Right side tires wearing out faster than left

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Thread: Right side tires wearing out faster than left

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    Default Right side tires wearing out faster than left

    Hi,

    My Tundra has Dominator Sport AT tires, and I've put 60,000 miles on them so far (the truck had 45,000 on the odometer at install; an alignment was done at the same time). The BFGs would've lasted longer than 45k, but one tire was slashed by someone / something, and I decided to get a new set ot tires. I like them better than the original BFG Rugged Trails. The Dominators have been rotated and balanced every 5000 miles since new.

    When they are rotated, the techs only swap the front and back tires on the same side only (left side tires are always on the left, etc). Anyway, while I was airing them up the other day, I noticed that the right side tires have about 1/8 to 3/16" less tread than the left side tires. The truck drives smooth, but sometimes it feels like it's not "centered" while on the highway; you have to keep a good grip on the wheel and make constant corrections to keep the truck straight. It was like that when I first bought the truck, and it did that after the 45k alignment. I just got used to it. I don't tow much, I don't carry heavy loads, and I don't have a shell on it. Oh, I try to save gas as much as possible, so I don't spin my tires much or race (don't have LSD rear).

    Is this right-sided wear pattern due to poor alignment, even though they did an alignment? If it is, is it due to improper toe-in, camber, etc?
    Tundra LTD TRD AC V8 4wd White

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    Default Re: Right side tires wearing out faster than left

    definenty an alignment problem...
    but what caused it?.....driving habits,(hit a curb)...even a slight bump could knock the camber...for the tire to wear in the inside....thats probaly camber/toe in.. adjustment.

    might inspect your suspension..take the weight off the front wheels...
    shake wheel up and down...listen of poping or feel of slop in the suspension....worn tie rods...upper ...lower guide arms etc...

    generally around 100k...expect to replace worn suspension parts...

    if i understand you...your at 60k on mile?..
    do you off road?...whats your driving habits?.

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    Default Re: Right side tires wearing out faster than left

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning
    [...]

    The truck drives smooth, but sometimes it feels like it's not "centered" while on the highway; you have to keep a good grip on the wheel and make constant corrections to keep the truck straight.

    [...]
    This is known in the alignment trade as being "squirrelly". The cause of the problem is improper alignment, specifically total toe.

    "Toe" describes the "pointing direction" of the tires when viewed from above. "Total toe" is an angle, the angle between the pointing directions of the two wheels of an axle. "Toe in", or positive total toe, is similar to being "pigeon toed", in that the leading edges of the tires are closer together than the trailing edges. "Toe out", or negative total toe, is the opposite, in that the trailing edges of the tires are closer together than the leading edges.

    Suppose the front tires have incorrect total toe. As the vehicle rolls down the road, one front tire is trying to roll one direction and the other front tire is fighting it by trying to roll a different direction. If the total toe alignment is incorrect enough, then one or both of these tires will have to actually scrub sideways as it rolls, and that leaves rubber on the road. This is why total toe is a critical tire wear alignment parameter.

    Now, consider your case. Per your description, I infer that the left side of your truck is usually a mite heavier than the right side, due to your weight and the weight of the fuel in the tank, both of which are on the left side. That means the left front wheel is more likely to win the contest and the right front wheel is more likely to be the one doing the scrubbing and wearing.

    Fits the symptoms, doesn't it?

    You can fix the cause by having it aligned properly. Make sure they set camber and total toe dead on Toyota's specs for your vehicle, and set caster right at the upper end of the range those specs allow for your vehicle.

    You can fix the symptoms (for the future, that is -- you can't cure the wear that's happened) by rotating the tires in a "modified X" pattern. Move the rear tires straight to the front and move the front tires across to the rear.

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    Default Re: Right side tires wearing out faster than left

    Quote Originally Posted by tlpru
    definenty an alignment problem...
    but what caused it?.....driving habits,(hit a curb)...even a slight bump could knock the camber...for the tire to wear in the inside....thats probaly camber/toe in.. adjustment.

    might inspect your suspension..take the weight off the front wheels...
    shake wheel up and down...listen of poping or feel of slop in the suspension....worn tie rods...upper ...lower guide arms etc...

    generally around 100k...expect to replace worn suspension parts...

    if i understand you...your at 60k on mile?..
    do you off road?...whats your driving habits?.
    My truck has 105,000 miles on it, and I had the Dominators installed when the truck was 45,000 miles old. It is mainly driven on the highway, and I'm pretty easy on it (no hard turns, no offroading, no racing). The steering / suspension makes no noises when I go over bumps. The suspension is original and entirely stock. I don't remember hitting any curbs or big potholes. I do have really bad brake shudder between 40-50 mph, but it only does that when I apply the brakes. I guess I'll get a full alignment when I get new tires. I just hope it keeps it's alignment better this time (or maybe they didn't do a good job the first time).
    Tundra LTD TRD AC V8 4wd White

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    Default Re: Right side tires wearing out faster than left

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ
    This is known in the alignment trade as being "squirrelly". The cause of the problem is improper alignment, specifically total toe.

    "Toe" describes the "pointing direction" of the tires when viewed from above. "Total toe" is an angle, the angle between the pointing directions of the two wheels of an axle. "Toe in", or positive total toe, is similar to being "pigeon toed", in that the leading edges of the tires are closer together than the trailing edges. "Toe out", or negative total toe, is the opposite, in that the trailing edges of the tires are closer together than the leading edges.

