Tyre wear patterns and causes

Tyre wear patterns and causes

Excessive or uneven tyre wear is a problem that most drivers are familiar with. It comes with a long list of possible causes, including improper alignment, inflation issues and a worn-out suspension system. Checking tyre wear patterns can help you get to the root of this pesky problem and find out how to stop it from happening again. Don’t know where to start? Fear not, we’re here to help.

For more information on tyre maintenance, check out the latest articles on our blog. Recommended article: How to change a tyre yourself

Types and causes of tyre wear

Types and causes of tyre wear

Toe wear

This refers to when the inner or outer side of the tread blocks is wearing quicker than the other. The usual culprit is poor alignment. It is advisable to get the wheels realigned to prevent uneven wear. 

Camber wear

This type is fairly easy to spot. As you can see from the image, this is when the inner or outer edge of the tyre is much lower or higher than the opposite side. This is also a symptom of improper alignment.

Centre wear

This is when the tread at the centre of the tyre is worn down excessively. It is a common sign of overinflated tyres. When the pressure is too high, the contact patch of the tread can shrink, leaving the centre of the tyre to carry all the load. You can usually find the correct tyre pressure in the owner’s manual or on a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb.

Edge wear

Underinflation is the most common cause of edge wear as it causes the contact patch to increase and as a result, the tyre edges carry most of the load.

Patch wear

You may find that the wear pattern is patchy or concentrated in certain spots. This often means that the tyre is out of balance. 

Cup wear

You may see diagonal scallops on the tread. This should be taken seriously as it typically indicates that the suspension is worn, bent or damaged. You should get it repaired by a mechanic as soon as possible.


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