Understanding Tire Wear Patterns: Why Are My Tires Wearing Out So Fast? - Tire Dealer Sites (2022)

Understanding Tire Wear Patterns: Why Are My Tires Wearing Out So Fast? - Tire Dealer Sites (1)

In the fast-paced, busy environment that you are in, your vehicle’s tires are probably the last thing you think about. Unless you have to pull your car on the sidewalk over a blowout or flat tire, only then will you take time out of your busy schedule to attend to your tires. Eventually, you will need to replace it with a new tire which is such a bummer since it will cost you a substantial amount of money. If you are only attentive to the signs of wear, you’ll never have to deal with the unplanned expense and inconvenience.

HOW DO I SPOT TIRE WEAR PATTERNS? The life of your car’s tires is relative to the depth of the rubber covering the ring or more popularly known as the tread. Most of the signs of a deteriorating tread can often be detected by the eye as it will evident itself through the tear and wear.

The ability to determine premature wears will save spare you from frequenting tire dealers which in the end will save you tons of money. More importantly, it will save you from fatal road accidents. You can find some of the common tire wear conditions below.

Read also related articles: How to use tire pressure gauge, When should I replace my tire, Cooper CS5 Grand Touring Radial Tire Review, Hankook Kinergy review, and Nexen tires review.

FEATHERED TIRES (Outer Edge, Center and Inner Edge Tread Wear)

Understanding Tire Wear Patterns: Why Are My Tires Wearing Out So Fast? - Tire Dealer Sites (2)Tire feathering or scuffing may present itself either on the inside or outside edge of the tread. Often caused by a sort of alignment settings such as excessive positive or negative toe and caster angle, the indicators of feathered tires are tread ribs that are worn lower or smoother on one side and sharper or higher on the other.

You can also find this wear pattern in between the edges. A drastic increase in acceleration can quickly wear the in the center of the tire, a common issue with high-powered cars.

(Video) Inner tire wear causes

Apart from the visible wear, you can tell a tire is feathered if you run your fingers on the tread blocks. If the surface feels like saw teeth, it’s likely that your wheels are suffering from feathering.

The Fix: Since the main cause of tire feathering is improper alignment, you will need to bring your car to the shop to be re-set by an auto-technician. Failure to do so will set further tire damage.


Understanding Tire Wear Patterns: Why Are My Tires Wearing Out So Fast? - Tire Dealer Sites (3)Also known as the contact patch, tire flat spots are the result of the car weighing and flattening that area of your car as it touches the ground, a scenario that commonly happens when your car is a park for an extended period of time especially in a cold area. You can easily recognize the flat spot in the area where the symmetrical or directional tread pattern faded.

The Fix: Most of the time, you can simply drive away mild flat spots, possibly around 15 minutes of driving. The tires will get flexible as it gear.

Unfortunately, there are cases when the spots become permanent and may need immediate replacement or tire shaving, both of which are services offered in many dedicated shops. It is important to attend to flat spot because they are dangerous and can balance problems, tire wobbles and shimmy vibration that makes it difficult to steer the car.


Similar to the flat spot, there is an uneven flat pattern in a tire cupping. The only difference is that tire scalloping appears in dips, usually in a smaller section of 3 to 4 diameters and prevalent all over the tread edge rather than in just one spot.

Understanding Tire Wear Patterns: Why Are My Tires Wearing Out So Fast? - Tire Dealer Sites (4)A rumbling noise when driving at top speeds can also be an indicator of cupping tires. At lower speeds, the glide may also be harsh due to this issue.

Driving over road debris or rough rocky road is what causes tire cupping as the wheels move and bounce irregularly, resulting in those scalloped patterns. There is a likelihood of loose, worn and misaligned suspension parts with tire cupping.

The Fix: If the cupping isn’t very bad, you can even out the wear after you rotate the tires. Additionally, a technician can fix or change the suspension part or shock absorbers responsible for the treadwear pattern. In the case of serious scalloping, you need to replace the entire tire, preferably with wider tires and rims as they have more contact pat area needed for the wheel stability.


Understanding Tire Wear Patterns: Why Are My Tires Wearing Out So Fast? - Tire Dealer Sites (5)Another indication of a tire wearing out is the wires or cords in the inner liner popping. This kind of treadwear may be a result of under-inflation, a tire that is not in balance or is poorly aligned. Regardless of the cause, it is worth note taking that your tire will not perform adequately and is in danger of a blow out with those visible cords.

