Need Advice - Uneven Tyre Wear

Submitted: Monday, Oct 15, 2012 at 20:43
ThreadID: 98547 Views:7724 Replies:7 FollowUps:16
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Hi people, I'm just wondering if some knowledgeable tyre person can explain to me the reason for the uneven tyre wear on the front of my 2005 Rodeo.
In the pics below you will see the tyre wear on the inside of the tyre, when I first bought the tyres I had a wheel alignment done because on the last trip the inside of the tyres were scrubbed out (That was two years ago).
I recently noticed the noise the tyres were making on the road and the wear that was happening, so I took the car back to where I got the tyres and they did another wheel alignment. I asked the operator what could be causing the wear and said it was probably the front shocks!

I took the car to ARB and had OME sport shocks fitted to the front! Now I know the damage was already done prior to getting new shocks, but just wondering if the tyre wear is caused by a front end mechanical problem or is it just the tyre? (the tyres are Bridgestone Duelers A/T)

Thanks everyone, John





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Reply By: Member - mechpete - Monday, Oct 15, 2012 at 21:23

Monday, Oct 15, 2012 at 21:23
gooday ,
you wasted your money putting shockers on it , thats my opinion !!
have you checked the front wheel bearings ,, too lose , it was suggested to me
some time ago .
mechpete
AnswerID: 496746

Follow Up By: Member - John D, Wandong (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 09:43

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 09:43
Thanks for your reply mechpete, will get the wheel bearings checked out at next service.
The front shockers weren't a waste of money as I was getting new shocks fitted all round before the next trip in 2013.

Cheers, John
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FollowupID: 772478

Reply By: Ross M - Monday, Oct 15, 2012 at 22:26

Monday, Oct 15, 2012 at 22:26
Whoever said it was the shock absorbers "don't no nuffink" Definitely not the shocks.
The undue wear appears to be on the outside and inside tread sections and the middle portion is worn evenly. This points to UNDER inflation wear as the tread edges are taking more load and are squirming more on the road.

What pressure are you running?

If the inner edge/band of tread is worn more than the outside that indicates negative camber, slightly. Is the vehicle set by the "expert" and then you load the back or hitch up a van??
That will cause the front to rise and the camber to go negative all the time you drive. If so, the aligning "expert" isn't so expert and hasn't asked what conditions it is used under. He should set it accordingly and with a driver in the seat, because most vehicles have a driver while being driven.

Are the edges of all the tread blocks slightly but evenly rounded at the edges, as you move your hand across the tread?? If one side is sharper than the other you have a toe in or toe out problem. Be aware, the toe in will become toe out slightly if the riding height while travelling isn't the same as when set by the "expert".

Many front end aligners have no idea what aligning means. It is a dynamic thing not a static situation. Most of the "using" factors aren't ever allowed for by some aligners, they just set it as the instructions say without ever thinking about the problem.

Most tyres wear unevenly because of inflation reasons and incorrect alignment.

Bad shocks may cause scalloping of the tread IE hollows in patches.

Cheers

Ross M
AnswerID: 496754

Follow Up By: AlanTH - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 10:01

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 10:01
We're in dispute with our van manufacturer/retailer about just this problem. They say it's alignment but we've had that checked by a company which only works on vans so should know the problems encountered.
Pressures are always up to the max on our type of tyre which ain't much, only 45psi. Weight is pretty evenly distributed.
Nearside (lefthand) shock was checked with a force meter and it took much less effort to compress it than the righthand one.
I reckon and so do others in the tyre trade, that this is allowing the wheel to skip producing this scalloping around the outside edge.
Next move I expect them to say we've taken the van on "inappropriate roads".......after they flogged us an "off road" suspension.
I know this will happen as one of the retailers staff complained that people send them pics of their supposedly fully off road vans "where there's no roads"!
AlanH.

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FollowupID: 772481

Follow Up By: Member - John D, Wandong (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 10:05

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 10:05
Thanks for your reply Ross, lots of food for thought there!
I generally run the tyres at 40psi but that may not be enough, as for the so-called expert, I think you may be right in that they just set the alignment as per their instructions.

I don't tow a caravan but every now & then I go camping up bush on a private property, the back of the ute will be filled with camping gear and I often take a 6x4 trailer which I fill with firewood (approx 1/2 ton), so as you suggest this will lift the front end up and effect the tyre wear! I never gave this much thought before but it all makes sense now!

