Tire Wear Problems for a Vehicle
- Too much or too little tire pressure can cause tire wear problems. Under-inflated, low-pressure tires exhibit wear on both shoulders while the tread in the center remains raised. Over-inflated tires with an excess of pressure exhibit the opposite symptoms, featuring a worn groove in the center while the treads on the shoulder remain intact. On the road, over-inflated tires are prone to blowouts. Both under- and over-inflated tires lead to faster wear; tires with the proper amount of air pressure still wear over time, but they do so evenly and slowly.
- Misalignment of the wheel causes tires to wear on just one edge. Camber wear occurs when the inner or outer edge of the tire deteriorates faster than the rest of the tire. Typically, inward-leaning wheels cause the inside tire tread to wear. In some cases, outward-leaning wheels cause wear on the outer edge of the tire, although this is rare. An excessive load on one tire, worn-out springs, old ball joints or faulty control arm bushings also can cause wear. Tread with one round edge and one soft edge indicates a feathered tire, which also occurs as a result of misaligned wheels.
- Proper alignment and conservative driving are key to keeping tires in tip-top condition. If problems persist after alignment, switching to tires with a higher treadwear rating may help prevent excessive wear. Likewise, proper air pressure, ensured by an operational air pressure gauge, keeps tires from wearing prematurely or irregularly. Rotating tires every 5,000 miles helps even out the distribution of wear, while avoiding construction sites, rough roads, potholes and overloading helps prevent general wear.
- According to tire manufacturers at Dunlop, tires should be taken out of service once their tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch. Wear bars indicate tread levels – once the bar is even with the tread, the tires need replacement. Alternatively, treads that don't reach past the top of George Washington's head when a quarter is stuck between the grooves are worn out and need replacement.