Cupping, also known as dipping, tends to occur between the center of the tread and the edges in a “scalloped” or “feathered” wear pattern. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. says cupping is more common on front tires and the most likely causes are that the wheels are out of balance, the vehicle is misaligned or that suspension or steering parts are worn out.
Those problems allow the tires to bounce up and down as the vehicle travels, creating this abnormal wear pattern, according to Goodyear. Aggressive driving or failing to rotate the tires regularly can also contribute to cupping. Illustrations of what cupping and other wear patterns look like are available on Goodyear’s website.
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