Front tire wear

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New member
Jan 12, 2012
Hi fellow iMIEVers
I have 22,400 miles on my 2012 iMIEV and recently my front tires were replaced already due to excessive wear. They had worn in such a manner that I suspect my front end alignment may have been out of spec because they had significant wear on the outside tread while towards the inside of the tire the wear was progressively less so it's as if the tow-in was too much and the tread wore at a slant. I could include a picture if anyone was curious to see what I'm talking about. I kept the old tires. Anyway it would be interesting to find out if this is a common problem. Maybe those of you that have a few thousand miles on your car could inspect your front tires for a similar wear pattern.
I noticed the same thing when I took off my summer tires last fall. I've been thinking about alignment. Do the more experienced owners have an insight on this?
I have about 48,000mi on my Miev and have done a couple of tire replacements. The front tires wear out after about 15,000mi. They always wear out at the outer edges. I am now on my 3rd set and have used always different brands in the front. I had the wheel alignment checked for the first 2 sets and it was always ok. I assume, that the skinny front tires, coupled with the weight of the car, will push the car onto the outer edge of the tire in corners. I love to push the car to its limits (including corners).
With the last set, I scaled back on acceleration and corner speed and it seems to make a difference. I also don't run LL-tires anymore. I have Continentals on at the moment. The range didn't change noticeably and the were the cheapest.
I wonder, if the BMW i3 has the same issue with its skinny front tires. Does anybody know?
The back tires last about 22-25,000mi.
I'm on set 3. Both of the first two sets wore out after 13,000-15,000 miles. My original front tires were wearing pretty bad on the insides. After putting new tires on, the car pulled to the right pretty bad. My alignment was way off and the tires were pointed away from each other. Even after I got it lined up, the Continentals I had on refused to hold a straight line (the steering wheel wanted to center at 2 o'clock instead of 12). They wore just a little more on the outside, but that's probably my driving). The Continental tires may be cheaper, but my rims are dented now from potholes (sidewalls are way too soft), and the car didn't handle very well.

The problem is, as narrow as the front tires are, it'll be tough to keep even wear.
i've seen that same wear pattern and found my toe was set way too much (-6mm). i set the toe to 0 and changed tires to yokohama and the wear is now more even. The steering is twitchy in that any crown in the road causes a drift toward that side. The other issue may be positive camber on the front end--i don't see any way to adjust it out either, but that is a tire-wearing setting also.
I'm surprised at all of the responses in one day. It's a bit discouraging however, because this seems to be a common problem with no absolute solution. I did put new Continental tires on my car and they seem to ride much smoother and quieter.
what are the pressures in these high wear tires ? my 2014 has ~12Kmiles and the wear is barely noticeable. My pressures are 45/47 psia front/rear.

After running over (left front&rear tires) and took out a deer earlier this year, the shop determined that my left arm is slightly bent. The shop was able to adjust camber and toe back to within spec, but the left caster can't be adjusted. I can see the gap between the rear of left tire to the fender is narrower that the gap on the right side. Surprisingly it drives straight.

The rear thrusts are out of specs but the shop couldn't obtain a shim kit. Apparently the whole rear axle shifted to the left when the rear left rolled over the fat deer. (The protruding tow ring gutted the belly)
I run 40 PSI. It offers improved range without hurting ride quality. The roads I drive on are terrible, though.
I run 44 PSI. Both winter and summer tires (Enasave vs. TS760, in front) seem to exhibit the behaviour. I was fearing that with high pressure the tires would wear in the middle the most, but alas it doesn't seem to be so.
pbui19 said:
... Apparently the whole rear axle shifted to the left when the rear left rolled over the fat deer.

Seems like the mounting bolts could all be loosened up, adjust the rear carrier, and then re-tightened back in the proper position. There are measurement specs in the body repair portion of the manual for all the chassis mounting and attach points and reference points. Even a simple X pattern measurement of the mounting bolt locations would show up a yaw rotation such as you described.
I suffered excessive wear from new. Replaced fronts twice already and am now on 49,000km after 2.5 years. On this last set I ignored the dealer who suggested rotating the wheels left to right (after I highlighted the differing sizes front to rear). My local tyre centre tweaked the suspension alignment within spec to stop the tyres prematurely wearing the outer edge. No discernible difference in ride or steering, will see how long they last. Here in Oz they set me back AU$200 per tyre so not happy with that so far.
Interesting to see this pop up again. I experienced premature front tire outside wear in early 2012, easily noticeable before 5000 miles. Here's the thread- it turned out that my alignment was wrong from the factory, having toe-in.
I replaced the front tires when I got my car last year. My 2012 had about 14k. I've put about 11k on it so far the outer edge takes most of the ware and tear. On a side note noticed a popping noise when I back up with the wheels turned.
Ive got the same issue, as do my parents I-MIEV. I would say that this is characteristic of a high narrow car with thin front tyres. Those front tyres are doing a lot of work. 12-15K miles isnt so bad. They are about the same width as the rear of my scooter, and those seem to only last about the same amount of miles.
The car is designed with a good bit of understeer, so if you're pushing it in the corners it . . . . pushes (NASCAR slang term for understeer) :lol:

Understeer is a good thing for novice, un-attentive or multi-tasking drivers as the opposite of understeer (oversteer) is very dangerous - When they realize they've overcooked a corner, the back end snaps around. With understeer, they just safely leave the pavement for the shoulder :lol: Still, Mitsu overdid the understeer, IMO. A little is a good thing . . . . no need to carry it to the extreme

Slowing down before entering the corner will make the front tires last lots longer - Speeding around corners will wear them out lots faster

Well the outer ~1" edge of the left front has worn down into the wear bands while the rest of the tire looks nearly new. It is the Dumlap LRR tire, whereas the RF is a yokohama and it shows no edge or center wear. i have the another yoko to replace this dunlop but wasn't expecting this to happen so soon. The OEM tires feel like a really soft rubber compound, but that seems at odds with the LRR designation.

Now that i have the white/blue kiev2 to play with i may experiment to figure out some method to adjust front camber--i'd happily trade off some inner edge rubber for crisp on-rails type of cornering...
This set of Dunlops on Bear seem to be holding rather well. I'll have to check when I had them put on, but the fronts are near a year and still have plenty of tread left. The back ones had to be changed at the beginning of this year (I smoked the old ones off trying to get up an icy driveway :oops: :mrgreen: ).

Koorz has Yokohama front tires and will way out-handle Bear. That, along with looser steering and a more linear throttle pedal, it's the sports car of the two.
The front outter wear .... Anyone that has this do TIGHT TURNS ?

Mine were fine until I got to park in the garage (about 10k miles) but my spot makes me do a HARD left U-turn into the spot and I don't get to play forward/reverse to get in due to the safety gate will get stuck in the up position if i do.

It was after parking there for 6 months that I noticed the wear. I wonder if that had anything to do with it.

I don't corner hard anywhere else and I don't usually go on the highway ramps so that is not it.

I can get the front tires at Walmart for $78 each. Worth it if I have to buy them once every other year.
tigger19687 said:
The front outter wear .... Anyone that has this do TIGHT TURNS ?..
Slow speed parking has a negligible effect on tire wear, IMO.

Moto's original front tires at 22K miles. Rears are still v. good. This is now my wife's daily driver, which perhaps explains why the left front outside is not worn (I tend to zoom around cloverleaf on/off-ramps).



Comments about alignment issue?