4 main types of abnormal tyre wear
Your tyre may experience uneven wear for a variety of reasons. In general, it comes from mechanical problems (alignment/tracking, balancing, suspension, transmission) or an incorrect tyre pressure (over- or under-inflated tyres), or even driving too fast which can accentuate wear.
Here are the main types of abnormal wear you should be aware of:
Cupping is an uneven wear pattern that is characterised by different levels of wear between different tread blocks. If your tyres start to make more and more noise when you’re driving, then cupping wear might be the culprit.
In general, this type of wear occurs on both front tyres at the same time and sometimes on the rear ones. It may be due to incorrect wheel balancing, shock absorbers in poor condition, or the specific design of your vehicle’s chassis. If you detect this type of wear, you should go to see a tyre specialist immediately.
This type of wear is more pronounced on one side of the tyre: the closer to the outside of the tyre you get, the more the rubber is worn down.
In general, this wear problem affects two tyres on the same axle at the same time. It comes from abnormal rubbing on the road due to an alignment fault and can also be accentuated by a fast, sporty driving style. Tyres with this type of wear lose their performance, particularly in terms of grip.
Tyre wear in the centre
When tyres wear more in the centre of the tread than on the sides, this is usually related to a tyre pressure problem. You have probably driven with over-inflated tyres for a long period. Don’t forget to check and adjust your tyre pressures once a month. If your tyres are over-inflated, they may have a negative impact on both performance and safety.
Tyre shoulder wear
Just as uneven wear in the centre of the tyre is a sign of over-inflation, tyre wear focused on the edges of the tyre often means there is an under-inflation problem. You have probably driven too long with under-inflated tyres. Again, don’t forget to check your tyre pressure once a month. Under-inflated tyres have a shorter lifespan and a higher rolling resistance, meaning you will consume excess fuel. Also, they don’t grip as well in wet conditions.