I have a 2005 Ford Focus ZX5 hatchback. Before leaving for a cross-country trip I noticed that the tires had some irregular wear. These Tires are less than a year old and in the last few months I had the tires rotated and aligned. I also had two mechanics look at the shocks and struts. They both said that their wasn’t a problem and that this model is known for irregular wearing of the tires. So know that I drove from Maine to California (3,000miles) the inside of the front passenger tire is completely bald, but the outside of the tire is perfectly fine and all the other tires have normal wear. Does anyone have any idea of what could be causing this problem? Thanks
If it’s the inside of the tire…then that usually indicates you’re over-inflating them.
What tire pressure are you setting them at???
Kudos for your awareness. Most foolks have no clue how their tires are doing until it’s too late.
Try having them rebalanced. I truely believe that most tire busters do not spend the time or effort to do a really good balance job. It may not be their fault, as most are under pressure for volume and tire busting is a thankless job. But I can’t count th enumber of times I’ve had to have tires rebalanced…and found one or more of the new tires significantly out of spec. I “motor right along” (as my English friend says), and I drive a lot of highway miles, so I notice more than most folks.
As a stop-gap measure to get some more use out of these tires you can have them flipped over on the rims so the inside edges are now on the outside.
The inside of a tire (or the outside) indicates the alignment is wrong. Specifically the toe-in is out of whack. The middle of the tires would be over-inflation. Both the inside and outside would be under-inflation.
If you drive in a straight line, and take your hands off the wheel, does it pull left or right? What happens when you hit the brakes? Still goes in a straight line?
Like MB, though, a nod to the OP…most people don’t pay any attention.
My tire pressure is currently 36psi on all 4 tires. The tire pressure and load information on the inside of the door says it should be set to 32psi and on the tire it says the max PSI is 44. So I inflated all the tires to 38 PSI since I wasn’t sure, But the one thing that makes me think it might not be tire pressure is that it is only the front passenger tire that is undergoing this irregular wear. Thanks
“If it’s the inside of the tire…then that usually indicates you’re over-inflating them.”
He is interpreting your description, “the inside of the front passenger tire is completely bald, but the outside of the tire is perfectly fine”, to mean that you are talking about the center area of the tire tread. If that is what you are referring to, then Mike is correct.
However, my interpretation of, “the inside of the front passenger tire is completely bald, but the outside of the tire is perfectly fine”, is that you mean to say that the area of the tread closest to the centerline of the car is bald, and that the area of the tread that is facing away from the centerline of the car is okay. If my interpretation is correct, then this means that your wheel alignment is very much “off”.
If my interpretation is correct, then inflation may not be the problem (although it should certainly be checked and corrected every few weeks), and tire balance may not be an issue. However, proper alignment is most definitely the issue–if my interpretation of the problem is correct.
As circuitsmith suggests, you can have the tire flipped over on the rim in order to equalize the wear, but please be sure that you have the front end properly aligned before you invest any money in new tires.
Guys, OP, I retract my suggestion. I failed to thoroughly read the post.
You’ve received good advice from the others here.
One Mechanic told me that it was the alignment so, I had the tires aligned about two month ago at a different shop. when I went in to pick the car up the person who aligned the vehicle said that the alignment wasn’t that off in the first place. Currently when I am driving on a straight section of road and let go of the wheel it rides straight for quit some time before slowly pulling off to the right.
I had this problem with the original (Continental) tires on my Toyota matrix.
Even though toe was in the middle of the range and negative camber was minimal.
The wear wasn’t gradually increasing from one edge to the other, it was little wear except at the extreme edge, almost as if someone chiseled out the tread at the last inch or so.
I regret not taking a photo.
I had the tires flipped over at 15k miles and the tread noise went way down.
From that point the (new) inside edge and middle of the tread wore down evenly together.
When I changed them at 25k they were down to 3/32" and even across the tread.
The new tires (Yokohama) only have 3500 miles so far, but no sign of uneven wear.
Attached is a Picture of the passenger side tire that might help interpret my post. Thanks everyone for the great advise!
This looks more gradual side-to-side than my case.
I would help if you posted the figures from the alignment readout (did they give you one?).
“My tire pressure is currently 36psi on all 4 tires. The tire pressure and load information on the inside of the door says it should be set to 32psi and on the tire it says the max PSI is 44. So I inflated all the tires to 38 PSI…”
You should be inflating your tires to 32 psi.
With the max setting at 44, that’s for a fully loaded vehicle (as listed on the door placard). For normal use, pressure them to 32.
Re: the picture. Looks like just the inside of the tire. I’d go back to the place that did the alignment, with the printout and receipt, and have them fix it.
If this tire damage was evident before you had it aligned, then you’re SOL. Normally, they want new tires for an alignment. That way the vehicle is sitting properly on new meat when they adjust everything.
The inside edge of the tire wearing off is probably due to too much negative camber. That can be caused by a worn suspension component or one that is bent. (Usually a control arm and often due to a collision, large pothole, or hard curb strike.)
Too much toe-out can also cause wear on the inside edge of the tires but this should affect both front tires, not just one.
If you received a printout for the alignment then I suggest you look at the camber for the right front wheel and note if you see a minus sign attached to the camber reading and exactly what number is attached to that minus.
What are those cracks in the tire every several inches on the edge?
That looks very suspicious and possibly dangerous, to me.
That tire is shot.
Find out what caused the wear and replace it, ASAP.
I think you have a bad wheel bearing. The camber is probably looking OK when the tire is suspended, but when it is on the ground, the camber will probably go negative.
I see some cupping on the inside edge as well. This is usually blamed on struts, but in this case, I think it is more evidence of a bad wheel bearing.
It could also be due to another component as well. You need to get it inspected by a good front end man.
Phillip, those cracks are siping, the tire is OK, except for the worn out edge.
Phillip, those cracks are siping, the tire is OK, except for the worn out edge.
That tire looks totally shot to me. Half of it has no tread.
First, the picture shows an alignment problem - likely camber. My experience says that anything over 1° tyends to cause tire wear issues.
My experience also says that the published aligbnment tolerances are too wide by half - especially toe. Put another way, the aligbnment must be within the inner half of the spec inorder to get good tire wear.
And I am hoping that everyone realizes that once a tire developes a wear pattern due to an alignment condition, that fixing the alignment doesn’t fix the wear. The new wear pattern (due to the change in alignment) gets added to the existing pattern. In this case, wear on the innermost shoulder is not erased. The new even wear pattern will take place on top of the existing wear - and the net effect is that the tire will continue to show inner tire wear.