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All our stores in Sydney are “Covid safe registered” and open for business, Please call 1300 266 844 to book an appointment

Discover Tyres

What Causes Irregular Tyre Wear?

Technician removing a worn tyre from a car.

How do you get irregular tyre wear?

Irregular tyre wear can be caused by a range of issues, including incorrect wheel alignment, driving on over or under inflated tyres, worn and damaged suspension components or an internal fault with a tyre. Irregular wear occurs over time, but if regular tyre checks are a part of your basic vehicle maintenance you may identify the issue before it becomes a safety concern.
There are several common irregular tyre wear patterns, including shoulder wear, one-sided wear and centre wear. Here we’ll take a look at some of the common types of irregular tyre wear, the signs and symptoms, the typical causes, and possible preventions.
Customer and technician assessing the condition of a car tyre.

What Does Irregular Tyre Wear Look Like?

Shoulder Wear:
If you notice that the edges of your tyres (or shoulders) have worn down at a faster rate than the centre of the tread this is known as shoulder wear. This is typically caused by:
  • Underinflation, which causes the edges of your tyres to make greater contact with the road than the centre of the tyre
  • Driving habits: repeatedly taking sharp turns and cornering at high speeds
  • Improper rims and potentially incorrectly mounted tyres
  • Tyre rotations that haven’t been completed at the recommended schedule
Centre Wear:
If you notice that the centre third of your tyre is wearing down at a faster rate than the shoulders (edges) of your tyre, this may be the result of:
  • Overinflation, which causes the centre third of your tyres to make greater contact with the road than the shoulders of the tyre
  • The tyre is not the correct fitment for the wheel
  • The tyre may have been inflated for a loaded vehicle, when the vehicle was not loaded
One-Sided Wear:
If your tyres are angled towards or away from your vehicle, this can cause the side of the tyre which has the greatest contact with the road to wear prematurely. One-sided wear can be caused by the following issues:
  • Damaged, or defective, suspension parts
  • Incorrect wheel alignment
Flat Spots:
If you notice sections of your tyre are not perfectly round, but rather there are small to large horizontal strips across the tyre tread, your tyre likely has flat spots. Flat spots can be the result of the following issues:
  • Rapid accelerating
  • Harsh, sudden braking, which results in a slide with total brake lockup
  • Imbalanced wheel weights
  • Possible faulty brake systems
  • Vehicle being parked or stored for extended periods of time without being moved
Diagonal Wear:
Diagonal tread wear is irregular angled wear which occurs across the face of the tyre and all of the way around the circumference of rear tyres. Diagonal wear may be the result of:
  • Underinflated tyres
  • Defective suspension or rotating parts
  • Incorrect tyre rotations
  • Incorrect wheel alignment - the rear wheel toe settings cause the tyres to follow a slightly different path than the vehicle
Technician talking with two customers about their tyres.

Why Does Tyre Wear Matter?

The condition of your tyres matters considerably. Tyre tread not only contributes to the overall safety of your vehicle, but also its ability to effectively brake and corner. When your tyres wear in an uneven pattern, it can compromise your car’s traction on the road surface.
Not only this, but uneven tyre wear may be an indication of a number of potentially serious issues, as discussed here. These include over or under inflated tyres, incorrect or failure to adhere to recommended tyre rotations and wheel alignments as well as possible issues with the vehicle’s suspension or brake systems.
Regular tyre inspections and maintenance can assist in identifying uneven tyre wear in its early stages, which may prevent costly repairs or replacements if ignored. If you have concerns regarding the tread wear on your tyres, contact your local BestDrive store. Our experienced technicians offer a range of services, including tyre rotations and wheel alignments. We can assess the condition of your tyres and advise you on any necessary repairs or replacements.
BestDrive. You drive, we care.

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