A Guide to Uneven Tyre Wear

an image of worn tyres

A Guide to Uneven Tyre Wear

Keeping your tyres in good condition can help with safety, handling, tyre life, and fuel economy. Understanding when there is an issue with your car or tyres can help you make the most of your tyres in these four ways, which is why it’s important to have a basic understanding of uneven tyre wear.

Here at Longbridge Tyres, we are a tyre dealer in Birmingham that helps our customers find the right replacement tyres and performance tyres for their vehicles. We use this expertise to guide you through uneven tyre wear in our latest blog post below.

Centre Wear

For tyres that are worn unevenly in the centre, the main cause for this is over-inflation. By over-inflating tyres and creating too much pressure, the centre bulges which means the contact with the road is uneven.

To rectify, you will need to check to see if the PSI is in line with the manufacturer’s recommendation for your vehicle and correct it accordingly.

Centre wear is also common with vans and other vehicles that are loaded and unloaded. There are separate pressure requirements for vehicles depending on the weight of their load, which means tyre pressure should be altered in accordance with the load weight to prevent over or under-inflated tyres when the vehicle is unloaded or loaded.

If the tread depth is below 1.6mm where it has worn the most, the tyre is now illegal and must be changed. Although, for the best performance, it’s often recommended that tyres are changed before the tread goes below 2-3mm.

One-Sided Wear

One-sided wear is characterised by tyres that are ‘leaning’. This may be on the inside or outside, although it is more common on the inside edge of newer vehicles.

Usually caused by damaged/defective suspension or wheel alignment, one-sided wear is an issue that will usually need to be rectified by a mechanic.

Again, check the tread depth of your tyre frequently in the most-worn section to ensure that it is still legal and get the issue sorted as soon as possible. If the tyre is below 1.6mm or becoming close to this, get a new tyre fitted.

Shoulder Wear (Both Outside Edges)

In some cases, tyres can wear on both the inside and outside edge at the same time – meaning these areas are more worn than the centre. This is usually caused by under-inflated tyres in which the centre ‘caves in’ because the pressure is not sufficient.

If you spot the signs of this, make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure. Again, this should account for the weight of the load of the vehicle at the time and be altered to reflect whether the vehicle is loaded or unloaded.

To make sure your vehicle is safe, check the tread depth is safe and monitor whether the tyre is deflating faster than normal. If you tyre is deflating faster than it seems like it should or the depth is below 1.6mm anywhere on the tyre, visit your local tyre dealer to get a replacement.

Ensuring Tyre Performance

While the three patterns of uneven tyre tread wear are the most common, they are not the only to look out for. You might also see a tyre that is worn in ‘spots’ or ‘cups’ which might be due to an instance of heavy breaking or wheel alignment, and tyres may also wear diagonally, which is often as a result of mechanical issues. In these cases, you should consult a mechanic.

The main goal of looking out for uneven tyre wear is to make sure your tyres are working as they should, keeping them in optimal condition, and also looking out for signs of deeper-routed issues with your car that need addressing.

Longbridge Tyres

If your vehicle needs new tyres, contact Longbridge Tyres today. We cater to a large customer base with different requirements – whether that is for cars, vans, 4x4s, and even performance vehicles.

You can contact us by calling 0121 457 7582 or filling out our simple contact form.