Everyone knows that tires wear down while you’re driving. They go from having deep grooves and methodical, purposeful designs to looking and feeling smooth and gray. While many people know that the design of the tire pattern is important and good for different types of driving, many people may not realize that the patterns your tire develops while being worn down can be just as important.
These wear patterns not only tell you the obvious, like how close you are to needing new tires, but can also give you some insight into maintenance that may need to be done to your vehicle.
If you notice that your tires are only wearing in the center and the sides are staying relatively unscathed it may be an indication that your tires are over-inflated. When your tires have more air in them than they should there is a significant amount of outward pressure that the weight of the vehicle isn’t pressing the tire to the road as much as it should. This, because of the reduced contact with the road, can mean that your ride isn’t going to be as steady, especially on wet or slick roads. Always make sure to only fill tires to the specifications of the vehicle manufacturer, not the number on the side of the tire.
When the edges of the tire are more worn than the center is then it’s likely your tires are under-inflated and need to be filled up to your vehicle’s manufacturer specifications. With under-inflated tires your rim will press the edge of the tire down on the edges more during turning, causing a significant amount of force, and wear, on the edges. The problems surrounding under-inflated tires are significant, reducing handling during steering, damaging the rim, and reducing gas mileage.
If you see that patches of your tire are worn while others aren’t, this likely means that your tires are out of balance. Frequently tires and wheels cause different weight distribution in different areas of the wheel as a whole. This can be alleviated by each wheel getting a proper balance and being fitted with small weights to make sure there is even pressure throughout each rotation of the tire. Your tire is prone to a bouncing motion when not in balance, causing portions of your tire to press hard against the road while others get significantly less pressure. This increases a chance for blowouts, decreases handling, and causes a rougher ride.
If only the inside or outside of your tire is worn it can mean many things but it usually means that your vehicle is out of alignment. When a vehicle is out of alignment then it is likely to pull to one side, shake, or fail to return to driving straight after a turn. Since bad alignment usually is localized toward one side of the car, it will put uneven pressure on the tires and cause significant wear. That needs to be checked immediately before your steering gets worse.
If you’re seeing a lot of diagonal dents in your tires then bring it into a mechanic quickly because there are several possibilities for what is wrong with your car. It could be unbalanced tires, a faulty tire, or even shot suspension that could be causing it. With all of these possible problems there is a risk of blowouts and an uncontrollable car.
If you’re concerned about your tire wear you should visit your favorite tire specialists: Golden Triangle Auto Care. We’re located on the corner of 11th Avenue and Speer Boulevard.