Despite being the only parts of a motor vehicle that actually make contact with road surfaces, tires tend to be overlooked by drivers who pay attention to other types of maintenance. It is not unusual for drivers to keep an eye on the dashboard and pray the Check Engine light does not turn on, and the same goes for drivers who regularly pop the engine cover and check the oil, steering, coolant, and brake fluids. However, tread wear and other tire maintenance factors are seldom checked.
Tread wear can reveal various maintenance and mechanical issues that should be addressed sooner than later. The staff at American Tri-Star, a leading provider of Chula Vista cheap car insurance, discuss five tread wear patterns you can spot on your tires and their possible causes.
Outer Edge Wear
Underinflation of tires is a common issue that can be spotted by inspecting the outer edges of the tires. If there is noticeable wear on the outer edge compared to the opposite end and the center of the tire, low air pressure is the culprit. This issue can be easily solved by inflating the tires according to manufacturer recommendations found in your owner’s manual.
Inflating your tires to levels higher than those recommended by the manufacturer may cause center wear, which could result in faster deterioration than outer edge wear caused by underinflation. It is important to remember recommended tire pressure levels may vary according to climate conditions and the weight of the loads you transport regularly.
If you have not rotated your tires over the last six months or 5,000 miles, you may find some spots along the center of the tire are wearing out faster than the rest of the tread surface. Signs of patchy wear are indicative of tires being out of balance, which can happen when they are not rotated on a regular basis. As long as the wear is not excessive, your mechanic should be able to easily rotate and rebalance your tires during your next visit to the repair shop.
A damaged suspension is often the cause of diagonal wear patches across the tread surface. The diagonal signs of cupping wear suggest parts of the vehicle suspension system may be completely worn out or broken. This is a serious issue that should be repaired quickly to prevent damage to the chassis or create unsafe driving situations.
If your car has not had a wheel alignment performed over the last 12 months or 15,000 miles, you will likely notice signs of camber wear, a pronounced and extremely uneven deterioration of the outer edge of the front tires. At first, misaligned wheels only cause tires to wear out quickly. However, severe misalignment may interfere with normal steering conditions. When done frequently, computerized wheel alignments can help you save money on new tires.
To learn more about essential vehicle maintenance, reach out to the insurance experts at American Tri-Star Insurance. In addition to reliable auto insurance, we also offer commercial, health, and property insurance in Chula Vista. Call one of our friendly agents at 619-827-0522 to receive a complimentary quote.