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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2005 focus zx4. 115,000 miles. I was having a vibration/shimmy in the steering wheel,so thought it might be a tire out of balance. I checked the front tires first,looked fine,no weights missing. Back passenger side tire was the bad tire. I am no tire expert,so I have no idea what would cause this,but the tire has an almost bald spot all the way across the tread about 3 inches wide and is "wavy" in other parts of the tread. The driver's side rear tire is a little like this,but not near as bad. the tires are firestone precision sports and have about 20,000 miles on them. Is this just a tire failure or is something wrong with the suspension,and what would it be? The only thing I could find in a search was the inner tire wear on the rear.
 

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Is the vibration only at high speeds? It could still be a wheel out of balance. Try rotating the tires to see if it gets any better so you can narrow it down.
 

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2005 focus zx4. 115,000 miles. I was having a vibration/shimmy in the steering wheel,so thought it might be a tire out of balance. I checked the front tires first,looked fine,no weights missing. Back passenger side tire was the bad tire. I am no tire expert,so I have no idea what would cause this,but the tire has an almost bald spot all the way across the tread about 3 inches wide and is "wavy" in other parts of the tread. The driver's side rear tire is a little like this,but not near as bad. the tires are firestone precision sports and have about 20,000 miles on them. Is this just a tire failure or is something wrong with the suspension,and what would it be? The only thing I could find in a search was the inner tire wear on the rear.
Suspension or misalignment, check the other rear tire for any abnormal wear, cupping feathering etc.... if nothing then its a suspension issue (camber perhaps?) you need to address ASAP along with a tire replacement.
 

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Alignment, tire pressures, worn rear suspension, multiple possibilities.

Alignment &/or worn suspension being the most likely. You didn't mention where the almost bald spot is in the tread, left/center/outside?

Wavy plus center worn would point to high pressure plus alignment problem.

Tires are too worn to swap front to rear to see if a front tire problem moves to the rear (balance or other) so you'd need to start with at least a pair of tires & an alignment/suspension check. (plus check balance of the fronts)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I left the bad back tires off of the car and put two old tires and rims that I had laying around back on it. The vibration is gone now,so it was the back tires. No,I'm not driving it with the worn tires on there,the passenger's side tire is unsafe. Tire pressure is good on the tires. The passenger's side tire is worn WAY worse then the passenger side,but the driver's side is starting to wear the same way,too. The wear is clear across the tread. I will try to get pictures tomorrow if they will show good enough to tell what I'm talking about. Thanks for the help so far!!
 

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Too much toe in at the rear will wear them badly, just need to make sure the bushings there aren't worn causing the problem.

Worn bushings cause wonky handling BTW, if it wanders or feels strange in the turns that's a sign of trouble there.

If you've only had it since the last tires were put on, you don't have a history so it could have been aligned wrong for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No,I put these tires on it about 20,000 miles ago. The only reason i replaced the tires was because a couple had slow leaks and they sucked on wet pavement. the old tires had no uneven tire wear at all.
 

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No,I put these tires on it about 20,000 miles ago. The only reason i replaced the tires was because a couple had slow leaks and they sucked on wet pavement. the old tires had no uneven tire wear at all.
For new tires to wear that fast something changed quickly with the alignment, scrutinize the suspension components on the right rear jack that side up and secure the rest of the car, start shaking the tire holding at 6 and 12 o clock positions and at 3 and 9 positions you shouldn't feel any wiggle or play. Rotate your tire and listen for any rough feel or sounds from the wheel bearing.

Tires just don't wear out like your describing without help from bad suspension geometry or even a defective tire such as a steel belt letting go. The left rear having some minor wear issues also is screaming major issues to me! [:(]

Some thoughtful investigation of your wheel bearing and suspension components should in most cases reveal your issue.
 

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For new tires to wear that fast something changed quickly with the alignment, scrutinize the suspension components on the right rear jack that side up and secure the rest of the car, start shaking the tire holding at 6 and 12 o clock positions and at 3 and 9 positions you shouldn't feel any wiggle or play. Rotate your tire and listen for any rough feel or sounds from the wheel bearing.

Tires just don't wear out like your describing without help from bad suspension geometry or even a defective tire such as a steel belt letting go. The left rear having some minor wear issues also is screaming major issues to me! [:(]

Some thoughtful investigation of your wheel bearing and suspension components should in most cases reveal your issue.
This. All of this. Spin the tires quickly when you listen. Even if you have no discernible play, this is not normal.

This caused "wavy" wear on my summer tires, but only on the inside edge. Found out it was both rear bearings.

It's also it could be shot bushings. Good luck on diagnosing! (Sorry about all of the links. haha)
 

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Bent wheel rim. Seriously no one thought of that? If the problem of vibration went away when you swapped wheels then obviously it is THE WHEEL.
#1 likelyhood the wheel was bent.
 

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Bent wheel rim. