SageBrush
Posts: 4907
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Uneven Front Tyre Wear Question

Fri May 24, 2019 4:55 pm

I noticed today that both front tyres have excessive outside tyre wear. Some googling and reading gave me a list of possibilities but I would like to try to narrow them down with some help. The car has 30k miles and has not been in any accidents although my wife is attracted to potholes and I tend to pump up the tyres to max sidewall rated psi.

Does the wear on both front tyres point to the cause ?
I'm inclined to seek a mechanic review of the suspension, and if no bent parts are found to get an alignment. Is this a reasonable approach ?
Something better ?
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 2266
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Uneven Front Tyre Wear Question

Fri May 24, 2019 5:08 pm

If you keep the tires up to at least 42 psi and have outside edge wear on both tires, I would check for excessive toe-in. Of course, aggressive cornering will tend to wear the outside edges of the front tires even with proper alignment and adequate inflation. That is why I rotate my Leaf's tires every 5,000 miles or so and cross the ones from the front when moving them to the back.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
White LEAF 2019 SL+ purchased 8/10/2019

LeftieBiker
Moderator
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Uneven Front Tyre Wear Question

Fri May 24, 2019 8:09 pm

It does sound like an alignment issue. Low pressure can cause that, but not too high - that causes center wear.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
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PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

SageBrush
Posts: 4907
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: Uneven Front Tyre Wear Question

Fri May 24, 2019 8:25 pm

I'll be delighted to find out that all that is needed is an alignment. Does it surprise anybody that both tyres show the same wear pattern ? I have it stuck in my head that each tyre has its own independent alignment, even though pictures tend to show tyre wear patterns in pairs. Why is that so ?
Last edited by SageBrush on Fri May 24, 2019 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

johnlocke
Posts: 444
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:47 pm
Delivery Date: 14 Dec 2015
Leaf Number: 300582

Re: Uneven Front Tyre Wear Question

Fri May 24, 2019 10:21 pm

Toe in causes the tires to wear on the edges and because the caster forces the the contact point to trail the axles slightly, tires will usually wear either on the inside edges if the toe in is too high or on the outside edges if the toe in is too low. One of the symptoms is drift to one side and another is misalignment of the steering wheel to the right or left of center. Wear on both edges of a tire either indicates too low a tire pressure or excessive hard cornering (scrubbing). Wear in the center of the tire is almost always too high a tire pressure. Nissan sets the tire pressure too low to improve the ride quality. Tires should be set to 40-44 PSI for best tire wear.
2016 SV, New battery at 45K mi.
Jamul, CA
San Diego East County

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 2266
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Uneven Front Tyre Wear Question

Fri May 24, 2019 10:43 pm

Excessive toe-in will cause the outside edges to wear. Insufficient toe-in (or actual toe-out) will cause inside edges to wear. Incorrect caster and/or camber can cause one front tire to wear differently from the other.

The toe-in was slightly higher than recommended when I had the alignment checked after replacing the original tires on my 2011, but all other settings were within specifications. I have not yet checked front wheel alignment on my 2015, but tire wear is fairly even.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
White LEAF 2019 SL+ purchased 8/10/2019

derkraut
Posts: 1517
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:39 pm
Delivery Date: 14 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 004248
Location: San Diego vicinity

Re: Uneven Front Tyre Wear Question

Sat May 25, 2019 7:37 am

johnlocke wrote:Toe in causes the tires to wear on the edges and because the caster forces the the contact point to trail the axles slightly, tires will usually wear either on the inside edges if the toe in is too high or on the outside edges if the toe in is too low. One of the symptoms is drift to one side and another is misalignment of the steering wheel to the right or left of center. Wear on both edges of a tire either indicates too low a tire pressure or excessive hard cornering (scrubbing). Wear in the center of the tire is almost always too high a tire pressure. Nissan sets the tire pressure too low to improve the ride quality. Tires should be set to 40-44 PSI for best tire wear.
Excellent, accurate comment, Johnlocke. :)
Derkraut
Color: Cayenne SLE, ETEC trim
reserved: 5/15/2010
Leaf del. 6/14/2011
New Traction battery installed on 7/28/2017:

Titanium48
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:33 am
Delivery Date: 25 Jan 2019
Location: Edmonton, AB

Re: Uneven Front Tyre Wear Question

Wed May 29, 2019 10:24 pm

SageBrush wrote:I'll be delighted to find out that all that is needed is an alignment. Does it surprise anybody that both tyres show the same wear pattern ? I have it stuck in my head that each tyre has its own independent alignment, even though pictures tend to show tyre wear patterns in pairs. Why is that so ?
Caster and camber settings are independent for each wheel (if they are adjustable at all), but toe-in is a relative setting across an axle. To drive in a straight line, any deviation of the wheel's rotation axis from perpendicular to the direction of travel needs to be equal in magnitude and opposite direction across an axle. If it isn't, the vehicle will not continue in a straight line. Thus, too much toe in wears both tires outside edges equally.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 13262
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Uneven Front Tyre Wear Question

Wed May 29, 2019 10:35 pm

Does it surprise anybody that both tyres show the same wear pattern ? I have it stuck in my head that each tyre has its own independent alignment, even though pictures tend to show tyre wear patterns in pairs.
I used to buy and resell Ford Mavericks, and one of the things I liked about them was the very easy Toe-in adjustment. Just a bolt for each upper arm with an eccentric cam on it. Back in those days tires often did develop issues just one wheel at a time. Most Mavericks I gave the Quick & Dirty Alignment just needed it on one wheel.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 2266
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Uneven Front Tyre Wear Question

Thu May 30, 2019 5:11 am

LeftieBiker wrote: I used to buy and resell Ford Mavericks, and one of the things I liked about them was the very easy Toe-in adjustment. Just a bolt for each upper arm with an eccentric cam on it. Back in those days tires often did develop issues just one wheel at a time. Most Mavericks I gave the Quick & Dirty Alignment just needed it on one wheel.
Leftie,
That was caster or camber adjustment (much easier than installing offset shims or bushings on many modern vehicles). Toe-in is changed by adjusting the length of the steering tie rods. As noted previously, too much toe-in causes excessive wear on the outside edges of both tires. On the Leaf, excessive toe-in also makes the car more prone to sway on grooved pavement or bridge decks (depends upon tire characteristics).
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
White LEAF 2019 SL+ purchased 8/10/2019

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