I will get the front end checked out by a reputable 4x4 mech who knows about the difference between loaded/unloaded vehicles when doing an alignment!
Cheers, John
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FollowupID: 772483

Follow Up By: Member - John D, Wandong (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 10:16

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 10:16
Hi AlanTH, funny you should mention "allowing the wheel to skip", as that was the sensation I was getting before fitting new shocks to the front, it felt & sounded like the tyre was slapping the road surface!

Cheers, John
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FollowupID: 772485

Follow Up By: AlanTH - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 10:25

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 10:25
Good luck with it anyway John. If our van wasn't still under warranty I'd definitely change the shocks but they flog these things as "go anywhere", so the equipment they fit should last longer than a few thousand kays on mostly bitumen.
AlanTH.
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FollowupID: 772486

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 07:32

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 07:32
John,

Could be something as simple as power steering. This may cause this sort of wear as the edges of the tyres are placed under extra stress without the whole wheel turning at the same time when at full lock.

Bill


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AnswerID: 496765

Follow Up By: Member - John D, Wandong (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 10:11

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 10:11
Thanks Sandman, there could be some truth in what you are saying, when driving in a straight line on bitumen the tyres don't make nowhere near as much noise as they do when negotiating a round-a-bout or turning right, turning left there is hardly any tyre noise on the road!

Cheers, John
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FollowupID: 772484

Follow Up By: splits - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 12:34

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 12:34
"when negotiating a round-a-bout or turning right, turning left there is hardly any tyre noise on the road! "


That could be caused by a bent steering arm i.e. the arm from the hub to the outer tie rod end. The inside wheel always turns more than the outside on turns because they are turning on different size circles. Bent arms are often overlooked by wheel aligners. They will adjust the toe in or out correctly and the car will be ok in a straight line but the geometry or the "toe out on turns" will be out on corners.

You can do a visual test yourself by setting the wheels in the straight ahead position and either looking at or measuring the distance between the tie rod end and the wheel or tyre. If there is a difference and the wheels are not buckled, then there is a good chance one of the arms are bent.
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FollowupID: 772492

Reply By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 12:25

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 12:25
John - I have just replaced the same Bridgestone tyres on my Jack (245/70/16 - now shod with 265 AT D697s). The 695s were slightly, but evenly, worn on the inside due to a minor wheel alignment issue. I suspect to get the sort of uneven scalloping you appear to have in the pictures it is more likely to be a function of your suspension as Alan said.

However I suspect you might also need to think about your tyre pressures - 40psi sounds high to me. Not sure about your Rodeo but my Jack's recommended pressures (cold) are 30F 35R ("up to maximum load") and the first comment my brother-in-law mechanic said when he saw my new boots was: 'they're over-inflated'. He was right. The tyre mob had put 38 psi all round. Higher pressure also puts extra load on your suspension.
AnswerID: 496784

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 12:54

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 12:54
By the way John, I'm assuming that what I think I see in your pics is actually what you're querying. It looks like you have a problem with the edge block on the INSIDE of your tyre - hence the light and dark shaded blocks. Is that accurate?
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FollowupID: 772493

Follow Up By: Member - John D, Wandong (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 14:14

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 14:14
Hi Ross, the tyres haven't been rotated for a while now (left to right & right to left), and I don't want to rotate the rear tyres to the front as they are a different brand and slightly less tread.
Yes, the lighter shaded blocks of tread are raised a good 1/16 inch on the outer edge more than the darker shaded blocks in some cases!





Cheers, John
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FollowupID: 772498

Follow Up By: Member - John D, Wandong (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 14:23

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 14:23
Sorry Bazooka, The first part of my follow-up should have been posted as a follow-up to Ross, the second part is the follow-up to your post!
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FollowupID: 772499

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 15:01

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 15:01
John

A bit a googling suggests worn, loose or misaligned suspension components is the answer. Most comments on scalloping talk about the inability to keep the tire surface on the road - just as Alan suggested. Here is one brief link:

Scalloping - possible causes

Also:
"Suspension Problems -- Ball Joints and Wheel Bearings
Chopped or cupped tires can result from worn ball joints in the suspension system. Load-carrying ball joints support most of the weight of the front end, as well as allow pivoting, or an arc of travel, of the lower control arm. If the ball and socket joint is worn, excess play results, allowing side-to-side and vertical movement. The excess movement causes the tire to momentarily lose contact with the road, resulting in choppy or scalloped wear patterns. Wheel bearings with excessive play will allow abnormal tire tracking and angular lean. Wheel bearings must be packed with grease and adjusted according to manufacturer's specifications.

