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Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? #3597383 01/12/15 11:32 AM
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friendly_jacek Offline OP
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I bought an used car with seemingly good tires with lots of tread, but they are uncomfortably noisy. I made sure the bearings and suspension are good and everything checks out.

The tire wear has the classic heel and toe pattern (also known as block wear, but not as bad as this illustration):



I suspect the previous owner neglected tire rotations and drove on under-inflated tires.

If I X-rotate them, is there a chance of recovery from that heel and toe tire wear?

If not, I need to buy all new tires.

Thanks!

Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3597393 01/12/15 11:40 AM
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Quattro Pete Offline
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We'll wait for Capri to weigh in, but I don't think it's something that can be corrected at this point.


2002 530i   2015 Q5 3.0T   2018 Charger SRT
Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3597395 01/12/15 11:42 AM
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datech Offline
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I have heard possibilities.. remount the tires on the wheels with the whitewalls in (if they are actually whitewall tires, if not just reverse them).

Sand or grind the treads down to level them.

I don't know if simply rotating the tires will help, the outside edges will still be 'outside', which is where most of the wear often seems to be.

Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3597396 01/12/15 11:43 AM
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NHGUY Offline
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Do some burnouts.lol

Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3597401 01/12/15 11:47 AM
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EdwardC Offline
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I've seen tires recover from that kind of wear, it wasn't nearly that severe though.

They were never rotated for the first 25k, then I got to them and started rotating them. They were very very noisy for about 10k, then started to quiet down. Was still able to run them until about 45k before replacing. (probably could have gotten another 5k out of them, but winter was coming) Obviously the tires were not directional so I was able to do a cross rotation to get them spinning the other way around.

In the end, it was a pretty decent run for the OEM tires.

Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3597402 01/12/15 11:47 AM
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Rand Offline
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No its not reversible. The wear will will never be even now.

I'd get an alignment check and some new tires.

You don't list the size but most 15" and 16" tires are very reasonable.

Edit: Just realized that picture isn't your tires.

If its much milder a full cross rotation might help them level off abit.

LF>RR
RF>LR
LR>RF
RR>LF

Last edited by Rand; 01/12/15 11:49 AM.

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
2020 Hyundai Elantra "Value Edition"
Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3597403 01/12/15 11:48 AM
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Donald Offline
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Other tire experts may have some good answers.

I would not change the tires until the tread wear is at the limit. I would live with the noise.


2015 Ford F-250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3597411 01/12/15 12:02 PM
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Hokiefyd Offline
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Originally Posted By: friendly_jacek
If I X-rotate them, is there a chance of recovery from that heel and toe tire wear?


You said the wear wasn't as bad as the photo, but if it's visible, it's probably too far to truly "correct". If you do cross-rotate, however, you can at least get them wearing in the opposite direction and can probably mitigate the noise to a large degree.

Double-check the alignment. Post the numbers here for validation. An alignment that's "fine" can often wear the tires in funny ways (because the tolerances are often pretty wide).

Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3597422 01/12/15 12:22 PM
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raytseng Offline
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just wear the tires out. Think about what are you trying to gain from this "correction".
If it's uneven the tire still gave you most of it's service.
There's little need to eek out the last 10-15% that the extra leftover rubber represents and driving on a severely reduced contact patch while doing that eeking out.

Agree to check alignment, especially if/when you get new tires, so you don't prematurely wear those out too.

Last edited by raytseng; 01/12/15 12:25 PM.
Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3597541 01/12/15 02:21 PM
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stephen9666 Offline
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The H727 on my Hyundai had some decent uneven wear from an out-of-spec alignment. I got aggressive on the rotations and it was reduced, but it wasn't eliminated. I don't think you can totally eliminate it if it's any significant uneven wear.

Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: raytseng] #3597556 01/12/15 02:34 PM
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friendly_jacek Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: raytseng
just wear the tires out. Think about what are you trying to gain from this "correction".


I find abnormal tire noise very annoying. That's all. The previous owner probably thought it was a bad bearing, I see a new bearing on driver's side.

Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3597840 01/12/15 07:25 PM
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datech Offline
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It might also be that the tires are old and hard rubber.

I also dislike tire noise, at least on a long trip. Earplugs or noise cancelling headphones can help.

I have talked with other people about this. One guy I knew was considering using an electric sander. It might work if you have the time and inclination.

Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3598335 01/13/15 05:09 AM
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CapriRacer Offline
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Depending on what the cause of the wear is (heel and toe in this case), some wear patterns can be corrected.

If the cause of the wear is simply staying too long rotating in one direction, reversing the direction will undo the wear.

But if the cause of the problem is alignment, then nothing you can do is going to fix that. Even fixing the alignment isn't going to cause the tires to wear evenly. fixing the alignment will only stop what is happening from continuing.

Most likely it is the combination. But, what the hey! Try something. If it works - Great! If not - Oh well!


CapriRacer

Visit my web site: www.BarrysTireTech.com
Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3598563 01/13/15 09:33 AM
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KitaCam Offline
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Cause: lack/inadequate rotation.
...solution (perhaps) more rotation.


Kitacam is an 05 Camry LE/I4/MT; latest OC: 2/17 @ 142,300....PP 5w-30 with Toyo filter
Re: Is heel and toe tire wear reversible? [Re: friendly_jacek] #3598617 01/13/15 10:22 AM
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friendly_jacek Offline OP
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LOL, I did the X-rotation last night and noise got worse. I hope this will improve with time.

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