Tire Wear Problems: Causes and Symptoms

Tread wear patterns indicate over or under inflation and alignment issues. Below are the causes and symptoms of tire wear problems.

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Low Pressure

Tires that are under-inflated will show more wear on both shoulders, as under-inflated tires typically lift in the center of the tread.

Excess Pressure

Over-inflated tires will have more wear in the center of the tire, as over-inflated tires are typically rounder and the outer ends of the tires do not touch the road.

Correct tire pressure will allow wear to occur evenly over the entire tire.


Uneven tire wear – wear on one edge or the other – is usually caused by a wheel alignment problem, not incorrect tire pressure.

Camber Wear

One side wear, when an inner or outer rib wears quicker than the rest of the tire, is indicative of wheel misalignment. It could be a simple wheel alignment, or it could be due to sagging springs, worn ball joints, or worn control arm bushings.

When getting your car aligned, it’s important to have the car loaded as it is normally driven, especially with independent rear suspension cars.


When the edge of each tread rib has a slightly rounded edge on one side and a sharp edge on the other, feathering is occurring. Feathering is usually caused by incorrect toe-in setting. Having it set correctly will solve this issue.

If you notice unusual wear on your tires and are unsure of the causes, Discount Tire Centers can help. For all your tire-related questions or to  buy tires in Whittier or anywhere in the southern California, call Discount Tire Centers at (800) 808-4737.

Photo courtesy of Ed Callow.



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