It is easier to check your tires for wear if you know exactly what to look for. For this reason, it is important that you get familiar with tire tread wear patterns. Looking at the tire tread wear patterns will enable you to pin down the cause and identify the proper solution. Here are the most common tire tread wear patterns.
- Under-inflation. When your tire is under-inflated, you will notice that the tire tread is worn out on both sides. Because it comes into contact with the ground more than necessary, an under-inflated tire wears out more quickly and decreases fuel economy. It can also cause overheating. To resolve under-inflation, fill more air into the tire until it reaches the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch).
- Over-inflation. An over-inflated tire wears out at the center. It can be equally dangerous because it makes the car harder to handle, makes a hard drive, is prone to blowout, and also wears out more easily. It is, therefore, necessary to release air from the over-inflated tire until it matches the recommended PSI. To do this, slowly let out bursts of air. Do not release a big amount of air at once because you may hit below your target PSI and therefore need to refill your tire with air.
- Poor alignment. A poorly aligned tire is quite easy to detect. It wears on either side of the tire, squeals and makes other noises, vibrates at a high speed, and makes a saw-tooth-like pattern on the tire. Front tires that have more wear signs than rear tires are also an indication of misaligned wheels. Should you notice any of these, have your wheels properly aligned by a competent mechanic. In the case of uneven wear on front wheels, you can regularly rotate your front wheels to the rear and vice versa. Make sure to comply with the rotation directions specified in the owner’s manual.
- Air leaks. If you notice your tires are deflating even after filling them with air, you may need to check them for leaks. It’s either your rims do not fit properly or your tires have malfunctioning valves. Immediately have your tires checked by an expert mechanic. Once the source of leaks is determined, the mechanic can easily fix it.
- Wheel imbalance. Bald spots, tears, and uneven wear signs are an indication of wheel imbalance. As soon as you notice these signs, promptly send your vehicle to an auto mechanic and have your wheels balanced.
- Outer tread wear. Tire tread wear at the outside parts of the front tires means you are rounding the corners too fast. You need to slow down to avoid this.
Get familiar with these tire tread wear patterns and causes. Remember that having faulty tires is one of the easiest ways to invite vehicular accidents. Therefore, you need to regularly check your tires. You can do this at least every month. Prior to a long trip, you may also need to check your tire tread for wear.