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Bows in at top or bottom? More than likely
you need your suspension aligned. The tire just follows the suspension. Misalignment can cause tire wear and handling problems. Front wheel drive cars need 4 wheel alignment to insure the back isn't steering the front. Other causes are shock/strut or control arm bushing wear or failure. Tie rod ends or idler arm wear can cause tire wear as well.
All parts should be tight and serviceable before alignment.
Could be a control arm or the axle. Best case scenario you just need a good alignment.. Take it to walmart and buy the alignment package. They do a free inspection before hand, if anything is wrong with your suspension, that won't let them guarantee their work (on the alignment) they can't do the job. Inspection is free.
This can arise from a variety of causes
- lost wheel balance weights, throwing this out
- a bent rim from hitting a pothole
- an out of round tire, which can develop over time
- worn or loose wheel hub bearing
- worn or loose suspension joints
- worn or loose steering components eg tie rod end
If unsure how to check these, get along to a suspension and tire shop, as it could be something dangerous to you.
Wheel alignment and tire balance are the first place to look. if you feel vibrations in the seat. the rear wheels are the fist place to check. if vibrations are present through the steering wheel, then front tire alignment and tire balance are probably the cause. or something suspension or steering related. Even uneven wear on tires can cause this. but uneven wear is the sign of another problem, tracing back to suspension or steering problems.
loose lug nuts
wheel out of balance; weight fell off
incorrect tire pressure; over pressure can damage the tire
faulty tire;out of round, tread separation, etc
loose wheel bearing
worn shock absorber
worn steering / suspension component; bushing, tie rod end, ball joint, etc
You can rotate the tires, front to back to see if the problem follows the wheels or is a front end only problem.
out of balance/bent wheel/tire out of round
damaged or severely worn suspension components/frame
steering stabilizer (like a horizontal shock absorber) if applicable
steering box or rack needs replacement
front end alignment
worn ball joints/ macphereson strut assembly
-these areas are where you should start and eliminate possible causes
Usually what I see when I encounter this type of problem is an out of balance or out of round tire, loose steering parts, loose suspension parts, or a combination of all three. I would start by having the tires inspected and spin balanced. A tire that has become out of round or has developed a bulge in it is often close to complete failure [flat or blowout] so I would have it checked out as soon as possible as it can be quite a safety hazard. It only takes a short amount of time to have the steering and suspension checked for any loose or worn parts while they are checking the tires so I would have that done at the same time. Good luck, hope this helps!