Tires are made of a number of different components: sidewall, inner tube, liner, belts, piles. While each of these is important to the overall performance of the tire, drivers generally look at the tire’s tread in order to measure how fast their tires are wearing down. Understanding why tread wears at all is a matter of understanding how tires work.

The biggest enemy of tire tread aren’t sharp objects or road debris. It is heat. Tires are made of rubber and when you expose rubber to heat, the tread burns or wears off. The simple friction caused by a tire rubbing against pavement generates heat. This means that every time you drive your car, you are wearing down the tires. Higher speeds mean higher heat. This is why tires have a speed rating . Tires have to be built to endure the higher heat associated with higher speeds, which is why racing tires are so different than regular car tires, and even they can wear out extremely fast.

Aggressive driving also generates heat. Abrupt stops and starts at faster speeds result in faster wear of the tire tread. The phrase burning rubber isn’t just about the smell; that tire track is part of the tread being left behind.

Wear off enough of the tread, and it’s time to start shopping for tire and rim packages . The less tread a tire has, the less responsive it is to the driver. It will have less traction which can be dangerous in wet weather, including snowy or icy conditions. This increases the chance of both tire blowouts and accidents.

There are reasons that your tire tread may be wearing unevenly or too fast. If you are not keeping your tires properly inflated, either the center or the edges of the tire may be wearing faster. Problems with your car can also contribute to the wear of the tires. For example, if your vehicle’s alignment is faulty, this will result in the tires wearing faster on the inside or outside. You also want to make sure that you rotate your tires on a regular basis, as this will help ensure that all four wear more evenly.

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