What to Look For in the Wear in Your Tires
irregular tire wear is a good indication that it might
be time to have your tires replaced, did you know
that it can also be a warning sign that your vehicle
is experiencing steering, alignment or suspension
underbody of your vehicle is an interlinking system,"
says Jeff Repaal, director for Spicer Professional
Grade Chassis products.
"Steering and suspension life is directly related
to proper 4-wheel alignment. Your vehicle chassis
components depend on it. When you see your tires starting
to show signs of wear, don't just assume that they
are getting old. Tires can be a warning sign for other
vehicle problems. Make sure you request a proper 4-wheel
alignment inspection as part of your vehicle's annual
tire wear is a symptom of a problem that if neglected,
could damage your vehicle and put your safety in jeopardy.
Becoming familiar with these early warning signs is
a good preventative maintenance tip that will keep
you on the road.
If your vehicle is pulling to one side, make sure
you first check your tire pressure. If your tire pressure
is balanced, your steering problems could be due to
any of the following: an uneven tire rod length, incorrect
toe, unequal camber or caster, or an incorrect center
link/rack height. If you are experiencing excessive
steering play or hard steering, have your technician
check for loose or worn struts, strut mounts, shocks,
springs and/or bushings.
There are many components within the suspension system
of your vehicle. If you are experiencing suspension
problems, have your technician check the tire alignment,
bearings, bushings, strut rods, springs and/or control
arms. Be sure to inspect all suspension components
and repair all parts that are worn or damaged. Failure
to do so may allow the problem to reoccur and cause
premature failure of other suspension components.
Wheel alignment is needed for proper handling and
tire wear. Proper wheel alignment keeps the wheels
from scuffing, dragging or slipping. It also reduces
fuel consumption and strain on steering and suspension
parts, and improves steering ability. There are three
alignment angles that affect your vehicle; camber,
caster and toe.
is the inward or outward tilt of the wheel at the
top from a true vehicle line and is measured in degrees.
The purpose of this adjustment is to distribute the
vehicle load closer to the point of road contact.
This makes steering easier and helps prevent excessive
Caster is a directional control angle measured in degrees and is the amount that the steering axis tilted from true vertical backward or forward. Caster affects turning ease, straight-line stability and steering wheel returnability.
Toe is the difference between the front and rear of the corresponding tires at spindle height. This is easier to understand when you compare your car's wheels to your own feet. When the fronts of the tires face in toward the car, this is called toe-in. When they face out from the car, this is called toe-out. Incorrect toe will increase tire scrub and wear.
For more information on tire wear, visit www.spicerchassis.com.
(Source: Car Care Council)