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Right front tire wear

So the parking guy, instead of chalking my tires (I live in Boothbay Harbor, ME), left me a note: "Check your right front tire." The right front tire on my '98 VW Beetle was bald. I also checked the right front tire of my my 2002 Volvo and that tire was showing more wear than the other three tires. I vaguely remember that I have always had noticeably more wear on the right front tire on every car I have owned. My question, then, is it true, does the right front tire wear out faster than the others? And, if so, why?


  • edited September 2011
    It does on FWD cars. Torque is applied with a bias toward the right axle to compensate for the torque steer inherant in FWD systems. This is accomplished by simply using different axle lengths.
  • edited September 2011
    ...and, can be compensated for--to some extent--by rotating the tires every 5k or 7.5k miles.

    Can the OP please tell us what schedule he uses for tire rotation, and also how often he checks his tire pressure?

    One of the ancillary benefits of checking your tire pressure on a regular basis is that you get "up close and personal" with your tires. A person who does frequent pressure checks is unlikely to be in a situation where he is unaware that one or more of this tires has significantly more wear than the other tires, simply because he can do a visual inspection of the tires while he is checking their pressure.
  • You really need to get in the habit of checking tires (to name one of a number of things) now and then rather than rely on a parking guy to point this out to you. Tires should never be allowed to get to the point where they are bald.

    Right front tires don't wear out faster than any of the others unless there's a problem. That problem could be driving the beejeezus out of FWD vehicles or the alignment is off due to age/wear or something bent due to a collision, curb strike, et.
  • Respectfully, my friend, my past research of years back into the issue or torque steer uncovered literature to the effect that engineers learned to compensate for it by using uneven length axles, slightly biasing torque under WOT toward the right front axle. My own experience with FWD cars has been that the RF wears slightly faster than the left. I use directionally treaded tires, so I'm unable to rotate side to side and I notice the difference. The difference is really only noticable when the wear gets down toward the wear bars. Out of curiosity, I'll measure it in another month or so. I'm about due for tires anyway.

    But I wholeheartedly agree that if there's any question the vehicle should be checked out. I constantly and obsessively track details that others probably don't even notice exist, and I'm an obsessive-compulsive reader, so my own sensitivities may not be a good guideline to go by.
  • edited September 2011
    How much tread is left on the other tires? (I'm trying to get a sense of how much faster the right front tire went.) It sounds like you don't ever rotate your tires. Is this correct?

    As others have said, it's a little surprising that a tire could get to this state without being noticed. You really do need to look at your tires more often (and probably check your tire inflation far more often, if I had to guess). If you ran these tires last winter in Maine, count yourself lucky that you didn't have an accident.
  • It appears that I am not the only one to question how often and how consistently these tires were rotated, as well as how often the OP checks the pressure in his tires.

    Could the OP kindly respond to the questions that I posed yesterday?
  • While I guess a small difference might exist, none of my fwd cars have shown any noticeable difference right to left over 30 years. And on one I chose not to rotate the tires because of their even wear. So the right front tire spent its life there, and wore out at the same time as the left fron tire.
  • Perhaps the agggressivenss with which one drives is a factor.

    I should add that I am interested in the inputs of others on the subject. I testify to my own information and experience, but I realize that my answers and experiences may not be universal, and now that the question has been brought up it might be an interesting thread. I hope to never stop learning until the day they plant me in the ground.
  • Here's a possible reason for the OP's tire wear - the right front tires on his cars might be encountering curbs, etc. more often, getting it out of alignment, causing extra wear.
  • Gentlemen/ladies, I offer the following link, which seems to contradict my recollections technically but does support the axle length vs. torque steer relationship.

    I'm going to wander into this subject further. Enquiring minds want to know.
This discussion has been closed.