Tire cupping is usually caused by worse tear, wear, and pressure on the surface of the tire. Tire cupping is sometimes referred to as tire scalloping. It is an uneven wear pattern that looks like little dips around the tread area. When there is cupping, you might notice a slight rumbling sound as the vehicle moves. You can also notice an uneven surface in the tread of the tire. These surfaces often resemble “scallops”.
Causes Of Tire Cupping
Tire cupping can be the result of either poor vehicle alignment, manufacturing defect, or improper inflation. Tire cupping causes may vary also. If the cupping is not that severe, you could still fix it. But if it severe, then you don’t have any choice but to change it into a new one.
Some factors that can cause tire cupping are the following:
Inexpensive low-quality tires
This one of the most common cause why cupping happens. Tires of higher quality are better able to resist chipping by the environment that causes cupping in cheaper tires.
Suspension on the vehicle
When you still have tire cupping even if your tires are higher quality then the possible cause is that there might be an errant suspension on the vehicle. As the vehicle rolls along, the suspension on a vehicle allows the tires to bounce. The extra action will make scuff marks on the tires, resulting in cupping.
Alignment of the vehicle
When the cupping are only on the rear, the possible cause is that there may be a problem with the alignment of the vehicle.
Ways To Prevent Tire Cupping
• If your tires are rated 30 to 35 pounds and you see visible cupping on it, then inflate your tires to 40 pounds.
• Since cupping usually occurs on the outside only, place the side that is cupped on the opposite side by simply rotating the tire so that the cupped side is on the inside.
• Replace worn or faulty suspension parts such as CVC joints, struts, ball joints, wheel bearings.
• Consult professionals in order to determine which suspension part has the problem that could eventually result to tire cupping.
• If your tires are cheaper and has a low quality, better replace it with more expensive one. You can talk to the salesman when buying quality tires and with a solid rubber formula on the sidewall.
How To Repair Tire Cupping
• Park your car and set the emergency brake.
• Identify which tire are cupped by carefully examining the tires one by one.
• If the vehicle continues to bounce up and down more than once after you push down and release, then more likely, shocks are the reason for the cupping.
• Try to look if there is cupping on the front tires. Mis-alignment of the front end is the likely cause when the cupping is on the inside of the tread. It is best to immediately take your vehicle to repair shop for proper alignment.
• Change the shocks or struts by bringing your vehicle to the repair shop. The tire shop may be able to use a tire-shaving machine to even them out especially if the cupping is severe. These items are responsible for turning kinetic energy into heat. Shock and struts absorbs the energy and force oil through small holes which will then create heat.
• Greater surface area contacting the road reduces the sponginess and bounce that a narrow tire might have. It’s best to switch to wider tires and rims. Alloy rims also have an extra benefit of enhanced styling.
• Choose unidirectional tires since this kind of tires were designed to provide maximum traction, road-gripping characteristics, and handling. Using a high quality rubber reduces the chance of having tire cupping problems.