Cupped Tires: Reasons, Repair, Prevention, FAQ

Cupped Tires Should be Prevented at All Costs

Tires have to be cared for on a regular basis because they have a lot of friction, pressure, turning stresses, weight, and others. The wear and tear of the tires can show the condition of the other parts of the car such as shock absorbers or the assembly of the brakes. While a person might think that the use of top-quality tires and using the recommended air pressure is going to keep them from giving you problems. Actually, the irregular wear out of tires is not an uncommon thing.

There are different abrasion patterns, each one is an indication of a certain problem in the tire or somewhere else. For instance, if the tire is worn out, it means they are over-inflated. The weathered edges happen because the tires were poorly inflated. While the patches because of weathering are most likely because of uneven wheels. A problem that is commonly encountered is the scalloped or cupped tires. Based on the name, this problem becomes obvious because of the dips on the tire’s one side, that shows a shape similar to a cup or scallop.

Why Cupping Happens

  • Crooked wheels – If your wheels are not aligned, it can cause tires to experience cupping. The wheels are going to wear and tear if they are not at the right angle, and then your tires will start to cup. In order to avoid this, have your wheels checked every 6 months in order to prevent this issue. Aside from that, it will prevent you from having to spend a lot of extra money if you will keep track of your tires.
  • Your tires are poor quality – Using tires that are low-quality is one of the main causes of cupped tires. Tires with low-quality are not very durable, and their strength and thickness are really different from the good ones. Poor quality tires have certain substandard properties like the rubbers are not resistant to stress and temperature. Therefore, purchasing high-quality tires is more beneficial to you because you do not have to spend on a lot of repairs, and it will really last longer.
  • The suspension system is damaged – In case you bought good quality car tires and still experience issues with cupping, it can be because the suspension system is damaged. You are going to find that the suspension system in the car is going to make it move in a smooth way. In case the parts start to wear out, it will become baggy, which makes the car wheel bounce up and down with force and regularity. In case it continues to do this, it can lead to cupping.
  • Tires are less inflated – If your tires do not get enough air pressure, your tires will start to cup, which then leads to destroying them. When the air pressure is enough in the tire, it weakens the tires and they get exposed to potholes, road fragments, and rocks that could damage your tires. Make sure your tires have enough air pressure so that stressful situations can be avoided. Always put the recommended air pressure because putting too much of it might make the tires burst.

How to Fix the Issue of Cupping

The best thing you can do about this issue is to diagnose the assemblies of the tire-wheel and find out what causes the cupping. Take your car to the auto shop and have it checked by a technician so he can look at your car’s tires, wheels, and suspension. In case a replacement is needed, it should be done right away, which includes purchasing new tires in case the specialist suggests it. if your care does not need new tires, they should be rotated and rebalanced after all the other parts have been replaced. Rotation is going to help the imbalanced wear get smooth and prevent uneven patterns from happening again. Balancing is going to help the weight get distributed in the right tire, which has been changed by cupping.


1. Is it possible to drive even when my tires are cupped?

You can drive using them if the overall condition is still good. The higher spots are going to wear out faster than the lower ones, which will eventually smoothen them out. In case depths of the scoops are 2/32”, you can no longer use the tires. If you want to smooth out the tires by driving, remember that you might be taking a dangerous drive, especially if the surfaces are wet.

2. Why Do Tires Cup Outside?

This happens if the damage is near outside the edge, this could also mean your suspension is damaged. Although in case the pattern is located between the middle and the outside edge of the tire, the reason might be because of imbalance. If there are a lot of hills, shock absorbers might be causing it or it could also be the struts.

3. What Causes a Tire to Wear on One side?

A couple of conditions could cause this like the front and rear wheels are misaligned, the suspensions components are already worn out or lose, and there is hard cornering. It could also because the rotation practices are improper, misapplication or non-unified mounting.

4. What Causes Tires to Cup Inside?

This is because of several suspension issues. In a rarer occasion, the pattern is because of bad bearings in the wheels, ball joints are losing, the control arm is damaged, or steering issue. You need to have your car suspension diagnosed by a professional and also other parts that link the wheel and the car.

Cupped tires can be a big problem in the long run and you have to avoid this as much as possible. This is why you should take note of what you have read here.

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