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What is uneven tyre wear?

Uneven tyre wear

Just like many motoring parts, tyres wear over time – meaning it’s inevitable that your tyres will need replacing at some point. However, excessive tyre wear, or uneven tyre wear may lead to early replacement of your tyres. Learn what causes uneven tyre wear and the best ways to avoid it today.

Understanding the importance of tyre wear

If tyres cannot grip the road effectively, your control as a driver may be compromised, which puts you in danger – but also puts the safety of other people on the road in danger, too. Tyre tread depth is especially important in harsh conditions like rain, snow or ice – it’s important to be able to rely on your tyres, and if your tyres are experiencing uneven or excessive tyre wear, they won’t be performing to their optimum.

The legal minimum tyre tread depth set out by UK law is 1.6mm, in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre. If your tyre mould tread bars are below this level, your tyres will be illegal and unsafe. That’s why it’s so important to ensure your tyres are not experiencing uneven tyre wear as not only is it dangerous, but it could also mean your tyres are illegal.

What causes abnormal tyre wear?

Nobody wants to be told that their tyres need replacing earlier than planned. So, what can cause excessive or uneven tyre wear?

  • Inflation pressure

    If your tyres aren’t inflated correctly, this can cause excessive wear of your tyres. If they are over-inflated, this can lead to wear of the middle section of your tyre – as the contact between the tyre and the road is directed solely to the middle of the tyre.

    Under inflated tyres can increase the wear of the outsides (shoulders) of your tyres – this is because the shoulders of the tyres then dip to meet the road.

  • Wheel alignment

    Poor wheel alignment is one of the most common causes of uneven tyre wear. This refers to when the angles of your wheels are not lined up correctly in accordance to manufacturer recommendations – causing wear and erosion to the tyres themselves.

    Signs of wheel misalignment can include dragging or pulling to one side; vibration in the steering wheel; or having noticeable tyre wear that you can see. You can avoid wheel alignment problems by ensuring you don’t drive over kerbs or potholes, as this can knock your alignment out of place.

    Find out more information on wheel alignment and wheel tracking, today with help from Formula One Autocentres.

  • Age of tyres

    Tyre wear is inevitable over time but the rate of wear is dependant on how long you’ve owned your vehicle, how the tyres have been fitted along with your driving style. Preventing uneven tyre wear will help your tyres to have a longer life but eventually, your tyres will wear down to a point where they will need replacing, as they may no longer be safe to drive on.

    There’s no definite rule on when to change your tyres but it’s advised that you should replace your tyres every five years with a thorough inspection by a specialist at least once every year.

    Looking to replace your tyres? Or perhaps want to know more information on uneven tyre wear? Find your local Formula One Autocentre today for more information and advice from our helpful team.

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