Tire Wearing on Outside: What are the Causes and Solutions?

Tire wearing on outside is a sign of a tire malfunction, which may need urgent fixing. Knowing the cause of the external wear is key to fixing the problem.

What Are The Causes of Tire Wearing On Outside

This article covers the different causes of your tire wearing outside and how to fix it.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Tires Wearing on the Outside?

The most common causes of tires wearing on the outside are misalignment, bad springs or pivot joint issues, bent struts, and broken spindles. If you notice an external wearing of your tires, you should first identify the root cause before fixing the problem.

 

Misaligned Wheels

Wheel misalignment is a major cause of outerwear in vehicles. Accidents, bumpy roads, or large portholes usually cause the misalignment. The force of the contact could make the wheel go out of alignment and cause the outer part of the tire to wear out.

Mechanic Aligning Car_s Wheels

When your vehicle’s wheels are misaligned, they’re not pointing in the correct direction. Hence, the tire experiences uneven distribution of weight and forces while driving. This misalignment particularly affects the outer part of the tire which causes it to wear out faster than the rest.

Your tire’s edges may experience excessive friction against the road surface during normal driving, leading to faster wear on the edges than the rest of the tire. If your tire starts wearing from the outside, you should check the alignment. Regular alignment checks will improve your overall driving performance.

Defective Struts or Spindles

Your tire may also wear out outside if your spindles and struts are bent or defective. The struts are crucial in determining the camber position of a vehicle’s suspension. If these struts become bent or damaged, it can result in a change in the alignment of the wheels.

The camber angle is one common alignment component affected by bent struts or spindles. If your strut or spindle is bent in a way that changes the camber angle, it can lead to uneven distribution of weight and pressure on how the tire contacts the road, making contact rougher.

When your wheel’s camber angle is excessively positive, it indicates that the top of the tire is leaning outward. This will cause the external edge of your tire to come into greater contact with the road surface. Consequently, the tire will experience some wear, most notably on its edge.

Worn Pivot Joints

Your tires may also wear out externally if the pivot joints start wearing out. The wear usually occurs due to the changes the wearing pivot joints bring to the suspension geometry and wheel alignment. The joints connect your car’s steering knuckle to the arms in the suspension system.

When pivot joints become worn, they cause the suspension to become excessively loose. The loose components result in irregular movement of the wheels when you’re driving, leading to misalignment of the tires. Worn ball joints can cause the wheels to tilt outward, increasing the positive camber wear.

Your Tires are Either Underinflated or OverInflated

Tires, both underinflated and overinflated, can lead to uneven tire wear on the outside edges of your car. Your tires cannot function properly when overinflated or underinflated. When your tires are underinflated, for instance, they have insufficient air pressure to support the weight of your vehicle and its occupants properly.

Specialist While Inflating A Tire

The inadequate pressure causes the sidewalls of the tires to flex excessively, resulting in the tire’s outward edges making more contact with the road than the inside. This increased contact leads to accelerated wear in that area. Improper inflation also causes the tire to run hotter, further facilitating its degradation.

Overinflated wheels have higher air pressure, making the center of the tire bulge out more. The inflation pressure causes that part of the tire to have more contact with the road surface. The tire will wear more rapidly on the outside edges due to the increased contact with the road.

How Can You Fix the Outer Wearing of Your Tire?

You can fix the outer wearing of your tire by getting a wheel realignment, replacing your ball joints, fixing or replacing your struts and spindles, or maintaining your tire pressure. Before proceeding with any fixes, it’s essential to determine the underlying cause of the outer tire wear to avoid recurrence.

Prepare for a Wheel Alignment Check

The first step in performing a wheel realignment process is to gather your tools. You will need a jack, jack stands, measuring tape, a string or wire, cardboard, and a wrench set. You will use these tools to check the wheel alignment, as well as adjust them if necessary.

Next, raise the front of your car using a car jack positioned at the jacking point. Slowly lift the vehicle, and place the jack stands beneath the car. Make sure the stands are evenly aligned and stable. Gradually lower the car onto the jack stands, ensuring it rests securely, before releasing the pressure on the jack.

Check the Wheel’s Alignment

Before proceeding with the alignment process, place blocks behind the rear wheels to prevent the car from rolling. Next, measure the distance between the inside edges of the front tires using a measuring tape. Mark the location of the front tires by using a paint spray or paper.

Compare the two sets of measurements to help you determine the problem. If the distance between the front edges is greater than between the rear edges for both tires, it indicates toe-out alignment. If the front edges are closer together than the rear edges, it suggests toe-in alignment.

Repeat the process for the rear tires and edges and lower the car until it’s resting on the jack stands. Use the wrench set to adjust the tie rods until the distance between the front tires is the same as the distance measured. Afterward, remove the jack and test drive the car.

