Driving can be really uncomfortable when you can feel your tires rubbing against the body of your vehicle. The longer you ignore this, the worse it gets.
In this post, I’ll be explaining the reasons why your tires rub when turning, and how you can fix it to avoid costly repairs down the road.
Reasons Why Your Tires Rub When Turning
1. Insufficient Clearance
When a tire does not have sufficient clearance within the wheel well, it can rub against the inner fender or other components when the wheel is turned.
This can be caused by several factors, such as installing tires that are too large for the vehicle, using wheels with an incorrect offset, or installing aftermarket suspension components that lower the vehicle and reduce the amount of clearance between the tire and the wheel well.
2. Incorrect Tire Size
If the tires on a vehicle are too large or have an incorrect width or aspect ratio, they may rub against the wheel well or other components when turning.
This can occur if the wrong size tires are installed or the tires are incompatible with the vehicle’s suspension and steering components.
3. Incorrect Offset
The offset of a wheel refers to the distance between the mounting surface and the wheel’s centerline. If the offset is incorrect, the tire may protrude beyond the wheel well and rub when turning.
This can be caused by using wheels with an incorrect offset or by installing aftermarket suspension components that alter the position of the wheels relative to the vehicle.
4. Suspension Problems
If a vehicle’s suspension components are damaged or worn out, the tire may not have enough space to move freely and may rub against the wheel well when turning. Worn-out or damaged suspension components, such as struts, springs, or control arms, can cause this.
5. Alignment Issues
If the wheels of a vehicle are not properly aligned, the tires may not make contact with the road surface evenly, causing one side of the tire to rub against the wheel well when turning.
This can be caused by improper alignment of the wheels or by damage to the suspension components that affect the alignment of the wheels.
7. Load Issues
If a vehicle is carrying a heavy load or the tires are improperly inflated, the tires may rub against the wheel well when turning. This can be caused by carrying a heavy load that exceeds the capacity of the vehicle’s suspension or by improperly inflating the tires to a pressure that is too low or too high.
How to Fix Tires That Rub When Turning
1. Install Larger or Wider Wheels and Tires
If the tire rub is caused by insufficient clearance within the wheel well, you can fix the problem by installing larger or wider wheels and tires. This will increase the distance between the tire and the wheel well, reducing the risk of rubbing when turning.
Remember that you must ensure that the new wheels and tires are compatible with your vehicle and meet all applicable safety standards.
You may also need to make other adjustments, such as adjusting the tire pressure or the alignment of the wheels, to ensure that the new wheels and tires are properly supported.
2. Replace Worn or Damaged Suspension Components
If worn or damaged suspension components cause the tire to rub, you will need to replace these parts to fix the problem. This may include components such as struts, springs, or control arms.
Worn or damaged suspension components may not provide enough support to the tires, causing them to rub against the wheel well when turning. Replacing these components will restore the proper support to the tires and prevent rubbing.
3. Have the Wheels Aligned
If the tire rub is caused by improper alignment of the wheels, you will need to have the wheels aligned by a professional mechanic. Wheel alignment refers to the angle at which the wheels are set relative to the road surface and the vehicle.
If the wheels are not properly aligned, the tires may not make contact with the road surface evenly, causing one side of the tire to rub against the wheel well when turning.
Having the wheels aligned will ensure that the tires make contact with the road surface evenly and prevent rubbing.
4. Adjust the Tire Pressure
If improperly inflated tires cause the tire to rub, you must adjust the tire pressure to the manufacturer’s recommended levels. Tire pressure is the amount of air inside the tire, and it is important to maintain the correct tire pressure to ensure the tires have enough support.
If the tires are underinflated, they may need more support and may rub against the wheel well when turning.
On the other hand, if the tires are overinflated, they may be too rigid and rub against the wheel well when turning. Adjusting the tire pressure to the manufacturer’s recommended levels will help to ensure that the tires have the proper support and prevent rubbing.
5. Reduce the Load on the Vehicle
If a heavy load on the vehicle causes the tire to rub, you can fix the problem by reducing the load to a level that the vehicle’s suspension can support.
A vehicle’s suspension is designed to support a certain amount of weight, and if the vehicle is carrying a load that exceeds this capacity, it can cause the tires to rub against the wheel well when turning.
Reducing the vehicle load will help ensure that the tires have the proper support and prevent rubbing.
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The Risks and Dangers of Tire Rubbing
1. Damage to the Tires
If a tire rubs against the wheel well or other components of the vehicle, it can cause damage to the tire itself. This can include abrasions or cuts on the sidewall, tread, or bead, weakening the tire and reducing its lifespan.
The tire may also lose its shape or become misshapen due to the rubbing, which can cause it to wear out more quickly or become unsafe to use.
2. Damage to the Suspensions
If a tire rubs against the wheel well or other components of the vehicle, it can cause damage to the suspension components. This can include wear and tear on the struts, springs, or control arms, which can affect the handling and stability of the vehicle.
The suspension components may also become damaged or bent, which can cause further problems with the handling and stability of the vehicle.
3. Loss of Control
If a tire rubs against the wheel well or other components of the vehicle, it can cause a loss of control while driving.
This can be particularly dangerous at high speeds or in emergencies, as the driver may not be able to steer or brake the vehicle effectively. The tire may also lose traction or grip on the road, increasing the risk of a collision or rollover.
4. Decreased Fuel Efficiency
If a tire rubs against the wheel well or other components of the vehicle, it can cause increased friction and drag, reducing the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. This can result in higher fuel costs for the owner and increased emissions and environmental impact.
5. Increased Wear and Tear
If a tire rubs against the wheel well or other components of the vehicle, it can cause increased wear and tear on the tires and other components.
This can lead to more frequent repairs and maintenance and increased costs for the owner. It can also cause the vehicle to lose value over time, as potential buyers may see the tire rub issue as a defect.
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Tires rub when turning when the tire’s outer edge comes into contact with an obstacle, such as the inner fender, suspension components, or the ground. This can happen for various reasons, including incorrect tire size, misaligned suspension, or damaged suspension components.
To fix tires that rub when turning, you may need to adjust the tire size, align the suspension, or repair or replace damaged components. It is important to address this issue as soon as possible, as tire rub can cause damage to the tire and potentially lead to a blowout or loss of control while driving.
Ugo is a passionate car enthusiast with a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering degree and hands-on experience in troubleshooting and fixing automobiles.
I combine my electrical and mechanical engineering knowledge with practical skills to address car-related issues.
My love for cars and dedication to educating others led to the creation of Fixandtroubleshoot.com!