Car Pulling to One Side and Other Signs of Uneven Tire Wear
Sometimes with the road conditions here in Fort Collins Colorado, it is natural for tires to wear out over time. However, when they wear out unevenly, your car may become difficult to control, increasing the likelihood of accidents. In addition to compromising safety, this problem can increase fuel consumption. Learning the signs of uneven tire wear can save both your car and your life.
Car Pulling to One Side
This is one of the alarming indicators of uneven tire wear, especially if it happens at high speeds or on a busy road. If your car keeps pulling to one side as you drive, pull into a garage and check the air pressure. If that is not the issue, schedule an appointment with an auto repair shop for wheel alignment and service.
Steering Wheel Vibrating
A shaking steering wheel has more than one cause but the most common, by far, is tires that are out of alignment. The shaking usually increases as you gain speed. In this case, inspect the tires for uneven wear and fill them up to the right levels.
If your tires are not worn, and they are inflated according to your car manual's recommendations, the vibration in the steering wheel could be caused by a damaged axle, worn-out suspension components, or a problem with the brake rotors. See an auto repair specialist to be sure.
Visible Uneven Tire Wear
A quick inspection of your tires might reveal uneven wear if it is moderate to severe. Here are signs to look out for:
You may find that a tire is worn on one side more than the other. If you run your hand over the tread on one side and it feels like the teeth of a saw, it might be what is called "heel-toe tire wear".
Wear on Tire Edge
Tire wear can also be "feathered". You can find out by feeling along the raised part of the tread pattern. If one side is smooth while the other feels sharp, that is the problem. Auto specialists might have to perform other repairs in addition to wheel alignment.
Center Tire Wear
At times, the tread can start wearing away in the center or middle first. This happens with tires that are frequently overinflated. The extra air pressure causes the middle to swell and protrude, wearing out tires faster than normal.
An auto specialist might suggest wheel tracking or tire alignment as a solution. If the wear is extensive, you might have to replace the tires altogether. If you purposely over-inflate because the tires are frequently flat, ask your mechanic to find out why this is happening.
Preventing Uneven Car Tire Wear
As mentioned throughout, pumping your tires to an incorrect air pressure level can cause uneven wear. Always follow the guidelines available in the car manual. This information is also available on the metal plate on the driver's door jamb.
Drive carefully and steadily, especially around corners and curbs. Making sharp corners, breaking too much and too hard, spinning the wheels, and hitting the curb can throw out your tire alignment. You should also avoid potholes as best as you can.
Always purchase good-quality tires from a reputable supplier. If you can, stick to the same supplier. This is because tires differ in quality. If yours are assorted from different brands, some might wear out quicker than others.
Do not skip car service appointments and make sure wheels are aligned and suspension components are checked. If you are advised to replace the tires, do so as soon as possible.
Unevenly worn tires are more than a safety hazard. They can cause your car to burn more fuel and diminish its performance. If your vehicle starts to show signs like pulling to one side, a vibrating steering wheel, or visible uneven wear, contact an auto repair shop for assistance.
Weston Auto Service is an auto repair specialist located in Fort Collins, Colorado. We are ASE-certified mechanics specializing in foreign and domestic auto repair. For a free diagnostic and full analysis of your car problem please contact us or call us at 970-377-3333.