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What Causes Tires to Wear Unevenly?

Tire on car driving

Tires are essentially the only thing between you and the highway. Your tires serve an important role in the overall function of your vehicle. Therefore, it is important that you take the necessary steps to ensure your tires are in good shape. Your tires will sustain wear and tear, and depending on the season and environmental elements, the tires may wear unevenly.

There are many reasons why tires wear unevenly, such as underinflation, overinflation, improper alignment, and a worn-out suspension. As a car owner, you need to be familiar with the causes behind premature and uneven tire tread wear so you can take the proper measures to remedy the situation and protect your tires, your vehicle, and yourself.

Inner and Outer Tire Wear

If you notice that your tires are wearing excessively on the inner or outer edges, then this may be a sign that there is something off with the tire alignment. The inner and outer tire wear are often referred to as toe or camber wear. This type of tire wear occurs when either side of the tread wears quicker than the other.

Your tires are wearing down this way because the wheels are leaning too one side too much. Misalignment of your wheels and tires can lead to issues with your suspension, steering, and overall safety, in addition to the tire wear. To remedy this particular situation, you will need to visit a tire shop to have your vehicle inspected for potential alignment issues.

Center Tire Wear

If you notice that the very centers of your tires are wearing down quicker than the outer edges of your tires, then this is likely a sign that your tires have too much pressure in them. In other words, your tires are overinflated. With the tires overinflated, the centers of the tires are touching the road more than the outer edges, causing excessive center wear. Proper tire pressure is imperative to proper tire wear.

If you are unsure what the proper tire pressure is for your tires/vehicle, there should be a sticker located in the driver’s side doorjamb. Alternatively, you can have a look at the owner’s manual. Adjust your tire pressure accordingly, which will allow you to avoid potential blowouts and reduce the risk of premature tire damage.

Perimeter Edge Tire Wear

If you notice that the outer perimeter is wearing excessively faster than the center of your tires, then this is indicative of underinflation. Ultimately, the outer edges of the tires are making more contact with the road than the center of the tires, which is why the perimeter edges of the tires wear down faster.

In addition, with underinflated tires, your suspension may end up damaged or the front end being knocked out of alignment. To remedy the situation, inflate your tires to the recommended tire pressure. You should also make a habit of checking your tire pressure on a regular basis to ensure your tires are not over- or under-inflated.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for excessive wear on the edges of just two of your tires. If you notice this type of wear, you may be experiencing improper rotation of your tires or hard cornering. Tires should undergo rotation every 6,000 to 8,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first. Proper tire rotation will help in promoting even tread wear and extending the life of your tires.

Cupping Tire Wear

If you notice dips (cupping) here and there in the tread on your tires, the problem is likely a damaged suspension. Think back and consider whether your vehicle has been bouncing up and down and taking bumps harder than usual lately. Have you recently hit a pothole or curb relatively hard?

If your vehicle has not been riding as smoothly, your suspension may have worn out or a component of the suspension system may have gotten bent, which has resulted in the cupping of your tires. Ultimately, you will need to schedule an appointment with a local service center for repair.

If your tires have uneven tread wear or need rotation, or if you have any questions regarding your tires, do not hesitate to contact us at Evans Tire & Service Centers.

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