How damaging is it to turn tires on concrete while at a complete stop?

Is it damaging to make a FULL 360 degree turn off the steering wheel while the car is parked.

Is repeated turning of the tires, at a dead stop, going to damage the threads of the tire? Throwoff the front alignment?

Of course it isn’t good for the tires. You may never know the difference done occasionally, but all the time will take it’s toll. Car suspensions are made to take rougher treatment though.

As dagosa noted, you will likely never know the difference.

It’s never good to turn the wheels while stopped on concrete or asphalt.

Pretty sure it’s IMPOSSIBLE to turn the tires 360 degrees when parked no matter what surface you’re on.

Mike is correct. However, when parking you sometimes have to. I recall helping a woman get her car out of a spot… no power steering, and about 1 inch clearance. This was a case of full wheel lock, move forward till the bumpers are compressed. Opposite lock, move back as much as you could, opposite lock, repeat. (Back when cars all had bumpers)

As has already been said, it is best to have the car moving–even if only slightly–when turning the steering wheel, but there will always be some instances where you will have no choice and will have to turn the wheel while the car is stationary. In other words, try to avoid doing it, but don’t obsess over the issue.

If it was done repeatedly, I suppose that this practice could lead to excess wear of the tire treads. However, the threads–which are actually the tire’s internal cords and belts–are not likely to sustain any damage from turning the steering wheel while the car is stationary. And, wheel alignment would not be affected.

Did the OP mean to discuss potential damage to tire treads, or is he worried about the threads inside the carcass of the tire?


it’s IMPOSSIBLE to turn the tires 360 degrees

The original post says turning the steering wheel 360.

Did the OP mean to discuss potential damage to tire treads, or is he worried about the threads inside the carcass of the tire?

Yes, treads.

I wouldn’t make a habit of it. It can’t be good for the power steering either. Part of the NJ driver’s test is parallel parking. To make it as simple as possible for a new driver the instructor’s method was to bring the car to a complete stop, turn the steering wheel to full lock, and then to back into the space. A few attempts using my 2010 Cobalt with electric steering, the power steering motor overheated, tripped a thermal breaker and shut down.

Ed B.

it's IMPOSSIBLE to turn the tires 360 degrees

The original post says turning the steering wheel 360.

Yup…you’re right…I mis-quoted…I was thinking steering wheel…but said tires. My steering wheel won’t go 360 degrees. Maybe 270.

edb1961: That strikes me as a defect or a design problem. I also have electric steering. While it’s not great at speed, I’ve had no problem parallel parking, which I do frequently.

I would think any such system has to be able to take full lock to lock turning.

Think of the number of warantee repairs they would be stuck with …

edit: (added)
On the other hand, my previous car, a Passat, conventional PS, had a warning in the manual to not keep the steering in full lock for more than 20 seconds.

On the third hand, my Forester users manual has the following warning (electric steering):

If the steering wheel is operated in the following ways, the power steering control system may temporarily limit the power assist in order to prevent the system components, such as the control computer and drive motor, from overheating.
° The steering wheel is operated frequently and turned sharply while the vehicle is maneuvered at extremely low speeds, such as while frequently turning the steering wheel during parallel parking.
° The steering wheel remains in the fully turned position for a long period of time.
At this time, there will be more resistance when steering. However this is not a malfunction. Normal steering force will be restored after the steering wheel is not operated for a while and the power steering control system has an opportunity to cool down. However, if the power steering is operated in a non-standard way which causes power assist limitation to occur too frequently, this may result in a malfunction of the power steering control system.


I also have electric steering.

Electric Steering???

Electrically-assisted power steering might be the correct term.

My driver training instructor said not to do it back in 1964 on the Ford and I’ve tried to avoid it. He said it was hard on the power steering system. I 'spose its not good on the tires either.

It places added loads on the steering components, but c’mon guys, has anybody here ever heard of a steering system damaged by doing this? Has anybody ever heard of tires damaged (flat spots) by doing this?

This will not damage the steering system or the tires unless there’s already excessive wear or damage.

Now, is there a specific reason you asked? Can you describe the problem you’re trying to understand? Symptoms?

Is there any chance that Honda Guy is ever going to tell us what vehicle he purchased and why he wants to upgrade these tires he is worried about scuffing up on the pavement ?

Because the OP did not give much info about this.

I think it is one of those cases where “Dad said, it’s hard on the system” and son wants to prove dad wrong, kind of situation.

I doubt you could do much damage unless you were parked and just kept turning the wheel back and forth…out of nervousness or frustration or just to keep from picking your nose.

Though it’s best that the wheels are rolling, there’s better battles to fight.


Well said, Yosemite.
Or hondaguy’s wife keeps telling him to stop doing that and he wants to prove it’s harmless… or something like that.

I don’t think he’s married or he wouldn’t have time for this.

Well, I once “walked” a car sideways without it harming tires or steering but I wouldn’t make a habit of it.

As a joke, some guys in college picked my 1973 Corolla up and turned it crosswise neatly in the middle of a parking space and then parked cars in adjacent slots so there was about four to six inches clearance front and back of my car. I found the arrangement when I went to drive off campus. So I proceeded to work the car sideways in “s” maneuvers until clear. There was quite an audience. Oh, I did not so much as tap either car blocking in mine and my car did not have power steering. :slight_smile: