Does the alignment problem cause uneven tread wear in my case?

2002 Camry LE, 4 cylinder, Michelin premier a/s performance h/v purchased in 2017, 60,000 mile tread wear warranty. The tread reaches the end of the life only after 33,000 miles, and the tread wear is uneven, i.e. outer tread worn more than the inner one. In contrast, the tread wear is even on my other car. Is the alignment the only cause for the excessive and uneven tread wear in my case? I’m really doubting. If not, what shall I check as the next step?

Here are the details. The outer most groove depths are 1/32” (front tires) and 2/32” (rear tires), and the inner ones are 3/32” and 4/32”. I found the car pulled slightly to the left on highway in 9/2020, and had the front wheels aligned, but the problem remained until at least 6/2021. The last 10,000 miles are mostly short trips less than 6 miles, but before that the trips were usually around 17 miles. The maintenance record is as follows, and the center column is the mileage.

  • 5/10/2015 unknown Adjust headlight. Replace right front lower control arm with ball joint, transmission mount and left tag light. Not sure whether the transmission mount or the torque strut mount replaced. On service note and suggestions, it is the torque strut mount, but transmission mount was purchased on receipt.
  • 5/11/2015 unknown Replace front brake pad and rotor
  • 11/12/2015 110154 Alignment
  • 5/7/2016 115581 Oil change. Right front sway bar bracket is broken and the bushing is missing. Right side tag light bulb is out.
  • 5/8/2016 unknown Replace right front sway bar bracket, bushing and right side tag light bulb
  • 3/7/2017 124002 4 new tires
  • 11/1/2017 130406 Tire rotation
  • 10/20/2018 140363 Tire rotation
  • 10/12/2019 147860 Tire rotation
  • 9/25/2020 unknown Front wheel alignment due to car pull. Road test vehicle. Check all suspension and steering parts for wear. Check tire pressure and condition. Check riding height. Check caster and camber angles and adjust as required. Check and set toe-in as required. Center steering wheel.
  • 1/30/2023 157068 4 new tires
  • 2/2/2023 157108 Alignment check, not adjustment was performed, thus please ignore the “Actual” column

Clearly you have too much toe in the rear. That will wear the outer band of that tire more. But the front looks great. The total alignment picture would lead slightly left because of the LR toe and the RF caster. But if you highway drive a lot in the left or center lanes, you’d notice a left lead. In the right lane you likely would not.

Most people complain of the opposite, these days… wearing out the inner tread blocks first. That is because of alignment specified by the manufacturer.

But everything else looks pretty good. If you are wearing out the outer tread block before the inner with those alignment settings, I’d say it may be your driving style.

Do you corner aggressively? Do your passengers have to hang on tight when you drive? Be honest with yourself. If that is the case it would explain the premature wear out and the uneven wear.


There’s another consideration here.

You’re not putting many miles on in a year. Usually that means short trips - and short trips are not only bad for tire wear rate, but also for evenness of wear.

So coupled with the alignment, it’s not a surprise you’re getting rapid and uneven wear.

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I don’t think so, and tread wear on my other car is even.

I wonder why the car pull is different from lane to lane. Thank you.

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The last 10,000 miles are mostly short trips less than 6 miles, but before that the trips were usually around 17 miles. Does this coincide with your conjecture? Thank you.

Do you live in a hot climate? Arizona, for example, is hard on tires because asphalt gets very grainy in the hot sun. Not easy on tires.

And it might just be the tires not being well suited to your car. It happens.

nevermind the countless potholes we have around this state… :rofl: :rofl: :confused:

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According to you posted alignment summary data, I’m not seeing much in the way of an alignment problem on the front wheels. So if the front tires have the tire wear problem, not due to alignment . (There does seem to be a “toe” alignment problem at the rear.)

Aggressive braking, accelerating, and turning will cause increased tire wear.

In 2020 you had a front wheel alignment, but the rear toe is double what it should be. You needed a four-wheel alignment. This is accelerating the tire wear.

The tread depth on a new Michelin Premier is only 8.5/32", this model tire won’t last as long as expected.

Not really. I was in VA and moved to NY last year.

Is it possible that rotation causes uneven tread wear on all tires? I mean, every tire had been mount on the mis-aligned wheel exactly once, and the uneven pattern formed during that period, and stayed on the tire forever.

The tread wear of my other car is even, thus I don’t think it’s due to my driving habit.

That was my carelessness, I didn’t notice that only the front wheel alignment was performed.

Do you think the rear toe only can fully explain my uneven tread wear problem?

The rear alignment was most of the problem. The Michelin Premier has a shallow tread depth when new, typically worn to 3/32" or less by 40,000 miles.

Fully explain? No way to know that for certain; but since you know you have a problem w/rear alignment, common sense says to ask your shop to correct that first, then continue to rotate the positions of the tires on the recommended schedule & keep an eye on the tread-wear issue. If tread-wear problem continues, post back for more ideas.

Thank you very much.

I agree there’s no way to know that for certain, and what I meant was if the rear toe can probably explain the uneven tread wear problem in full, or if there are obviously other additional causes.