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Old 03-12-2012, 04:26 PM   #1
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Why bad tire wear?

What could be the cause of this bad tire wear? I just replaced the bad tire in preparation for our upcoming trip. My other 3 tires all appear in pretty good shape. This one tire (front driver side) I first noticed wear on one side during our long trip last summer. I thought then that the cause might have been some almost "panic stop" as we came out of Colorado/New Mexico mountains. I intended to check it out, at home, just before our next long trip.

The tires are a little over 4 years old. The brakes seem okay. The brake "drag" is the same on all wheels, so I can't see any reason for adjustment there. The bearings were professionally repacked at Jackson center two years ago during our floor replacement.

Does the wear pattern on this tire give anyone a clue as to what might be the problem. It's worst on the inside of the tire. What can I check at at home myself? I plan on putting the new, balanced tire on and proceed on our trip. And --- keep some kind of watchful eye on that particular tire.

Normally, I would have planned on replacing all 4 tires within a year to 18 months anyway. But, I would have never expected to see this kind of tire wear on a trailer. When I replaced the tires 4 years ago all treads were in great shape...I just replaced because of age. So something has changed since then to cause this problem.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:28 PM   #2
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I would suspect a bent spindle or axle shaft on that corner.

Are you sure the bearings are not loose on that hub?
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:37 PM   #3
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As simple as you may think....the tire pressure looks like it was low. Even if you check it at the beginning of a trip, keep tabs on it.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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I have seen broken belts cause that as well.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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It looks like mine did before having the trailer axle aligned. We ate a brand new tire to the belts in less than 1800 miles. After an alignment and four new tires, 3000 miles later they all look like brand new.
Did you clip a parking bumper, curb, deep pothole or something?
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:26 PM   #6
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Tank',

Low pressure causes the outsides of the tread to wear first. High pressure causes the center to wear first. Out of balance can cause one side to wear. A bent spindle or a loose nut holding the wheel onto the spindle could also be a problem.

One side is worn almost all the way, the other side is worn more than the center. Could be two problems.

A weight may have come off without you knowing it, or an old tire not balanced since it was new may be out of balance. The castellated nut (looks something like a castle) that holds the wheel on could come lose if the cotter pin that goes through it has broken off. There's a cap over the nut that has to be pried off to see it.

The most likely thing is air pressure and/or balance. But check the nut and see of the wheel wobbles when jacked off the ground. A properly tightened nut is slightly loose and you can move the wheel slightly. If the spindle is bent it may be obvious or not—a good tire shop should be able to check that. If Terry says a broken belt could be the problem, I'm sure that is another possibility.

To keep wheels balanced, you can install Centramatics (around $400) and you can keep on eye on tire pressure with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS: around $400). You can check tread wear with a tire tread gauge ($10-15) and find out what is wearing faster before you can see it with your eye.

Looking straight on, the "good" tire doesn't look all that good. It may just be the perspective.

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Old 03-12-2012, 07:23 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info...

Actually the other picture is not a "good tire". It's the same bad tire, but just another side of it that is not as worn.

The other 3 good tires are much, much, better than this.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:26 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info...

Actually the other picture is not a "good tire". It's the same bad tire, but just another side of it that is not as worn.

The other 3 good tires are much, much, better than this.
OOOHHHHHHH, that changes things for me then. I'm with the broken belt crowd now.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:41 PM   #9
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I am changing also. I thought they were two different tires. My out of line tires looked the same all the way around the tire, not just one side top to bottom.

I would replace just the one and keep an eye on it for a while.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:00 PM   #10
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one more vote for a bad tire. put an old tire in that location and put the new one somewhere else. if that location continues to wear you killed a tire that has aged out anyway.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:09 PM   #11
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OOOHHHHHHH, that changes things for me then. I'm with the broken belt crowd now.
Me too.

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Old 03-12-2012, 09:13 PM   #12
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If that was mine

I would have bearings replaced and also an alignment after. At very least check bearings and pull them. That is not just tire
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:55 PM   #13
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New Tire is on

I took richinny's advice and moved the back tire to the front and installed the new tire in it's place. The two are shown below. Interesting note is that the back tire is a little bit more worn on the outside edge. Where the bad tire was worn on the inside edge. Well.....we will see what happens after a couple of thousand miles trailering. Now I'll have to start looking for good sales to replace the older tires.

I checked the bearings for visible grease, no unusual play, and free rolling. All seemed good to me.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:08 PM   #14
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I still go with pressure. Not hard over...but, lets check it all. I always like a cheap fix. (I don't mean "CHEAP" fix....just an inexpensive one.
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