Most car tires can be driven on for up to 50,000 miles if they’re properly maintained. However, you might find that you need to replace them sooner if they wear unevenly. Uneven tire wear can affect the drivability and safety of your vehicle and is a major reason for blowouts and accidents. Here’s what to know about the primary causes of uneven wear so that you can protect your tires and stay safe on the road.
Why Are Your Car Tires Wearing Unevenly?
1. Incorrect Air Pressure
If your car tires are over- or under-inflated, they’ll wear unevenly, making handling more difficult and resulting in lower gas mileage. Typically, if the tread is worn more on the edges than in the center, the tire is under-inflated.
If the wear is more concentrated in the center of the tire, it’s over-inflated. Avoid this problem by checking the air pressure monthly and inflating the tires to the recommended pressure as listed on the sticker inside the car door.
2. Unbalanced Wheels
Over time, the wheel and tire assembly can become unbalanced. Changes in the weather, driving too fast on bumpy roads, or hitting a sidewalk, pothole, or other hazard too hard can cause the weight balance in the wheel to shift. When this happens, the wheel and tire will wobble or bounce and wear the tread unevenly.
Although you might feel a slight vibration, it can difficult to notice an unbalanced wheel. Having the tires rotated and balanced regularly can prevent this and preserve your tires.
Your vehicle’s wheels are attached to the suspension system and must be expertly aligned to remain parallel to each other and flat on the road. However, misalignment is common and can occur from driving too fast on rough roads and hitting potholes.
When the suspension isn’t aligned, you might feel the car pull in one direction instead of driving straight. The car tires will also wear unevenly, with different patterns on each tire.
Sometimes, hitting an object hard enough will cause a bent wheel in addition to misalignment. You’ll typically feel a vibration when this happens. A bent wheel can make the car undrivable, but if the damage is minimal, you may notice uneven wear on the affected tire and possibly the others.
If your car tires have worn unevenly and you need a new set, contact M & C Tire. They offer sales, installations, repairs, rotations, and alignments for drivers throughout Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Big Fork, Lakeside, and Somers, MT. Call (406) 752-9662 to make a service appointment, or visit their website to learn more about special deals and financing options.