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I own a 2 yr old 350Z and am wondering about the "feathering" problems. Just what is that and how do I watch for it?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Patty Streeter,  at What Is Tire Feathering? Tire feathering occurs when the tread ribs actually scrape down the road. It's a common occurrence when the tire has a camber problem or needs toe-in or toe-out alignment. With the Nissan 350z, reports of extremely loud tire noise (sometimes identified as tire roar or howling) almost always accompany the tire feathering problem. Once the tire wear begins, so does the noise. The more miles accumulated, the louder the noise gets. Does Nissan Know There's A Tire Problem? Yes. In fact, so far Nissan has issued three separate Technical Service Bulletins addressing the problem, including one which according to Auto Week says the suspension design/geometry of some models is causing the inside of the tires to wear in a choppy fashion. When the tire feathering problem appeared during a long-term test of the 350z by, they contacted Nissan and were told that cars built early in the production cycle had known alignment issues that caused uneven tire wear. And according to a report by Auto Week, Nissan is "cautiously optimistic the problem is under control and will not plague newer 350z's, although the company acknowledges that it doesn't consider the matter closed and it's engineer's continue to monitor the situation." Is Nissan Fixing The Reported Tire Problems With The 350z's? In one of the technical service bulletins (NTB03-006A) issued to deal with the problem, Nissan instructs dealers to swap the left tire to the right side and the right tire to the left side (the tires have to take be taken off the wheels because the tires are unidirectional). In addition, the dealer is instructed to align the car to the new specifications listed in the TSB. Unfortunately, this has proved to be only a temporary fix. Auto Week reported the tire noise and feathering went away only to reappear later at a later time. In fact, many consumers have reported that within 3000 miles of having the tires swapped and the cars aligned, the problems have reappeared to an even greater extent. Contact your authorized Nissan dealership or Nissan directly and report the problem! Tell Nissan About Your 350z Tire Problems! Here is the contact information you need to make your dissatisfaction and problem/claim known to Nissan: Nissan Consumer Affairs P.O. Box 191 Gardena, CA 90248 (800) NISSAN-1 (or 800-647-7261) 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Eastern / Central Time 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time Monday through Friday Nissan North America 18501 S. Figueroa St. P.O. Box 191 Gardena, CA 90248-0191 Phone: 310/771-3111 Fax: 310/516-7967 Nissan Technical Center North America 39001 Sunrise Drive P.O. Box 9200 Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9200 Phone: 248/488-4123 Fax: 248/488-3901 Nissan Trading Corp., U.S.A. 38505 Country Club Drive, Suite 200 Farmington Hills, MI 48331 Phone: 248/489-5656 Fax: 248/489-5660 Nissan Design America 9800 Campus Point Drive San Diego, CA 92121 Phone: 858/457-4400 Fax: 858/450-3332 Nissan Canada Inc. 5290 Orbitor Drive Mississauga, Ontario L4W 4Z5 Canada Phone: 905/629-2888 Fax: 905/629-9742

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