(Video) Tire Wear Patterns And What They Mean?

The Fix: Exposed tire cords are an indication that you need to replace your tire as the broken wire alone disqualifies the tire from further use.


Understanding Tire Wear Patterns: Why Are My Tires Wearing Out So Fast? - Tire Dealer Sites (6)The appearance may seem as though some parts have been torn off in chunks or sliced in random areas. The damage is typically related to suspension problems. In particular, it is an indication of a poor shock absorber that hinders the tire to maintain contact with the road, making it bounce up and down that causes the impact of chunking.

Another cause is related to heat, specifically not warming up a tire before exposing it to great stress on the road course or autocross.

The Fix: Chunked tires are not a serious threat although they may significantly shorten the lifespan of your tire. For safety concerns, tire replacement is highly recommended. The more parts that are missing, the less grip the tire will have on the asphalt, which can result in unpredictable movement on the car under braking, inclement weather as well when cornering.


Understanding Tire Wear Patterns: Why Are My Tires Wearing Out So Fast? - Tire Dealer Sites (7)This damage is not because of wear but more of defects due to the manufacturing process. Despite specifications, mistakes can be made during the construction process leading to faults built on the tire. The pattern often show itself through visible cuts on the sidewalls, splice or tire belt separation.

The Fix: Going on further with defective tires can put risk on your driving. Purchased tires come with warranty and can be returned in case of defects.

What are the primaty causes of a tire wear?

It is normal for the tread to gradually deteriorate and become shallow as it age or as the mileage increase. But there are also a variety of reasons that cause it to wear prematurely.


Tires that are incorrectly inflated causes the tread to wear out rapidly or unevenly. It is important for the tires to have the optimal pressure to provide maximum traction, support vehicle’s weight and to perform proper other automobile handlings such as cornering, accelerating and braking.

Improper tire inflation is one of the leading reasons for poor steering control that results in the car spinning uncontrollably. It also has a profound effect on fuel consumption as a build-up on the rolling resistance means more requirement on the fuel energy to keep the wheels gearing.

What are the patterns of the under-inflated tire?

Without the right amount of air in your tires, you may feel an odd vibration on your steering wheel while driving. The reason being is the load is carried by the outside edges of the tread as the contact patch grows. Flatter tires also cause more friction on the road so you’ll also notice sidewall cracks and tire belt separation.

(Video) Tire Wear and Diagnosis

What can you do about it?

To ensure proper tire pressures, refer to the owner’s manual for inflation guidelines or find the manufacturer’s tire pressure specification of the placard near or along the driver’s door. Acquiring devices and instruments meant to monitor and give readings about the air pressure inside the tires, such as the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and other certified tire pressure gauges, is also a sure way to keep your tires in their optimum pressure amount.

It is also necessary to follow the car’s capacity guidelines especially if you are driving SUVs or trucks, or vehicles that are used to hauling a lot of stuff. Exceeding the load capacity can cause the tire pressure to go down, build up excess heat and wreak catastrophes both to your tires and safety.


A tire or wheel alignment is related to the vehicle’s suspension, a system that connects it to the wheels. When the suspension is not at its manufacturer’s height modification, your car will most likely deal with the misalignment of the tires.

The occasional jarring or heavy impact caused by road obstacles such as potholes and bumping curbs also cause wear and tear in the suspension springs over time, leading to a shift on the alignment of the tires.

What are the patterns of a misaligned wheel?

Understanding Tire Wear Patterns: Why Are My Tires Wearing Out So Fast? - Tire Dealer Sites (8)The most obvious symptom here is a tire scrub or the car drifting to one side which for the most part is what causes the excessive wear on the wheels, whereas a perfectly aligned car will stay straight. The misalignment is often accompanied by a squealing noise coming from the tires when driving. The performance of the steering wheel is also compromised. While making a turn, you will notice your steering wheel does not return easily and will possibly crook or vibrate.

What can you do about it?

Depending on the severity, your wheels may need a replacement or alignment. In order to perform the latter, you must take your car to the shop to perform necessary adjustments and bring back the tire’s proper configuration.


Occasional poor driving maneuvers such as stopping, taking off or taking on too quickly, driving at top speeds, driving haphazardly over road debris among many others, will introduce your tires to a lot of wear conditions, blowouts and costly repairs.

What are the patterns of wear due to poor driving habits?

