What Is Heel and Toe Wear?

Heel and toe wear refers to the partial wear of individual tread blocks, appearing as saw tooth wear, but in the direction of tyre rotation instead of across the tread. This wear pattern is most common on non-drive wheels, e.g. the rear wheels of a four wheel drive vehicle and can be corrected by more frequent tyre rotation.

Tyres are referred to as “feathered” when the tread is smooth on one side and sharp on another. This is usually a sign of poor toe alignment. This strain of tread wear means the inside or outside of the tread is significantly more worn than the center of the tread. As its name implies, positive or negative camber causes this type of wear.

Heel and toe wear happens when one side of your tread blocks wears down more quickly than the other in a circumferential direction. Causes of heel and toe wear can include rear toe error, and soft tyre tread compounds. Tread block squirm can be common on some all-season tyres. Lack of regular tyre rotation can also be a cause. Over inflation wear or excessive wear at the center tread area is characteristic of excessive inflation pressure. Over inflation wear also includes high inflation pressure and lack of regular tyre rotation.

The rear tyres of trucks equipped with rigid rear axles may exhibit similar wear, which can be minimized by routine tyre rotation. When you run your hand over the tread, it will look and feel like saw teeth when viewed from the side. When you experience any of these unusual wear patterns, you should have a wheel technician check the alignment. While tyre wear prevention is a good reason to keep your wheel alignment in check, the consequences of misalignment can also play out in overall performance. A car that pulls more towards the one side or steers erratically probably has an alignment problem. To begin balancing the tyres, a wheel technician will mount them on the correct rims and adjust the pressure to optimal inflation. Then each tyre goes on the center bore of a balancing machine. The machine spins the tyre at a high speed to measure the wheel and tyre combination imbalance. It signals how much weight the wheel technician should add to balance the tyre and the areas where the required weight is needed.

Tyre balancing is essential for proper care to prevent premature tread. Heel and toe wear is caused by unwanted toe and camber changes that occur while driving. Having tyres aligned and balanced regularly can help maximize their lifespan and overall performance.

Minty’s is amongst the leading tyre suppliers in South Africa, and is recognized for our high standard of customer service. We have built a reputation amongst our customers and ensure that they receive tyres and alloy wheels of the highest quality, amongst the largest brands nationwide.

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