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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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2014 Mazda 6 has been great except...

Hi everyone-
I have a 2014 Mazda 6 touring. I have about 70,000 miles on the car and it has given my no issues other than going through tires until recently. We live in central Nebraska. We don't get a lot of snow and ice but there's always a handful events a year.
The car was purchased new for my wife and she really had no issue with the factory tires or the replacement Good Years (I just didn't like the replacement price!) other than getting up our relatively steep crush concrete driveway. I have a 4X4 pickup and did have a 2012 Focus as a work car. Well, the Focus started having issues,we decided to be proactive and get my wife a Subaru Outback, and I kept the Mazda as my work car. So I just started driving it about a year ago with no problems.
This summer the Good Years were already worn out only about halfway through the warranty period and I also needed rear shocks. Sams set me up with Kumho Exsta 4X II all weathers (had them in stock) for about half price after honoring the Good Years' warranty. I had the rear shocks replaced, and all other components were supposedly OK. I had alignment checked (very little adjustment needed) thinking maybe that was what was wearing out tires so fast.
Now I have terrible traction. Not only can I not get up my driveway but now I have issues on my 1.5 miles of gravel road to the highway (not even talking deep snow just wet conditions the Focus never had issues with). This gravel road barely gets muddy because it is very sandy where we live. The car breaks free at about the speed needed to overcome the soft road. I went through the low spot today (where snow had melted) slowed down to about 20-25MPH and car still slid sideways almost completely off the road. Also noticed driving home the other night on pave roads that weren't slick to walk on I could break the tires free with very little gas. Had to drive about 35mph and again not terribly slick.
So I guess my question is where should I start looking to at least get back to the way this car was. Is it as simple as the Kumhos being that bad of tires (they are at least all weather and would think at least as good as OEM)? Would hate to have to buy another set of very expensive tires when these only have 10,000 miles. Could there be a suspension issue that wasn't diagnosed (friend of mine had gravel issues just pop up on an older Mazda 3 due to suspension problem)? I know a lot of posters on here recommend snow tires but I don't know if I want to go that route. Mainly because the wet gravel is causing issues all year around, I have a truck (just don't like driving all the time when I have a "work" car), and I don't know anyone in this area that runs snow tires.
Sorry for the long post! But I'm at my wits end. Really like this car but between the wearing out very expensive tires to now it only being usable in dry conditions I'm about ready to get rid of it...
Any help or thoughts would be awesome!!!

Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 11:46 AM
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I haven't driven on those exact tires, but I've had Kumho all seasons on a number of cars as they are a personal favorite for price/performance on regular passenger cars for me. I've got em on both my old Miata and the wife's old beater Contour.

I think the issue here is the temperature. Kumhos are great when they're warm. Very compliant, a good amount of grip for a tire not really made for maximum performance, but the main weakness they've had for me is that when it's near freezing they become hard as a rock and lose their grip. They also had problems with flatspotting in the Miata since I keep fairly low air pressures in that car and I had to drive it a mile or so for the tires to warm up enough to really be usable.

However, temperature aside, I don't really know how well they work offroad. They perform really well in the rain on pavement, but I've never had to drive it for any length of time in a muddy gravel road.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 01:54 PM
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Everything you described sounds like issues with the tires and not the car. Your wife was able to drive the car on the same surface for the first 70,000 miles, correct? And you didn't have traction issues until you put the Kumhos on?


How are the tire pressures? How does the car handle anywhere else other than this driveway?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dasrider View Post
Everything you described sounds like issues with the tires and not the car. Your wife was able to drive the car on the same surface for the first 70,000 miles, correct? And you didn't have traction issues until you put the Kumhos on?


How are the tire pressures? How does the car handle anywhere else other than this driveway?
I assume it's the tires also but they are just so bad I wanted to check in with some other people.

