Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Tires that "feather"

I have a 2004 Infiniti G-35. The original tires started making a terrible noise when I braked (after about 20,000 miles). The dealer said the tires were “feathering”. Today I had the tires balanced at a tire shop (they have 9,000 miles on them) and they said the tires are just starting to feather. They suggested going to a brake place and ask them what would cause the tires to feather. The dealer said that’s just how the 2004 model is. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

If your tires are “feathering”, that suggests that your wheel alignment is bad. I would suggest that you ask friends for recommendations regarding the best front end/alignment shop in your area, as I would not trust the tire shop or the dealership, based on their statements.

Would you please describe what tire feathering is or looks like?

For a description and an illustration of feathering and other unusual tire wear patterns, go to:

As him to put that in writing, and if he does send it to the manufacturer. :slight_smile:

Here is a Infinity forum with a discussion on alignment

Feathering is not caused by tire balance and one would think a tire shop would know what causes this problem.

Alignment (toe in or out part) being off is the usual cause.

Thanks for the great website.


Indeed, you have a MAJOR toe-in, toe-out problem. Probably toe in. That’s a $40 fix at any decent alignment shop. NEVER take your car back to that dealer again. They are idiots.

Thanks to everyone for the help. I will take the car to a good alignment shop but I’m also going to take it back to the dealer and find out why they never once mentioned to me (on the original set of tires) that alignment would cause the problem. They just told me if I wanted to get rid of the noise the tires were making, when I braked, I would have to buy new tires.


You should be aware that “feathering” is a gradual thing - and because cars like a bit of toe in for stability, a certain amount of feathering is to be expected. To minimize this, tires are supposed to be rotated regularly (every 5, 000 to 8,000 miles). This will minimize the amount of feathering that ultimately takes place.

I’m going to take a guess that you were less than perfect about tire rotation.

So it may be that both the vehicle dealer and the tire shop knew all this and just didn’t want to be the one to deliver the bad news - some folks tend to “Shoot the messenger”.

if your g-35 is like mine (04), you have different sized tires on the rear than on the front so that your tires can’t be rotated–what they aren’t telling you is that is why the tires feather faster than normal–so you have to replace the front tires way too often. i’m going to give the alignment thing a chance–i’ve also read that the bushings in the front suspension could be worn