If you do the aforementioned too often, it will kill your tires and manifest through the seams bulging. You may notice that your car is not unnecessary rumbling as you drive, vibrations on the steering wheel will be apparent, and you will feel the car pulling on left or right. Additionally, your car also loses traction in wet surfaces or that it takes you longer to brake, all signs of a worn-out tread.

What can you do about it?

The safe driving practices do not only ward-off accidents but also prolong the lifespan of your tires. So slow down, take turns more consciously, give your self ample of the distance needed to brake and steer clear of unfriendly road obstacles. This way you’re not only preserving the life of your tires but also your own life.


Understanding Tire Wear Patterns: Why Are My Tires Wearing Out So Fast? - Tire Dealer Sites (9)Tires are more than just an essential component of your vehicles. These ring-shaped rubber components also play a significant role in the safety of your vehicle. More to the concern is unsafe driving conditions brought about by tires that are compromised. When the tires become shallow, the easier it is to lose contact and traction on the road surface. This can lead to the driver losing control of the vehicle.

(Video) What Causes Outside Shoulder Tire Wear | BestTireAndWheelShop.com

You certainly need not wait for the mishap to happen as there are things you can do to maintain your tires. Such are regularly checking the tire depth and exhibiting patterns of tire wear. Hopefully, you have learned enough information from this post to set your wheels gearing. Have a safe driving!

(Video) Why Tires Wear Unevenly ( Top 5 Reasons) #tires #tirewear #uneventires automotive tire noise


Why are my tires getting worn out so fast? ›

However, a variety of factors can cause a tire to wear out sooner than expected, and/or cause it to wear irregularly and create noise or vibration. Two common causes of early tire wear out and irregular tire wear are improper inflation pressure and out-of-spec alignment conditions.

Why don t tires last as long as they used to? ›

That's because the rubber compounds in a tire deteriorate over time, resulting in dry rot. Dry rot makes your tires more susceptible to blowouts and tread separation. Vehicle and tire manufacturers usually recommend replacing your tires if they are 6-10 years old, regardless of tread depth.

Which tires get worn out faster? ›

Since most vehicles wear their front tires faster, within a few thousand miles, the front tires will be more worn than the backs so you won't want to rotate them then.

What causes chunks out of tires? ›

Tire chunking is typically the direct result of frequent driving off-road or on unpaved/ gravel roads. These rougher surfaces eventually break down the tread blocks and cause pieces of the tire tread to be ripped off or worn away.

How long should tires last on a brand new car? ›

On average, a brand new car tire should last about 4 to 5 years or 60,000 to 75,000 miles. If you seldom drive, you might reach the year mark first; if you frequently drive, you might reach the mileage mark first. Most automotive experts agree that tire type also factors into how long a tire should last.

How many miles should original tires last? ›

Your tires should last 50,000 to 60,000 miles on average. But that really depends on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers build their tires to last up to 80,000 miles, while some design their tires to last as little as 30,000 miles. You can see how many miles to expect out of a tire by checking its treadwear rating.

Are 4 year old tires still good? ›

Old tires are dangerous, regardless of tread depth. While there's no federally sanctioned safety guidance on when a tire is too old to be safe, many carmakers recommend replacement at six years from the date of manufacture. Old tires have been the culprit in fatal accidents.

Do new cars come with good tires? ›

If you've just bought a new car, there's a very good chance your tires won't last as long as you'd expect. Though they may be brand new, it boils down to the fact that the tires you get when you buy your new car usually aren't designed by a major manufacturer brand like Firestone, Michelin, or Goodyear.

Are general tires Made in the USA? ›

BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Continental, Cooper, Firestone, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Kelly, Kumho, Michelin, Mickey Thompson, Nexen, Nitto, Toyo, and Yokohama currently manufacture tires here in America.

Is it better to put 2 new tires on front or back? ›

Should new tires go on the front or back? According to Tire Review, new tires should always go in the back. Rear tires provide the vehicle stability, and if they have little tread, then stability is lost.

Which tires last longest? ›

The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ All Season Performance Radial Tire is currently the most durable tire, providing superior grip and control. Michelin tires maintain wet braking performance throughout their entire life, even as they wear, which makes them a top choice for long-lasting tires.

Which tires wear faster front or back AWD? ›

Front tires on an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle often wear more quickly than those on the rear axle. Why? Because your front tires handle most of the braking and steering.

