TIRE WEAR INDICATORS
Tire wear indicators can provide you with information as to the condition of your vehicle’s suspension components. Abnormal wear patterns are frequently caused by the need for tire maintenance, or for front end alignment. Tires should be inspected at least once per week. When you detect tire, wear take your vehicle to a Certified Technician for inspection, suspension repair or front-end alignment.
Recognizing the signs of wear can provide an early warning that can prevent a shortened tire life and/or alert you to the need for service or repair of worn suspension components. A weekly tire inspection should include a visual check for wear and checking the tire pressure in all four tires with a pocket pressure gauge. You will find the recommended tire pressure stamped on the tire. The amount can vary between brands and designs. A good rule of thumb is to maintain the correct tire pressure year-round. Extremely hot or cold weather can affect tire pressure and is especially important for weekly monitoring during temperature changes. There are several potential wear patterns indicating a variety of problems. The following are a few of the most common.
Consistently high tire air pressure will result in excessive wear at the center of the tread, due to the tire riding on the center rather than evenly across. This is often due to airing up a tire without checking the air pressure. Tire inflation pressure should always be checked with a reliable tire gauge. This wear pattern can be due to tires too wide for the rims. Always use properly sized tires for the rims or replace the rims.
Consistent under-inflation of tires results in an excess of contact with the road on the outer treads resulting in premature wear. This type of wear can potentially occur with normal tire pressure when a steering component is bent, worn or when wheel alignment is needed. Bent steering or idler arms can cause incorrect toe-in and poor handling characteristics on turns and will require the services of a certified mechanic.
Feathering occurs when the edge of the tread rib develops a slightly rounded edge on one side of the tire and a sharp edge on the other. You can typically feel the sharp edges before they are visible. The common cause of feathering is incorrect toe-in setting; Feathering can typically be corrected with wheel alignment. It can be due to worn components in the suspension, causing the wheel alignment to move as the vehicle travels.
One Side Wear
When an inner or outer side of a tire wears faster than the remainder of the tire, the wheel is leaning too far inward or outward placing an excessive load on the affected side, indicating the need for alignment. The misalignment can potentially be due to worn springs, ball joints, or control arm bushings.
Cupping appears on the edge of the tread and can be the inner or outer side of the tire. Cupping typically indicates worn or bent suspension components such as ball joints, wheel bearing, shock absorber, springs, bushings. Worn components should be replaced to correct the issue. Occasionally, wheels that are out of balance will wear tires similarly, though wheel imbalance typically causes bald spots between the outside edges and the center of the tread.
Second-rib wear is generally only found in radial tires. Wear appears where the steel belts end related to the tread. Careful attention to tire pressure and the proper rotation of the tires will minimize it. A few manufacturers consider a slight amount of second rib wear to be normal. Excessive amounts of wear can indicate that the tires are too wide for the wheels. Ensure that your wheels and tire are properly sized together.
Fifth Gear Automotive Can Help
Recognizing the signs of tire wear is the first step to getting the most out of your tires. If you notice any the above signs or just have questions about your tires or vehicle, give Fifth Gear Automotive a call to schedule your tire and suspension inspection or, click on the link below to schedule your appointment. We have the Certified Technicians and the equipment to handle all of your repairs and service related to your suspension components and wheel alignment.
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Fifth Gear Automotive
We are a family owned independent automotive repair shop; Fifth Gear Automotive has over 100 years of experience with all domestic and import makes and models, specializing in European auto repair since 2004, serving Lewisville, Highland Village, Flower Mound, Lantana, Double Oak, and the surrounding communities.