Unusual and abnormal wear on the treading of your tires is never a good thing. It suggests that your wheels are not making proper contact with the road, and it is also a sign that your tires will have a shorter lifespan and are likely to blow out. Anytime you notice abnormal wear on the treading of your tires, you should immediately schedule an inspection with a mechanic. Feathering occurs when the tire is subject to angled wear and tear, and as such, one side of the tread will be sharp, and the other side will be rounded.
How this system works:
Tires are designed to be at a certain angle with regards to the road. Both the vertical and the horizontal angles are necessary for optimal wear and tear, and for the best driving experience. When one of these angles becomes out of line (such as when the bottom of the tire sticks too far out or too far in, or the front of the tire points too far out or too far in), the car will not drive as smoothly, the tires will not make even, consistent contact with the road, and abnormal wear and tear will occur.
Common reasons for this to happen:
There are two primary causes for feathering of tires:
Poorly aligned wheels: If your wheels are not aligned properly, the tires will wear in abnormal and harmful ways. A proper alignment sets the wheels on both a vertical and horizontal axis. When the front of the wheels are pointed too far in (called “toe-in”), feathering on the tread of the tires will occur quickly. Misalignment can be naturally occurring, as the result of an accumulation of miles. It can also be the result of a tire change or tire rotation in which the mechanic did not do a great job.
Faulty suspension: Feathering on the tires is always the cause of a toe-in misalignment. However, this misalignment is often due to a larger problem with the suspension. The suspension is what connects the body of the car to the wheels, and is responsible for the vehicle running smoothly. The shock absorbers, struts, and springs all help absorb the impact of the road, so that the vehicle does not have too much stress on the wheels, while the control arms and ball joints help the wheels turn and work in cohesion. If any of these components fails, large amounts of stress will fall on the wheels, which can force them into a misalignment.
What to expect:
A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to determine the cause of the feathering of your tires, and will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.
How it's done:
A mechanic will give your suspension system a thorough inspection, to determine whether the misalignment is the result of a larger issue within the vehicle. If they find a problem with the shock absorbers, struts, springs, control arms, or ball joints, then they will replace the broken component before you get your wheels aligned.
How important is this service?
Tires are one of the most vital components of your vehicle. Abnormal wear and tear needs to be handled immediately, because it greatly decreases the lifespan of your tires, and puts you at greater risk for having your tires pop. It also decreases your control of the vehicle. However, when you have feathering in your tire, you should always schedule an inspection, and not just have the tire replaced and the wheels aligned. A feathered tire often indicates a more serious problem with the suspension, and that should not be ignored.