Signs of Uneven Tire Wear

June 1st, 2016

Uneven or Irregular Tire Wear

You've probably heard about uneven or irregular tire wear and think that it's just part of the regular life of your tire. The fact is normal tire wear will appear even across the tread of your tire (remember to go by the quarter rule and not the penny rule). If you notice any uneven or irregular tire wear, you should visit your local Tire Source store, because you are more prone to challenging driving conditions, like the inability for your tires to grip correctly (especially in icy, snowy or wet conditions), compromised tire structure, and inconvenient break downs or flat tires.
Causes of Uneven or Irregular Wear
How is uneven wear caused? Usually, it's contributed to one of the following reasons: 
  • Improper tire inflation
  • Out of alignment condition
  • Out of balance condition
  • Worn suspension
  • Possible internal structure damage
  • Worn shocks and brakes
It is possible, however, that there are other causes, like braking hard in an emergency or using incorrectly sized tires.
Types of Uneven or Irregular Wear
It's not too difficult to determine visually or even by touch if your tire is wearing unevenly. Here are some of the most common types of wear and their causes.
Center Wear
Center wear will appear as a worn or smooth strip in the middle of the tire and is most often caused by over inflation or mounting over-sized tires on narrow, undersized rims.
Outer Edge Wear
Outer edge wear will appear as worn or smooth edges and is most commonly caused by an out of alignment condition, low tire pressure, an overloading of the vehicle, the use of undersized tires, or high speed cornering.
Brake Skid or Flat Wear
Brake skid or flat wear will appear as isolated "bald spots" on your tire. This type of wear generally happens as a result of the brakes locking up due to brake malfunction, the driver aggressively applying the brakes in an emergency situation, or even worn shocks or struts. Flat spotting can also occur if the tire sat in oil, fuel or chemicals, has severely worn suspension, or if the belts of the tire have shifted internally.
Other types of wear include high-speed feathering, camber or toe wear, and cupped wear. Any of our great Tire Source experts will help you sort out which kind of wear you have, and begin to help you address these challenges.
Preventing Uneven or Irregular Wear
First, keep an eye on your tires. Regularly check for signs of uneven wear by visually checking your tires, or even running a hand over the surface (just make sure your vehicle is off and the parking brake is applied!).
Next, be sure to check your tire pressures once a month to make sure your tires are inflated to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation. (Quick tip: check the inside of the passenger door or glove box, where this number is usually printed.)
Lastly, visit your local Tire Source for a tire rotation every 6,000 miles.And of course, with each of these steps, remember, when you purchase and install your tires with us, we happily provide a FREE alignment check, free balance and rotation every 6000 miles, as well as pressure check and inflation service.
Contact us or visit one of our stores in Medina, Montrose, Belden Village, North Canton or Canton so we can keep your tires performing in top condition!