Tire Wear And Its Impact On Suspension Components

Tire Wear And Its Impact On Suspension Components

Many people mistakenly believe that the engine is the most important element of a car. While the engine is indeed an essential component, the tires, in fact, have an unmeasurable value. These are the components that directly influence your safety on the road. They all have an important role in the comfort you feel while riding. And they also are the factors that empower the car's traction and grip on the road, for a top driving experience.

It is true, however, that they do not perform by themselves. These are coupled with other mechanisms inside the vehicle so that the entire system performs decently on the road. In previous articles, we have discussed a lot about how crucial it is to keep your tires in good condition. We put a lot of emphasis on their maintenance in order to extend their life and maintain their good shape.

Today, however, I will talk particularly about the suspension components. I'm not sure if you know it or not, but they have a big impact on your tires and how they wear. In this context, from now on you will know that there is another factor affecting the tires that you must consider. Long story short, let's get straight to the point.

Preventing tire wear by inspecting them regularly

I hope you already know by heart rule number 1: inspecting your tires is a must. You have to make sure that they are not subject to cuts or punctures. At the same time, you are welcome to inspect the depth of the threads that tell you if you can still wear them or if it is necessary to replace them. Any technician will help you check the depth of the tread pattern. This must not exceed the depth of 2/32 of an inch. It's not me saying this; it's the law that says it, so you don't really have a chance to evade this recommendation.

In the same context, the depth of 2/32 of an inch is the lowest limit that I do not recommend you ever reach. In the context of this limit, the tires are in a too deplorable condition to make the car's traction efficient enough. So, my recommendation is not to exceed the limit of 5/32 of an inch, which ensures more decent stability on the road.

Apart from the tread patterns' depth, you must draw attention to another aspect. It's about the wear of your tires. These talk about many irregularities in the interior system of the vehicle such as wheel misalignment, uneven tire pressure between wheels, as well as suspension issues. I do not recommend ignoring these signs because you choose to damage your vehicle by ignoring them.

What role does the vehicle suspension play?

Speaking in very simple words, the suspension is the set of components that connect the car body to the wheels. Its function and purpose are to support the control you have over the vehicle during the ride. This system is what makes crossing bumps as smooth as possible. Also, the suspension is the system that has a superior role in the stability of the tires on the road surface. With these in mind, it is easy to deduce that if this system has any irregularities, the first aspect that is impacted is the rolling of the tires on the road as well as their condition.

The suspension of a vehicle represents an ensemble of several components. This includes bushings, springs, joints, shock absorbers, and links. All these together keep the tire in the correct position on the road, no matter how flat or rocky the road is. At the same time, the suspension system directs the wheels to the right or left, or during cornering. Any malfunction of the system breaks the connection between the turning of the steering wheel and the response of the wheels to this command.

As a general rule...

The suspension system is ideally set once the car leaves the factory. But, with the accumulation of mileage on board, this system is subject to many factors that compromise it over time. Every action during driving stresses the suspension system including every turn to the left or right or every stop and go. Also, every hole in the road or other type of barrier influences the suspension system, making it gradually more sensitive.

Following the sensitization of the suspension system, the components deteriorate, forcing the driver to visit the technical service center. Among other things, the suspension system is one of the most common reasons why drivers call a repair center.
At the same time, one of the most serious problems is that drivers prefer to change tires frequently (affected by a poor suspension system) instead of solving the problem of the suspension system. This generates both additional costs for changing tires, as well as major damage to the car due to delayed servicing of the suspension.

How does the suspension influence tire wear?

You probably know that car tires are subject to many stress factors that impact their wear. One of these factors is the poor suspension system. What does this actually mean? This means that if the suspension is in bad condition, it does not support the tires as it should. As a result, the wheels become much too "loose" being very unstable on the road. Along with the instability of the tires on the suspension, the vehicle itself becomes unstable on the road. Drivers feel a kind of pull during driving as an effect of the poor suspension system.

Specialists recognize the problem through a technical inspection of the car. Often, they use the terms caster, camber, and toe angles, which refer to a defective angle that must be removed. These angles lead to premature wear of car tires. For this reason, exchanging them is not a solution. The solution is to adjust the suspension system of the vehicle.

The 3 defective angles

Incorrect tire angles are an indication not only of suspension faults but also of improper wheel alignment. For this reason, it is important to contact a technician to determine the primary cause. If the problem consists of suspension faults, the wheel alignment procedure will not be sufficient.

The three defective angles in your tires speak about the fact that they are getting worn more and more, whenever you avoid taking immediate measures. Ask a technician to identify them and correct them right away.

The camber angle refers to the outward or inward position of the tire if you look at the image from the front of your car. Technicians also use the terms "positive" or "negative" camber.

The toe angle refers to the outward or inward angle you can see when looking at the image from above. Technicians also call this angle "toe-in" or "toe-out".

The caster angle refers to the scenario where the tires are not oriented correctly when you look at them from an aside.
Nowadays, technicians can identify the exact degrees of defective angles through computerized tools. And it is not difficult for me to reiterate the need to identify the primary cause of the angles. Defective angles can be a symptom of suspension faults. And it is not enough to treat the symptoms only, but the main cause as well.

What tells you that there might be a suspension issue?

Worn tires are not the only indication of suspension issues. You could also intuit suspension problems through unusual noises. Often, these noises are more obvious when you go over a pothole or a bump.

Another symptom of faulty suspension is difficulty keeping the car on a straight road, even if you keep the steering wheel straight. A complementary effect is a pulling sensation in the steering wheel that also affects the driving process of the car.

Do not leave these symptoms unattended. In addition to causing premature uneven tire wear, suspension troubles are also dangerous for your life and health as a driver. Once the deterioration process begins, it is irreversible. So the visit to the technician is inevitable. It is important not to postpone the visit and to call the technician as soon as possible.

Bottom line

If you are a loyal reader of our blog, you know that I love to end the articles with a Q&A session. I do this so that the information can be assimilated better and to briefly answer aspects that I did not cover in the article for various reasons. So, I hope you find this helpful.

What is the connection between the vehicle's suspension and its tires?

The components of the suspension system such as springs, shock absorbers, and struts support the tires' stability. With the help of the components, the tires maintain their vertical load, respond effectively to the change of the car direction, as well as remain stable on the road.

Can suspension issues bring about uneven tire wear?

Absolutely. Suspension issues are one of the main causes of uneven tire wear. Due to the defective angles that appear as a result of the faulty suspension, each tire wears individually, leading to uneven wear. However, uneven wear is the consequence not only of suspension problems. In this context, ask a technician to identify the exact cause.

Can specific tire wear suggest a specific suspension problem?

While tires can wear differently due to suspension problems, there are certain suggestive forms of wear. When the tire shows diagonal scalloping wear (cupping wear), the technicians understand that the struts and shocks of the suspension system are affected. However, the specialists recommend a detailed technical inspection against the assumptions.

What are the symptoms of a faulty suspension system?

In most cases, the defective suspension generates a set of symptoms. You should draw attention to how comfortable driving is in general. Listen to the noises in the car; the defective suspension produces a knocking noise, squeaking, or something similar. Feel the way the car goes over the bumps. Bouncing or diving over bumps suggests some suspension troubles. At the same time, be vigilant with the overall handling of the steering wheel and how responsive the tires are when turning it to the right or left.

As I mentioned before, it's not a good idea to make assumptions on your own. Contact a specialist as soon as you identify any suggestive sign of faulty suspension. Your quick reaction will save the tires from premature wear as well as from other problems associated with suspension irregularities.

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