Question about 2009 Toyota Highlander

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Uneven tyre wear on my 2009 Highlander?? Toyota has blamed alignment and they have now checked and re-set it 3 times in 4 months. Does anyone else have this issue or can provide an answer?

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Highlanders usually go between 15-25k miles before needing tire replacement.

One suggestion is to bump the air pressure in your tires up to 35PSI vs. the recommended 30PSI.

There seem to be others with the same problem, maybe you can check out the forum at this link for more information.
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=265560

Posted on Nov 03, 2010

Testimonial: "Hey many thanks for the advice and link...I tried the pump up too but still an issue. All wear is on outside edge of tread. Will check out link !!"

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It should be possible to gain a rough idea of the problem from the tyre wear.

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If both tyres are wearing differently the problem is likely to be a combination.

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I suggest you book your car in for a 4-wheel alignment check.

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take the car to a suspension specialist shop and have the rear wheels aligned first
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it is very important that the rear end is aligned before the front end
suspect that the suspension rubbers need replacing as it is over 6 years old
the tyre rotation is a myth perpetrated on drivers to sell tyres
when the tyre construction was cross-ply and not radials yes rotation then on cross-ply tyres could get the wear to even out but with radials once the wear is started then the tyre continually wears in that pattern regardless of which wheel it is on
even if you take that tyre of the car and put it on a trailer , it will still continue to wear in that pattern
tyres are no longer rotated but simply put front to back on the same side other wise the belts flex in a new direction in the tread and fail earlier that expected
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In the UK we would say 'have the car tracked' .. the wheel alignment checked and adjusted, which is a relatively straightforward and easy job.

However, be aware that there are other causes of tyre wear which isn't rectified by having the wheels aligned.

A bent or damaged steering arm can cause tyre wear. I once owned an old Mercedes that quickly wore one front tyre. Despite having the wheels tracked - aligned - three times, the tyre still wore. It wasn't until I looked under the car myself and found a damaged steering arm ...

A worn ball joint or worn/soft rubber bush can cause tyre wear. Having the wheels aligned cures nothing without first identifying the fault. I own a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee which, I am aware, has worn rubber bushes in the front steering/suspension set up. The front tyres wear badly, caused by the worn bushes. The tyres need replacing soon anyway, but I'll wait to get the tracking-alignment- done until after I've replaced the rubber bushes/tyres.

You've had wheel alignment done a couple of times and the problem of worn tyres is still there. It's not the wheel alignment at fault .. there's some other reason such as worn ball joint/rubber bushes or maybe impact damage to a steering arm.

The best option is to get a workshop to put the car up on a hoist for inspection. Tell them that wheel alignment ISN'T the cause of your uneven tyre wear. Any half-decent workshop should be able to find the cause within a few minutes.

A car which has suffered severe side impact - and has been repaired - can have a twisted/misaligned body. This too can cause uneven tyre wear

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1 Answer

Help


Uneven tyre wear can only really be caused by either worn suspension or steering components, or wheel alignment angles incorrect. The best way to check this out is to get a wheel alignment carried out by a reputable specialist, as they will (or certainly should) go over your suspension and steering first to make sure there are no faults before they reset the wheel alignment. The other thing to note is that if the uneven tyre wear is bad enough the wheel alignment won't fix the wear problem, just slow it down.
The shimmy could be caused by a couple of things (driveshaft out of balance, tyre fault, wheel balance) but the best thing to do initially is get the wheels balanced first and see if that fixes the problem, and then go from there.
The same company should be able to both the alignment and balance, and these jobs should both be done periodically (at least whenever you replace tyres) to improve tyre life and make the vehicle easier and nicer to drive.

Hope this helps,
Mark.

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