Inspect and Replace Worn Pivot Joints

Worn pivot joints can easily cause your outer tire to wear because they affect the suspension. You can check if you have worn joints by looking for signs like squeaky sounds, drifting tires, or shaky steering. You can also check the pivot joints to see if they’re worn.

To check if your pivot joints are worn, park your vehicle on a level surface. Next, look under your vehicle and inspect the pivot joints for signs of tire wear patterns, damage, or looseness in the joints. You may need to use a flashlight to get a clear view.

Use a pry bar or large screwdriver to apply upward pressure on the bottom of the tire gently. Observe if there is any excessive movement or play between the ball joint and the control arm or steering knuckle. If the joints are worn, you should have them replaced immediately.

Fix or Replace the Struts and Spindles

Bent spindles can cause the outer parts of your tire to wear. To avoid damaging the tire, you should fix the bent struts and spindles immediately. To fix or replace struts and spindles, begin by parking on a level surface. Then engage the parking brake and use blocks to secure the wheels.

Shock Absorb Struts of A Vehicle

Carefully raise your car with a jack and support it securely with jack stands. Remove the wheels using a lug wrench, and if needed, disconnect brake lines and other components to access the struts. Loosen and remove the bolts securing the struts, then inspect and replace the struts if necessary.

Also, check the spindles for damage and replace them if they are bent or damaged, following the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper installation. Finally, reassemble all components, ensuring proper alignment and tightness. Lower the car to the ground and perform a test drive to check for unusual noises or handling issues.

Maintain Proper Tire Pressure

Improper tire pressure is the most common cause of wear. To fix the issues, always maintain the pressure and ensure the tires are properly inflated. If the outer part of your tire is wearing out, you should check if you have any overinflated or underinflated wheels.

Mechanic Checking The Tire Pressure

Compare the current pressure readings with the recommended levels. If they’re overinflated, release air by gently pressing the valve stem with the tire gauge until the pressure is normal. If the tires are underinflated, add air using an air compressor or use an air pump at a gas station.

How Can You Prevent Your Tire From Wearing on the Outside

You can prevent your tire from wearing on the outside by ensuring proper alignment and inflation. You can also avoid bumpy roads and always drive carefully. With proper care for your wheels, you can maintain even tire wear and prolong the life of your tires.

Always Ensure Proper Tire Inflation and Wheel Alignment

The most important step in preventing wear patterns is regularly checking and maintaining the correct tire pressure. Always ensure that the tire is neither overinflated nor underinflated. Underinflated tires experience more center wear or outer edge tire wear, while overinflated ones can have excessive wear on the outer edges.

Schedule regular checks on your alignment to avoid damaged suspension components. When you notice signs of misalignment, such as tire tread wears, tire tread depth, uneven tire wear, or outer shoulder wear, check the alignment. Proper alignment ensures all four wheels are correctly positioned for even contact with the road.

Use Good Tire Quality and Rotate Them Regularly

Always use good tire quality to avoid wear bars and patchy tire wears. Quality tires tend to wear more evenly, and they help you avoid patchy wear on your tire. Ensure your tires are the correct size and type, as using the wrong size or type can accelerate the tire wear.

A Tire Shop Full of High Quality Wheels

Regular tire rotation also helps distribute the wear evenly across all four tires, reducing wear on the outer edge. Rotating the tires is simple and can be done in a few minutes. However, avoiding these little tasks could cost you your tires.

Drive Carefully and Avoid Road Hazards

Avoid aggressive driving behaviors like hard braking, sharp cornering, and rapid acceleration. Use winter tires in the snow to reduce stress on the tires and minimize uneven wear. Following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce wear on the outside edges and ensure a safer and more comfortable driving experience.

Inspect the Suspension Components

You should always inspect all the necessary components, including the struts, shocks, sagging springs, control arm bushings, ball joints, and bushings. Look for signs of worn tires, bad wheels, leaks, tire treads, or loose connections. If you notice any edge wear issues in any component, address them immediately.

FAQs

Do the Left Tires Wear Quicker Than the Right?

Yes, the left tires wear faster than the right for many cars, but it is due to numerous factors. For instance, certain driving habits can cause irregular tire wear and toe wear. Irregular rotation can also result in irregular wear on the left or right tires.

Conclusion

Tires wearing on the edges can easily damage your tires, but you can fix them after identifying the cause. Here is a quick summary of what you’ve learned so far:

  • Misalignment and improper pressure are the most common causes of your tire wearing on the outside.
  • To fix the issue of tires wearing, you must first identify the root cause of the problem.
  • Regular maintenance will prevent your car tires from wearing outside or general tread wear.
  • Avoid driving roughly and always practice regular tire rotation.

Now that you know what causes the outside parts of your tires to wear, you can prevent them and fix the issue when it occurs.

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