Can uneven tire wear cause bumpy drive? Sometimes you’ll notice your car is not riding smoothly as you like and you may wonder.
Tires are part of the suspension system. But when it comes to a smooth ride, car owners often overlook them.
The treads on your tires can wear out unevenly due to several reasons. Some of these reasons include overinflating or, underinflating your tires, a misaligned car, or driving too fast on rough roads.
In this post, we answer, can uneven tire wear cause bumpy drive?
Also Read: Can Uneven Tire Wear Cause Shaking? [UNCOVER the Truth!]
Can Uneven Tire Wear Cause Bumpy Drive?
Uneven tire wear is usually caused by a worn-out suspension, overinflation, improper alignment, or underinflation. This may occur when you drive on rough and poorly maintained roads. The constant battering causes your tires to wear unevenly.
Besides bad roads, driving on old tires, not filling your tires correctly, and driving too fast on rough roads are other reasons for uneven tire wear. With uneven tire wear, ride comfort will not be good.
In fact, the ride will be bumpy. Not only will you feel vibrations in the steering wheel. But you’ll also feel shaking in the seats or car floor.
What Causes a Bumpy Tire?
Tire cupping is the uneven wear pattern found on tires. When you drive your car, suspension components such as struts, shocks, bushing, and others wear out.
The result can be tires not able to roll smoothly on the road. Basically, the tires bounce slightly when driving.
This bouncing creates uneven points of pressure on your tires. The result is tire cupping. Also known as tire scalloping, cupping is when the car’s tire tread moves from a high to low in random spots.
These worn bits are 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Driving on cupped tires is not safe as the irregular wear pattern causes parts of the tires not to touch the road surface. This ruins the tire’s traction and your driving safety.
How Can I Make My Car Less Bumpy?
To ensure your car is less bumpy, avoid bigger wheels as they result in a rougher ride. Instead, switch to the manufacturer-recommended tires or thicker tires.
The rule of thumb is if changing the original tires of your car, only go an inch up or down. For example, if your car is riding on 18-inch wheels, you can reduce the size to 17-inch tires or increase it to 19-inch tires.
You should also change your suspension, especially the shocks, and struts. Shocks and struts are different suspension components.
But they do the same thing – absorb bumps and prevent your car from bouncing over bumps. Since these parts wear over time, a new set will improve your ride quality.
Will an Alignment Fix a Bumpy Ride?
An alignment to your car can improve the ride quality and vehicle safety. This is because the alignment helps to keep the tires in contact with the road. As such, it prevents your car from pulling to the right or left.
Besides ride quality, a properly aligned car ensures optimal gas mileage which means you save money on fuel. In fact, a properly aligned car decreases fuel consumption by up to 10%.
Plus, the alignment will extend the lifespan of your tires. This is because the tires will wear evenly.
Steering a misaligned car is hard. Sometimes you may find yourself holding the steering wheel at an awkward angle. This lack of control increases the likelihood of being in an accident. With proper tire alignment, you can maintain stable control of your car.
Are New Tires Supposed to Feel Bumpy?
Just like a new pair of shoes, new tires have a breaking-in period before they can drive at their best. The reason why new tires need a breaking-in period is that they consist of several layers including fabric, steel, and rubber.
To ensure better ride quality, drive 500 miles on dry roads. This will get rid of lubricants, antioxidants, and other agents applied on tires during production. So before these agents wear off, the new tires will feel bumpy.
Does High Tire Pressure Cause a Bumpy Ride?
High tire pressure can cause a bumpy ride. In fact, if your car tire pressure is high, small bumps will feel like gigantic potholes.
High air pressure in tires is usually known to cause stiffer sidewalks. The sidewall is part of the car’s suspension hence the bumpy ride if the pressure is too high.
Besides a bumpy ride, high tire pressure can distort the shape of the tires. This will lead to decreased traction and increased tire wear and tear. To ensure this does happen, avoid overinflating your tires.
Car tires play an essential role in safety. They support the vehicle’s load, absorb road shocks and allow you to change or maintain the direction of travel. However, like other components, they’re susceptible to wear and tear.
If you over-inflate your tires or fail to replace damaged shocks and struts, you’ll compromise your ride comfort. Bumpy rides make it difficult for you to control your car which increases the likelihood of an accident.
To ensure your safety and that of other road users, check your tires occasionally.
I am passionate about all things automotive and have a deep understanding of the topic. As a mechanic, I use my free time to share knowledge of everyday challenges that any car owner can experience – helping you make informed decisions about tires.