CHOOSING YOUR TIRES
Tire cupping is typically a symptom of different vehicle suspension issues. If your vehicle’s suspension isn’t working properly – whether there are worn or damaged parts, a misalignment, or a combination thereof – your tire may struggle to maintain the intended force against the road surface and lead to this tire condition.
Typical suspension issues which may lead to cupping on the tire include but are not limited to:
- Misaligned Tires: If the tires have too much misalignment in the wheels compared with the factory alignment specifications, the motion of the vehicle can cause uneven strain on the tire.
- Worn Suspension and Shocks/Struts: Your shocks/struts and the springs work together to absorb road imperfections by controlling how each wheel reacts to a bump. If this system isn’t working properly, that wheel/tire of the vehicle can bounce more than was designed and can be a cause of the cupping.
- Unbalanced Tires or Bent Wheels: If your tire is out of balance or a wheel is bent, the centrifugal forces involved in spinning an unbalanced wheel can bounce the tire enough to lead to cupping, over time.
Several ways you may be able to tell if you have cupped tires.
- Tire Noise: You may notice a rhythmic sound, louder than your usual road noise, if your tires are cupped. This is due to those unevenly worn patches of tread rubber causing odd noises while rolling.
- Vibrating or Shaking: You may feel some excessive vibrations either in the steering wheel or in your seat as you drive.
- Vehicle Pulling to One Side: As we’ve noted that an improperly aligned vehicle can be a cause of cupping, a vehicle that is poorly aligned will often require steering wheel corrections to keep going straight down the road.
- Visual Signs on the Tire: See image above for an example of one of many types of irregular tire wear.
Tire cupping is most likely a symptom of additional issues within your vehicle. Once your tire starts to show signs of cupping, it won’t correct itself. Treating the underlying cause of the cupping by fixing related problems you have, must be done. Rotating the tires after fixing the vehicle problems may potentially help even out the tire wear, but once cupping begins to occur, the tire will have reduced tread depth in some spots on the tire surface which may reduce traction available.
If you’ve noticed any signs of cupping, consult your local Goodyear location as a tire replacement may be necessary. Alternatively, if you've already corrected any underlying issues and just need a fresh set of tires, let us help you find the right tires for your vehicle.
As always, if you have any concerns about your tire wear – whether it’s cupping or something else – call your local Goodyear tire shop near you. Your friendly technicians can inspect your tires and make recommendations based on what they see and makes the most sense for you.