Tire Cupping

Tire Cupping: Symptoms, Causes & Fixes

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Tire cupping is not a commonplace automobile term, but most established vehicle owners and drivers know what it entails. In this article, we shall be taking you through all there is to know about tire cupping. So, sit back, relax, and keep reading.

What is a Tire Cupping?

Tire cupping refers to the appearance of cuts or scoops on the edges around the circumference and other random areas of your tires. The worn section on the tire may be between 3-4 inches. Tire cupping can be differentiated from all other types of normal tire wear. It features uneven patches that run high and low on the surface of your tires.

Typically, your vehicle tires, whether the front or rear, will experience cupping due to irregular motions and unsteady bouncing off the wheel from one pothole into another. Tire cupping causes the tires to lose proper contact with the road, leading to rumbling noise. Cupped tires may force the driver to slow down even on highways. 

Symptoms of Tire Cupping

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should have an expert check your tire suspension. 

  • Vibration

Vibration is usually the first sign of cupping, and if you pay attention to it, you may be able to save your tires from more damage because vibrations are caused by an imbalance in your vehicle’s system. 

And if you observe that as you drive through a speed bump, your steering wheel vibrates, then your front tires are unstable, and if you feel the vibration from your seats, then your rear tires may be imbalanced. And these vibrations could tell of possible cupping.

  • Damage to the Tires

This sign is most prominent and should not be ignored. If you notice these cut-like appearances on your tires, you’d be wise to inspect the tires to confirm whether it’s cupping.

You can make it a routine to feel your tires’ surface for any such dips and cuts. Usually, before cupping becomes very visible, the process has been on and could have been salvaged if it was identified on time.

  • Tire Noise

At greater velocities, like those that characterize highway driving, a cupped tire makes much noise. This is due to the depressed, irregular surface found on the tires.

  • Vehicle Veering

Vehicle lean means that as you drive, you have to continuously add much strength in getting the vehicle to head toward the direction you want it to

Another indication of vehicle veering could be observed when you let go of your steering. It appears your car is ‘shifting’ from its usual side to the other as a result of unbalance in its suspension or alignment systems.

Causes of Tire Cupping  

Cupping of tires could result from any of the following; hence, you should endeavor to avoid all of the factors discussed here.

  • Cheap Tires: Buying cheap and low-quality tires are usually the beginning of many problems for vehicle owners. Imagine getting a beautiful piece of low quality junk to carry the entire weight of your vehicle. 

If the tire doesn’t ‘break down’ under your vehicle’s weight, then at best, it would always cost your budget to repair it continually. Low quality, under-inflated, and less durable tires will most easily come down with cupping if your suspension is unbalanced by any chance.

  • Bad Suspension: If you regularly drive through bump-filled roads, your tire’s suspension systems would get stressed along with your tire threads. Eventually, due to frequent bumps and bad alignments, your tire would have to pay the price. They would experience wear, tear, and inevitable cupping.
  • Unbalanced Tires: If your tires are balanced, their ability to serve you better has been raised by 20%. This is because since your vehicle’s weight is evenly spread about the surface of your tires, no one portion of the tires carries more weight than other points. As a result of this, the possibility for cupping is eliminated to a great degree.
  • Misaligned Tires: Misalignment speaks of a situation where the tires themselves are not moving straight due to differing contact points. This would result in cupping because it isn’t normal for only some points to ‘suffer’ all the road contact.
  • Worn-out Suspension and Shock Subscribers: As we have already established, uneven points of contact on the tires cause cupping. Therefore, if your tires lack suspension components such as shock absorbers, it would roll with much stress along the roads, creating uneven pressure points, thereby exposing your tires to cupping. t

How to Fix & Prevent Tire Cupping?

You could begin by changing the shock absorbers then getting bigger and unidirectional tires with wider rims that would adhere firmly to the roads while spreading pressure points all around the tires’ surface. You could also visit the automobile engineer for his professional aid.

  • Pay attention to the Tire Pressure: You could do this at home and confirm if your tires are at the pressure required for proper functioning. Making sure that your tires are not underinflated is a great step to preventing cupping
  • Maintain balanced suspension: Ensure your car’s suspension systems are balanced and well-aligned. This will ensure your tires roll in full contact with the roads as designed to be by the manufacturers.
  • Buy Quality Wheels: Endeavor to get quality tires no matter how low your budget is, as this will forestall more expenses in the future.  
  • Keep to the practice of regular and timely vehicle maintenance. 
  • As a primary rule, try to rotate your tires after every 13,000 kilometers, guaranteeing even tire wear and preventing cupping.
  • Balance your tires after every 10,000 kilometers because it protects the tires from cupping.

Final Thoughts

Ensure to make prompt vehicle maintenance your culture because, for optimal performance, all the minute parts of the vehicle must work together, the tires most especially. Cupping shouldn’t be ignored because it would only worsen. So, have your tires inspected repeatedly to make certain of your safety on the roads.

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