Suspension Problems -- Tie Rod Ends and Bushings
Tie rod ends keep the steering linkage tight between the steering box or Pitman arm and the wheel. Worn tie rod end joints will allow excessive steering play, mostly in the horizontal plane, but also in the vertical, if very worn. Worn upper and lower control arm bushings allow the wheel spindle to jump, momentarily misaligning contact of the wheel to the road surface. Broken or worn upper control arm bushings will frequently produce a harsh knocking or clunking sound when the vehicle rebounds over dips or raised surfaces. Mechanics can determine if your bushings or ball joints need replacement."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm no expert but it could be something as simple as worn bushings or even ball joints. I'd be off to a suspension specialist for a quick assessment.
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FollowupID: 772502

Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 12:27

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 12:27
Sandman
I can't see how power steering has anything to do with tyre wear.

A Colorado.Dmax and many other vehicles are designed with the steering arms facing forward and this causes the outside of the LHF tyre to wear at a faster rate than other designs.
It is because the outer tyre during the turn is effectively steered harder into the turn than the opposite wheel. Holden HQ etc, Landcruisers Hilux and lots more. Also happens to the RHS tyre when turning left but because we go round rh corners faster than left hand corners and we do U turns to the right here in Orstraya as Warne says, the left hand tyre is the one which cops the wear and has to be rotated frequently.
PS Some tyre designs do have a tendency to wear the outer ribs more than the centre ones though. This might be one of those tyres if it is even wear on both inner and outer ribs.
If even wear, it may be a fault of the tyre case construction causing the issue.

John, the picture would be better if seen square on from the front so the wear difference and angle of wear across the tread would be presented to the viewer..

Are those tyres rotated at least every 10.000km or even more often?
AnswerID: 496785

Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 13:41

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 13:41
Just a bit more info.
"splits" said "The inside wheel always turns more than the outside on turns because they are turning on different size circles."

This is NOT SO. The inner wheel turns less than the outer wheel does and so the outer wheel gets the scrubbing on the outside shoulder.
On a vehicle with the steering arms at the back of the steering system, "splits" is then correct, but on these vehicles it is not the same and the settings of "angle of attack" of the wheel is a compromise of not too much tyre squeal, some scrubbing etc purely for the reason the vehicle design doesn't allow the steering arms to be at the back.

The original shocks on these vehicle are not worth a crumpet. they do not control the front end up and down oscillations of the wheel and DO allow the tyre to repeatedly hammer the road 3,4 or more times than they should be doing. "Ya can feel it on a new vehicle." As the shock deteriorate they don't get better. How they pass a compliance test is beyond me.
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FollowupID: 772494

Follow Up By: Member - John D, Wandong (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 14:26

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 14:26
Hi Ross, the tyres haven't been rotated for a while now (left to right & right to left), and I don't want to rotate the rear tyres to the front as they are a different brand and slightly less tread.
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FollowupID: 772500

Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 15:33

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 15:33
It is the front to back rotation which gives the evenness of wear and best tyre life to average away the sort of effect you are experiencing.

Have you checked your tyre gauge to see if the 40psi you are putting into the tyres is really 40 psi?? I wouldn't think you would need that much though.

If the wheel bearings were an issue you would be all over the road and same if ball joints were worn.
Go and look in a carpark at Coles/woolkies and see vehicles witht the same tyres as you have and check how they are wearing, could be just poor tyre case design.
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FollowupID: 772503

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 16:16

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 16:16
Talk about a bob each way Ross - first you tell him the wear is due to under-inflation, now you're suggesting 40 psi is too high (it is). The Bridgestone D695s are excellent all-round tyres as many on here and elsewhere have attested and whether he'd be all over the road with worn or loose wheel bearings or ball joints would depend on what stage of wear they were at.

Scalloping is obviously not a rare occurrence judging by the amount of info on the web. John's scalloping could be a first sign or problems in those areas although it could equally be something as minor as a worn bush. New shocks should help keep the tyres on the road but the uneven wear we can see on those inside blocks is significant (plenty of tread depth) and suggests a developing or existing suspension issue.

Go see a suspension specialist John. The front end of both the Jack and Rodeo is straightforward enough and it shouldn't cost you much to have it checked or rectified.

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FollowupID: 772506

Follow Up By: splits - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012 at 20:16

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012 at 20:16
Ross M posted:
This is NOT SO. The inner wheel turns less than the outer wheel does and so the outer wheel gets the scrubbing on the outside shoulder.