What is the ring of death on a tire? ›

The "ring of death" is caused by tyres rolling in on themselves during cornering. Factors include the amount of support the insert gives,and the shape of the sidewall compared to the tread. Camber isn't really a factor - set camber as you would usually, don't adjust it to get rid of the ring.

When should I buy new tires? ›

Take a penny and place Lincoln's head in one of the grooves of the tire tread. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, it's time to replace the tire. If the penny goes in enough that the tire tread is at least as deep as Lincoln's forehead, your tires are generally considered safe and do not need replacing.

What is cupping tire wear? ›

Cupping, also known as tire scalloping, refers to when a car or truck's tire tread moves from high to low in random spots. The worn bits are usually 3-4 inches in diameter. The cupped tire may cause a rumbling noise when driving at higher speeds, and is often mistaken for a worn wheel bearing.

How many miles do cheap tires last? ›

Tires typically last around 50,000 miles, but this will depend on your driving habits and where you live. If you frequently drive on unpaved roads or you have a lead foot, your tires may need to be replaced sooner.

How often should I rotate my tires? ›

This common maintenance task—which should typically be done every 5,000 to 8,000 miles—isn't one you should ignore. It may seem minor, but remember: Tires are the only thing that comes between your 2-ton vehicle and the road.

How much is a new set of tires? ›

General Tire Pricing

According to sources around the internet, the average cost of a full set of tires is around $600. However, tire prices vary widely by size and intended use.

How do you check tire tread with a penny? ›

Turn the penny so that Lincoln's head points down into the tread. See if the top of his head disappears between the ribs. If it does, your tread is still above 2/32” , If you can see his entire head, it may be time to replace the tire because your tread is no longer deep enough.

How do I tell the age of my tires? ›

The chronological age of any tire can be found on the tire sidewall by examining the characters following the symbol "DOT". The last four numbers identify the date of manufacture of the tire to the nearest week. The first two of these four numbers identify the week of manufacture (which range from "01" to "53").

Is a 20 year old spare tire safe? ›

Unless specified, you should get a new spare tire at 10 years to ensure it is safe to use,” says Ryan Pszczolkowski, CR's tire program manager. “You should inspect your spare tire periodically to look for any cracking or dry rot.” This task can be done when you're checking the tire pressure.

Is a 10 year old spare tire still good? ›

Most full-size spare tires are designed to last anywhere from seven to 10 years, according to John Paul. That said, drivers should never use a tire with visible damage, such as cracks in the sidewall, punctures, impact bulges or irregular tread wear – all of which are dangerous to drive on.

How long can tires sit unused? ›

If not used, tires last for 6-10 years, depending on the storage and environmental conditions. Overall, the time limits for stored tires are much the same as for tires that are being used.

Why did my tires only last 20k miles? ›

Answer: An alignment is money well spent. There may be an adjustment that will correct the wear, but there may also be some worn suspension parts. If so, the alignment tech will spot them. If everything checks out fine, rotate your tires and do so at every second oil change.

Why did my tires only last a year? ›

Low tire pressure is the most common cause for tires to wear out prematurely. Low tires will cause the tires to run hotter than they are designed to and will put more pressure on the outer edges of the tires.

Do tires wear faster when new? ›

Answer provided by. New tires or factory tires wear out quickly because car manufacturers use soft rubber for their tires. This soft rubber wears out much faster than aftermarket tires.

What brands of tires are made in China? ›

The most popular Chinese manufacturers
  • • Zhongce Rubber Group (Westlake, Chaoyang, Arisun, Goodride y Trazano)
  • • Giti Tire Investment.
  • • Sailun Jinyu Group (Sailun y Jinyu)
  • • Shandong Ling long Tire.
  • • Zhengxin Rubber (industrial tires)
  • • Double star Group (Double Star y Kumho)
  • • Triangle Tire.
23 Nov 2021

Are Michelin tires made in China? ›

SHENYANG, China—Michelin has begun manufacturing tires at a $1.5 billion plant complex in Shenyang that eventually will produce more than 12 million passenger, light truck and medium truck and bus tires a year.
Michelin plant in China opens.
1Key notes: 3 things shaping Goodyear's sustainability perspective
5Michelin launches Defender 2 for CUVs
3 more rows
13 Feb 2013

Are Goodyear tires made in China? ›

/Selling tires /Are All Goodyear Tires Made in USA? Not all Goodyear tires made in USA. The company also has plants in Canada, Germany, France, England, Poland, Luxembourg, Turkey, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, South Africa, etc.

