Types of Tire Tread Wear and Its Causes

Types of Tire Tread

Since tires are used regularly, the overall tread becomes shallower, and the tire performance changes. There could be many different reasons behind the irregular tread wear. Perhaps that’s the reason why regularly checking the tread depth & wear will not only alarm for the tire replacement but also help you detect other required maintenance to get the most out of it.

Why Tire Wear Matters A lot?

If the tire tread is too little – close to getting bald in fact – it will create unsafe driving conditions. When the tires can’t grip the road, the driver ends up losing control of the vehicle. When the roads get wet or snowy, the tread depth plays a crucial role. When the layer of water comes between tires and the roads, the tread is required to cut through it and maintain contact with the road surface.

Keep in mind! The more shallow your tread, the more likely you are to lose traction while driving in wet or snow. In such conditions, make sure you reduce the speed to maintain grip.

The Tire tread wear can help you determine if the angles, inflation & components are within specification or not. Here are the most common tread wear patterns & their causes. So let’s dive in;

Camber wear

Suspension misalignment, dislocated strut tower, bent strut, weak spring and damaged control arm bushings can cause noticeable wear on the inside as well as outside edges of the tire.

Feathered directional wear

You can easily identify this wear by running a hand along the tire. It’ll feel smooth one way but rough on the other side, and this type of wear is known as feathered directional wear. It’s caused by toe-misalignment, bent steering linkage and worn tie rod end.

Cupped wear pattern

This type of wear can be spotted by the cups & dips around the edge of the tread. This would clearly mean that one of your car tires is out of balance or your shock absorbers & struts are weak.

Tire Tread Wear Cause 1: Improper Inflation

Improperly inflated tires wear more rapidly and unevenly. Proper inflation pressure ensures the equal distribution of vehicle load, braking, acceleration, and cornering forces. With under-or-Overinflated tires, the tire treads are not optimized to handle the wide variety of jobs it is required to do. So just check the tire pressure every month, especially when you’re going on a long trip and planning to carry the extra load.

Tire Tread Wear Cause 2: Out-Of-Spec Tire Alignment

Tire alignment is all about the adjustment your car’s steering & suspension components. Therefore, it’s the system that connects & controls the motion. The key to the perfect wheel alignment is to adjust the angles of the tires keeping up with the parameters like as camber, toe, and caster. No matter the car tyre brands, the tires are inevitably going to wear unevenly and prematurely if the tires are improperly aligned.


Do you want to learn more about the different types of tire tread wear and its causes? Just check out the article now on Dunlop Tires.

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