What tire wear can tell you about ride control

What tire wear can tell you about ride control

Let's go over some common tire wear conditions and what they could indicate regarding the vehicle's ride-control components' health.

Tire wear patterns can tell you a lot about the condition of a vehicle’s suspension and ride control components. By closely examining a customer’s tire wear, you can often pinpoint issues before they lead to more serious problems down the road. Let’s go over some common tire wear conditions and what they could indicate regarding the vehicle’s ride-control components’ health.

The ideal tire tread wear would show an evenly worn tread across the contact patch. However, real-world conditions like cornering, uneven roads and worn components make this tough to achieve. Examining where abnormal wear occurs on the tire can provide clues to underlying suspension issues.

While passenger car tire shoulders are engineered to withstand significant punishment, they’re often the first areas to exhibit premature wear if there are issues with how the tires meet the road surface.

Inner shoulder wear frequently stems from excessive negative camber with a toed-out wheel alignment condition. Camber and toe angles are designed to vary somewhat as the suspension cycles up and down and the vehicle body rolls during cornering maneuvers to enhance traction.

However, if the springs grow excessively weak over time and cannot maintain the intended ride height, that negative camber and toed-out geometry become amplified beyond its ideal range. This acceleration in camber and toe change leads to accelerated inner shoulder wear on the tires.

Conversely, outer edge wear is a sign that the sway bars, springs and dampeners can’t control the body’s movement. When a vehicle goes into a turn, the body can lean, and it can be worse on vehicles with a high center of gravity like crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks.

When the body of a car or truck leans, it can induce a positive camber on the outside wheel — positive camber and the transferred weight scrub the outer edge of the tire.

What if a tire shows signs of inner and outer edge wear? When shocks, struts, and springs are excessively worn, the increased body sway during cornering produces enough positive and negative camber to rapidly wear the tire shoulders on both sides. Faulty sway bars or links could also be the culprit – or it might just indicate a lack of tire rotations.

No matter what type of abnormal tire wear you discover, don’t simply replace the tires and consider the job done. Premature tire wear is often the symptom, not the root cause itself. Take the time to thoroughly inspect related suspension components and dig deeper to help solve your customer’s tire wear issues.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tire, service and shop operations videos.

You May Also Like

How to handle false ADAS activation

Many false activations are focused on one malfunctioning sensor. However, with ADAS, the cause of a false activation is likely more mechanical.


Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) have evolved from active cruise control to autonomous driving controls since these features first came to the market in 2006. If you’re the age of the average driver, 47, you’ve seen a lot of changes to multiple technology systems within your vehicle. One thing that has remained consistent through the years is that customers complain that the vehicle or technology did something unexpected – like a false activation light. Many false activation scenarios are focused on one malfunctioning sensor. However, with ADAS, the cause of a false activation is likely more mechanical. Let’s talk about why that is.

Navigating the challenges of performing alignments

By addressing pricing obstacles and communicating the value of your service, you can enhance profitability and retain customer trust.

The benefits of regular TPMS checks

Regular TPMS checks for your customers can limit tire wear, protect suspension parts and even reduce fuel costs.

Don’t estimate when it comes to parking brake adjustments

Let’s discuss a couple of different components of parking brakes to find out the best practices for adjusting them.

Important tips for wheel bearing service

Complaints like exhaust leaks to tire balance issues to vague statements like “it just doesn’t sound right” may mean bad wheel bearings.

Other Posts
Everything you ever wanted to know about Formula E tires

Learn how tire technology affects the highest level of all-electric racing from three different perspectives: The president of Hankook Tire North America, a tire engineer, and a Formula E driver.

The future legacy of the automotive aftermarket

Travel a new Road to AAPEX this season.

Optimism emerges in 2024 for U.S. OTR tire demand

This year, the industry is being driven by infrastructure spending and housing development.

Hunter Harsh Duty Alignment Rack: White Glove Installation

The RX Scissor Lift Harsh Duty Option is built for the Rust Belt with a zinc primer base and epoxy-filled joints to protect against salt and corrosion.