Tire cupping refers to the uneven wear on a tire that resembles a scalloped edge. It occurs usually from buying and using inexpensive or low-quality tires. If using a better quality tire, this may indicate problems from a shock, strut or suspension. The cupping process happens as small bits of the tire come off while you are driving, while the surrounding sections start to smooth out. This gives a scallop appearance to the tires. Obviously, a cupped tire is bad for traction during inclement weather and creates an unsafe driving effect. You can prevent tires from cupping if you follow these tips.
You should buy the best brand of tire you can afford. Look around and research the different tire brands that are available for use on your car. Consider buying tire brands that contain hard, rigid, rubber compounds on the tire in an angular pattern. Speak to the mechanic about the brands the dealership recommends for the model and make of your car and purchase these tires.
Learn to recognize the signals that your tires may be cupping. You will notice when the car drives strange, as it begins to bounce. You may also hear a rumbling sound that occurs while you are driving on the road. When you hear this noise, you should realize there may be a problem. Be aware that when car starts to slide on the road the tires may be cupping and you are experiencing less traction as you drive.
Inspect your tires on a monthly basis. This means to visually examine all four tires on your car for the beginning of cupping and uneven wear tread. Stoop down next to each tire and run your hand across the tire tread. Feel the tread for scallops and uneven edges. At this inspection, you should take your tire pressure and if necessary, inflate the tires to the manufactures instructions.
Schedule regular tire rotations and alignments to assist in preventing tire cupping. Become a regular at one automotive shop and use the same mechanic faithfully. This allows him to know your car and advise you on any potential tire problems. While there, consider having him look at the struts or shocks and the suspension system. Allow him to find early problems and prevent a major future repair on your car. If the mechanic recommends a part needs to be replaced, follow his advice and replace the part as needed.
Write down all tired purchases and keep the record of when the tires are purchased in the glove box. This keeps it handy for the mechanic on your regular visits. Write down the dates of when the tires were rotated and an alignment completed. Record the dates of replacement for shocks, struts or the suspension system.