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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my brand new Mazda6 only a month ago. Well, I have noticed this a couple of days ago that my car seems to shake at high speed ( 65 mph ) on freeways; the steering wheel vibrates as well. At one point I also felt like my car is pulling to the left although I am not sure about this. It is just disappointing.

I have always treated it like my baby and rode it smooth all the time. The only bad thing I remember doing was going a bit fast (25 mph max. ) over a speed bump but I guess it shouldn't do a thing. I went to my local Firestone Auto Care where they redid wheel balancing. They told me the alignment was OK. I am worried now. I am planning to take the car to the dealership and try to find out what's wrong and get it fixed. The car is under warranty.

If any of you have suggestions on what's wrong and what could be looked at, I will be grateful. Please help me.
 

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Well not to sound mean or anything but why did you go to Firestone and not take it back to the dealer to begin with? Your car is under warranty for things like this and the fact that your car is so new the dealer would have to look at it. What ever you do do not tell the dealership that you already had it looked at by Firestone. They could easily say that Firestone messed the car up and you may be up the creek with a very small paddle. Do you have the 19" or 17"? Normally speaking if you feel vibration in the steering wheel around 64 mph it should be tire balance and not much more than that. Going over a speed bump at that speed might have caused a control arm to be loosened but I wouldn't think so. Also, do you do mostly hwy driving or intra city? If there are a lot of pot holes that might cause the wheel balance to be thrown. Don't be too pariand about this car...its under warranty so even though it may be an inconvieance to take it back to the dealer you ain't paying a dim for them to look at it and because the car is so new you could, I would think easily, demand a rental car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well not to sound mean or anything but why did you go to Firestone and not take it back to the dealer to begin with? Your car is under warranty for things like this and the fact that your car is so new the dealer would have to look at it. What ever you do do not tell the dealership that you already had it looked at by Firestone. They could easily say that Firestone messed the car up and you may be up the creek with a very small paddle. Do you have the 19" or 17"? Normally speaking if you feel vibration in the steering wheel around 64 mph it should be tire balance and not much more than that. Going over a speed bump at that speed might have caused a control arm to be loosened but I wouldn't think so. Also, do you do mostly hwy driving or intra city? If there are a lot of pot holes that might cause the wheel balance to be thrown. Don't be too pariand about this car...its under warranty so even though it may be an inconvieance to take it back to the dealer you ain't paying a dim for them to look at it and because the car is so new you could, I would think easily, demand a rental car.
Thank you for your response! They're 19" alloy. I mostly do intra city, just between home and work. Well, the Firestone guys removed my wheel locks because of the fact my car came with locked wheels but no key. so they had to remove them. I won't tell them about Firestone but what do you think can I tell them about this? thanks!
 

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I would still have the dealership look at the balance, not sure how Firestone does their balance but there are different methods and some places test the tires at different speeds. Are you sure yo don't the wheel lock key? That is odd that you have the locks but not the key and the dealership should be able to provide the key to you free of charge especially if the wheel locks was on the invoice on the car. I would also ride with the mechanic to ensure they drive it at your speed.
 

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You probably had a wheel weight come off; it happens. As others noted the dealer should take care of this quickly and at no cost. It does need immediate attention as there is a possibility it's a manufacturing defect in the tire (e.g. belt separation); low odds but not impossible by any means.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would still have the dealership look at the balance, not sure how Firestone does their balance but there are different methods and some places test the tires at different speeds. Are you sure yo don't the wheel lock key? That is odd that you have the locks but not the key and the dealership should be able to provide the key to you free of charge especially if the wheel locks was on the invoice on the car. I would also ride with the mechanic to ensure they drive it at your speed.
Thank you again! I have just visited them and they said they're fully occupied until monday morning. I have scheduled a service appointment and will see them monday. About the locks, yes that is very odd. I searched the whole car and couldn't find a key nor do I recollect getting a key from the dealer when I bought it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You probably had a wheel weight come off; it happens. As others noted the dealer should take care of this quickly and at no cost. It does need immediate attention as there is a possibility it's a manufacturing defect in the tire (e.g. belt separation); low odds but not impossible by any means.
Yup, Thank you!
I hope it doesn't hurt the car in these couple of days before I go there.
 

