Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Irregular Tire Wear - 2004 Honda Accord

My 2004 Honda Accord Coupe has around 80,000 miles on it. Right now i am experiencing “chomping” or irregular wear on my tires. The inside quarter seems to be wearing at a significantly higher rate than the rest of the tire. However the outer edges have a very “wavy” wear to them as well. The right side of the car is much worse than the left side on both the front and rear tires. I do have direcitonal tires so i only rotate them front to back not side to side.

Research says that it is struts but when i asked my Honda technician he said to push down on the front and rear bumpers and if the car levels off within one and a half bounces it’s not the struts. I did that and it leveled off both on the front and rear. They don’t’ appear to be leaking or have anything wrong with them.

So that left me thinking it was a balancing issue. I then went and got my tires balanced and the issue hasn’t gone away.

Any suggestions as to what this maybe?


It is almost certainly a problem in either the suspension struts, the various tie-rods and ball joints, the tires or their balance, or the wheel alignment. The way I would address this – assynubg I couldn’t see anything obviously wrong on visual inspection of the various parts – is to take the car to a shop that specializes only in alignment and balancing, and ask them to get on the case to find the cause of the problem.

It is very easy to knock the alignment out, simply skidding into a curb. Or just getting the wheel stuck against the curb. Think how much leverage enhanced force you are putting on the wheel when you pull tightly against a curb at a 2 degree angle with a 150 HP engine.

You need a specialist shop to help you out on this I think. Good luck.

Many people disagree, But I think irregular wear is more related to alignment.

BTW, once a tire developes irregular wear, it is incredibly difficult to get it back to even wear. To do that, you’d have to over-compensate for whatever caused the problem to begin with - and even then that doesn’t really work that well. The only thing that works for sure is replacing the tire.

CapriRacer is our resident tire expert, and you should heed his opinion!

My own interpretation of the OP’s tire problem is as follows:
The higher wear rate on the inside quarter of the tread is indicative of a camber problem.
The wavy wear pattern on the outside part of the tread is probably due to incorrect toe-in, but it is possible that improper balance has also contributed to the problem.

The bottom line is that the car needs a 4-wheel alignment, but as CapriRacer pointed out, once those wear patterns have shown up, they are there to stay–even after correcting the alignment.

So…the OP needs to replace his tires, as well as getting a 4-wheel alignment. And, although the car has only 80k miles on the odometer, if it has typically been driven on bad pavement, it is possible that it may be necessary to replace some suspension components in order to be able to properly align the wheels.

have a front ent shop inspect the suspenion on your Honda (both front and rear)make the repairs if any our needed then replace the tires all 4 if possiable with a 4 wheel aligment if not replace the worst 2 tires put them on the back of the car and 2 of the best tires on the cars front end. if the front tires our wearing ok have the car aligned if not wait till you can get 2 more new tires and rotate the rears to the front and have it aligned then. that how i got the bad tires off of my 300M when i bough the car 5 years ago

Sometimes, its just the tire itself. We bought a brand new Honda once and the OEM tires did this within 5000 miles. The Honda dealer aligned the vehicle, put on new tires of the same brand and style, and it did it again in 5000 miles. I noticed that none of the other Honda’s were using this particular style tire so I had new tires of a different style put on and the problem never came back.

Having said all that, I agree that you need to have the suspension carefully inspected and aligned, but unless there is a definitive cause found, you may want to switch to a different model or brand of tire.

Make mine another vote to get the suspension and alignment checkedby a specialist (have them print the before & after alignment readings for you) and replace the tires.

My vote is also for an alignment check.

Regarding the bounce test on the struts, that is not always a true indicator of whether a strut is bad or not.
If a strut is flat gone then a corner can certainly bounce excessively.
If a strut is mildly bad then a bounce test may mean nothing. The only way of really knowing is to remove the strut, disassemble it, and inspect it by hand.

Of course that brings up the question of if the strut is being disassembled then it would be foolhardy not to replace it on an aged car with miles starting to pile up.
I’m leaning towards the struts being fine though.

You really have to be able to assess the wear pattern to decide the problem, this is not bad, though cupping from struts or shocks is not addressed.