Why Is My Tire Rubbing When I Turn?

If you’ve ever experienced the unsettling sensation of your tire rubbing when you turn, you’re not alone. This occurrence can be both frustrating and potentially dangerous. Understanding why it happens is crucial in order to address the issue effectively and ensure your safety on the road.

Tire Size and Clearance

One possible reason for tire rubbing when turning is an incorrect tire size or inadequate tire clearance. When the size of the tire is too large or the vehicle is equipped with aftermarket wheels that have a different offset, it can lead to rubbing against the wheel well or suspension components.

To determine if this is the case, you can check the tire size specified by the manufacturer in the owner’s manual or on the driver’s side door jamb. Compare this with the actual tire size currently installed on your vehicle. Additionally, inspect the tire clearance in the wheel wells to ensure there is sufficient space for the tires to rotate freely without contact.

Suspension Issues

Another possible cause of tire rubbing when turning is related to suspension problems. Worn-out suspension components, such as struts or shock absorbers, may not provide sufficient support and cause the body of the vehicle to sag. This can result in the tires coming into contact with the wheel well or other parts of the suspension system during turns.

To address this issue, it is important to have your suspension system inspected by a qualified mechanic. They will be able to identify any worn or damaged components and recommend appropriate repairs or replacements to restore the proper alignment and clearance of your tires.

Incorrect Wheel Alignment

Improper wheel alignment can also contribute to tire rubbing when turning. When the toe, camber, or caster angles are not set correctly, it can cause excessive tire wear and affect the overall handling of the vehicle.

If you suspect a misalignment, have your wheels professionally aligned. During this process, the technician will adjust the angles to the manufacturer’s specifications, ensuring that the tires are positioned correctly and reducing the likelihood of rubbing during turns.

Suspension Modifications

Many car enthusiasts enjoy customizing their vehicles, including making modifications to the suspension. While these modifications can enhance performance and aesthetics, they can also lead to tire rubbing if not done properly.

If you have recently made changes to your suspension system, such as lowering the vehicle or adding larger wheels, it is essential to ensure that proper tire clearance is maintained. Consult with a trusted mechanic or suspension specialist to evaluate the modifications and make any necessary adjustments to prevent tire rubbing.

Tire Inflation and Condition

The condition and inflation of your tires can also play a role in tire rubbing. Overinflated or underinflated tires may not have the correct shape and size as intended, potentially causing contact with the wheel well or suspension components during turns.

Regularly check your tire pressure using a reliable gauge and adjust it to the recommended level specified by the manufacturer. Additionally, make sure your tires are in good condition, free of any bulges, cuts, or excessive wear. Replacing worn-out or damaged tires can help prevent rubbing and maintain optimal performance.

In conclusion, tire rubbing when turning can occur due to various factors such as incorrect tire size, suspension issues, misalignment, modifications, or tire condition. Identifying and addressing the underlying cause is essential to ensure your safety on the road and preserve the longevity of your tires. If you are unsure about the cause or unable to resolve the issue on your own, it is always recommended to consult a qualified mechanic for a thorough inspection and professional advice.