Understanding Tire Wear Patterns
ICD - Understanding Tire Wear Patterns
The tires will eventually wear down as you drive your vehicle more. However, not all tires will wear the same. In some cases, the way a tire wears down can tell you about your car and let you know that you have certain issues that may need to be addressed. If you look at the tires on your vehicle, see if you have any of these wear patterns and check with your mechanic if you need some work done.
This wear pattern will be primarily in the centre of the tire, and there will be hardly any wear on the outer part of the tire. The tires are overinflated, and the centre of the tire carries all the vehicle's load as you drive.
When a tire is underinflated, the majority of the wear on it will show on the tire's edges as opposed to in the centre. When a tire is not inflated enough, the contact patch will grow and therefore, the weight load is carried by the outer parts of the tire.
When there is a cupped or scalloped wear pattern on the surface of the tire, it could mean that there are loose, worn or bent suspension parts on your vehicle. Alternatively, if your vehicle has worn shock absorbers or the tires are unbalanced, you may also see a scalloped wear pattern.
The most common issues to cause this wear pattern are shocks or struts – sometimes both.
Outer Edge Wear
On most modern vehicles, outer edge wear on tires is rare, but it can be caused by positive camber, caster and toe lead. You can check the thrust and setback if you see this outer edge wear happening.
When this does happen, it's often a result of aggressive cornering and not an actual issue with the vehicle.
Inner Edge Wear
This issue is the most common problem with tire wear that mechanics and technicians see.
There are three common parts that cause inner wear issues on the tires: bushings, springs, and loads.
Bushings - On some vehicles, there are hydraulic bushings which can leak when they start to fail. This failure will cause extra movement, and that extra movement causes the wheel to toe out. For other vehicles that don't have hydraulic bushings, changes in temperature and extreme temperatures can destroy rubber bushings and therefore change the alignment angles.
Springs - A vehicle has been tuned to allow for a specific ride height and maximize the vehicle's handling. Most of the time, the suspension will toe-out when the rear suspension is compressed, which can cause extra wear to the inside edge of the tire. Even though springs are made of metal, they can still wear down over time and may need to be replaced if there is a significant wearing of the inside edge of the tire.
Loads - Changes in loads, particularly on vehicles with independent rear suspension, can cause the camber to be toed out. When this happens, the front tires may experience extra wear to the outside edge and then additional wear to the inside of the rear tires.
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Knowing what certain tire wear patterns mean can help you keep your vehicle in good repair. It's also important to have the right insurance. For an auto insurance quote, visit our website to receive a quote today.