Classic tire wear problems

TIRE GUYDo tire wear problems tell a clear story?

When a professional tire expert sees certain wear problems they almost always come to the same conclusions as to the solutions.

The way tread wears give clear indications of what needs to be corrected.  The most common wear patterns show signs of   over inflation, under inflation and alignment problems. 

As can be seen in the diagram below which simulate a cross section of tires under different conditions, driving a vehicle with an inflation pressure which is too little for the weight and load will cause a tire to be worn on both the shoulders because an under inflated tire tends to create a bowed shape on the bottom causing the center of the tread to lift up off the road surface. tire wear problems graphic from Tire Information World

Over Inflation

Too much air pressure causes a tire to balloon outward (just like blowing up a balloon) and this raises the outside edges of the tire off of the road's surface.  The result will be greater wear in the center of the tread.

An experienced tire technician can often see these wear differences simply by looking at a tire, but it can be easily measured by sampling the tread depth on the shoulders and the center of the tread at several points around the circumference of the tire.

A correctly inflated tire will be worn evenly across the entire tire.

Out of alignment

Often, but less frequently than seeing either excessive shoulder wear, or wear in the center of a tire, we see wear on just one shoulder or the other.  Usually this is caused by a problem with the wheel alignment, not tire pressure. The solution is to have the wheels aligned as soon as possible so as to stop this abnormal wear.  Ideally this kind of wear will be detected before it has become plainly visible because once it reaches the state where it is visible to the naked eye considerable loss to the tire has already occurred.

Other tire wear problems are much less frequent and more difficult to diagnose but if your are checking your tire pressure regularly and inspect your tires together with performing a rotation every 3 to 4,000 miles you will be taking important steps to enjoy a maximum life from your tires.

  This, gauge from, is one of the nicest of the new breed of easy-to-use Tire Gauges which you can find anywhere.


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