There’s a lot of different factors that go into good, even tyre wear on a 4WD. I’ve always been fairly methodical to ensure my tyres last a long time, and I was quite surprised mid trip when a mate called me over and said ‘have you seen the front tyre wear on your Dmax?’.
Sure enough, there was some pretty substantial inner tyre wear on both front tyres of the Dmax, with one tyre obviously worse than the other and the beginnings of scalloping occurring as well.
If you haven’t heard of scalloping, its when every second lug, or piece of tread on your tyre wears significantly more than the one in between. You essentially end up with a high, then low, then high lug and it will only get worse if you don’t get on top of it.
The Isuzu Dmax has had a couple of wheel alignments done in the past, and the tyres have always worn pretty well, so what was causing the inner tyre wear?
As luck would have it, I was out exploring the Burrup Peninsula one afternoon and woke the following morning to a tyre that was very flat, so needed a visit to the tyre shop anyway. Karratha tyres booked me in, and had the vehicle for a couple of hours.
They put the front’s on the rear, to wear them more evenly, and fixed the puncture. They also did a wheel alignment, and commented on how heavy the Dmax is (its about 3100kg), and that the additional weight on the rear takes weight from the front axle, and makes the alignment incorrect.
It’s an interesting thought; if you have a heavy tow ball weight and you are towing on a long holiday, the vehicle will sit down at the rear more than around town, and you can easily end up with bad tyre wear.
Being in a mining town it wasn’t cheap, but it needed to be done or I’d be up for a new set of tyres when we got back to Perth, so I happily paid the money.
Since the alignment, its been good as gold, but its something I’ll remember going forward; just because your alignment is done well when you are unloaded doesn’t mean it is good when you load it all up, and go on a 15,000km holiday!
Tyre wear always tells a story
When you look at a tyre, the wear it is showing will tell you what is wrong, and where to start. If the middle is wearing and the outside is not, your tyre pressures are too high. If the outsides are wearing and the middle isn’t, your tyre pressures are too low.
If one side of the tyre is wearing, you need a wheel alignment. If you are getting scalloping, you need to rotate your tyres more often, get the tyres balanced and check the suspension is working correctly.
I’ll make a point of checking our tyres more often; they aren’t the cheapest things to be replacing!
Have you had some weird tyre wear occur on your 4WD? What have you done to fix it?