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Rear Tire Wear

When I purchased my 2001 Toyota Solara about 20,000 miles ago, the tires had about 5,000 on them and were in good shape. I had the tires rotated at that time, but did not have it done again until about 3,000 miles ago. Yesterday when I had my oil changed, I asked to have them rotated again. The mechanic working on it, came in later to talk and suggested that I not have them rotated because of wear on the outside edges of both rear tires. He wanted to do an alignment to solve the problem. Is alignment a reasonable explanation for this wear or it it more likely my failure to have the tires rotated each 5,000 miles between 20,000 and 17,000 miles?

I don’t think every 15 - 20 K for an alignment or at least a check of alignment is too crazy.

Yup, it’s a very reasonable explanation. He sounds ilke an honest fellow.

It sounds like you probably do need an alignment.

What do you plan to do about the tires? Are they still usable?

I’m surprised you didn’t have issues with tire noise when you rotated them 3,000 miles ago. Tires that haven’t been rotated in a long time are often noisy once they’re moved to other positions.

Make sure you get a 4-wheel alignment…

Yep, I bet the wear occurred when they were on the front, so check all 4.

Another possibility is that you take corners going 40 MPH. If that doesn’t describe you, an alignment check sounds like a good idea.

Sounds like it is time for and alignment. Thanks to all.

I will disagree that a rear wheel alignment is needed. Delayed tire rotation on a front driver will cause odd rear tire wear for a reason that I can not explain. I have seen this with several front drivers, all bought new and when I was lazy and delayed tire rotation. Flat spotting or scalloping on the outer treads as your mechanic said in less specific terms, is what I have seen. Our latest front driver, an 09, did not display this odd wear but it is possible that it might happen eventually.

A rear wheel alignment should not break the bank but it may not be needed. I predict that with a rear wheel alignment check you will see the same odd tire wear again if you delay tire rotation.

Your mechanic’s thoughts about not rotating the tires at all seem unusual and I don’t agree with that.

Wear on the outer edges of the tires generally points to too much toe-in or too much positive camber so I’m in agreement about an alignment check just to find out what’s going on.
Too much positive camber would be a bit unusual.