It makes no difference whether the steering is in front of the axle or behind it. The inside wheel still turns more than the outer. It all depends on the location of the outer tie rod ends.

The first photo below shows a basic rear steer system. It may be a 1920s design but current cars are still designed the same way. Lines drawn from the axle king pin through the tie rod end and extended to the rear will meet in the centre of the rear axle. That is the basic Ackerman principle.

The second photo shows the same suspension design but this time the steering is front mounted. Note how the tie rod ends have been moved much further out closer to the wheels. Lines drawn from the rod end through the king pin will still meet at the centre of the rear axle. If you make a cardboard model on a sheel of plywood wood with all joints pivoting on drawing pins, you will find the inside wheel still tuns in more than the outside wheel on turns.




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FollowupID: 772599

Reply By: Member - John D, Wandong (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 17:15

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 at 17:15
Thanks everyone for your informed input and advice, I really appreciate it!
I will definitely go and get the front end and suspension checked out!

Regards, John
AnswerID: 496804

Reply By: *Rusty* - Wednesday, Nov 07, 2012 at 00:54

Wednesday, Nov 07, 2012 at 00:54
Hi There,

As a person who works in the (earthmoving) tyre industry, the pressures the car tyre dealers often put in your tyres when you get them changed is often higher than you would normally run if you check them often as most people do not check their tyre pressure often (or ever) and the dealers account for this by putting a more pressure in them than car manufactures recommend.

There are multiple issues with this if you do infact check your tyre pressures often as the "higher than normal" pressure is what you assume your tyres should be at, therefore you continue the practice. This causes issues such as centre wearing in the tyre as when the tyre is over inflated the tyre is no longer "square or flat bottomed" on the road and is now slightly oval shaped. This means all contact is with the centre area of your tyre, wearing the centre much quicker. To see this in effect, look at your deflated tyre carefully or simply measure the tread depth difference from the shoulder area compared to the centre.

The other issue is underinflation. Underinflation causes the opposite effect to above. The shoulder will wear quicker than the centre. Depending on you load and wheel alignment (and everything mentioned above by others) etc, you may see uneven wear such as side loading on the tyre. Another sign of underinflation is "Heel / Toe Wear". This is within each lug. Someone described above the lug coming to a "point" front to back, this is classic underinflation. To fix this wear, rotate the tyre to run in the opposite direction (so run on the opposite hub) and increase your tyre pressures.

"Scalloping" however may be caused by constant heavy breaking or constant sharp quick cornering. Just be conscious of how you drive over the next few days and see if you find yourself pulling up hard or quickly at the traffic lights.

Another thing to check is your rim offset if you have aftermarket rims. Occasionally the incorrect rim offset may cause wear issues. Without physically looking at it, Due to the severity of your issue, it may be a bigger issue such as suspension.

40psi is what i was running in my 245/65R17 Bridgestone D697 on my work Prado constantly on the last set of tyres. It wasn't until i got a flat tyre on a worn tyre that i noticed the centre wear due to the over inflation. I dropped them down to 36 psi on the new set but admitadly i didnt like how they drove at the lower pressure. This may simply be because i am used to the harder tyre. I put them back upto 38 psi and it feels much better. My work car is usually empty so in hindsight 40psi was probably too high.

Your tyre pressures should reflect your load in your vehicle and your tow vehicle if applicable. It also should reflect the terrain you travel.

Slightly Higher pressures for distance highway driving with load but if you are just driving around town you can safely lower your pressures to the manufacturer pressure of the car and tyre (depending if you car is always fully loaded like ours e.g. draws, engel, rear wheel carrier etc.)

Talk to your tyre dealer and he should be able to give you approx pressures you should be running in your tyres for each application. Just play with it til you like how it drives.

Last of all, ensure you rotate your tyres to the diagonally adjacent position every 5000 to 10 000 km. This will help pickup uneven tyre wear more regularly and even any abnormal tyre wear out. If the side wearing is noticable and the tyres still have life in them, maybe even get the tyre dealer to strip and flip the tyre on the rim.

All pressure readings should be made cold, and the air in the tyre when inflating is measured cold on your guage as well. If you check your tyres hot, the reading is incorrect as hot air expands and gives you a false higher than actual reading. E.g. if you take a hot reading of 40psi your tyres cold are actually closer to 32 psi. This is when uneven tyre wear is caused. **I know this is common sense but i have to tell fitters on mine sites this every day i go to work and they still dont listen!**

Good Luck
AnswerID: 498061

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