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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. 

What causes uneven tire wear?

Uneven tire wear can be caused by:

    Bad wheel alignment

    Improper tire inflation

    Unbalanced wheels

    Bent or broken wheels


Bad wheel alignment


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.

Improper tire inflation


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 the manufacturer recommendations will prevent the irregular wear from continuing. You can find the tire pressure recommendations in the owner’s manual or on the label on the driver’s side door jamb. The best way to avoid uneven wear 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.

Unbalanced wheels


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 technician statically and dynamically balance your wheel and tire assemblies. 

Bent or broken wheels


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 technician 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 quality steering and suspension parts, find your car part, or find where to buy your auto part 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. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.

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