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What Is Cupping On A Tire?

Brad Tucker

What is Cupping On a Tire?

Cupping on a tire is where there are indentations worn into the tire’s tread, causing a rough ride. The tire’s tread also has less contact with the road, which reduces grip and can cause a loss of control, especially in the rain. So we now know "What is cupping on a tire?" , but what causes cupping on a tire?

It’s Not Your Tires, It’s Your Suspension

Your cupped tires are the result of a problem, not the cause of one. The cause is typically worn shock absorbers, struts, or other suspension components. These worn components cause erratic up and down forces to act on your tires, which leads to indentations in the tire’s tread. Unlike feathering, which occurs on the edges of the tire, cupping occurs across the entire tread. You can feel the cupping by placing your hand flat across the tire tread, then sliding your hand along the tread in the direction that the tire rotates. An alignment won’t cure this problem, and in many cases where a car has cupped tires, it is not possible to align the car to factory specifications due to the problems with the suspension.

How Can I Prevent Cupping On My Tires?

Now that we've discussed what is cupping on a tire and what causes tire cupping, you probably want to know how to prevent it. As is the case with most tire problems, regular inspections are the best way to avoid or minimize excessive tire wear. In the case of cupping, the inspection would involve checking shocks and struts for leaks and checking suspension bushings and other components for wear or play (looseness). As your car gets older, getting an annual wheel alignment is also an excellent and relatively inexpensive way to spot problems early and prevent bigger bills. The ASE Certified technicians at Georgia Square Collision have the training and experience to help maintain your car in peak operating condition, including performing alignments and suspension inspections. We hope this has informed you about "What is cupping on a tire?", what causes tire cupping, and how to prevent tire cupping. If your tires are cupped, not only can we diagnose and repair the cause, we can also offer you a great deal on new tires. Drop by and let us keep you on the road for less!