What Causes Uneven Tire Wear?
By Integra Tire Canada
Tire treads are arguably the most important factor in keeping your car safe on the road. Tread allows you to maintain contact with the road when it is snowy or wet. If you are starting to notice some wear on your tires, there may be some factors causing early tire wear. Below are some of these factors that you can check to make sure your tires are getting the best use, and you are keeping other motorists and yourself safe on the road.
One of the most common reasons for uneven tire wear is improperly inflated tires. It is always best to check your owner’s manual to see what the right PSI recommendation is for your vehicle.
As illustrated by the photos below, you can see that over inflating your tires causes the tire to balloon outwards, which makes the inner tread wear more quickly. Underinflation does not allow the inner tread to make proper contact with the road, which causes you to wear out the outer tread quicker. You can also see that a properly inflated tire allows for the tread to have contact across the full tire, giving you the best traction.
Make sure to check your tire pressures often as different temperatures and road factors can cause the inflation to change.
Tire Alignment – Out of Spec
Alignments keep your wheels pointed in the right direction. When your car becomes misaligned, you may notice some symptoms, including poor fuel economy, early tire wear, and difficulties with your car’s handling.
The below images illustrate the negative and positive camber alignments. These alignments refer to the inward or outward angle of your wheels. Camber misalignment can be caused by worn bearings, ball joints, and other wheel-suspension components. If you notice more wear on your inner or outer tread, this may indicate it is time for a wheel alignment as there may be more underlying issues.
Failing Suspension or Steering Components
Your vehicle’s steering components are responsible for keeping you in line with the road, helps you to maneuver corners, and allow you to return back to a straightforward direction after your turn. Over time, these components can incur wear and start to have looseness. This looseness may result in your tires leaning to one end more than the other, thus making your tires wear unevenly.
Your outer tie rod is especially susceptible to damage causing uneven tire wear. The tie rod end is a joint that connects your steering rack to your wheel assembly, transferring force from the steering rack to the wheel. The tie rods can often be checked visually quite easily for any damage to the bushings, which could cause a leak of important lubricants. You can also examine the tire’s interior and exterior edges. It could be related to tie rod issues if they exhibit high wear on one side but little wear on the other; however, this isn’t the sole culprit; other sections of the suspension could be malfunctioning.
Your suspension components have similar boots that can wear and crack causing the same issues.
Questions? Our Advisors are Happy to Help!If you have questions about anything you've read in this resource page, contact your nearest Integra Tire dealer for more information. We are passionate in assisting our customers make the best choices to keep their vehicles in tip-top shape and keep their families safe.
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