How to Identify and Address Common Tire Issues

Maintaining proper tire conditions is essential for safe and efficient driving. Tires are the only component of a vehicle that is in contact with the road, making it crucial to ensure that they are in good condition at all times. It is important to select the appropriate tire performance rating for your vehicle to ensure optimal safety and performance. Using a VIN decoding tool like EpicVIN can help determine a vehicle’s weight, size, and other important factors that affect tire performance. Nevertheless, some issues on the road appear that is why you need to be fully aware of the possible variants. Proceed to our article where we will discuss common tire issues and how to identify and address them to maintain optimal safety and performance on the road.

Balding Tires

Balding tires occur when the tread on a tire wears down to a point where it becomes unsafe to drive on. Several factors can cause balding tires, including poor alignment, overinflation, underinflation, and improper tire rotation. To identify balding tires, look for uneven tread wear or a noticeable lack of tread depth. Treadwear is often indicated by the tread wear indicators located in the tread grooves. These indicators show when the tire tread is worn down to the legal limit, which is typically 2/32 of an inch.

Treadwear can also be checked using the penny test. Insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, the tire tread is too worn, and the tire needs to be replaced.

To address and prevent balding tires, ensure that your tires are properly inflated and aligned. Rotate your tires regularly, and replace them when necessary. Tire rotation is the process of moving tires from one position on a vehicle to another, promoting even wear and extending the life of the tires. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended tire rotation pattern for your vehicle.

Cupping Tires

Cupping tires occur when there are irregular wear patterns on a tire, leading to a bumpy ride and reduced handling. Cupping can be caused by worn shock absorbers, misaligned wheels, and unbalanced tires. To identify cupping tires, look for diagonal tread wear or scalloped depressions on the tire surface.

To address and prevent cupping tires, ensure that your shock absorbers are in good condition. Shock absorbers are designed to dampen the suspension system’s movement, preventing excessive movement of the wheels and tires. Have your wheels aligned and balanced regularly, and rotate your tires at every other oil change to promote even wear.

Underinflated Tires


Underinflated tires occur when a tire is not inflated to the recommended level, leading to increased friction between the tire and the road, reduced fuel efficiency, and increased risk of a blowout. To identify underinflated tires, look for bulging sidewalls, poor handling, and uneven tread wear.

To address and prevent underinflated tires, regularly check and maintain proper tire pressure levels. Use a tire pressure gauge to measure the tire pressure and ensure that it matches the manufacturer’s recommended pressure levels. The recommended tire pressure levels can typically be found on the tire placard located on the driver’s side door jamb or in the owner’s manual. Replace any damaged tires as soon as possible.

Overinflated Tires

Overinflated tires occur when a tire is inflated to a level higher than the recommended one, leading to reduced handling and increased risk of a blowout. To identify overinflated tires, look for a rigid and stiff ride, excessive tire wear in the center of the tread, and poor handling.

To address and prevent overinflated tires, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure levels. Avoid overinflation, as it can cause the tire’s center section to bulge, leading to uneven wear and reduced handling.

Other Common Tire Issues and Solutions

Uneven tire wear can occur due to misaligned wheels, worn suspension components, or improperly inflated tires. Regular tire rotation, wheel alignment, and suspension maintenance can help prevent uneven tire wear.

Sidewall damage can be caused by hitting a curb, driving over a pothole, or hitting a sharp object on the road. Sidewall damage can compromise the tire’s integrity, leading to an increased risk of a blowout. Any sidewall damage should be inspected by a professional and replaced if necessary.

Punctures and flats can occur due to road hazards, such as nails or debris on the road. Regularly checking tire pressure and inspecting for any visible punctures can help prevent punctures and flats. In the event of a flat tire, be sure to pull over to a safe location and replace the tire or use a tire repair kit.

Regular wheel alignments and tire rotations can help prevent excessive tire wear and promote even wear on all tires. Misaligned wheels can lead to uneven tire wear and poor handling, while regular tire rotations can extend the life of the tires and promote even wear.

Final word

Proper tire maintenance is essential for safe and efficient driving. Common tire issues, such as balding, cupping, underinflation, and overinflation, can compromise the vehicle’s handling and safety. Regularly checking tire pressure, rotating tires, and maintaining proper wheel alignment can help prevent these issues and promote even tire wear.

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