So far tires work fine on wet and dry pavement. On very light ice (haven't ever had to drive in very slick conditions) not good. I would compare it to driving my rear wheel drive Cougar in highschool. On wet gravel from rain or melting snow the car is almost unusable. You had to baby it for traction and if you give it just a little too much it slides to the side. Again my road isn't muddy this is just wet gravel.

I've drove this same gravel road for 7 years and other gravel since I was 15 with all sorts of different cars/trucks with all sorts of quality of tires and this car with these tires are the worst by a huge margin. Like I said almost undrivable.

Keeping constant tire pressure has been an issue since we've been between 30 and -10 degrees the last couple of months. But the issue occurred during more consistent temp this summer/fall also.

The issue did start occuring with these tires but also had the rear shocks changed and alignment done the same week. Interesting that before I had good grip but tires were wearing very quickly. Now grip seems poor but I'm told tires are wearing much more reasonably. Could this be something?

Probably just bite the bullet and try different tires...
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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So kind of had an interesting conversation this afternoon with the local Kuhmo dealer (mine just came from as Sams). He told me they sell a lot of Kuhmos and to a lot to people that live the country and have never had a problem. He couldn't think of anything that would have be giving me so much trouble until I told him the tire size. He was pretty quiet for awhile, and then said "that's probably your issue, there's only one kuhmo in that size, and I wouldn't have sold them to you they are not a very good tire."
He said they could send them to Kuhmo for review and possible refund but he didn't think there was much of a chance any money coming back. Thought my best chance would be going back to Sams and seeing if they would do anything. As far as what he could sell me though he recommended Continental Extreme Contact.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 01:40 AM
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I've only had the kuhmo extreme summer tires (Ecsta V720), but given my short luck with kuhmo ecsta all-seasons (older generation), the treadwear is great-the traction, not so much. I've switched to continental DWS06 and they have been decent even in light snow-still pliable in weather around 20*F.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 07:23 AM
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I've ran kuhmo Ecsta on previous car I've owned years ago & they were the only brand that I would always pick up Nails/screws with. IDk why that was, they were OK during summer but winter & wet conditions were not so enjoyable. I stay way from that brand now being Online reviews & forums sway my Interest towards better build quality tires.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrbocke View Post
So kind of had an interesting conversation this afternoon with the local Kuhmo dealer (mine just came from as Sams). He told me they sell a lot of Kuhmos and to a lot to people that live the country and have never had a problem. He couldn't think of anything that would have be giving me so much trouble until I told him the tire size. He was pretty quiet for awhile, and then said "that's probably your issue, there's only one kuhmo in that size, and I wouldn't have sold them to you they are not a very good tire."
He said they could send them to Kuhmo for review and possible refund but he didn't think there was much of a chance any money coming back. Thought my best chance would be going back to Sams and seeing if they would do anything. As far as what he could sell me though he recommended Continental Extreme Contact.

Interesting the Kumho guy would poo-poo his own tire and recommend Continentals... unless he also reps Continental haha.


Regardless, I would see if Sam's could give you a credit towards another set of tires given your situation. If not Discount Tire typically will work with you with a credit towards new tires if the old ones are still within their warranty period. That is of course if there is a Discount near you.


But overall this really sounds like a tire issue.


Fwiw, I ride dirt bikes and enduros (on or off road bikes) and the tire tread/pattern make all the difference. The wrong tire tread in sandy conditions will have you on your butt in no time.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 03:08 PM
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I have Kumho Ecsta PA31s on my 6 wagon (that's what it came with) and I can say that they are complete garbage in even a dusting of snow. OK for summer but "all-season" isn't true in the least.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the feedback everyone! Feeling more confident now that it is just a tire issue and more comfortable shopping for new tires. The shop I was talking to does sell both Kuhmo and Continental so not sure 100% unbiased. But he didn't seem pretty upfront. He really wanted me to try and get something done at Sams first.
Interesting that Discount Tire may offer some kind of trade in. They just opened a shop in a near by town. I may go there first.
Thanks again!
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