Last post on Jun 01, 2012 at 1:46 AM
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Mazda MPV, Tires, Van
#15 of 29 Spare tire winch problem
Oct 12, 2008 (4:25 am)
I was the one who tried to take out the spare tire in a 2001 MPV for the first time. The cable came out, the tire could be spun, but it did not come down. After a lot of sweat and W-40, I took it to a dealer. The dealer used more W-40, but could not get the tire down either. At the end, the dealer cut the cable, and yanked out the tire from the tiny hole that the cable went through. I did not take the option of having the winch mechanism replaced - a $600 job. I called Mazda to find whether there is a hidden warranty, but was denied, I am now trying to improvise with nuts and bolts.
Several mechanics that I talked to (including the one from Mazda) acknowledge that there are a lot of problems with this type of tire winch in both Chrysler and Mazda. I was lucky that I tried to remove the spare tire from my own garage. You can image how bad the situation will be if one really needs to use the spare tire in the middle of nowhere in a snow storm.
I will encourage everybody to try out the spare tire mechanism to ensure that it works, before it is too late.
#16 of 29 Re: Spare tire winch problem [sanzhang]
Oct 12, 2008 (9:55 am)
I had to replace the winch on my 2002 MPV also. The spare did come down, but it would not winch up. The repair was nearly $600. Shortly after that, and after yet some more problems with the van, I dumped it. For a T&C that also has a winch-type system. Hope that one fares better if I ever have to use it.
#17 of 29 Re: New Tires. [jipster]
Oct 31, 2008 (4:04 pm)
I would like to know how your making out with those Goodyear Tripple tread. Also would you suggest to go with the 225-60R-17 as you did on the MPV. I'm seeking my best choice still as I have a 2004 sport van like yours which I'm really happy with. It looks nice and sporty and drives well but now with 50,000 clicks on the odometer I need to replace those original tires.
#18 of 29 Re: New Tires. [mariop1]
Nov 01, 2008 (10:11 am)
I would like to know how your making out with those Goodyear Tripple tread
Sure thing. I really like the Tripletreds and thus far nothing to complain about. The traction in dry and wet is pretty awesome... fairly good in the little amount of snow we have gotten the past couple winters. The wife commented how good the traction was in the rain about a week after we bought them.
I just had them rotated for the second time, so we've put about 14,000 miles on them. Very little wear noted. A little bit noisy on concrete, as most tires are nosier... very quiet on asphalt.
Yes, I would recommend going slighter bigger with tire size. You get a bit more stability in cornering, which was pretty good with the old Dunlops. They also look nicer on the van IMO.
You did pretty good getting 50k out of the OEM Dunlops. I only got 37,000 and they were getting pretty bad around 30k. I probably could have squeezed another legal 8k out of them.
I bought my tires at a Goodyear store. You can also find them priced less at Walmart. I asked my local Goodyear store if they would meet the Walmart price, which they did. A little bit more for lifetime balance and rotation and should last you till you're ready to sell the van. Good luck.
#19 of 29 Re: Spare tire winch problem [sanzhang]
Nov 17, 2008 (11:20 am)
I had a flat about four weeks ago and could not lower the spare tire. I was able to lower the cable and the tire spun, but as reported previously, the spare tire got jammed up at the top and was not coming down. Now I need to go to a garage to get the spare tire out.
On top of this, the spare is also busted and could not be repaired. Need to look for another spare as well.
Well, atleast I got the flat fixed quickly!!
#20 of 29 Winter or all weather tire?
Nov 17, 2008 (11:25 am)
There is no ABS on my 2003 Mazda MPV DX and I need to change the tires before the snowy winter arrives. Wondering whether to go with a proper winter tire or an all weather tire such as Nokian WRG2
Any comments and suggestions?
#21 of 29 Re: Spare tire winch problem [sramamur1]
Mar 23, 2009 (8:26 am)
If the spare tire will not lower, the solution is not simple. Please bear with my rather lengthy explanation.
The spare carrier for this vintage Mazda MPV is one of the poorest designs I have seen in nearly 40 years of practice as a mechanical engineer but letís focus on getting the spare tire removed and not deficiencies of the design. There may be more than one problem but, if your spare tire will drop down about an inch and then wonít go any further, the problem is a stuck safety catch and not a broken winch mechanism. On the top of the fixture on the end of the cable that holds the tire up, there is a spool about an inch long and about three-fourths inch in diameter. There is a thick ridge around the top of this spool. When the spare tire is winched all of the way up, this spool goes into a hole in the bottom of the carrier and activates a mechanism that locks around the spool keeping it from sliding out in case the cable breaks. To make sure that the safety mechanism is engaged, it is linked to a similar mechanism on the top side of the carrier where you insert the wrench to lower and raise the tire. However, this one works just the opposite. When the tire is raised all of the way up, it opens and allows the special wrench to be inserted or removed. When the tire goes down, it locks around the wrench so that it cannot be removed. The idea is to make sure you fully raise the tire and engage the safety mechanism before the wrench is removed.
At least that is the way it is supposed to work. Given the location and all of the salt, mud, water, etc. that gets thrown up onto the carrier, it should be no surprise that it does not always work just right, especially if it hasnít moved for many years. If you insert the lowering wrench, give it a couple of turns in the correct direction and the mechanism does not lock around the wrench, the safety catch on the bottom has not released either. You can pull and pry and twist and cuss all you want, you will not get the spare tire to go any lower (I know from first hand experience).