    Suppose the front tires have incorrect total toe. As the vehicle rolls down the road, one front tire is trying to roll one direction and the other front tire is fighting it by trying to roll a different direction. If the total toe alignment is incorrect enough, then one or both of these tires will have to actually scrub sideways as it rolls, and that leaves rubber on the road. This is why total toe is a critical tire wear alignment parameter.

    Now, consider your case. Per your description, I infer that the left side of your truck is usually a mite heavier than the right side, due to your weight and the weight of the fuel in the tank, both of which are on the left side. That means the left front wheel is more likely to win the contest and the right front wheel is more likely to be the one doing the scrubbing and wearing.

    Fits the symptoms, doesn't it?

    You can fix the cause by having it aligned properly. Make sure they set camber and total toe dead on Toyota's specs for your vehicle, and set caster right at the upper end of the range those specs allow for your vehicle.

    You can fix the symptoms (for the future, that is -- you can't cure the wear that's happened) by rotating the tires in a "modified X" pattern. Move the rear tires straight to the front and move the front tires across to the rear.
    What you're saying makes sense. I always thought the "squirreliness" was normal for my truck, since it's a 4wd with AT tires. I have a feeling that they didn't do a very good job with the first alignment job. I'll be sure to point out the uneven wear pattern when I have them (the dealer) do the next alignment. Hmmm, I wonder if maybe they slightly mis-align it on purpose, so that the tires wear out faster, forcing you to buy tires more often (since the dealer also sells tires)...
    Tundra LTD TRD AC V8 4wd White

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    Default Re: Right side tires wearing out faster than left

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning
    Hmmm, I wonder if maybe they slightly mis-align it on purpose, so that the tires wear out faster, forcing you to buy tires more often (since the dealer also sells tires)...
    That's doubtful at best. The truth is, the alignment tech or techs at this dealer (for the most part), probably just don't give a damn. And that also rings true for independent shops as well, as I found out for myself... the HARD way! :cry:

    Granted there are still a few out there that do care and I was lucky... blessed it probably more like it... to find one. I carried my Tundra in right before the holidays for an alignment, to a shop which I've trusted for quite some time now. Actually spoke with the alignment tech; told him what I was after, gave him copies of DJ's specs, etc. etc. Long-story-short... he didn't get it right, because he did NOT know how to use the CAMM software on the Hunter aligment machine! Reasoning it would do me little or no good to retrun and have the alignment redone at this shop... I chose to find another shop.

    SEVERAL local phone calls later and even one to the local Hunter rep, I finally found a shop who knew what the hell they were doing and actually knew how to use all the "proper" software on the Hunter alignment machine! They "seemed" to care about what "I" wanted in my alignment. Another $44.95 later... I finally had a CORRECT alignment!

    Even though it was an expensive lesson for me :cry:, it only served to prove, that many alignment techs... NOT ALL mind you... just simply do not care!!! Having told you this, I doubt it's a "numbers" game, whereby a shop will deliberately try and get you back in for tires any faster, by doing a crappy alignment on your truck. Fact is... it's probably the "last" thing on their minds. Truth be told, most are probably thinking... "is it 5:00 yet?".

    Like I said... some... JUST DON CARE!

    Matter of fact, if it hadn't been for DJ's help, I'd probably STILL be looking for a shop to do an alignment... RIGHT!
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    Default Re: Right side tires wearing out faster than left

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning
    Is this right-sided wear pattern due to poor alignment, even though they did an alignment? If it is, is it due to improper toe-in, camber, etc?
    You should invest in some polyurethane rack bushings before you get the truck aligned to DJs specs. This will for sure get rid of the dogtailing and squirrels. I was shocked at the difference in steering quality with these bushings. They are easy to install and cost about 30 bucks - best $30 I've ever spent on my truck!
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    Default Re: Right side tires wearing out faster than left

    Cross your tires when rotating. With your open differential, the right rear tire is the first to get the torque and power, causing it to naturally wear faster than the left, even if you never spin the tires.

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    Default Re: Right side tires wearing out faster than left

    Quote Originally Posted by Stooge
    Cross your tires when rotating. With your open differential, the right rear tire is the first to get the torque and power, causing it to naturally wear faster than the left, even if you never spin the tires.
    You might want to read http://auto.howstuffworks.com/differential6.htm, wherein you'll find the following nugget:
    The open differential always applies the same amount of torque to each wheel.

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    Default Re: Right side tires wearing out faster than left

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ
    You might want to read http://auto.howstuffworks.com/differential6.htm, wherein you'll find the following nugget:
    The open differential always applies the same amount of torque to each wheel.
    Maybe seems good on paper, but in practice, things many times are way different!! Initially, equal torque must be applied, but as more torque is applied at the point of over-coming the "standing friction," the right wheel will have an over-abundence of torque compared to the left, and wear the tire on right ever-so more at each start-up from stop.

    Book smart and experience smart sometimes converge and sometimes just don't.

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    Default Re: Right side tires wearing out faster than left

    Quote Originally Posted by Stooge
    Maybe seems good on paper, but in practice, things many times are way different!! Initially, equal torque must be applied, but as more torque is applied at the point of over-coming the "standing friction," the right wheel will have an over-abundence of torque compared to the left, and wear the tire on right ever-so more at each start-up from stop.

    Book smart and experience smart sometimes converge and sometimes just don't.
    It's a good thing that differentials don't read this forum and just obey the laws of physics, ain't it?

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