Beware of Tyre Wear Types, Risks of Worn Tyres & Ways to Reduce it

Tyre Wear

Tyres are the solitary point of physical interaction between your car or bike and the motorway. Good maintenance of your tyre ensures easy steering, braking as well as safety while riding.

A recent study by the Transport research Wing of India reports, the number of deaths due to tyre-related accidents reached almost 1.5 lakh.

The consistent usage coupled with negligent care, makes tyres wear off very easily. This causes lowered grip and consequently more probability of skids and accidents.

Awareness is step one in the prevention. This article outlines the various ways your tyre can wear out and ways you can protect them.

What is the Treadwear rating on a Tyre?

This measure is issued as UTQG (Uniform tyre Quality Grade), A.K.A treadwear grade. What this value designates fundamentally is the period of operability of the tyre.

It is usually stamped on the sidewall. So the more the treadwear rating, the better is the expected running time.

For example, a “600” treadwear ranking will last twice as long as a “300” value, and also result in thrice the mileage of a grade of “200”.

What are the different Tyre wear patterns?

The most prominent Tyre Wear patterns are,

Heel/toe: An uneven pattern of wear, this occurs due to tread blocks getting eroded unidirectional in one part more swiftly than the other. The thread blocks will give a feeling of jagged teeth. Heel/toe wear happens habitually in a shoulder spine.

Feather edge: the process of tyres becoming dilapidated in a feathered pattern occurs due to one side becomes smooth and the other becomes sharp. The main rationale for tyres being feathered is due to the combined effect of misalignment and additional toe and caster.

One-sided shoulder: This type of asymmetrical wear mean either the inner or external spine of the tread is drastically more worn than the others. This irregularity causes a curvaceous bend in the rib leading to the vehicle being pulled in one particular direction. It can be dangerous at high speeds.

What are the risks associated with worn tyres?

There are multiple risks associated with this. A few of them are listed below:

Increased risk of puncture/blowout: When the thread faces abrasion, the protection to the casing is vastly reduced. Hence in case of contact with sharp objects on the road, the risk of tyre blowout is much more likely than in other cases. Even if not a blowout, a puncture, where the air runs out at a high rate is highly possible

Aquaplaning and poor control of snow: Aquaplaning is the occurrence of the vehicle not being able to retain control on a wet surface. Treading is the design element responsible for the resistance to aquaplaning. Also, on snow and ice, tyres require sipes in order to contrive over these surfaces.  Without this, the car or bike is likely to skid or even flip over.

Increased friction: Without the gap between the threads to dissipate the friction, the heat generated from contact between road and rubber builds up to a high level. This can ultimately read to tyre collapse.

How to reduce wearing of tyres?

Reducing tyre wear can be easy. Just follow these pointers,

  1. Maintain air pressure: The easiest step towards this cause would be to ensure proper inflation at all times. Both over and under inflation are equally damaging to tyres. Checking the air pressure every fortnight or once a month is advised.
  2. Careful driving: Avoid harsh roads, hard braking, cornering at excessive speeds and over acceleration. All these have destructive effects.
  3. Regular tyre rotation: Have them rotated every 10000 km at least. This evens out wear to a great extent. This can also be done when you change a couple of tyres.
  4. Wheel balancing: Often underestimate; wheel balancing must be done at the same time as rotation. If not done, it can lead to vibration and uneven deterioration.
  5. Wheel Alignment: Nonadherence to conducting alignment at least twice a year leads to tyres being toed-in. Misalignment causes the vehicle to either pull to the right or left. This in addition to deteriorating the tyres also decreases fuel efficiency.

FAQ’s about Tyre Wear

Why do my Tyres wear out so fast?

Tyre wear is dependent on multiple factors. The rate and evenness of wearing out also vary with these factors. Some explanations for this are:

  • Inadequate or Surplus Tyre Inflation: If a tyre is either overfilled or underfilled, this will lead to uneven distribution of vehicle mass and the tyres will consequently be run irregularly.
  • Wrong Alignment: This factor regulates the coordination between navigation function and wheel movement. In case the alignment is erroneous, there is potential for uneven wear of the tyre.

Why is my Tyre wearing on the outside?

Sublevel air filled is the widespread reason for outerwear. When you drive a tyre which has not been filled to the required level, the degree of contact of surface and tar road is higher. This leads to abrasion of the outer side.

Low amount of air in the tube is very common because tyres tend to lose at least a couple of PSI pressure every week.

What does it mean when your tyres wear in the middle?

Tyres being worn down the middle occur when the threading is intact along the sides but bald in the centre. The most usual suspect for these phenomena is filling the tyres over the suggested pressure requirement.

Due to increased inflation, the sidewalls bulge out due to the bulk of the car, and the tyres are ridden almost exclusively in the centre.

Do front or rear tyres wear out quicker?

The rate of deterioration depends primarily on the type of vehicle. If the vehicle is a forward wheel drive then obviously the front tyres would wear at a faster pace.

In case it is a four wheel drive vehicle, then the rate of the back would be marginally higher. Distribution of weight also has a weight on the rate.

It is also seen that the front passenger side tends to wear out quicker than the driver’s side.

Can ball joints affect Tyre wear?

Yes, ball joints do affect tyre wear. When the inner and external edges of the front tyres are wearing quicker than the rest of the tyre tread, then there is a good chance it is because the ball joint is worn.

Can worn Tyres cause steering wheel vibration?

Yes, this can cause steering wheel vibration. Due to uneven wear, usually, there will be flat spots. This throws the balance of the vehicle leading to steering wheel vibration. Another cause is the protrusion on the sidewall due to high temperature.


Tyres, just like any other mechanical utility equipment do not last forever. But during its life, it is crucial that they are in the best condition so that they produce good efficiency, safety, and driving comfort. It is easy to prevent untimely scuffing or wear of tyres through a little attention and regular good practices.

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