Does driving fast make your tires wear faster? ›

Driving at high speeds may make you feel the thrill of an adrenaline rush, but it will also wear down your tires and your car faster. At high speeds, your tires will generate a great deal of friction with the road, as well as very high heats. Prolonged exposure to high heats will soften the rubber and weaken the tire.

How do you prevent tire wear? ›

How to Reduce Tire Wear
  1. Keep your tires properly inflated. This is perhaps the single most important thing you can do. ...
  2. Rotate your tires regularly. SUBARU recommends tires should be rotated every 7,500 miles. ...
  3. Tire Replacement. ...
  4. For safe vehicle operation, SUBARU recommends replacing all four tires at the same time.

Do tires wear faster on highway? ›

All things considered, tires will wear out slower on the highway than they will by driving through town. Highway driving typically involves less braking as opposed to city driving. Braking and acceleration will lead to faster tire wear.

Does vehicle weight affect tire wear? ›

Carrying Too Much Weight

If you're regularly hauling around heavy cargo in your vehicle, this can lead to reduced gas mileage, an increased risk of injury to you or your passengers, and faster tire wear. The more weight a vehicle bears, the more exertion it goes through, and this includes the tires.

Which tire gets the most wear? ›

Under normal driving circumstances with a front-wheel drive vehicle (passenger cars, minivans, etc.), the front tires will wear at a slightly higher rate than the rear tires.

Does driving slower reduce tire wear? ›

Driving at slower speeds can also affect how fast the tire tread wears. Higher driving speeds cause more heat to build up in the rubber, breaking down the tire more quickly than at slower speeds. Similarly, taking turns at slower speeds and avoiding skidding on turns also helps the tire last longer.

Do tires wear faster on the front or rear? ›

Since most cars today are FWD and the front tires are responsible for acceleration, steering and most braking, they normally wear faster than the rears.

Do better tires last longer? ›

So high-performance tires will wear out much sooner than a standard all-season model. TREADWEAR RATING- Different tires have different treadwear ratings. The higher the rating, the longer the tire will last.

Do tires wear less on wet roads? ›

Wet roads cool the tyres and reduce friction between the tread and the road, so wear is lessened. Uneven tyre wear indicates that something is wrong with the car. It may simply be that the tyres are not properly inflated, or there may be faults in the braking, steering or suspension systems .

Why do tires wear on one side? ›

Uneven tire wear is usually caused by improper alignment, overinflation, underinflation or a worn out suspension. It can be helpful to know the different uneven tire wear patterns below and what they may suggest about your car.

Is highway or city better for tires? ›

Highway driving tire wear

Highway driving will be much easier on your tires than driving in the city. Highways tend to be maintained much better than city roads and driving at a sustained speed for an extended period of time is a lot easier on your tire tread.

Do highway miles make a difference? ›

You're driving long distances and putting your engine through a lot by making it maintain a high speed for a long period of time. However, highway miles are actually easier on your car! You may be traveling long distances, but this is actually good for your battery and alternator as it lets them charge properly.

Does tire warranty cover dry rot? ›

Tire manufacturer warranties will cover tire cracking and dry rot, as well as other defects, but most warranties expire after 6 years. Most tires will wear out before cracking becomes a warrantable condition.

Is 40 psi too high for tires? ›

Specifically, the level of 40 psi can be suitable for passenger cars or sports cars. But this is too high for small cars with a recommendation below 35 psi, while 40 psi is too low for large trucks. The recommended level for the tires of famous sports cars and passenger cars is between 32 -40 psi.

Should you increase tire pressure with a heavy load? ›

An increased pressure reading (typically 2 to 6 psi higher) is normal when tires are hot. If recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, increase tire pressures for towing, carrying heavy loads, or extended highway travel.

Does higher tire pressure increase tire wear? ›

A tire that is over inflated shows more wear along the center width of the tire than along its edges, leads to uneven tread wear. That in turn shortens the overall life expectancy of your tire.


1. Tire Wear
(Bill Allen)
2. Tire Wear Problems - Causes and Symptoms
3. Understanding Causes of Tire Damage & Wear Patterns
4. Tire Wear Patterns
(Karl Auto Group)
5. The Causes & Solutions Of Inside Shoulder Tire Wear | BestTireAndWheelShop.com
6. Inside Edge Tire wear but alignment is OK
(Ralf's Automotive Diagnostics & Repair)

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