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What is uneven tyre wear?

14th June 2021

Why is tyre wear so important?

Tyres wear over time – it’s a natural part of their life cycle, as is the case with many other motoring parts. However, there’s a difference between natural tyre wear and uneven or abnormal tyre wear. So, what is excessive or uneven tyre wear, and why is it so important that your tyre wear is properly monitored?

Impacts of uneven tyre wear

Uneven tyre wear can be dangerous for both drivers and passengers:

  • Reduced safety and performance – uneven tyres could have a direct impact on the safety and performance of your vehicle, such as reduced grip or poor handling.
  • Combatting the elements – it could also lead your vehicle to perform poorly when faced with harsh elements, such as heavy rain or snow/ice – meaning you’d have less control over your vehicle.
  • Decreases longevity of tyres – inevitably, having uneven tyre wear could then lead to early replacement of your tyres, which will cost you more money in the long run.

That’s why it’s important to be on top of your tyre wear to ensure that not only your vehicle is performing to its optimal potential, but also that the safety of both yourself and your passengers is not compromised.

What can cause excessive or uneven tyre wear?

It’s important to understand abnormal tyre wear causes for you to avoid these and preserve the life of your tyres. Some of the most common uneven tyre wear causes include:

  • Tyre pressure – how well your tyres are inflated can also affect whether your tyres are subject to uneven tyre wear. If your tyres are underinflated, this can increase the wear of outsides (shoulders) of your tyres – however, if your tyres are overinflated, this can lead to unusual tyre wear in the middle of the tyre, as the contact between the tyre and the road is directed specifically at the middle of the tyre.
  • Wheel alignment – this is one of the most common causes of uneven tyre wear. Poor wheel alignment refers to when the angles of your wheels do not line up correctly according to manufacturer recommendations. Learn more about the signs of incorrect wheel alignment to watch out for from our detailed guide.
  • Tyre age – the age of your tyres naturally can cause tyre wear. However, this doesn’t typically cause uneven or abnormal tyre wear.
  • Tyre condition – sometimes the way your tyres have been fitted can cause uneven tyre wear, as they could be fitted incorrectly which could increase or decrease their contact with the road.
  • Driving style – the way you drive your vehicle – for example, hitting the kerb or driving fast over potholes – can also affect the wear of your tyres.

How to check if you have uneven tyres

One of the easiest ways to check if you have uneven tyre wear is by visibly checking. Make a habit of taking a look at your tyres once a month checking them over for signs of excessive tyre wear.

Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable making that decision yourself, you can always leave it in the hands of the professionals. Locate your nearest Merityre Specialists today and have your tyres checked over by our experts, or arrange your fitting for your new tyres.