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Types of Tyre Wear Patterns and Causes

As they cover miles and miles of tarmac, gravel and dirt, the tyres on our vehicles will become worn and will eventually need to be replaced. However, there is no uniform way for our tyres to wear down – tyre wear takes on many patterns, and certain patterns can be symptoms of further problems, so it is important to be able to spot it in order to avoid exacerbating the issue.

Select a type of tyre wear to learn more:



Camber wear


Considerable wear on the inside and outside edges of the tyre that can be caused by suspension misalignment, a bent strut, a dislocated strut tower, a broken or weak spring, or collapsed or damaged control arm brushings.

Feathered directional wear


This wear can be identified by running your hand along the tyre: if it feels smooth one way but rough the other way, then feathered directional wear is occurring. It is caused by toe misalignment, worn tie rod ends, bent steering linkage and arms or worn idler arms.

Cupped wear pattern


Cupped wear is signified by cups and dips appearing around the edge of the tread. This could mean that one of your tyres is out of balance, or your shock absorbers and struts have weakened.

Centre overly worn


If the centre of your tyre is more worn than the shoulders, then it means that the worn tyres could be over inflated, causing a bulge in the middle.

Shoulders overly worn


Contrasting the above situation, the shoulders will be more worn than the centre, due to underinflation causing a dip in the centre of the tyre.


Some of the problems that can cause irregular tyre wear include:

  • Suspension issues
  • Incorrect wheel alignment
  • An internal fault with the tyre/tyres
  • Driving on under/overinflated tyres

How to check for abnormal wear

Regular checks are a great way to ensure that you are not driving on unsafe tyres. If you check your tyres and see that they are worn down excessively, then your vehicle may be unsafe to drive. Take the vehicle to a qualified, skilled mechanic to assess the problem thoroughly.

At Tyres Northampton, we are experts in providing the fitting of the highest quality tyres from the leading manufacturers and budget models alike. If you would like to know more about what we do, please get in touch with us today.


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