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New Right Front Tire - Diagonal Wear - Is This Normal Wear?

Please look at this image.

It is of a ‘new’
(~700 miles of wear) right front tire on our 2012 Nissan Leaf. This is the
outer edge of the tire, so the direction of travel is to the right in the
image. I added a diagonal red line at the bottom to indicate the alignment of
the ‘diagonal wear’ I see and want to ask about.

Is wear like this ‘normal’ or does it indicate an incorrect
toe setting?

The left front tire is also new. I could not get a good
image tonight. The wear on that tire appears to be aligned with the direction
of rotation or parallel with the bottom of a similar photo.


Sure looks out of alignment to me.

Sooooooo… have an alignment done. Can’t hurt!

Those scuff marks are generally caused by sharp parking lot turns.

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I have never seen anything like that - but just like Tom and Ray, that’s not going to stop me,

I buy into the alignment issue - BUT - the angle is way too large. Perhaps the OP has a gravel driveway and is making a sharp turn?

It’s also possible it’s just not well mixed rubber and what you are seeing is the grain. (Not to be confused with “graining” that some race cars experience. Same name, different phenomenon.)

So an alignment would not hurt (except the pocketbook). And swapping the tires left to right to see whether it’s the tire or the side of the car. Do the swap first!


I agree with the others that it could be a matter of alignment, but it could also be a matter of driving style. How fast do you take left turns? I’d be curious to see how fast this pattern re-emerges on another tire after you rotate the tires.

Do you park in a parking garage daily? If so, perhaps that could be from the tight turns on all the ramps, especially if you take them as fast as possible.

Thank you all for your rapid responses.

I’ve added more images on Imgur.

All 3 images should now show up here:

The sun was on the tread of the left front tire and I could see it more clearly, so I added an image of that tire. The tread also shows diagonal lines

I also went back through my files and found an image of the right front tire from 4/18/16. This is a physically different tire. It shows the same pattern

Here are some facts about our Leaf.

It is primarily used by retired folks to go shopping. We took delivery in December 2011 and it is just approaching 26,000 total miles. Some might see our subdivision as a ‘parking lot’ equivalent. The route to our house from the nearest feeder street involves 3 turns (including driveway at the end) in less than 700 ft of driving.

I tried putting all 3 images in to an Imgur ‘album’ but I won’t know if all 3 will show until I actually post this.


You may be the only person who keeps photos of their tires. Are you the same poster that does not rotate tires? You should have some kind of warranty on these recent tires so it might be worthwhile to see what the selling dealer says.

Wait, it’s a shared vehicle? How many different people drive it?

I’m thinking one of the drivers might be driving it like they stole it.

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How astute of you to remember me!

Like Tom and Ray I did the math on rotation. At the time I did not have a jack for the Leaf. It is a ‘modern’ car; it came with no jack, no spare and (for me) low profile tires that are easily lost to hidden potholes and other hazards. Recently I acquired a donut spare and jack from the Altima, both of which fit, although installing a donut on the Altima rim does require a front/back swap when removing the more vulnerable front wheel/tire.

On 10/10/16 I had an alignment done at a highly recommended shop in a large local Shell station. They insisted on a rotation (front/back) at $30 and another $90 for the alignment. Their print out says they found the following:

Rear: Left then right
Camber: -1.4° and -1.1°
Toe: 0.14" and 0.15"
Total toe: 0.29"
Thrust angle: -.01°

Front: Left then right
Camber: -0.4° and -0.6°
Caster: 4.9° and 4.7°
Toe: 0.03" and 0.09" (only out of spec reading)

After adjustment the front toe was 0.04" and 0.06"

This is all that was reported.

In early May 2017 we lost the left front tire to a hidden curb in a dark parking lot.

Both front tires were to be replaced by a local Firestone dealer with “OEM” type Bridgestone Ecopia tires. They ended up installing the Ecopia Plus, so it was important that both be replaced.

I hope this explains why I am watching the tires carefully.


Both drivers celebrated their 77th birthdays this year. Both drive in an increasingly sedate (not sedated) manner. I do 80-90% of the driving, my wife does the rest.

Having seen ‘tire marks’ in the distant past on our paved driveway both of us now try to make sure that the tires are rolling before we make any steering adjustments to park the car in the drive.

Perhaps the wear pattern we see is just a result of all the many right and left turns we make in our daily use of the car.


Bases on the alignment readings, the car should constantly turn a bit to the left. The rear is pushing back end right and the front to the left because of the camber angles. That is a net left lead (or turn). The caster is steering the car to the right by a very small amount that should not quite compensate for the left lead.

Based on what I see and read, you are MORE than conscientious to be observing the tires like this. As long as the car drives straight down the road and doesn’t pull to one side, you are OK.

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You had an alignment done in Oct. 2016
You hit a curb in May 2017 hard enough to ruin a front tire
Now you have strange tire wear.

Chances are the alignment needs re-checked

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I am one such poster!

I am too.

I buy “directional” tires, which means any “rotating” can only be done front to back without any cross pattern, and I prefer to replace them two at a time.

Besides, irregular wear doesn’t get masked if the tires aren’t rotated.

I know all the arguments. I’ve even seen the videos. I still prefer my way.

My recommendation to the OP is still to just get the vehicle aligned and relax.

I doubt the marks on an angle in your first photo are due to an alignment problem. If it was that much out of alignment you’d be able to see it just by looking at it parked in the driveway. As posted above, looks more like marks made by turning and the weight shifting that goes on. Probably that happened on your most recent sharp turn, which explains why it is only on the one side. This isn’t to say you don’t have an alignment problem, but very unlikely that those marks are the result. It’s usually possible to tell if your alignment is way off just by rigging up some string parallel to the body of the car. A shop level rigged with a triangles you cut from cardboard can tell you if the camber is way off or not.

I absolutely agree.
But I think the OP will sleep better of he/she simply gets and alignment.

Thanks to everyone for the ‘firehose’ of input.

I need to stop for a ‘break’ but plan to check in again midweek next week.


Suggest you swap tires side to side and see if the wear marks follow the tire or follow the corner. That will help sort things out.