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Your Quick Guide to Uneven Tyre Wear

Tyres - 16 July 2020

A vehicle’s tyres have a whole host of important functions that we take for granted. They help to distribute your car’s weight evenly, and assists with acceleration, braking, and cornering. You should always adhere to the manufacturer’s specific inflation pressures as they are essential for optimal performance, handling, ride comfort, as well as tyre life. Failing to do so puts tyres under stress and not allow them to do their job as well as possible.

A row of worn out tyres with uneven tread patterns

Common causes and prevention of uneven tyre spots

Unusual tyre tread wear patterns like flat spots and extreme wear on one side is a safety risk. These can indicate a failed front end suspension or weight overload – but the most two common causes of early and irregular tyre wear are improper inflation pressure and incorrect wheel alignment. Uneven tyre wear is not something that can be fixed, but should rather be prevented.

Inflation

To prevent uneven tyre wear:

  • Know the correct pressure for all four tyres, as inflation recommendations for front and back can differ. This can be found on the label along the driver’s side door jamb or in your manual.
  • Regularly check the pressure of all tyres including the spare. Once a month is a good average.

Wheel alignment

Misalignment negatively affects steering, suspension, and ultimately your safety. Proper wheel alignment is an adjustment of the angles of the tyres and their contact with the road, and not the tyres or wheels themselves. To check your wheel alignment:

  • Examine your tyre – if the inner or outer edge is more worn than the rest of the tyre’s tread, it’s likely misaligned.

The dangers of uneven tyre wear

We know that smooth tyres are a safety hazard because there is less road grip, even in normal conditions. Wet and oil-slicked surfaces are more susceptible to hydroplaning or skidding. But how dangerous is it to drive on uneven tread patterns?

Besides decreasing the lifespan of the tyre, uneven wear affects your car’s handling capability, reduces steering response, decreases fuel economy, compromises braking and traction, increases the risk of tyre leaks or bursts, and overall puts your safety at risk. 

Disclaimer: This information is for educational or informational purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Supa Quick.

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