What Causes Tires to Wear Unevenly?

Tires Stacked Up

Your tires are one of your vehicle’s most important safety features, so it stands to reason that you’ll need to keep a close eye on your tire tread wear. Understanding what causes tires to wear unevenly can help you catch major issues before they turn into very expensive trips to the service center. Whether you’ve noticed something off or you just want to be prepared, our guide to the reasons for uneven tire wear can help you identify the issue today.

Why Tire Wear Matters

First things first: only tires with even wear are going to ensure that your vehicle performs as its makers intended. Whether you’re dealing with inclement weather or you’re hauling a heavy load down the highways near Northern Chicago, uneven tire wear causes your vehicle to lose its grip on the road more easily. As a result, your vehicle will be less safe, less fuel efficient, and less responsive to your steering inputs. Although all tires will wear down eventually, keeping your treads as even as possible will help to ensure that you experience less of an impact from declining tread depth.

Five Common Reasons for Uneven Tire Wear

Improper inflation pressure and misalignment are relatively easy to fix, but they’re not the only issues that can lead to noticeably uneven tire wear. Here, we’ve highlighted a few of the most common problems, so you can get the fix you need at our service center:

  1. Cupping wear, or tire scalloping, looks like spots of especially low tire tread depth, placed near spots where the tread depth is higher. This is especially common with trailer tires, which have less developed suspension systems and tend to bounce around on the roads near Milwaukee and Racine. It may also indicate a suspension issue.
  2. Center wear is caused by having too much air in your tires. If your treads are more worn down in the middle then they are on the edge of the tire, it’s likely that you’ve overfilled your tires. Check the pressure with a handheld gauge and make adjustments as needed. When refilling your tires, work slowly and check the pressure as you go! Excess center tire wear causes your tires to wear down much more quickly than normal, so resolve this issue as soon as possible.
  3. Side wear, a condition where the outside of your tires wear down faster than the center, is usually caused by low tire pressure. If your pressure is adequate, there may be a problem with your steering system.
  4. Excess side wear on one side of the tire is generally an indicator of misalignment. If alignment doesn’t solve the issue, your suspension may not be placing all weight where it should be.
  5. A flat spot towards the center of your tire may be the result of regular emergency (high-force) braking. Prevent this type of wear by driving more slowly and pressing the brakes down gently.

If you think you may be in need of new tires, find out what tire numbers mean and contact our parts department to find appropriately-sized tires for your vehicle.

Get Commercial Vehicle Service at Lynch Truck Center

Need someone to take a look at your tires? Our service team has the know-how to diagnose any and all uneven tire wear causes, and we have the skills to catch issues that tend to plague commercial vehicles. Schedule your appointment online, today.

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