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Inside tire wear on a 2008 ford escape

2008 ford escape

9200 miles

extreme tire wear on inside only (4 tires)

dealer states, vehicle is aligned and tires are balanced, toe in perfect

I did not rotate tires at 5000 mile oil change, so dealer states that is the problem.

I found other folks on line with same problem, although they had more miles on their vehicle.

Could this be a suspension problem?

I’m so upset, tires have now been rotated by dealer, and the noise from the tires is so loud, I want to scream! I feel the dealer has insulted my intelligence, he even tried to say it could be tire pressure, at which time I told him the vehicle tells me when there is tire pressure problems, at which he replied:“oh, yeah”

I sent info to dealer, on other folks problems, and now he is checking with the suspension mgr. to see if they can get me at least 2 new tires (his words), but, I’m afraid new tires won’t solve the problem, and I can’t afford new tires every 9000 miles, I’ll take a huge lose, but, I’m thinking of trading it in. Any Thoughts or assistance would be greatly and truly appreciated!

If tire pressure is to hi the center of tire will wear, to low and BOTH outside edges will wear BOTH
Something it putting to much pressure on inside of tire

Get your alignment verafied by a second source.Driving habits can influence tire wear

There is a problem other than not rotating the tyres. Is there a note in the owner’s manual about rotating the tyres at 5,000 miles? I don’t know if it is a known problem, but even if you are the only one, it sure sounds like a car problem not your fault.

Yes, you should have rotated the tires at 5k if that is what the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule specifies. Is this what is specified?

Yes, your tire pressure monitors do notify you of low tire pressure, but most of them only warn you after a gross loss of pressure. If you are not regularly monitoring the tire pressure yourself (at least once, perhaps twice, a month), then you are not doing what a conscientious owner should do.

All of that being said, your description of the wear pattern would seem to indicate an alignment problem. As was said, take the vehicle to a different shop (NOT a chain operation) and have the alignment checked and adjusted if necessary. Alignment is not covered under warranty unless it is done very soon after delivery of the vehicle. If there is a problem with the suspension, that would be covered under warranty, so an inspection by an independent shop that is noted for excellent alignment and suspension work is highly recommended.

This all sounds very unusual and strange. It would appear there’s extreme negative camber here, but it’s strange that it is on all 4 tires. There’s a small chance that there’s an issue with the alignment machine used thus far or someone is running the wrong alignment program for this vehicle, though somehow I doubt it. Do you have a printout of the alignment?

All four tires showing excessive wear on the inside shoulder could be several things. As mentioned before, excessive negative camber (tops of tires on an axle are closer than bottoms) is a possibility, which could be caused by bad alignment, frame bending (no accidents?), bad springs (unlikely in an '08), or always carrying heavy loads. Does the Escape have independent rear suspension or a solid axle? If it’s a solid axle, I’d think that camber and toe-in would be 0 unless the axle is bent. Another possibility is excessive toe-out, where the front of the tires on an axle are further apart than the rear. That could scrub away a lot of tread in a hurry. In any case, as suggested before, get to an independent alignment shop and have them check the alignment themselves. Are these the correct wheels and tires as supplied by (or at least, recommended by) the manufacturer? If you put on custom wheels/tires, you might change the suspension geometry enough to cause problems like this.

The Continental tires on my '06 Toyota Matrix are also wearing quickly on the inside edge and getting noisy. It’s a widespread problem, judging from the Toyota forums. The dealer rotated the tires at 8k when I bought the car. I had the alignment checked by a good independent shop, not trusting Toyota’s opinion under warranty, and the alignment is fine. It’s just the crappy tires the car came out of the factory with. I’ll be lucky to get 30k out of these tires.

The alignment could be in spec, but at its outer limits. Did you actually get a print out of before, and after readings with specifications? Sounds to me like a alignment tech thats to lazy to fix the camber.

You said the dealer told you "‘toe in’ perfect. He was wrong.

Note: Toe-in means the left or right adjustment on the suspension to correct the travel line of the wheel/tire. (In other words, the tire appears to be ‘pigeon-toed’)

Camber means the suspension is adjusted to align the wheel/tire straight up and down.

If the tire wears only the inside half, the camber needs adjusting to tilt the wheel/tire out at the top.

Tire wear on the inside edges is caused by too much negative camber or the wheels are toed out too much.

Just curious about something. Were you charged for checking the alignment?
Warranty will not cover an alignment unless a factory defect is repaired and the alignment check goes along with that particular repair.

If this “alignment” was claimed to be a warrantable repair and you were not charged it’s possible the vehicle never saw an alignment rack at all and you’re simply being BSed.

Another possbility here could be that if you did not buy the vehicle new (say it was used, a dealer demo, etc.) the vehicle could have been involved in a collision, seen some very rough roads or curb strikes, etc. and the front end was knocked out of whack before you bought it.

thanks so much for everyones replys, I did buy the vehicle as a demo (3000 miles on it), and the continental tires are what came on the vehicle. I drive approx. 3 miles monday thru friday, and take about a 2 hour trip (both ways) on the weekends, (highway). I also noted this weekend that since they rotated my tires, the noise from them is extremely loud. The dealer did give me a printout from the computer, showing the alignment and toe in are within guidelines. The service mgr. told me my manual states I should have rotated my tires at 7500 miles, although they recommend 5000 miles, I just can’t believe that if I missed my rotation at 7500 miles I would have caused almost a quarter inch of tire wear on the front tires, and about an 1/8 inch on the rear tires. My husband is meticulous when it comes to car care, and we just missed this rotation. Yes, I did have to pay $60.00 for them putting the vehicle on the machine, (dealer had a coupon)

Hey Everyone,
Thanks again for the info. I passed it all on to my service mgr. and he just called to tell me to bring it in, and he’d provide me we another vehicle to drive, and stated that they’re going to get some brains together and figure out my problem! I’ll keep you informed of the situation,
thanks again.

