Typical tyre problems: Heres all you should know

Improper tyre alignment can cause your tyres to wear unevenly and prematurely. Common irregular tyre tread conditions from improper alignment can cause feather edge tyre wear. Tyres are “feathered” when the tread ribs are worn lower/smoother on one side and higher/sharper on the other.

The camber is used to distribute load across the entire tread. The “camber angle” for a vehicle refers specifically to the placement of its wheels. It is the angle that occurs between the vertical axis when viewed from either the front or the rear. When the bottom of the wheel is further out than the top of it, then this is what is called a negative camber. A negative camber typically occurs when the suspension needs to compensate for roll that’s induced when there is a reduction in the wheel’s contact area.

Many people have identified the tyre problem of wearing out faster on the inner edges, then the negative camber is the culprit. It is also known as the “camber problem”. For an example, if the shock springs of the vehicle is too short or the mounting pads have collapsed, that will increase negative camber.

Generally, the front pair of tyres will wear out faster. The reason is that the front wheels perform the steering of the vehicle and therefore move much more that the rear tyres. Every time you turn the steering wheel the front tyres will generate more friction as they rotate against the road. With proper vehicle and tyre maintenance, combined with rational driving, you can expect to go 50 000 to 70 000 miles or more, on a typical set of all-season tyres.

It is extremely dangerous to drive on worn, bald and low tread tyres. Worn tyres are more likely to lose air pressure, which impacts a vehicle’s fuel economy, braking and steering. Low pressure is also a major cause of tyre blowouts and that can lead to losing control of a vehicle.

What are the signs of uneven tyre wear?
1. A Sawtooth appearance on the edges of the tyre indicates  serious tyre problems

2. Faster wear on the outer edges than in the middle.

3. Excessive wear on the side.

4. Cups or dips in the tread.

If these symptoms or problems are identified, the best is to replace the tyres or to do the wheel alignment of the vehicle.
The wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. This maximizes the life of your tyres and ensures straight driving on the road. If your front end is not aligned, you may find your vehicle veering to the right. Aligning the front end is a matter of adjusting the caster, camber and toe.

The caster is the forward or backward tilt of the steering axis when viewed from the side. The camber is the tilt of your wheels when viewed from the front or the back. The toe is how much the front of your wheels are inward or outward (toe-in/toe-out) when viewed from the top. It is best to have a proper wheel alignment done by a professional car specialist.

Trust your Audi and Vw specialists at V.A.G Spec Centre Zeerust to help you identify these tyre problems and give you the best advise.


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