Common Causes of Tire Damage - Capitol Subaru of Salem Service Information

Unless something is drastically wrong, the tires are the only part of your vehicle that makes contact with the road. That means that they're susceptible to damage from that contact. While some types of tire damage are rather unavoidable, others are easier to avoid. On this page, we'll take a look at five common causes of tire damage. If there's something you can do to help prevent such damage to your tires, we'll go over it here, too. One thing to note: if you need new tires, you should have all four replaced on all-wheel drive vehicles like most Subaru models. This is true even if only one tire is affected because of the sophisticated Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. That way, they'll all wear down at the same rate and that will put less stress on the AWD system.

Flat tire with nails

5. Puncture or Impact Damage

We'll start off with the kind of damage that's harder to avoid. If your tires are punctured by a foreign object, or if they hit a curb or pothole, they may well become damaged. While paying attention and driving more carefully can help you avoid potholes and curbs, it's much more difficult to avoid debris. Typically, it's nearly impossible to see if there's a nail in the road. The good news is that a tire with punctured treads may be repairable so you don't have to replace it. But if there's damage to the sidewall, you'll need to have the tires replaced. It's important to note here that the sidewall of the tire does extend into the tread part of the tire.

Wheel alignment service

4. Misaligned Wheels

If the wheels on your Subaru are not properly aligned, the tires could suffer. This is because misaligned wheels will cause the tires to wear out quicker on the inner or outer edge. When this happens, you won't get the full lifespan you should expect from your tires. What's more, improper alignment can be irritating and dangerous. Fortunately, the fix for this is simple: wheel alignment service. If caught early enough, your tires may still be OK. But if they've begun to wear unevenly, it's usually best to have them replaced.

3. Bad Suspension

If components of your car's suspension become worn or loose, the tires might become damaged by developing a wear pattern known as "cupping" or "scalloping." This occurs when the tire has small but regular patches of wear all around the surface. This is due to excessive movement of the tires, and indicates that you'll likely need work done on your shocks or struts.

New tire tread

2. Underinflated Tires

If your tires don't have enough air, they could suffer damage. At first glance, habitually underinflated tires may look like tires on a misaligned vehicle, but there is actually a key difference. If your vehicle is misaligned, there will likely be excessive wear on one edge of the tire. If your tire is underinflated, both edges may exhibit excessive wear. It's normal for tires to leak a small amount of air, so be sure to check your tire pressure regularly and fill them up if needed.

1. Overinflated Tires

Just as underinflated tires could cause harm, overinflated tires can do the same thing! Look out for excessive wear along the center of the tire and regular wear on the edges. This means that the center of the tire is carrying more of your vehicle's weight than it should. In addition to causing excess wear, this can increase the risk of a blowout. On the door jamb of your Subaru, there should be a guide that tells you the proper PSI for your tires. Make sure that you don't fill them too full, and let out excess air if needed.