When the tread of a tire begins to wear down unevenly, there is a good chance that the tire will need to be replaced much sooner than it otherwise would. For this reason, it is important to understand the factors that can contribute to such uneven wear. This article will help to increase your understanding of this issue by discussing four frequent causes of uneven tire tread wear.
This is the most basic--and the most easily addressed--of all tire wear problems. You see, by failing to keep enough air in your tire, you are increasing the amount of tread flex that occurs as your tires rotate. This flexion in turn exposes more of the tire to wear--specifically the edges of the tire, which would otherwise not be in contact with the ground at all. To combat this issue, simply check your tire pressure on a regular basis, adding more air as necessary.
Worn Or Damaged Ball Joints
Ball joints act as pivot points between your car's wheels and its suspension system. Over time, given its near-constant exposure to vibration and rotation friction, a ball joint will begin to wear down. This generally results in a degree of looseness that in turn will have a negative affect on your wheels' alignment.
This poor alignment means that your wheels will not be as parallel as they should be to one another--a state of affairs that tends to subject parts of the tire to a greater amount of wear. To eliminate the play at the heart of a worn ball joint, it is generally necessary that the joint be replaced. First, however, an experienced mechanic will need to measure the amount of wear in the ball joint to determine whether this is truly the cause of the poor wheel alignment.
Worn Out Struts
The purpose of the struts on your car is to help ensure that the wheels remain in direct contact with the road, despite whatever dips, potholes, and bumps your car may encounter. Yet as a car ages, its struts become worn out, such that they are no longer able to provide consistent contact in all circumstances. Instead, the wheels tend to bounce around when passing over uneven ground.
This kind of up and down play greatly increases the amount of tread wear. Specifically, it tends to result in a cupped pattern of wear, since the center of the tires will suffer the most from the jolting ride. Be sure to consult a mechanic, like Lamb's Automotive Repair with Care, if you suspect your struts have become worn. Having them repaired or replaced may ensure both a smoother ride and longer lived tires.