The inside of my RHS (driver’s) tyre only is badly worn – almost bald, after about 9,000 kms. The other front tyre (bought at same time) looks almost new. I am a gentle driver, and always check inflation pressures regularly. Ideas please?
First thing I’d do is to check for any play or wear on any of the components that connect the wheel to the car.
Wishbone bushes both top and bottom, ball joints steering joints and wheel bearings. Play in any of those components could force the wheel to splay out slightly in the straight ahead position and that scrubs the inner edge away really quickly.
If everything seems fine then you will need to get the alignment checked.
When did the car last have a four-wheel alignment carried out?
My '91 suffered from horrendous uneven tyre wear after purchase and five returns to Jag dealers didn’t cure it. Initially it handled like a camel and I determined that the root cause was inadequate front toe. I experimented by adjusting the track-rods until it handled sweetly and as a bonus the tyre wear became even across the entire tread width.
Uneven wear on one front tyre may result from the rear alignment being out. That happened on my newly acquired Range Rover and I discovered the cause when during a routine service by a dealer (which did not include any work on the steering), they swapped the two front wheels side-to-side. When I picked up the car the steering wheel was now angled at 15 degrees clockwise when the car was being driven straight ahead. The swapping of the worn tyre to the other side had caused that and we then discovered that a slight misalignment of the rear wheels had caused the uneven front tyre wear. Been perfect ever since it had a full four wheel realignment with no longer any uneven tyre wear front or back.
Happened to my car and it was a worn inner tie rod. Tie rod replaced, problem solved.
Wouldn’t that produce toe-out and therefore there would be wear on both front tyres?
With a worn component on one side of the car it’s possible to have only the wheel on that side toeing out, the other tyre could still run true and not be affected by uneven wear. The tracking can be affected on one side only by impacts as well, for instance when hitting a speed bump too fast and not judging the center correctly or even hitting a pothole.
I solved the problem. The rego (mot) mechanic noted that there was extreme play in the upper wishbone bushes on the right side. So at rest although the alignment checked OK, when moving the alignment was all wrong. Replaced the buses both sides and now AOK!