Tyres wearing unevenly, cause or symptom?


Regardless of whether you’re putting a set of budget tyres on your car or going for an ultra performance premium tyre, it pays to get them balanced as well as a wheel alignment in order to get the most out of them. Let’s take a look at a few things to look out with uneven tyre wear that even someone with no mechanical knowledge can do.

How do I measure my tyre tread?

Measuring tyre tread depth can be done in a few ways.

  • Use a cheap tyre gauge bought from any automotive store
  • Use a 20c coin! If the tread doesn’t reach the platypus bill, you have less than 3mm of tread left.
  • Visually inspecting the tyre tread to locate the tyre wear markers, this won’t give you an exact measurement but will give you a rough idea of how much tread you have left.

Tyres don’t always wear evenly, which is the whole point of this article. Be sure to measure the tread at least 3 times across the surface, side to side.

The minimum legal tread allowed to still be considered roadworthy in Australia is 1.5mm.

Even though you may still have a legal amount of tyre tread left, be mindful that if you have less than 2-3mm of tread, your tyres will have difficulty moving enough water out of the way during wet or rainy conditions, resulting in increased risk of aquaplaning.

Tyres not wearing evenly?

Basically, it’s normal for tyres to wear unevenly back to front or inside/outside to some extent. That’s why we always recommend getting your tyres rotated at regular intervals. However, if the wear is severe, there might be more serious issues at play.

There are different types of tyre wear to look out for which can give you lots of information about your tyres, the condition of your car, as well as your driving habits.

Examples of tyre wear caused by different factors
  • Under inflated tyres will wear more on the shoulders of the tread, leaving the tread on the inner of the tyre
  • Over inflated tyres will wear the center of the tyre and leave the shoulders more or less untouched.
  • Excessive camber will wear along one side of the tyre that evenly tapers off towards the other side of the tread surface.
  • Toe wear will excessively wear out one shoulder of the tyre and have a much sharper transition to the rest of the tread area.
  • Cupped wear longitudinally along the tyre is a sign of worn out suspension components. Components that cause this issue can be ball joints, suspension bushings or springs/shock absorbers.
  • Patchy and inconsistent wear is often the result of mistreatment of the tyre. Imagine a caravan being left parked for 6-8 months and developing flat spots.

Of course there may be times when your tyre wear is a combination of two or more of these symptoms, camber wear and toe wear are frequently found together, especially when a vehicle has been modified or lowered without an alignment.

What’s the best way to look after my tyres?

The simplest and easiest way to look after your tyres is to ensure that they have the correct air pressure in them. Maintaining correct air pressure is the easiest way to avoid the two most common types of tyre wear.

Maintaining correct tyre pressure is easy, follow the instructions on your vehicle placard or if your vehicle is loaded or modified, seek advice from us at Grease Monkey Autowerx.

Car on lift being prepared for a wheel alignment

It’s also important to make sure that your wheels are rotated on schedule. A tyre rotation is when the wheels are taken off the vehicle and put onto another corner. Regardless of your vehicle, front and rear tyres will wear differently and at differing rates. A wheel rotation aims to let all the wheels spend equal time on all corners of the way to ensure they all wear evenly.

If the previous tips are adhered to and you find that your vehicle's alignment needs any attention it will be easier to see the tyre wear.

A vehicle alignment should be performed whenever you’re scheduled for a tyre rotation. It may well be worth considering one if you ever hit a significant pothole or curb. It pays to remember that a wheel alignment is cheap compared to replacing prematurely worn tyres.

Contact us!

If you’re in Moorabbin, Cheltenham, Clayton or Malvern East and need new tyres, a wheel alignment, tyre and wheel rotation, or a suspension issue resolved, come visit us at Grease Monkey Autowerx. Booking in for a quick wheel alignment is easy and we have experienced and qualified mechanics to provide you with an excellent and comprehensive service.

Come into our shop at 28/684-700 Frankston - Dandenong Rd, Carrum Downs VIC 3201 or call us on 03 7037 6211 for a professional and trusted experience.

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