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Tire cupping inside of tires do I need struts?

My 2006 Honda CR-V with 142500 miles has become very noisy. My mechanic told me it was due to “cupping wear” on the inside of the tires. I have the tires rotated every 5,000 miles at the company where I purchased the tires. They told me I might need struts. I am scheduled to have a wheel alignment check and am pretty sure they are going to through this at me. If this is so, do I need to replace all four and what should I expect approximate cost of this will be?

You can go to the Auto Zone, or some other parts store, and find out the cost of the struts.

Alignment issues can cause cupping, but the alignment would be pretty far out. Did you have an accident?

Cupping tires are from worn out shocks/struts. This allows the tire to bounce up and down as vehicle is driven cupping out he tire. If you want to see what this looks like, go to Youtube and in their search engine and type in tire bounce.

With a 142K on the vehicle, It wouldn’t surprise me if you needed shocks/struts all around. How much should iit cost? Depends on where you live, and the shop you take it to.


I’m going to somewhat disagree with Tester.

My experience is that people wrongly call irregular wear, “cupping”. True “cupping” is caused by bad shocks or an out of balance condition, but irregular wear is caused by mis-alignment (usually toe), and today’s average mechanic can’t tell the difference. Plus, they seem to use the term “cupping” incorrectly.

In the OP case, 142K is enough to say the struts ought to be replaced. And since an alignment is needed with a strut replacement - well, that will solve that problem, too.

I agree with Capriracer. I will, however, say that ahile terms aren’t always consistant, any irregular wear suggests that the alignment and chassis should be checked out.

Know too that if they suggest the need for a “camber kit”, the kit is legit.

Thanks for all your info. Never in accident, but drive a lot over bad roads! Guess I’ll have to go do some comparison shopping.

I suspect like other that the terms cupping and feathering are wrongly interchangeably used. If it is either then you probably have some warn out suspension components that may need replaced. Sadly though you will probably be stuck with noisy tires after everything is fixed and aligned unless you replace the unevenly warn tires.


Here is a link on how to read tire ware patterns, and based on it, my above explanation was not all correct.

How does the vehicle ride?
Strut life depends very much on road conditions and driving style.
Here in the DC metro area I’ve never had struts or shocks last more than 100k miles.
But I’m often amazed at how much bouncing and heaving some people will live with.

I’m going to comment on the link AmeriCar provided.

Notice that the chart doesn’t show irregular wear. It lists cupping wear, but the image used is ambiguous - and the explanation is therefore incorrect.

Put a different way, if I were making up this chart, I would have used a different image for cupping wear and added “Irregular Wear” as a separate entry

  • OR -

I would have modified the current entry to include both cupping and irregular wear as well as point out that alignment alone can cause what is portrayed in the image.