I see the problem. It’s the 3 miles a day!

Most tire wear occurs in cornering. Most vehicles are set up such that the front tires are pointed in a neutral direction for a certain radius turn at a certain speed. This is called “Akerman”. If you make sharp turn, there is too much Akerman and the tire on the inside of the turn (the left tire if you are turning left) is unloaded and points in too far, which wears the inside shoulder.

The same thing is happening in the rear, expec that the rear isn’t being steered, but it is reacting to the sharp turn in the same way.

Normally this is not a problem because the amount of sharp turns (such as pulling out of your driveway or pulling into a parking spot) is only a small part of the turns you make getting to your destination. But short trips have much higher percentage of these sharp turns.

Unfortunately, the Akerman is set in the design process and can’t be changed without some major alterations to the vehicle. We’re talking bending idler arms here - not for amateurs!! (and I would include most car dealers in that grouping.)

The easiest thing to do is to change your driving habits. Drive gently when making sharp turns - better yet, avoid them if you can.

Yes, I got a printout. The camber was near the middle of the spec range. The tire tread is strange in that there is very little wear except at the very edge.

“the continental tires are what came on the vehicle”

See my post above about crappy Continental tires.

Guess I’ll have to respectfully disagree yet again. I just do not buy the argument that incorrect Ackerman is responsible for this problem.

If the Ackerman was incorrect there should be some accompanying symptoms (handling oddities, tire squeak or squeal during slow turns on smooth pavement, etc) and it should be apparent on the alignment printout.
If someone is making enough turns that Ackerman was the problem then the outside edges of the tires should also be worn because that is where the majority of the cornering forces are applied.

It’s also going to be somewhat difficult to bend an idler arm on a Ford Escape since this vehicle uses a rack and pinion and has no idler arm, Pitman arm, drag link, etc. to begin with.

Alignment printouts are only going to show what the spec is. If the spec is wrong, then whatever is on the print out is wrong as well. It is also possible that there is too much camber built into the spec on top of the akerman.

I agree about the noise on sharp turns, but the OP didn’t mention much in the way of symptoms - other than the wear.

But I disagree on the wear on the outer edges. Too much Akerman tends to drag the least loaded tire around - the inside - and the most loaded tire - the outside - is what “tracks” thru the turn - hence a vehicle with too much Akerman will tend to wear the inside shoulder (unless you have some weird camber curve in the suspension).

And perhaps my terminology is bad, but on every rack and pinion steering system, there is an arm that connects the hub to the rack. I have always called that the idler arm - and that’s what needs to be bent to change the Akerman.

Nevertheless, I don’t think we have a tire problem here (one sided wear is always related to alignment). I think the OP is one of those 99th percentile drivers. In this case, the choice of vehicle is at least part of the problem - a light SUV with high CG and shortish wheelbase.

update: haven’t heard back yet from service dept., but they did give me an escape as a loaner, it has 16000 miles on it, and tires are wearing in same place (continentals) although, not near as much as on my vehicle. Note: I had no other symptoms, on the vehicle, no pulling to side, steering wheel straight. Since rotating tires, tremendous noise, and steering wheel slightly to right, car will pull to right when braking, I did inform the service dept. of these add’l problems.

Thank you for keeping us informed. Not rotating the tires can cause odd tire wear but I’m having a hard time seeing how the tires could have worn that much from the recommended interval to the current mileage unless there was a pre-existing glitch.

The reason I asked about the vehicle being a demo is that sometimes car salesmen (most of whom have the metabolism of a hummingbird it seems) know only the foot on the floor method of driving and many demos can take a beating in the wrong hands. One big pothole or curb whack and the front end can be out of alignment.

Something else to consider is the fact the alignment rack may need calibration. This should be done on a somewhat regular basis. Along those lines, could you post the given camber and toe specs on the printout you were given? Just like to look them over.

I also still respectfully disagree that this is an Ackerman problem at all. An Ackerman problem this bad should have been especially noticeable while cornering (squirming, wallowing, tire squeak or squeal, etc.)
The arc that is prescribed by turning tires may very well drag the inner edge of the tire over the pavement but the outer edges are also traveling much farther than the inners and being pushed while doing so.

As to bending something I don’t know what to say about that. No sane tech or DIYer would consider such a thing. That means the integrity of the metal is being compromised (whether it’s done with brute physical force or a torch) and anyone who does this either has a death wish or wishes death upon someone.
It makes no difference as to whether the vehicle has rack/pinion or worm gear steering; no way on Earth should a suspension part be forced into a different shape. The only way one is going to bend a cast iron steering knuckle is by running the car into a curb hard, a torch, or by continued flogging with a sledge hammer borrowed from the railroad. Even the latter is somewhat iffy.

Bend a tie rod on a vehicle in which the tie rod end fastens to the front of the knuckle all you’ve accomplished is excessive toe-in.
Bend a tie rod on a vehicle in which the tie rod end fastens to the rear of the knuckle all you’ve accomplished is excessive toe-out.