What Causes Tires To Wear On The Inside? – Explained

A vehicle tires’ look tells much about the condition of the suspension. If you notice signs of inner tire wear, you can troubleshoot the more serious issues to know the root cause of the problem.

Inner tire wear can cause wheel wobbling, a shaky steering wheel, and many other drivability issues. This can also lead to dangerous situations. That said, it is essential to know why your tires wear on the inside to prevent catastrophic situations.

In this article, you’ll learn what causes tires to wear on the inside, how to recognize and fix it.

What causes tires to wear on the inside

Tire wearing on the inside occurs for many reasons. It could be because of underlying steering or suspension issues.

There are a few causes of uneven inner tire wear you should watch out for to prevent it from escalating to more severe damages.

Here are the common causes of inner tire wear;

What Causes Tires To Wear On The Inside

Worn ball joints

Worn ball joints are the primary cause of uneven tire wear. They are also a probable cause of accelerated inner tire wear.

Ball joints link a vehicle’s control arms to steering knuckles with its socket and ball design. Automakers design ball joints to serve this purpose without excessive play.

However, as the ball joints work overtime, friction and normal use cause it to lose and have little play. The play extends too excessively or causes tire wobbling if not replaced early.

The excessive play can cause an unintended outward steering knuckle movement, leaving the same effect on the corresponding tire.

Similarly, a worn lower ball joint can affect the vehicle’s camber angle to the point of leading to accelerated tire wear.

Incorrect toe angle

Toe angle is the center axis of a vehicle’s tire or the relation of one tire to the other. You can observe this angle by standing on the front of the tire while looking at the edges of tires. What is toe out and toe in tire wear?

A toe-in vehicle condition refers to when both tires face inward towards each other. Whereas, a toe-out is when the tires point outwardly from each other.

A vehicle tire with a high toe-out condition will often cause premature inner tire wear. Why is this so? The pavement you travel on effectively affects the inner segment of each tire.

Camber problems

A common reason for tires wearing on inside only is camber problems. It happens when the inside tread of the tire wears out faster than the outside or center edge, affecting how straight up or down the vehicle tires are with load resting on it.

Manufacturers engineered cambers to allow the vehicle to hug the road perfectly. However, a bad or out-of-sync tire alignment will affect the tire angle, causing it to be positive or negative.

A negative camber angle causes the top part of the time to go inwardly and station the bottom part outwardly, resulting in accelerated tire wear.

Worn tie rods

Worn tie rods are also a cause of uneven and inner tire wear.

If you cannot check and grease the tire rods regularly, it’ll lead to premature wear. A tie rod, as we know, is a steering component that connects the steering wheel to the vehicle wheel. If it goes bad, it’ll not only cause inner tire wear but also lead to a shaky steering wheel and wobbling tires.

Faulty struts or shock absorbers

You may wonder, will bad struts cause inside tire wear? Of course, worn shock absorbers or struts can also be a culprit of inner tire wear. A fault or leaked shock absorber will cause the vehicle to bounce excessively, especially on rough pavement. This can cause severe damages to other suspension system components if not rectified on time. It can also cause outer or inner pattern tread on the tires.

It can also result in a shaky steering wheel when driving on rough terrain and whenever you hit a pothole or speed bump.

Broken shock springs

Vehicle shock springs offer a seamless driving experience. It works in harmony with the shock absorbed to prevent excessive tire movement when you drive over potholes and speed bumps. A vehicle needs a shock spring for a vibration-free driving experience. 

However, like most suspension components, shock springs wear over time. This affects the tire and how perfectly it hugs the ground. It can also cause uneven tire wear, outer or inner tire wear.

Worn control arm bushings

Control bushings serve as a linkage or connection between the steering knuckles and the chassis. Automakers engineered both ends of a control arm with elastomer or rubber fittings. These bushings aim to halt or reduce excessive play from the vehicle that could adversely affect the camber angle. 

As the control arms function, they begin to age over time and start wearing off the bushings slowly. The wear allows excessive movement, affecting camber angle adjustments on that wheel.

The adverse lead to outer and inner tire wear effects because of the excessive movement and the camber angle issues.

Bad Wheel Alignment

Bad wheel alignment can lead to many suspension components issues, such as wheel hub bearing problems, uneven tire wear, and outer and inner tire wear. What causes bad wheel alignment, anyway?