No guarantees, but your best bet now is a pair of long nose pliers, a medium size flat screwdriver, and a can of WD40 with the long, skinny tube to direct the spray. Leave the tire in this slightly lowered position. You should see the mechanism that is supposed to slide out over the lowering wrench sticking out just a bit from under the rim from which you removed the plug that allows you to insert the wrench. There should be two of them more-or-less on opposite sides. Spray the WD40 horizontally back along these mechanisms getting it to go as far back into works as you can. Hopefully, you will be able to wiggle them a bit with the screwdriver to help work the WD40 back into where it needs to be. Now pry with the screwdriver and pull with long-nose pliers to try to get the locking mechanism to move towards the center like it should. Once it does, it will also release the safety catch on the bottom and allow the spare tire to drop down. Donít expect this fix to be a 5-second solution. With 10 minutes or so of prying and pulling along with additional squirts of WD40 and a few choice swear words thrown in for good measure, you may be able to get the mechanism to release. In the seven years I have owned the vehicle, I have had to remove the spare twice, separated about five years in time, and it worked for me both times.
If you just cranked the winch a few turns down and stopped before going through the above process, you should be home free once the safety catch releases. Go ahead and lower the tire and remove it per the instructions in the manual. You will probably have to fiddle with the mechanism on top to be able to get the lowering wrench inserted but, if you got that far, this step will be a piece of cake. However, if you cranked and cranked trying to get the tire to come down before you figured out it was not going to come down, you may well have the cable all balled up inside the winch as well (I also know this from experience). Once the safety mechanism has released and the tire is supported by the cable, you may have to work the crank back and forth quite a bit along with some tugging on the tire to get the cable to extend. It took me a while but, with a lot of work, I was able to slowly get the cable to extend all of the way out. That exercise took another 15 minutes or so. With my second experience, I knew enough to quit cranking before I messed up the cable and it worked just fine once I got the safety mechanism to release.
Is there a fix? For a handful of $100 bills, the dealer will replace the carrier assembly. I see no reason to expect a new one to be any better than the old one. The problem is a bad design, not a specific faulty part, as best I can tell. The simplest solution is to put the spare tire in the back end of the van, wind the carrier all of the way up, and forget it was ever there. If you donít like that idea, I can offer two other solutions but keep in mind that both involve defeating the safety device. Before you do either one, think about the spare tire coming loose and flip-flopping end over end under your van at highway speeds. The result is not likely to be pretty under the best of circumstances and could be fatal.
The first solution is to cut two pieces of wood (or whatever) about ĺ inch square and about 10 inches long. Lay them on the top of the spare tire, one on either side and raise the tire until it wonít go up any more. The blocks will keep the tire assembly from going up far enough to engage the safety latch. You may have to fiddle with the mechanism a bit to get the lowering wrench out and get it back in the next time you want to lower the tire, but that should not be a major challenge. Also, the tire will protrude a bit and be slightly visible from the side of the van. The advantage of this solution is that it does not permanently alter the carrier. If you ever decide you want to go back to the way it was originally, all you have to do is pull out the blocks and crank the tire all of the way up. The second solution is to grind the ridge off of the top of the spool described previously. Without the ridge, it wonít make any difference whether the safety mechanism releases or not as there will be nothing for it to catch on. Be very careful not to damage the cable as you will then indeed have created a potentially serious hazard and there will be no safety backup. The advantage of this solution is that the tire will raise all of the way up into the carrier and the lowering wrench should be released. The disadvantage is that you have permanently disabled the safety latch.
Perhaps the best solution of all is to carry a can of Fix-a-Flat and forget the spare tire.
#22 of 29 MPV wheel squealing noise
Mar 29, 2009 (3:38 am)
My wife's '04 MPV makes this intermittent squealing noise from the left rear wheel area. It usually starts with when we first pull the car out from the garage. After a couple of miles it seems to go away.
I have new Goodyear TripleTreads installed about 8 months back, and the brakes seem fine. Anybody else encounter this issue?
Any info is appreciated because we are planning a long road trip in a couple of weeks..
#23 of 29 Re: Spare tire winch problem [whoknows987]
Apr 18, 2009 (1:30 pm)
You described the mechanism very well. It is a flimsy, delicate clockwork that is cast to work under the elements. Madza should consider it a disposable part, like paper coffee cups, and price it accordingly, not in the $300 range. I was able to locate a used one on the internet and had it couriered for a total of $65US. Mounting the carrier involved tightening four bolts, and cutting 2 rivets used to attach the spare tire shroud to the carrier.
I hope it will work for a long time with proper maintenance. At one time I was thinking of attaching an emergency latch release (I am also an engineer), but abandon the idea in fear of unexpected complications or inadvertent release. In case I need to try your method, I want to know whether you hoisted up your van when you did the trick. There is not a lot of space when I lie on the ground.
#24 of 29 Re: Spare tire winch problem [sanzhang]
Jun 14, 2009 (4:57 pm)
My winch assembly fell apart also and have only been able to find them in the $300-$400 range. Can you provide the source of the one you found for $65? Is it a commercial source or just someone who happened to have one?