Why do my tyres wear unevenly?

Tyres that have uneven wear patterns can cause vibration or noise when you’re driving, and may decrease the safety performance of your car in wet or slippery conditions.

There are a number of reasons for uneven wear, many of which can be avoided, so let’s take a look at what causes tyres to develop uneven wear.

1. Tyres aren’t correctly inflated
When tyres are under or over inflated, they can wear out more quickly, and as they do, can exhibit signs of uneven wear. Those tyre pressure numbers provided in your car manual are designed to provide a comfortable ride, assured handling and economical fuel usage. But they also ensure that the car’s load is optimally distributed, and that cornering, braking and acceleration forces can be absorbed by the tyre’s tread.
When the tyre is under or over inflated, the contact between the tread and the road is not going to give best performance in all these different contexts. Parts of the tread will be subject to more abrasion and will wear away more quickly. When a tyre is frequently over inflated, it will be subject to more wear in the centre. Under inflation will give more wear on the outer parts of the tyre.
2. Misaligned tyres
To get tyres to wear evenly, the suspension and steering need to be correctly adjusted so that they move the wheels in alignment. Manufacturers use terms such as camber, caster and toe to describe the way that these system parts work together, to keep the tyres aligned. Suffice to say, that if you have your tyres fitted by a service station that doesn’t understand how to adjust the suspension and steering in order to align the tyres properly you will find that the new tyres wear unevenly and need replacing more quickly. So, choose a garage with a lot of expertise and a good local reputation.
3. Worn suspension components
When a wheel leans too much to the outside, or the inside, it puts excess load on one side of the tyre. The lean comes from the front suspension, and it can sometimes be fixed simply by aligning the wheels. However, the lean can also be caused by problems such as loosened springs, ball joints that are worn, and so on. This shouldn’t be ignored!


How to prevent uneven tyre wear

  • Check and correct the tyre pressures at least monthly, more often if you drive a lot for work
  • Check the tyre pressure, including the spare, before setting out on a longer-than-usual trip
  • Check the wear pattern on the tyre, to see if there are areas that have greater wear
If you’re worried about the wear pattern, go to a trusted local garage, such as Protyre, where they have a lot of expertise, and ask them to check the alignment. They’ll have mechanics who can take one look at a tyre and tell you exactly what is causing the uneven wear problem.

Not sure where your local Protyre garage is?

Find your local Protyre using our Garage locator. Click the button below and enter your postcode to the search bar. You can adjust your search parameters by mileage uisng the drop-down menu.

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About the author

David Sholicar

David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and ...

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