Uneven Tread Wear & What it Means

Your tires are like the foundation of your vehicle. The quality of your tires affects everything from handling and performance to fuel economy and overall safety. Proper tire maintenance, including inflation, rotation and alignment, will help your tires last longer and perform better. Did you know that tire wear can tell you a lot about the state of your tires and the condition of your vehicle? Check your tires regularly to prevent expensive, long-term problems. If you notice unusual tire wear, speak with one of our tire experts at Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centre (book an appointment). There are seven main types of tire wear. Below is a breakdown of those types and what each kind of wear indicates. Also, what you can do to lessen or eliminate further wear.


Centre Wear: If one or more of your tires is wearing in the centre, but not on the sides, the issue is likely an over-inflated tire. Tires bulge in the centre due to excessive pressure. To avoid centre wear, keep your tires inflated to the pressure levels in your owner’s manual.
Side Wear: If one or more of your tires is wearing on the sides, but not in the centre, the likely culprit is under-inflation. If you inflate your tires to manufacturer’s suggested levels, yet still experience side wear, you may require a wheel alignment or might have a bent rim.
Cupping Wear: If your tires look as though scoops have been worn in the tread, this is the result of up-and-down movement. If you see or feel tire bounce as you drive, this will produce the cupping effect – common on trailer tires. Cupping is caused by worn shocks or struts or a tired suspension system. Ask your Quick Lane Tech to perform a front-end inspection.
Feathering Wear: If individual treads appear worn on one side and sharp on the other, your vehicle is likely suffering from excessive toe-in or toe-out which can (generally) be corrected with a proper wheel alignment. Feathering can also be caused by aggressive driving – specifically, taking corners at high speeds. Your Quick Lane tech can help make that determination.
Flat Spot Wear: Sections of treads nearly “scrubbed” off the tire are generally the result of sudden or hard stops. Perhaps you’ve had to brake hard recently, but if not, worn brake components could be causing your brakes to grab or lock up when applied. Have your brakes checked immediately and be advised, you will likely need to replace the tire with flat spot wear.
One Side Wear: Tires that are worn on one side – either inner or outer – are likely suffering from misalignment. If so, a new alignment will likely resolve the issue. Your Quick Lane Tech will be able to tell you if the problem is more severe, as in worn ball joints, struts or CV joints.
Sidewall Wear: Tires with sidewall damage cannot be repaired and must be replaced. Sidewall damage generally happens when a driver parks too close to the curb or “rubs” a curb while pulling in or backing out of a parking spot. This often happens in urban areas when drivers are required to parallel park. Sidewall wear can weaken your tires structure and result in tire failure. If you notice sidewall wear, see your Quick Lane Tech immediately for qualified advice.

To ensure you get the best performance from your tires, watch for wear indicators and visit your Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centre for qualified advice and affordable prices on tires, brakes, front-end and suspension components along with fast, expert repair. You’ll find us conveniently located next to Drayton Valley Ford. Life really is better in the Quick Lane.