Abnormal Tyre Wear
Abnormal tyre wear results from a suspension or alignment problem, an internal tyre fault, or the result of driving on underinflated or overinflated tyres.
Catching the issue early will save you having to purchase a new set of tyres, so if you spot the signs of abnormal tyre wear, check the remedies listed below.Book an MOT »
Camber wear is where the inside or outside edge or shoulder of the tyre shows extreme wear, but the rest of the tread shows little wear. It results from the tyre leaning in or out (it should be straight up and down when rolling down the road).
Camber wear can be caused by suspension misalignment, a bent strut, a dislocated strut tower (often the result of unrepaired collision damage), a weak or broken spring, a bent spindle, or collapsed or damaged control arm bushings.
Feathered directional wear pattern
If the tread feels smooth when you run your hand across it one way but rough when you rub it in the opposite direction - you have a toe wear problem.
Toe refers to the parallel gap between the wheels as they roll down the road. If the wheels are toed in or out with respect to one another, the tread will scuff and develop a feathered wear pattern. This may be due to toe misalignment, worn tie rod ends, worn idler arms, bent steering linkage or bent steering arms.
What to do
As with camber wear, the suspension should be inspected and the alignment checked to determine what's causing the problem.
Cupped wear pattern
A cupped wear pattern on the tyres can be caused by either a tyre that is out of balance or by weak shock absorbers or struts. This type of wear occurs because the wheel bounces up and down as it rolls down the road.
What to do?
The cure here is to have the wheel balanced or replace the worn shocks or struts.
Centre of the tread more worn than the shoulders
This could be the result of over-inflation. If you're putting too much air in your tyres, they will bulge out in the centre and wear unevenly.
What to do
Refer to the recommended inflation pressures in your owner's manual and adjust your tyres accordingly.
Shoulders more worn than the centre
The tyre may not have enough air in it. Under-inflation shifts the weight carried by the tyre to the edges of the tread causing the shoulders to wear more than the centre.
What to do
As with over-inflation, refer to the recommended inflation pressure for your vehicle.