All tires eventually wear out and need replacement. The rate of wear should be the same for all tires on the same vehicle. However, certain issues cause uneven wear, which, in turn, causes problems as well. Learn more about uneven tire wear and how to achieve even wear for your car below.
Dangers of Uneven Tire Wear
Uneven tire wear is not a cosmetic problem — it also creates real problems for your car, and these issues can be serious.
Tire wear determines the grip each tire surface has on the road. The grip determines how fast or easy the tires can stop if you step on the brake. With uneven tire wear, some tires will have more grip than others. The unbalanced grip means some tires will stop faster than the others when you brake. The problem can cause the car to slide or increase its braking distance.
Frequent Tire Replacement
Uneven tire wear means some of the tires wear out faster than the others. The accelerated wear means you have to replace the affected tires prematurely. The tires with accelerated wears also face a higher risk of damage than the other tires.
Lastly, evenly worn tires provide more drive comfort than unevenly worn tires. Uneven wear changes the contact between the tires and the ground. The result is wheel vibrations and increased road noise, both of which trigger driving discomfort.
Tips for Even Tire Wear
Uneven wear arises when tire surfaces experience varying contacts with the road surface. Below are some practical tips to prevent uneven tire wear.
The design and weight distribution of a vehicle mean tires on the front axle wear different from tires on the rear axle. The difference is minor but adds up and becomes a problem after extended driving. Vehicle manufacturers call for regular tire rotation to deal with this problem. You must rotate the tires in the right order to prevent uneven wear.
Car alignment refers to the configuration or adjustment of a car’s suspension components. A car might lose its alignment if:
- The car hits a pothole
- You modify the car’s height and don’t get it right
- Wear and tear affect the suspension components
- You regularly overload the car
These are common causes for misalignment but not a comprehensive list. You should suspect misalignment if:
- The car drifts to one side
- The car’s road noise increases
- The steering wheel vibrates
- The steering wheel doesn’t regain its position easily after cornering
If your car is misaligned, the tires will wear unevenly. Take your car in for alignment the moment you notice such signs.
Tire pressure determines how much contact the tire has with the road surface. Both under-inflation and over-inflation interfere with this contact and can trigger uneven wear.
If you overinflate a tire, it bulges out and reduces the surface in contact with the road. The center of the tire then wears out faster than the other areas. If you underinflate a tire, the center pushes in and doesn’t get enough contact with the ground. Check the tires regularly and ensure the pressure is up to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
You also need to balance the tires to prevent uneven wear. Tire balance refers to the weight distribution of the tire-wheel combination. The imbalance interferes with even rotation of the tires, which accelerates the wear on some sections. Tire or wheel deformities are common causes of the imbalance. Balance the tires regularly to prevent uneven wear.
Uneven tire wear affects the comfort, ownership cost, and safety of your car. Take good care of your tires, and they will serve you well. Evans Tire & Service Centers stocks a wide variety of tires and tire accessories. Contact us for all your tire-related issues, and we will be glad to help you.