Before starting your vehicle for a drive, take a close look at your tires. Do you observe any unevenly worn surfaces or indents that look like the tire has been gouged? The type of uneven tire wearing can be cupping. Such types of uneven tire wear are often a sign of suspension issues in your vehicle.
Tire Cupping – Overview
Cupping is a type of wear that causes several large, bumpy turfs to develop along the tire’s tread like on the best off-road tire. This makes the surface of the tire extremely bumpy and rough which can affect the tire’s entire performance if it becomes too severe.
For a better understanding tire cupping is like a type of uneven or rough tire wear that appears on the tread pattern of the tire as a series of abnormal or strange patches on the tread. These patches are caused by the state that may at first feel like a vibration in the steering wheel to the driver. In extreme cases, the driver might even feel like the entire tire is bouncing on the road.
Cupping is one of many kinds of uneven tire wear patterns that can be described in multiple ways such as scalloping, feathering, choppy, irregular, centerline, diagonal, and much more.
Why Are Your Vehicle’s Tires Cupping?
As we discussed earlier, tire cupping happens when there are different vehicle suspension issues. If you are observing issues in your vehicle’s suspension, there can be worn parts, misalignment, or a combination and therefore your tire can struggle to maintain the required force against the road surface and can cause tire cupping.
Tire cupping is most likely to happen due to these five reasons
If the tires of your vehicle such as all-season tires or best road tires have too much misalignment compared with the factory alignment specifications, the movement of the vehicle can cause rough or uneven strain on the tire. Misaligned tires affect majorly on the performance of the vehicle even on smooth roads and can disturb the handling of your car.
Misaligned tires contact with the road is also uneven and they do not move straight. The uneven dips on the tire are seen on the tread as cupping or you can also call it a sawtooth wear pattern at the sidewalks of the tread.
If you feel like your vehicle is bouncing up and down because of bad shock suspension, the tread is at risk of wearing faster in certain spots as compared to the other parts. What happens is your car loses contact with the road for small intervals and this rests in prominent cups that appear like dips in the rubber of the tires.
This condition can be worse for your light-duty truck tires if you often drive on very rocky, bumpy, pebbly roads, or speed bumps. There can be other situations too that can cause it due to cheap tires that do not have good durability or good tread life.
The shocks, struts, and spring work in coordination to grip road flaws by controlling the interaction of each tire with the bump. But if this system is not perfect, the tire of the vehicle can bounce more than normal and can cause cupping in a tire.
Not all tires are equal in quality. Some manufacturers or businesses use low-quality material like steel belts that provide less support for the tire treads and more rubber that is prone to wear unevenly. Cheap tires are more vulnerable to cupping on a vehicle that has worn or damaged suspension. Even bad wheel balance is one of the many causes of tire cupping.
Bent Rims or Bent Wheels
Bent rims or bent wheels are a very common issue among car owners. The bent portion is mostly seen on the inner flange which is quite tough to observe from the outside area. To see it properly a lift is required. As soon as the car is lifted, the bend can be seen very clearly due to the lift.
The best option is to replace the old rims and save the money you got.
Imbalance of Tires
Tire imbalance creates uneven weight distribution among all the tires. When manufacturing tires, it is important for professionals to pay close attention to the placement of weights on the tire. These weights are used to balance the tire and ensure even weight distribution among all the tires on the vehicle. If the weights are not placed correctly, the tire will be imbalanced, which can lead to several issues such as uneven wear, poor handling, and decreased fuel efficiency. Therefore, it is important to have your tires checked regularly by a professional to ensure that they are properly balanced and avoid any potential problems.
How Can We Fix Tire Cupping?
To start repairing or fixing, you need to diagnose and then repair the cause. If your tires like all-season tires are not going through tire cupping, tread wear will easily even out after you are done with rotating your tires. But if your tires are going through severe tire cupping, you might need to replace the tires. To diagnose the tire alignment, assembly, and balance of tires, these steps are enough.
Firstly, you will have to park the vehicle and put on the emergency brake. Then start looking for the cupped tire by observing the tread sidewalls of all four tires. Then it’s time to see the bounce of the vehicle and decide whether to replace it or not. If you feel like there is cupping inside of the tread, it can be due to the misalignment of the tires.
How to Prevent Tire Cupping?
It is good if you can control the above-mentioned causes of tire cupping but apart from that there are so many other things that you can do to prevent tire cupping easily.
Check Your Tire Pressure on Time
Never forget to check your tire pressure regularly. Under-inflated tires or over-inflated tires can cause severe cupping along with many other problems. Before driving ensure that none of the tires lose air and regularly check their pressure.
Tire Rotation Is a Must
It is important to rotate your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles to prevent any tire-related issues and especially back tire cupping. Moreover, these regular rotations help in the prevention of other types of uneven wear of tires.
Purchase New Tires at the Right Time
Always know when to change your set of tires. You must know how often you should purchase new tires. Replace your tires on time before they are in a bad state.
Tires that have a tread depth of 4/32” or less are more vulnerable to damage and can easily weaken the suspension.