The Dec/Jan 2015/16 home page looked at correct inflation, under-inflation, over-inflation, toe-in, mechanical problems and tread wear patterns. It was mainly concerned with problems associated with the front wheels. This month we are looking at additional issues that can play a significant role in tire wear on all four wheels, not just those that are steered..
Strong braking and acceleration can remove rubber from the tire treads until a bare flat patch is produced. Rapid acceleration is not a built-in feature of Series Land Rovers, but if you have fitted a powerful V8 then this could become a concern.
This problem is usually seen in vehicles that do a lot of motorway driving. But for any Series Land Rover which has the original specification engine fitted, speeding will not be a problem! If however, a more powerful engine has been fitted, then motorway driving at speed, over time, may cause cracking of the tread pattern.
It is worth noting that tires can wear upto 3 times faster at 70mph then at 30mph. It should be emphasised though, that although wear increases with higher speeds, motorway cruising results in less wear to tires than journeys involving more braking and acceleration.
Hardly likely to be a problem for an original specification Series Land Rover. But, if it should be possible, then the tire will roll as well as skid across the road. Much of the vehicle's weight is then transferred to the outside wheels. This results in a diagonal type of wear on the tire tread that rounds the outside tire shoulder; similar to the effect of incorrect wheel alignment or wrong camber angle. Even a small increase in cornering speed can raise tread wear significantly.
Poor road surfaces increase the rate of tire wear, so does the weather. Tires wear quicker in extremes of heat or cold. However, wet roads will cool the tires and reduce friction between the tread and the road, so wear is also reduced.
Offroad driving of course greatly increases the stress on tires and it is a wiser and safer driver who drives with tire care in mind. Afterall, you are unlikely to get to where you want to go (and back!) without a full set of tires.
If heavy shoulder wear is seen on the tires, together with scooped out patches in the tread, then the shock absorbers may need replacing; they are allowing the wheels to flutter on the road surface as they roll forwards. The heavy duty leaf springs on Series Land Rovers prevent the testing of shock absorbers by the wing bouncing test used on cars. The shock absorbers need to be removed and tested by stretching and compressing them manually.
These can cause unnecessary tire wear - witnessed by irregular worn patches. Unbalanced wheels can also affect the steering and suspension. Some tire specialists will balance wheels automatically after repairing a puncture. Make sure that wheels are balanced after a tire has been removed or a new one fitted.
wheel bearings will cause the wheels to rock slightly from side to side throughout their rotation. This can lead to an irregular pattern of tread wear across the tire.
If the brakes are unbalanced to the extent that one wheel can lock under heavy braking, then flat areas on the tread may result from the tread being dragged along the road.
It is also possible that under repeated excessive braking the brake drum can distort. This can then cause flat areas on opposite sides of the same tire due to
a high spot on each side of the drum catching on the brake shoes and causing the tire to be periodically dragged on the road.
(To see previous homepages visit the Homepage Archives link)