What Causes Uneven Wear on Tires?
Does your tire have bald spots or does it have more tread in certain areas? You are experiencing an uneven wear on your tires. Increased wear patterns can cause a tire to become a bad or bald tire prematurely.
This can be a result of incorrect wheel alignment issues, broken or loose suspension components (worn shocks/struts), incorrect tires for your car, incorrect tire inflation, unbalanced tires, or worn tie rod ends, how you drive, and/or the surfaces you travel on.
The most common reason a vehicle is experiencing premature uneven wear on its tires is due to improper tire inflation. In order to optimize your vehicle’s performance for ride comfort, handling, and fuel economy, proper inflation pressure is very important.
Even though you got new tires, if you don’t fix the original problem, you are just going to have to keep providing yourself with a temporary solution.Tweet
To optimize the distribution of your vehicle’s load, tire pressure should be correct and maintained. This proper inflation will aid in acceleration, braking, and cornering forces in the tread.
Regardless of where the tires are worn, if ignored, they are an invitation for disaster. You could not only become stranded on the side of a busy and dangerous highway, but they can also fail in such a terrible way, causing the driver to lose control.
How do You Fix Uneven Tire Wear?
Are you trying to fix your uneven tire wear? Well, in order to figure out how to fix your uneven tire wear, you have to first figure out what caused it. Once you know what cased the uneven wear, you can correct the problem.
There are many things that could cause uneven wear on your tires. Here are different types of uneven wear on tires. There is inner edge wear, outer edge wear, center edge wear, tire cupping, or a combination of uneven wear on your tires.
If you have any of these types of edge wear, there could be a bigger problem than just your tires. Read the section below that fits your type of tire wear.
Note: Always inspect your tires before driving. You may have a bad tire and not even notice it until further inspection or until it’s too late. Tires are key to a safe smooth ride. Always look over all of your suspension components and tires to make sure everything is in perfect working order.
What Would Cause a Tire to Wear on the Outside?
Outside tire wear could be a result of a number of different components on your car or truck. Outside wear is a common occurrence that has many causes.
Over time, a vehicle’s tread will wear down gradually becoming shallower. The overall tire performance will change. Paying close attention to your tires outside tread wear patterns could alert you of the health and functionality of your vehicle’s front or rear suspension system.
Normally, high performance race tires, tend to wear faster than touring tires for a family sedan. This increased wear causes excess noise or vibration.
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However, the most common reason a vehicle is experiencing outside tire wear is due to improper tire inflation pressures. Although out-of-spec alignment conditions or broken suspension components could be the culprit, improper PSI is usually the issue.
To experience outside tire wear, your tire pressure or PSI would have to be too low. So, before checking anything else, you should check your tire for proper inflation. This is a quick and easy fix with a tire gauge and a portable tire inflator.
Note: The correct PSI for your vehicle can be found inside the door frame on your driver side or your owners manual.
Tires Wearing on the Inside?
Tires wearing on the inside means that your tire tread is wearing out or going bald on the inside (towards the middle of your vehicle) faster than any other part of your tire.
Inner edge wear can be a result of misaligned vehicle, your camber being out, or broken suspension components.
If your FRONT TIRE is experiencing inside wear, you could be dealing with a camber problem, bad alignment, worn ball joints, or bad tie rods. All of these symptoms of inner tire wear stem from having a bad alignment.
The vehicle’s front end might be out of alignment because of everyday driving reasons such as a collision with a pothole. A good indication that you need a realignment includes your vehicle pulling in one direction (right or left) while driving on a flat road.
If your rear tires are worn, on the inside, continue reading...
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This type of tire wear can also be found on your REAR TIRES. This wear can be caused by rear toe misalignment, worn rear control arm bushings, excessive flexing of the rear suspension or not rotating the tires often enough. (Every 6000 to 7500 miles)
Tire Bald in Middle?
Is your tire bald in the middle? Be sure to check if your tires have the correct PSI. Center tread wear is a result of over inflation of the tire. Be sure to air tires up to the correct tire pressure located on the inside of your driver door.