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It won't provided it's a missing weight and not a belt separation (which can come apart without warning), just don't put it off.

The latter can usually be seen if you have a friend stick his or her head out the window at a low speed in a parking lot; you can see the casing MOVE side-to-side when it happens.

I've had that happen twice in the last 10 years with two different brands of tire; I suspect quality control has gone in the toilet as it's something I had never had occur before then.
 

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For what it's worth, Firestone (both locations I went to) has always done a sub-par job... and I gave them lots of chances to not screw it up. About a year ago, I had what seems to be the same issue that you had with vibrations at higher speeds, so I got my wheels rebalanced by Firestone. Problem didn't get any better. When I finally gave in and used a proper independent shop with good local recommendations to rebalance the wheels, the issue went away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
For what it's worth, Firestone (both locations I went to) has always done a sub-par job... and I gave them lots of chances to not screw it up. About a year ago, I had what seems to be the same issue that you had with vibrations at higher speeds, so I got my wheels rebalanced by Firestone. Problem didn't get any better. When I finally gave in and used a proper independent shop with good local recommendations to rebalance the wheels, the issue went away.
That sounds good, and surprising, somewhat. The Firestone guy wooed me into purchasing their lifetime plan which cost $15 extra. Fly away $$$ :(
 

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Not to threadjack, but I went to two Firestones in fairly nice neighborhoods, bought their lifetime alignment thing, and they both screwed up things royally. Maybe your Firestones are better, but around Atlanta they were nice... but terrible.
- They looked up my VIN and insisted that it was a 4 cyl (I have a V6) so they left me about 2 quarts short on an oil change.
- They did a terrible rebalance of my wheels (twice), went to a local shop to have it fixed -- all the local shop did was rebalance my wheels and it was smooth sailing
- They inspected my rotors, calipers, and pads and replaced my rear brake pads. They screwed up resurfacing my rotors so they did it twice, making it so thin that I couldn't resurface them again (I later just replaced the damn things). They bled the brakes and within 2 months, the brake fluid was dirty. Their own tech asked me if my brake fluid had been replaced within the last few years, then their head manager said that it was normal to replace your brake fluid every few months (BS in case you didn't know). Also within 2 months, my rear pads were worn down and needing to be replaced (under normal, not agressive driving, 70% highway). They apologized and installed new pads and "reinspected" the calipers for free.
- Their alignments were never very good. They kept my car "in spec" but didn't try to give me a good alignment. As long as the angles weren't too different between the left and right wheels and within the allowed ranges, they just kept them there. The same local independent shop from before gave me a pretty fantastic alignment for about $20 more and they explained everything they did and why.
 

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@cyberninja, If I we're you (on a brand new car, while you're at it on the wheel balancing) I'd ask the dealer to check the alignment as well. You have leverage....and it won't hurt to ask (bet they would oblige).

On the matter of getting alignments, go find a place that carries a Hunter GSP 9700 alignment machine. It is considered the best in the industry. I even switched dealers that I go to when I found this one Mazda dealer that carries it (even slightly farther).

Below is a search lication link to find the nearest GSP 9700 in your area.

Hunter GSP9700 Wheel vibration Control System solves wheel vibration and tire pull problems that balancers and aligners can't fix
 

