and look at the inside edge of the tire. I had a similar problem on mine, the car only had vibrations on the highway. Checked the balance twice both times acceptable. One day while changing my rear brakes I noticed that the inside off the tires had low and high spots. Got the alignment checked and sure enough it was out on the back.
[/quote]

Are you saying that your alignment was off, and that's what caused the tire problem? Or, is it that the tires developed the misshape on its own and that it was only measureably detectable by getting an alignment?

Oh, and to answer the previous question, yes, I have hubcentric rings on the wheels.
 

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Alright I had the same problem as well on my back tires, went to a tire specialist and he said it was something 2 do with the tires cause I had been hand brake turning on them..


Normally your tires should look like [tried my best to make it work, just go with it ]

/---------------\ at the top


but this is how they look if you use your hand brake while in motion

/--------^-------\ [sorta]


that bump as it turns causes the wheel to make a sound, the faster you go, the louder it gets amirite?


Its basically one high part in the tire.
 

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It was due to the alignment. You can even check them on the car just run your hand on the tire and feel if its uneven.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
[quote author=cy|{lopsNine link=topic=139542.msg3031220#msg3031220 date=1238582417]
It was due to the alignment. You can even check them on the car just run your hand on the tire and feel if its uneven.
[/quote]

If the alignment's off, wouldn't that cause the car to drift one way or the other if I let go of the steering wheel? Cuz, as previously mentioned, my car still tracks straight.
 

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There was to much tow in on mine that caused the wear, it was even on both sides so it wouldn't cause a tracking issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Woohoo! It's fixed! I had them rebalance again, just in case, and also to check the alignment. Sure enough, the toe of the rear left tire was at .31-degrees, when it's supposed to be closer to .09! Thanks for the help in tracking down the problem, guys! So now I'm tickled pink to be able to enjoy my car again, though I keep getting paranoid, like, every little bump makes me think, "Uh oh, is the vibration back??"

I wonder what caused that particular one to get out of whack (I'm unmodified and just use it for commuting), or if it's related to that particular tire having gotten a big nail in it and then patched.
 

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Probably not related to the nail. You might have just hit a bump hard enough to cause it to shift like that. Congrats though on the victory!
 
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