Your tires may look fine on the outside tread but could be going bald on the center tread. If your tire mesures on the tread depth gauge 2/32” or less you need new tires.
If you do not have a tread depth gauge, look at the wear bars on your tires. These bars are located between your tires tread. Wear bars on tires are way shorter than your tread. If your tire(s) tread is at the same level as these bars, you need a new tire.
While there are many things that can cause uneven wear on tires, being overinflated is going to be the most common issue when it comes to your tires being bald in the middle.
If you follow that PSI level, your tire(s) will be too full. This will cause the center of your tire to swell up. This swelling causes more center road contact for your tire. Be sure to inflate your tires to the proper amount listed on your door sticker.
Most people, including myself, will look at the sidewall of the tire to air their tires. This air pressure is WRONG! Although the tire can handle that max PSI, this tire pressure is way higher than what the vehicle calls for.
Uneven Wear on Tires Due to Temperature?
Tire pressure can change over time due to temperature. When it is cold outside tire pressures will tend to drop. When you drive with low tire pressure your tires will wear on the outside edges of the tire.
Tire pressure will rise during hot days especially driving long distances on hot summer days. This hot air temperature causes the inside of your tire to go bald.
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Be sure to always check and inflate your tires to correct the pressure. This PSI is listed on the inside of your car door or owner’s manual. Having the incorrect pressure can affect traction and the handling of the car. Check out our tire pressure chart to see the correct PSI for your vehicle depending on the outside air temperature.
Be sure to pay attention to your dash for a TPMS light or a service tire monitor system light. If you don’t have one it’s always good practice to check your tire pressure manually every time you stop for gas.
Be sure to pay attention to your tires and how they are wearing. You may have bald tires and not even know it due to overinflation or under inflation. Just because the outside tread is good doesn’t mean the inside tread is.
Correct tire pressure helps give you a smooth ride and keeping you and your loved ones safe on the road.
Tires Out of Balance?
When a tire is out of balance uneven wear can occur. An out of balance tire is a result from within your tire. There are parts of a tire that are designed to be thicker and heavier in some spots when compared to other spots. This design could be from the factory or from wear and tear.
Usually, your car’s tires are out of balance and need to be balanced before putting the new tire on. It’s always good to check the balance of your tires frequently to increase the life of your tires. When a tire is out of balance, this can cause uneven wear in the tire or tire cupping.
As the tire is rolling down the road, it tends to bounce due to the imbalance of the tire or the uneven surface of the road. This bouncing can be subtle or very extreme depending on your tires condition. This imbalance is causing your tire to wear prematurely or in an uneven manner.
An unbalanced tire will cause a vibration for your car and in your steering wheel. When all areas of the tire or wheel work as a single unit and are as equal in weight as possible, the tire will roll smoothly.
A common reason a tire will go out of balance could be that the rim gets bent (even slightly) after hitting a large pothole.
Symptoms of Uneven Tire Wear Patterns
Your tires can give you many symptoms or early warning signs that your tires are wearing unevenly. Making sure your tires are wearing evenly is key to getting the maximum amount of life out of your tires.
Your car could be pulling in one direction, stating you might have an edge wear problem. Check your tire(s) pressure, one tire may have a lower PSI than the rest.
Maybe you have a loud road noise when you are driving, this could mean you have bald tires or an improperly inflated tire. Your car could experience a vibration going down the road due to bad wear patterns. The steering wheel of your car may shake due to bad wear patterns on your tires.
Uneven wear patterns may make braking feel more harsh than it should. However, this could also be a problem with your brakes. The reason your acceleration and braking could be affected by low tire inflation, is due to the fact that more friction is present between the surface of the road and your tire. This increase in friction is causing more force to be needed to get your vehicle to start or stop rolling.
- Car pulling to the left or right
- Car shaking while driving
- Steering wheel shaking while driving
- Low tire pressure
- High tire pressure
- Steering wheel shakes more when you brake
- Noisey tires
- Loud road noise coming from tire area while driving
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