From what I've read and heard the tire feathering seems only to be on the early built Zs; the first 6 - 9 months. I have a late '03, built in May and have no tire problems at all. I understand Nissan is aware and has acknowledged the problem. The have replaced many front tires.
They are not solving the problem though! They only get you over 12K miles and stop doing anything to address the problem. Their answer is buy new tires, but that doesn't fix feathering. MAJOR PROBLEMS WITH THIS CAR!
It doesn't matter what month in 2002 the Z was manufactured. You will hear tire feathering.
I am the original poster of this thread and my Z was manufactured 12/2002. At 16,000 miles now my tires are growling again.
I love my 350Z. I bought my Z in May 2003 and I am a first time sports car owner at 65. My concern and only concern with this vehicle is the front-end and tire problem. I came to the dealership and ask them to check the drift in my Z. It seem to be pulling. This was the first time I found out about the front end problem which leads to the tire issue. They replaced my tires and re-aligned the car. What would have happened if I had been on a trip, hit something sharp on the road and had a blow out causing not only damage to my Z, but harming people inside because of this front-end and tire problem. It appears to me that Nissan has admitted problems by extending the warranty from 12/12 to 24/24. This problems must be corrected now. This problem is a safety issue.
Floyd: I bought my 350Z in April 2003, I love this car, I also hope the front tire problem gets resolved, I am right now waiting for 2 new front tires, my question is if it comes up again, will Nissan fix it again, I sure hope so, warranties don't last forever, that could be a problem if the car continues to have this problem...
Nissan has replaced and realigned my tires twice.
At 17,000 miles the feathering/cupping has returned.
Nissan has no clue on what settings the front end suppose to have.
Today I took my car into a tire/brake shop a friend of mine recommended. They align BMWs, Mercedes and Porches.
My alignment was way off. Not even close to Nissan's magic numbers.
They cross rotated my front tires and we'll see how it ends up.
This does not appear to be an 03 exclusive, my 04 roadster with 6700 miles has fallen victim to the cupping and feathering syndrome. It appears to be a camber issue since it's only the inside of the front tires.
We purchased a used '03 350Z last August. At the time, Consumer Reports gave the vehicle a good rating as did Car and Driver. No mention of suspension problems.
Well, 6000 miles later and the new tires that the dealer had placed on the car prior to our purchase are worn out. Going back to the dealer on Monday, but don't expect much. Had we known anything about this vehicle's suspension flaws, we would have never purchased the car.
BTW, had a Nissan Sentra in the mid '80s. Should have learned my lesson from that experience. The carb was constantly malfunctioning. At that time, the dealer said that it was a design flaw.
I bot my 03' 350z used with 77k and it drives perfect. No tire problems at all. I can't believe people are complaining about suspension, It's absolutely AWESOME!!! Don't think twice, it's the car to get!
I've had my 350Z since May 2003. The feathering on my front tyres was very minimal. I ended up replacing all tyres because the rears were worn and the fronts were making an enormous amount of noise (expected with unidirectional tyres). New tyres have solved the noise problem and an alignment has seen perfect wear across the tread so far.
Please understand that the 350Z does not have a suspension problem, you just have to align the front wheels properly to avoid feathering.
Just wanted to let you guys know that I have the 2005 enthusiast model and after 13,xxx miles I have had the feathering problem on my tires. Nissan did replace them, but don't know how long they will last. If they go bad again in 13,xxx miles and I have to pay to replace them, I will have to think about getting rid of the car. I drive a lot of miles and can't afford to buy tires 3 times a year.
Possibly I am a total idiot concerning the statement I am about to make -- but isn't every componant of a front-suspension adjustable? Even if the car came from the factory with the wrong settings, I fail to see why any competent alignment specialist shouldn't be able to clear it up. (Unless, of course, the control arms are actually the wrong length, in which case the car may be aligned going straight, but out-of-whack when turning.)
To add to your comment, if there are any design defect, then why would everyone who drives this car states that "it is like riding on rails." With that said, I feel it is more of an alignment issue. I have worked in the auto business for sometime in both the U.S. and in Japan, and taking all circumstances into consideration, I will say Nissan should have known and cure this problem by now. It is well documented in suspension shops that a large number of cars and trucks are only set for toe from factory, not camber or caster. GM for example, must of their trucks requires that we remove the welds for caster/camber adjustments. Just like Fords needing cam bushings. It is more of an issue with Nissan Z cars because of level of performance this car is. A good front end tech can eliminate this problem for you. Shop around for a good tech in front end and be nice to him and don't approach as if you are the tech and he is the client. Tell him or her :-) what you want and what problems you are having and step back for the tech to do the job!
Does anyone know the exact problem under the 2003-2004 350Z tire wear problems?
I heard that the front suspension and toe angle may be the problem. In fact, once adjust (toe angle), the tire wear keeps showing off.
So I was wondering if any person had technical information (about an unproper design etc.) that could explain this malfunction.
Yes it is a camber issue, the lower A arms have no camber adjustment (there fixed). But, Stillen & another after market place make adjustable lower a arms for the z. Rangeing from 4 to 800 dollars for a set. Also they make camber bushing for the z that allows them to adjust the camber were the struts mount (price for those, 40 dollars each. Good luck people, Larry J Olympia Washington.
I own a 2006 350 z. I bought it new in february 2006. Now at 16k my front tires are cupped * feathered on the inside. Nissan has been doing the alignment, I have kept the tires at 35 psi always. The dealer refuses to replace my tires, and will not replace my cracked leather seat. I will not buy Nissan again.
I recently purchased a 2004 Nissan 350z with 23,000 miles and after only 3 months - 6k miles I have already had to get the tires replaced and the front wheel aligned. 3 Months later the wheels started making the same noises they had previously and it felt a lot worse in handling again, I fear the same problem is occurring. Is there ANYTHING at all someone can do to fix this, be it at a cost... I noticed 1 of you posted that you can sped 400-800 for something for the front end, if there is any way to get it fixed please let me know, even if it is at a cost... If not I might be forced to trade in for a 2007 Altima which really isn't of the same caliber. Anyway thanks in advance.
Here's the fix...
You need to get upper camber control arms, not the lower. If you get the bushings that will help also. I only got the a-arms.
I decided to keep my 2003 and update the interior also with a nav. Needs to last me another 5 years ;-)
The arms are expensive, but at least it WILL correct the issue. I got 350EVO arms. Only Stillen and 350EVO arms will allow you proper correction. The rest of the camber adjustments out there are not safe for day to day driving.