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Dude, without a doubt go to the dealer and don't say anything about going to Firestone first. When I hit a giant pothole and popped a shock absorber in my Subaru Legacy 2 years into the warranty, the dealer replaced it without question or charge. Good luck! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Not to threadjack, but I went to two Firestones in fairly nice neighborhoods, bought their lifetime alignment thing, and they both screwed up things royally. Maybe your Firestones are better, but around Atlanta they were nice... but terrible.
- They looked up my VIN and insisted that it was a 4 cyl (I have a V6) so they left me about 2 quarts short on an oil change.
- They did a terrible rebalance of my wheels (twice), went to a local shop to have it fixed -- all the local shop did was rebalance my wheels and it was smooth sailing
- They inspected my rotors, calipers, and pads and replaced my rear brake pads. They screwed up resurfacing my rotors so they did it twice, making it so thin that I couldn't resurface them again (I later just replaced the damn things). They bled the brakes and within 2 months, the brake fluid was dirty. Their own tech asked me if my brake fluid had been replaced within the last few years, then their head manager said that it was normal to replace your brake fluid every few months (BS in case you didn't know). Also within 2 months, my rear pads were worn down and needing to be replaced (under normal, not agressive driving, 70% highway). They apologized and installed new pads and "reinspected" the calipers for free.
- Their alignments were never very good. They kept my car "in spec" but didn't try to give me a good alignment. As long as the angles weren't too different between the left and right wheels and within the allowed ranges, they just kept them there. The same local independent shop from before gave me a pretty fantastic alignment for about $20 more and they explained everything they did and why.
Wow! That is insane. I live in Atlanta too and I went to the Perimeter Park Firestone. I have learned a fact for good now. I will never go back there again. Thank you for the enlightenment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@cyberninja, If I we're you (on a brand new car, while you're at it on the wheel balancing) I'd ask the dealer to check the alignment as well. You have leverage....and it won't hurt to ask (bet they would oblige).

On the matter of getting alignments, go find a place that carries a Hunter GSP 9700 alignment machine. It is considered the best in the industry. I even switched dealers that I go to when I found this one Mazda dealer that carries it (even slightly farther).

Below is a search lication link to find the nearest GSP 9700 in your area.

Hunter GSP9700 Wheel vibration Control System solves wheel vibration and tire pull problems that balancers and aligners can't fix

I used the locator and it showed the same Firestone I went to in the results. So I guess I was somewhat lucky !
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dude, without a doubt go to the dealer and don't say anything about going to Firestone first. When I hit a giant pothole and popped a shock absorber in my Subaru Legacy 2 years into the warranty, the dealer replaced it without question or charge. Good luck! :D
Sounds great! I will look forward to the next monday.
 

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The only good thing I know about firestone is that they matched and then beat tire racks prices even without me bringing in the flyer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Guys,

I am back with quite a lot of updates. I have shown the car to the dealer. He asked me to get High Speed Force balancing at Discount Tire. I forgot to mention to you that earlier, besides the vibrations, the car also wobbled from side-to-side. It literally drifted to the left and right, slithering like a snake on the freeways at 70mph and above. I went to Discount Tire and got the balancing. The vibrations have reduced but not gone completely. The wobbling problem is still there. I thought Discount Tire didn't do a good job. I went there the second time and got the balancing again. The problem is still there. I have been visiting my dealer every now and then, he kept telling me there's no problem with the car at all. They didn't drive at 70, and didn't drive on the freeway I've been experiencing the problem on. They said they can't since they won't exceed speed limits which is insane.

I had one of my friends who owns the same car drive it and he could spot the problem easily. He told there's something wrong with it. I visited the dealer again in the morning. They made me sit for long and said again there's no problem with the car, and they could see nothing.

I am worried now. I don't understand. It could be the wheels and tires, I thought. I asked the dealer to replace the wheels and tires for a day so that I could see if this is true. However, he put me on hold and told me he'll see if that can be done.

I am waiting on his call. If the issue still persists, I don't want this car anymore. Is this a lemon? If yes, what to do? How can I escalate this issue to Mazda USA? I would like to demand a new car, I don't want it like this. Someone help me please.
 

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@cyberninja I've always found vibration at high speeds to be either a balancing, bent wheel or bad tire. Regardless of issue it isn't covered under warranty... I suggest rotating the tires and see if the vibration has subsided.. If it did you might have a bent wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@cyberninja I've always found vibration at high speeds to be either a balancing, bent wheel or bad tire. Regardless of issue it isn't covered under warranty... I suggest rotating the tires and see if the vibration has subsided.. If it did you might have a bent wheel.
The vibrations have reduced, actually. They are still there, but the bigger problem is wobbling; As I've mentioned in the post the car drifts from side-to-side. Could this be a result of bad tires/ bent wheels as well? Thank you!
 
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