Preventing Uneven Tire Tread Wear

April 19th, 2024 by

During Car Care Month, there is perhaps no more important part of your car than the tires. Constantly in contact with the ground, tires are the heart of what makes your vehicle work and operate safely. So preventing uneven tire tread wear on them is a vital thing, and we’re here to explain how you should be doing that!

But why is all of this so important? The part of your tire that makes contact with the road is called the contact patch or footprint and is typically about the size of your palm. The size and surface area of this is designed to match the size and weight of your vehicle. When uneven tire wear begins to occur, this further decreases the size of the contact patch, impacting steering control and increasing stopping distances for your vehicle.

Irregular tire wear is an indication that there may be a problem that needs to be fixed. This problem may either be mechanical and quickly fixable or require more long-term driving behavior adjustments. Most likely though, your car is just overdue for a tire rotation.

Driving Habits

Let’s start with the most important potential cause, driving habits. If poor driving habits are leading to unevenly worn down tires, this will be a problem over a longer term than anything else. And it will lead to multiple avoidable visits to a service center.

Abrupt turns, lane changes, accelerating too fast, or slamming on your brakes are all damaging to your tires. Additionally, drivers should take care to avoid hitting potholes of any size or running over curbs at bad angles. These all lead to premature wear and can even damage the side wall of your tires.


Bad alignment adjustment may result in many different patterns of irregular tire wear. Take a look at your tires; misaligned wheels will have reduced or uneven rubber depths as compared to those that are properly aligned. If you suspect that your alignment may be off, consult your local service department or mechanic. Alignments and tire rotations are also regular tasks that can simply be timed with your expected oil change service visits. Staying ahead of this is vital to maintaining your tire tread. Owners should have their tires rotated every 6 months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles. This will also help your tires run quieter and last longer.

Worn/Damaged Suspension

Suspension components are designed to hold your wheel and tire securely in position. Parts like ball joints, tie rod ends, control arms and wheel bearings can all get worn or damaged over time. This can be a large contributor to uneven tire wear, as the wheel and tire are no longer held securely. If you suspect that your suspension isn’t working properly, get a thorough inspection to ensure that there is no damage before it extends into your tire tread.