How To Read Tire Wear on Your Chevrolet

Keeping a close eye on your Chevy’s tire wear is important to your vehicle’s performance and safety. Premature or abnormal tire wear is commonly due to the lack of basic tire maintenance and upkeep, an incorrect tire alignment, or worn suspension components.

Refer to this guide to learn how to read you tire’s wear and what’s causing the condition.

Over Inflation

  • If your Chevy’s tires are excessively worn down in the center, it is safe to say the tire’s pressure is consistently too high. The high level of pressure causes the center of the tire to be the primary patch of contact to the road, resulting in premature wear. Tire pressure should always be verified by using a tire pressure gauge. Dial style gauges typically provide the most accurate pressure readings.

Under Inflation

  • When your tires are consistently under inflated, the outer tread is coming in contact with the road too frequently, and leads to premature wear. Even with the correct tire pressure, damaged steering components can be blamed for such wear. If your tire pressure is consistently correct, it’s advised to look into other causes of wear, such as the need for an alignment.

Feathering

  • This type of wear occurs when the edge of each tread rib becomes slightly rounded on one side, and edged on the other. Too much toe-in could be the cause, which can be fixed by an alignment. Worn suspension components can also cause this, which results in the tire not tracking straight down the road like it should.

One-sided Wear

  • If your Chevy’s tires have inner or outer tread ribs wearing faster than the rest of the tires, it’s typically because there is too much camber in the suspension. This causes the tire to tilt too far to one side or the other, applying too much pressure to the shoulder. Causes of this can range from worn ball joints or control arms to misalignment, overloaded axles, or weak springs.

Cupping

  • Cupping, also called scalloping, occurs around edges of the tread from the tire bouncing sideways during its phases of rotation, and it could be wobbling on the rim or axel. Worn suspension components, such as shocks, ball joints, springs, control arms, etc. can cause this condition, as well as a misalignment or incorrect tire balancing. If worn components are found, they should be replaced immediately.

Second-rib Wear

  • A condition commonly found only with radial tires, second-rib wear appears where the steel belts within the tire end in coordination with the tire’s tread. Paying close attention to tire pressure and frequent tire rotations can help prevent this type of wear from occurring. Wear may also be considered normal depending on the make and model of the tire, but excessive amounts of this type of wear are a good indication that the wheels aren’t wide enough for the tires.

Now you know what to look for when checking your Chevy’s tires. Tires, like anything else on your Chevy, need maintenance to prevent damage and excessive wear, but can also be an indicator something else may need attention, too. It’s recommended to check your tires twice a month for any abnormal wear, and to keep up with the correct recommended tire pressure levels.