It’s not a good sign when you observe abnormal wear and tear on your tire treads. Abnormal wear indicates that your tire has a shortened lifespan, and it can also show that there’s a larger issue at stake with your car. You should never overlook abnormal wear, such as one tire wearing faster than the others.

How this system functions:

Your four tires are the only things that have contact with the road. As a result, they are prone to wearing and tearing because of the constant contact with the road when you drive. Your four tires are designed – through alignments, tire specifications, and proper air pressure – to share the contact with the road, and to wear in an even pattern. When something gets one wheel out of balance, the tire on that wheel is prone to abnormal wear and tear.

Common reasons why this happen:

There are a number of different problems that can result in one tire wearing faster than the others:

  • Improper air pressure in one tire: Tires are produced to have a specific level of air pressure in them. If they get under-inflated, the outside of the wheels can wear excessively, and the tire is prone to cupping. If they are over-inflated, the middle of the tire is the only part that has a contact with the road, and the pressure of the tire can make the vehicle to bounce slightly, creating further damage to the tire.
  • Wheel misalignment: An alignment puts your wheels at the ideal angles, so that each wheel is kept up with the others. This allows the vehicle to be able to drive in a straight line, corner effectively and predictably, and it helps the tires wear slowly and evenly. If the wheels are not correctly aligned, one tire may be subject to more wear and tear than the other three.
  • Tires have not been rotated: It’s vital to have your tires rotated on a regular basis, because different corners of your car may experience different wear and tear than others. For example, one of your right tires (front for a front-wheel drive car, rear for a rear-wheel drive car) will be subjected to the most wear and tear, especially in a powerful car. This is because slightly more power goes to the right side of the car, because that is the side that hosts the drive wheel. This wear and tear is minimal enough that it will be caused by proper tire rotation, but if the tires are not rotated regularly, this may lead to noticeable wear in one of the tires.
  • Bad suspension: Many of the parts in the suspension system – such as the shock absorbers, struts, control arms, and ball joints – can have an impact on tire tread wear. The suspension attaches your wheels to the frame of your vehicle, and helps evenly share the weight of the car and the impact of the road. If a shock absorber, strut, control arm, or ball joint gets damaged, it can put large amounts of pressure on one wheel. This can create abnormal wear, or simply throw off the alignment, which will eventually lead to uneven wear and tear.

How it is done:

Before changing your tire, a mechanic will thoroughly check your suspension system to ensure that a larger issue is not in effect. If there is something wrong with the struts, shock absorbers, ball joints, or control arms, the mechanic will change them, and then change the tire. All four tires will be checked to make ensure that they’re in similar condition, and filled with the correct amount of air pressure.

How vital is this check?

Services that feature tires are always vital. A tire that is very worn will have a shorter lifespan and is prone to blowing out. One tire that is wearing faster than the others can be a sign of a larger problems with the suspension system, which will only become further damaged if it is negleted. You should always schedule an inspection as soon as you observe that one tire is wearing faster than the others.