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Toyota MR2 Spyder and Front Tire Wear

The inner edges of my front tires are prone to excessive cupping. How can that be prevented? (You can’t rotate these tires.)

Have you tried an alignment?

I suggest having the wheel alignment checked.

Likely worn suspension parts. Have the alignment and suspension wear checked.

Yes, I had all four wheels aligned twice in the last 5-6 years. The car now has 78,000 miles on it. I thought that was too soon to replace the front struts, though the alignment shop suggested replacing them soon. (They made me an offer.)

All four wheels have been aligned four years ago and six months ago respectively. There are now 78,000 miles on the car since 2000.

2000 MR2 Spyder now with 78,000 miles on it. (Too soon for struts?) Alignment has been checked twice (see other replies). Front suspension still feels firm, no bouncing, etc.

Have you replaced the tyres after having the suspension checked and aligned. Once it starts cupping, it is too late for those tyres. I would suggest that 78,000 miles is not all that soon for suspension wear.

I have had a couple of friends with MR2’s and both had suspension problems, but they were older models than yours and I would think that they would have had that problem corrected by the time yours was made.

I believe my 2000 MR2-Spyder was the first model year for the spyder type vehicle. The earlier MR2’s were hardtops, so I’m not sure they shared the same suspension, though it’s possible. I got the most recent alignment check about three months ago, because of cupping (Yokohama tires). Since then the cupping has become more pronounced to the point where one tire is no longer safe to use. (New Bridgestones ordered.) Next step will be new struts, I guess, but disappointing to have to get them at only 78,000 especially for a Toyota!

Tire pressure might help. Some alignment places don’t know how to check ball joints and tie-rod ends.

It’s been 9 years and 78,000 miles. Not too soon for suspension wear and struts. Struts become suspect after 5 years. No matter who builds the car.

I have seen cases of an incompatibility between a vehicle model and certain tires. Had this with a Honda Civic once, from the time it was new, it would cup the tires of the OEM tires within a few thousand miles. The dealer could never figure it out. Switch to another tire (Bridgestone Turanza’s) and the problem cleared up.

Since the MR2 is a high performance vehicle, the manufacturer may have dialed in too much camber and caster. Too much of both will cause the inside of the tires to cup. Another cause could be the toe out at lock to lock. That is, as the tires are turned from lock to lock, they should toe out. For example, on my Honda Accord, when the outside tire is at 30?, the inside tire should be at around 37.5?. If the toe out is not enough, it will drag the inside edge of the inside tire around the corner.

If this is not a problem with other MR2’s, then you should get a qualified front end mechanic to look at it.

Good comments all, thanks very much.
The concern seems to be 1. alignment; 2. suspension; 3. tires; and perhaps 5. style of driving. The original tires were Bridgestones when I purchased the car used and showed slight inner edge wear. I eventually replaced them with Yokohamas, had new alignment as mentioned, and the wear continued. Inner wear on the front tires seems to be a habitual problem with this vehicle. Suspension would then be suspect, but since it was evident at 17,000 miles when I bought the car, that means the problem could have been there at or near the beginning of the car’s use. The alignment shop has a good reputation. Couldn’t they have seen suspension problems?