I have a 2002 Explorer. I noticed that the front tires have begun cupping on the inner portion of the tires. I took it to a shop where they completed a 4 wheel alignment. The only specs that were out, according to the before measurements, was something called “steer ahead.” Although the other measurements were all within the specs (or at the maximum spec), minor adjustments were made to the toe on the front and rear, as well as the camber on the right rear. Anyway, I have never heard of “steer ahead” before and wondered what it measured and if it really could cause cupping of the tires.
I am going to guess it means the adjustment to adjust for the typical crown of the road. (The middle of the road is higher than the edges to allow water to run off. I have never heard the term steer ahead however.
Did you get new tyres or just an alignment" I don’t thing an alignment will fix the damage to the tyres, which likely was caused by the alignment problem.
I’ve never heard of Steer Ahead and didn’t have time to go into with them at the shop. I probably will call them tomorrow and try to have them explain what it means. I did not get new tires as the tires are only about 15,000 miles old and, although cupped, still seem to be ok at this point. I just recently had them rotated (a few thousand miles ago) so they did not rotate them again this time.
I’ve never used the term but believe it means the steering wheel position in relation to the front wheels as they move down the road. Centering the wheel is the way I phrase it.
Tire cupping points to bad shocks or struts. However, sometimes bad featheredging is misinterpreted as cupping. Again, it’s a matter of interpretation and/or terminology.
Since this was happening on the front tires and on the inside edges this could point to a toe-out problem IF this is a case of featheredging and not cupping.
One would hope that suspension components such as tie rods and ball joints were checked as problems in this area could cause toe problems and the steer ahead that you mention.