Unusual Tire Wear

When I bought my Teg in the beginning of March, I had noticed that the tires had some strange wear on them. They were wearing unevenly on BOTH the inside and outside of the front tires, more commonly known as cupping (unevenly wears tread depth). The car had stock 14 in. steelies with caps, and I knew that both driveshafts needed replaced. They were worn out. I replaced the shafts hoping that the tire wear was being caused by play in the shafts, but I am now noticing that the “cupping” is coming back on the newer tires I just put on the car. What’s the deal? My Teg drives very straight, and high speed vibration is at a minimum. Shocks look stock and could use replaced for comfort reasons, but other than that, they do their job and are not blown. Cornering is decent, but not the tighest- i mean it is a 90. Could this cupping be caused by worn out shocks, worn balljoints, or do I still need some sort of alignment even if the car drives very straight? I tried to tell this same story to a service tech at Sears Auto, and he says that these damn front wheel drives need tire rotations every 3000 miles or so. Is that it, or is this something that needs further attention?

Check if the shocks are blown. if not try an alignment if u never gotten one.

check your air pressure in the tires, cant explain it, but im sure that is or could be the problem.

when you say "wearing unevenly on BOTH the inside and outside of the front tires, more commonly known as cupping (unevenly wears tread depth). " what do you mean… inner & outer wear is cause by very low air pressure… whereas cupping wear is caused by worn or broken parts or by primitave suspension design IE: ford trucks/vans… but most common cause of cupping is simply the neglect of the owner to have them rotated and balanced about every 6000 miles give er take depending on driving conditions and personal driving habits of the owner…

and yes its true FWD vehicles tend to wear out tires quick if this maitience (sp?) is not done on a regular basis…

and Turbo1.8Hybrid is correct…

too low of an air pressure allows the sidewalls to “sag” a bit and thus creates more pressure on both sides of the tire, causing them to wear faster. also creates less traction because the tires contact patch does not have the same air press.

too high of an air pressure does the opposite and creates a “balooning” effect and puts more pressure towards the center of the tread causing the center of the tire to wear faster. same as before… creates less traction because the tires contact patch does not have the same air press.

depening on how low/high will determine the rate of abnormal wear.

also could be the alignment, even if a car drives straight it can still be in need of an alignment… it depends on how the tie rods are positioned to make the car develop noticable alignment problems… it would’nt hurt to get it checked out if you havent done so by now…

see, i actually learned something in school lol

your shocks are real suspect. cupping is usually associated with your tire hopping too much causing lows and highs on the tread. do u drive a lot of freeway miles? cuz if you do, it’s real fast and easy to cup them. if you’re just driving around town, cupping is likely to occur much slower.

another thing is: r u certain ur tires are properly balanced?

I frequently check the air pressure in my tires. I am anal about that and rotations. I am currently in balance with all four wheels. However, the shocks are very tired on my car and do have Acura 89 stamped on them, which can probably tell you how old they are. Car probably hasn’t had an alignment since god knows when, and I DO rack up a ton of freeway miles. Previous owner racked up a ton of freeway miles as well. I have a set of Michelin XGT V4’s on right now, and I know they don’t make them anymore, so I am getting pissed that they are cupping on the front wheels, both inner and outer treads. My car isn’t lowered or anything, and the ride isn’t terrible, I just want to pinpoint the cause of this so I can start fixing things that need to be fixed one by one. Any suggestions as to where I should start? Shocks? Alignment? Could Balljoints do this? This isn’t normal tire wear!

I wouldn’t suspect alignment unless parts are worn. The only thing that is adjustable from an alignment point of view is toe-in and toe-out. Camber and caster are fixed and if they are off it means parts need to be replaced. Toe-in out of alignment would not cause cupping. It would cause scraping of the tire. Based on what you have said, the shocks sound like the problem. Only I would have thought you would feel it in the steering wheel.