What Causes Uneven Tire Wear?

Tires are an extremely important component of your car, and it’s a good idea to check them periodically to see how they’re faring. Regardless of the season, the effects of winter may linger in your tires: Snow, salt, cold or fluctuating temperatures, and the winter potholes that often afflict roadway, can all cause wear and tear. In fact, your car’s tires often have a story to tell, and if you want to determine how well the tires are doing, then you need to be able to understand what the tire wear patterns mean. By closely examining the tires, you may be able to determine if the tire is wearing properly or if replacement should be considered. Here are five common tire wear patterns you need to be aware of:

What Can Cause Excessive Inner or Outer Wear?

Excessive wear on the inner or outer edge of the tire, known as “toe wear” or, in more extreme cases, as “camber wear,” suggests something may be wrong with the wheel alignment, according to Bridgestone. To help fix the problem, you’ll likely need to make an appointment with a mechanic.

What Can Cause Center Wear?

If the center of the tire is quicker to wear than the edges, then the tire is likely overinflated. Find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle by looking at the sticker typically found in the doorjamb on the driver side or in the owner’s manual, according to Edmunds. Adjust the tire pressure accordingly for a smooth, safe ride.

What Can Cause Edge Wear?

If the outer edges of the tire wears faster than the center, the tire is likely underinflated, says Popular Mechanics. Follow the tire pressure recommendation on the side of the tire and add air to the tire as needed.

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