Front tires have weird wear pattern

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Thread: Front tires have weird wear pattern

  1. #1

    Front tires have weird wear pattern

    Hello, my '05 Saab 9-3 Arc 70,000 miles has some very strange tire wear in the front tires only that I just recently have noticed. They are cupped evenly in the middle. So the outsides of the tire are fine, but the middle cups in (concave). The tread is extremely low and I just recently noticed this. They were fine the last time I checked about 6 months ago or so. I've done some research and everything keeps saying my struts might need replacing, but it's not the same wear pattern as bad struts. Bad struts usually have uneven shaving or cupping on the outside of the tire. Bad struts also come with: bouncy or loose suspension, bad handling, bottoming out, diving, bad cornering, etc etc. My car shows none of these signs, but everything I keep reading states that bad struts cause cupping usually. The tire pressure is fine. Another thing is that 2 weeks ago I hit a huge pot hole and took the car in because it has a slight wobble in the steering wheel and front right wheel now. They told me that there is a small dent in the rim, and that they won't align the wheels because the tires are so worn. How do I really know if the struts need replacing or if the recent balance or alignment problem caused by the pothole hit is the problem? They said nothing was damaged that they could see. I just don't trust most car places as they usually want to replace anything that isn't brand new. Any ideas? The only thing I can say bad about the suspension is that when I go over a speed bump in the winter, the car does seem to almost bottom out and makes a creaky sound, but that is only in the winter, no other time. Could the excessive wear be caused by the struts even though my cars suspension seems fine? Or is it a case of needing new tires, alignment, balance, and staying on top of tire rotation? I've yet to rotate the tires since I bought it. Didn't know I had to rotate them so often (after doing some research, I've found out every 4,000-10,000 miles is necessary). Thanks

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  3. #2

    Re: Front tires have weird wear pattern

    Tyres wear unevenly for several reasons. however given your recent history these spring (no pun intended!) to mind.

    Over or under inflated tyres - if over inflated the outside edges wear more and over wears the middles - over inflation will also make the suspension 'bouncy'

    also camber angles being wrong and the tracking being out will also wear them unevenly - usually if the tracking is out the car will usually pull to one side when you let go of the steering wheel or under braking

    If you have hit a pothole i would guess the tracking is out for a start - it could also be that you have fractured or snapped a spring!

    I would be very surprised if the tracking cannot be put back to normal, worn tyres will not stop this being done but once they are worn unevenly the will never be right and still wear badly. If the tracking cannot be reset then i would think something else is amiss, maybe a bent wishbone?

    Also a bucked wheel can cause wobbling of the steering wheel as the wheel is not in balance. It may be you have a buckled wheel and the tracking is also out - hitting a wheel hard enough to buckle it could well push the tracking out.

    TBH i would take it to another tyre place or Saab specialist for them to look at.
    Last edited by the zohan; 02-20-2012 at 03:10 AM.

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