Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Why Do Tires Wear Unevenly?

Why Do Tires Wear Unevenly?

Uneven Tire Wear

Finding out you need new tires often comes as a surprise and you may wonder how it’s possible that you need them already. You don’t speed. You don’t drive like a crazy person. You don’t mash the accelerator from a stop light or slam on the brakes. So how is it possible you need new tires so soon?

That’s the thing about uneven tire wear. You may not notice it happening but the life on your tires is constantly wearing away. Premature or uneven tire wear is caused by a number of factors:

  • Loose or worn suspension components
  • Worn out or leaking steering parts
  • Uneven and incorrect tire pressure
  • Wheels out of alignment

Your uneven tire wear can be caused by one or more of these problems at any given time, many of which you may never notice at all.

Loose or worn suspension parts, such as a leaking strut, a broken coil spring, or a worn out shock can contribute to uneven tire wear.

Worn out steering components, such as a loose ball joint, worn out tie rod end, or excessive play in the rack and pinion mean that the tires aren’t held fast at the angle they should be at. That causes tire scrub, a condition where excess friction will quickly wear away tire tread.

Incorrect tire pressures will cause excessive tire wear, even if its only off by as little as 6 psi from the specified pressure. Over-inflation will cause the center of the tread to wear out faster, whereas under-inflation will cause the inner and outer shoulders to wear out quickly.

Wheel alignment plays a major role in tire wear. Like worn steering components, if a tire is at an incorrect angle, tire scrub will cause excessive tire wear noticeably quicker on the affected wheel.

How can you prevent uneven tire wear?

Routine maintenance procedures like tire pressure adjustments, four-wheel alignments, and regular comprehensive vehicle inspections can identify issues before uneven tire wear begins. Once excessive tire wear has begun, the damage can’t be reversed as part of the tread is already gone. Having the affected tires rotated to positions less susceptible to wear will assist in extending their useful life if the wear is not too extreme, as long as it doesn’t affect the driving feel. The only other correction is having the tires replaced.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...

Related questions

Q: Driving at 46 mph, SUV has resonance sound & slight vibration

Hi there. This is a common issue on this vehicle that GM has yet to fix. It is an issue with the calibrations in the computer to try and balance the power of the vehicle and the weight to get...

Q: What tire size should I use and what inflation pressure should I set them at?

Your tires provide you with traction, stability and performance on the road. Of course, they wear out over time and you’ll need to replace them eventually. It’s very important that you replace them with the right size tires, and that...

Q: on/off humming sound over 65mph

A "humming noise" while driving at speed can be caused by tires or wheel bearings. If you drive with the window open and you hear the noise outside the car, like the sound bouncing back at you from a wall,...