All cars rely on four well-inflated tires to provide drivers and those riding in the vehicle with a smooth and hopefully uneventful drive. Healthy tires are a big part of making sure that the drive is enjoyable, and it is the only part of the vehicle that’s in contact with the road, which is why it is directly responsible for how the vehicle maneuver on the road. Tires with minimal tread or uneven wear will not affect the car’s driving dynamics but are a safety hazard for yourself and fellow drivers.
Apart from tires being essential for the vehicle’s handling, they are also a big part of the suspension system. Many car owners don’t realize that every tire is responsible for bearing 1/4th of the vehicle’s weight. On large SUVs, each tire is under 1500 pounds of load. That’s another reason why your tires should be inspected during each service period to ensure that they are road-worthy.
Many of the latest vehicles come equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that constantly monitors the tire pressure in all tires. When the light comes on, it is an indicator of low tire pressure. The light should be resolved ASAP by adding air, or it could cause the outer tire edge to wear.
Types of Tread and Tire Wear
Over-inflated Tire Wear –Tires more worn out in the center of the tread pattern means that they were over-inflated. When the tire is over-inflated, the center of the thread makes the most contact with the road, which causes it to wear. Usually, driving with over-inflated tires means the vehicle has less road grip, the ride is bumpy, and the vehicle can slip when it’s wet.
Under-Inflated Tire Wear – Tires that have been driven with less air show signs of extreme wear across the outer edges of the tread pattern. That’s because an under-inflated tire has more contact with the road, but the load is spread to the other edges of the tire, which leads to more wear.
Tire Feathering – A feathered tire often has choppiness across the edges of each tread bar. When running your hand across the outer edge of the tire, you will feel the blocks don’t line up correctly. The feathering across the outer edge is an indicator of excessive toe-out alignment. If the feathering is on the inner edge, then it is excessive toe-in alignment.
Scalloped Tires– You can identify these by mainly running your hand across the tread pattern. If you feel that there are divots or dips in the pattern, then the tires are scalloped. Usually, this indicates a worn or broken suspension part or wheels that aren’t balanced. The shocks and struts are responsible for making sure that the tires maintain contact with the road. If the components are worn, maintaining contact with the road is challenging, leading to the tires being prone to incorrect rotation.
Outer-edge Wear – It isn’t a common type of wear on modern vehicles, but we still see it. The positive caster, camber, and toe could be the cause of the excessive wear on the outer edge. The other reason is aggressive cornering at high speeds, which can cause this type of wear since the centrifugal force pushes the vehicle’s weight on the tire’s outer edges.
Inner-edge Wear – It is the most common type of wear of the inner edges. Usually, the negative camber and toe are responsible for this type of wear. It can also indicate a problem with a suspension component. Your vehicle will need to be professionally inspected to ensure that a suspension component like the springs or bushings isn’t causing this type of wear.
Summer vs. All-Season vs. Winter Tires
Today, you can buy tires with different treads made from various compounds and of different sizes. But which tire is best for your vehicle?
All-season tires are the most common ones available, and they also offer the best value. The tires are formulated using a durable compound with tread patterns that favor all weather conditions and are made in the widest array of sizes. Since they are so widely used, they are cheaper than most others, and most high-quality brands sell them.
Summer and winter tires are best used during their respective seasons. Summer tires have minimal tread and are softer, allowing more road grip on a hot summer day. Winter tires, on the other hand, are made from more ridged compounds with much deeper patterns. Winter tires are also sold with studs that offer much greater grip when driving in the snow.
At Bay Diagnostic, we have an excellent relationship with many leading tire suppliers, which is why we have the widest selection of options. Furthermore, we can also help you choose the right tire.
Owner – Bay Diagnostic
Serving Brooklyn Since 1985
For over 35 years Bay Diagnostic has been a Brooklyn staple helping you get back on the road faster than the dealer can. A full-service automotive repair shop in Brooklyn that specializes in scheduled service, preventive maintenance and concierge service. At Bay Diagnostic, you will come to expect what the automotive repair experience should be, fast, easy and reliable. A one stop shop for your vehicle needs.