Repair & Maintenance

Why Are My Tires Wearing Unevenly?

Stay safe on the road - check your tires

Your tires play a vital role in giving you a safe and smooth ride, helping you stop quickly and letting you steer accurately. Visually checking your tires for uneven tire wear on a regular basis will alert you to problems that could result in an accident-causing blowout.

Irregular tire wear, either across the tire tread or around the circumference of the tire, is an indication that there may a problem that needs to be fixed.

Causes of uneven tire wear:

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Bad wheel alignment

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Improper tire inflation

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Unbalanced wheels

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Bent or broken wheels


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Bad wheel alignment

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The wheels are independently attached to your car by a complex suspension system with multiple interconnected links and many adjustment points. Each adjustment must be set to the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that your tires are properly aligned. A bad alignment adjustment may result in many different patterns of irregular tire wear.

 

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Improper tire inflation

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Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can cause irregular tire wear across the width of the tire tread. If your tire shows more wear in the center of the tread than at the two sides, it has been over inflated. If the two sides of the tread are worn more than the center, the tire was under inflated.

Proper inflation according to your owner’s manual recommendations will prevent the irregular wear from continuing. The best way to avoid this problem is to check your tire pressure once a month and adjust it accordingly. As an added bonus, properly inflated tires will help maximize your gas mileage.

 

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Unbalanced wheels

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Uneven tire wear also happens when your wheel and tire assembly is not balanced. Any unbalance can cause vibration; the wheel and tire don’t rotate smoothly about the axle and may hop up and down or wobble from side-to-side as it rotates. The solution is to have a mechanic statically and dynamically balance your wheel and tire assemblies.

 

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Bent wheels or broken wheels

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Normal driving hazards, like potholes, may bend a steel wheel rim or in the case of alloy wheels, may cause a crack to form in a portion of the wheel. Either instance may cause a vibration in the tire as it rotates, resulting in irregular tire tread wear. A wheel inspection by a mechanic can tell you if this is the cause of your irregular tire wear.

Preventing uneven tire wear

The best way to prevent uneven tire wear is to check the pressure in your tires monthly, periodically have your wheels aligned and visually inspect your tires regularly.

Learn more about MOOG parts, find your auto part, or find a local car repair shop today.

The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein.

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