Your vehicle may incur bad wheel alignment during a pothole collision. It can cause your vehicle to pull in one direction when driving on a straight pavement.

tyres wearing on inside

How To Fix inside Tire Wear?

Since there are many culprits of inner tire wear, fixing it requires tracking the actual cause and repairing or replacing it. That said, how to fix inner tire wear requires doing any of the followings;

  • Replace or fix damaged suspension components
  • Getting wheel alignment
  • Getting wheel balancing
  • Keep tires properly inflated

Replace or fix damaged suspension components

If you notice uneven tire wear from one side of a vehicle wheel, check the suspension system. A damaged suspension component encourages accelerated inner tire wear. It can also reduce vehicle speed. The engine will try to compensate using more gas, leading to high fuel consumption.

It’s essential to note that ignoring faulty suspension components for an extended period will escalate to a major repair fix and can leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

If a faulty suspension component is the culprit of inner tire wear, fixing or replacing it is all you need to solve the problem.

Getting wheel alignment

Wheel alignment ensures a tire reaches or exceeds its lifespan. It’s essential to regularly check and align your wheels to prevent premature ball joint wear, tie rod wear, camber angle problems, etc., which may damage your springs.

Expert mechanics recommend getting a wheel alignment at every 5,000 miles or twice a year to ensure all suspension components run as they should.

If your wheel is out-of-alignment, it could cause uneven and inner tire wear. Aligning the wheels may be all you need to fix it.

Getting wheel balancing

Most motorists go for a wheel balancing service when they notice uneven tire wear. This is a bad approach. I recommend balancing your wheels at least once in two years.

Some auto manufacturers and mechanic gearheads recommend balancing your wheels once you get a new one underneath your vehicle. Practicing this will halt or prevent inner tire wear.

Keep tires properly inflated

Under-inflated tires can lead to uneven and inner tire wear. Why is it so? That is because Under-inflated tires’ sidewalls will no longer hug the road perfectly. 

That’s why you need to check your tire pressure often. Get a portable tire inflator if you have many cars or don’t like running to a mechanic station every time. If you don’t have many cars and don’t see getting a tire inflator necessary, ensure you check your tire pressure regularly.

FAQS

Q: Why are my front tires wearing on the inside?

The primary cause for a front tire to wear from the inside is the angle where the tire is fitted has been shifted to the center of the car. We refer to this as a negative camber angle. It happens when you have a faulty or loose control arm.

This causes most of the tires that touch the ground to wear off. This may sound weird to regular motorists, but this is perfectly fine to a gearhead.

Normally, a wheel tire should sit on the road at zero degrees. This pattern will allow even wear on the entire part of the tire. If you observe that the inner tire is wearing more than the outer or center part of the tire, it shows a problem with the suspension system.

Q: What is irregular tire wear, and what causes it?

Irregular tire wear is improper tire wear whereby the tires are wearing unevenly. Overinflation, underinflation, improper alignment, or faulty suspension issues usually causes this.

Tires are essential components of a car. That’s why you need to check their conditions at all times. The effects of seasons on tires, salt, cold, snow, or fluctuating temp can lead to tire wear and tear.

Q: Why do my tires wobble when I drive?

Separated tires usually cause wobbling when driving. They can result in severe safety issues and should be rectified immediately. Separated tires always project severe damages to the vehicles.

A tire with this issue will have a visible bump along with the tread. You can also feel the bump with your hands.

Q: What happens when your car tires won’t grip the road?

A tire not gripping the road is usually caused by underinflation, and they are dangerous to drive. An Under-inflated tire that can’t grip the road can cause a heavy steering feel.

They can cause the car to skid on sudden halts. It’ll also cause high gas consumption, which will lead to a constant visit to gas stations and extra bucks.

Q: Do tires lose grip when they’re worn out?

Of course, a worn-out tire loses grip on the road. As tires run and wear down, the treads and the sidewalls wear too. Less amount of tire tread equals reduced road grip.

Final word

It is important to know what causes tires to wear on the inside so you won’t panic unnecessarily when you notice it. That is the aim of this article. This article has provided sufficient information and explained the required repair procedures to tackle the culprits.

If you have front or rear tires wearing on the inside, follow the guides on this article to fix it or contact your mechanic.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a seasoned automotive technician for the past 9 years, and a technical writer. He loves writing about auto professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, and buyer’s guide. After spending six years in the automotive workshop, he decided to impact his knowledge to people aside his domain, and he has achieved this by centering his Automotive writing skills on REPAIRS.

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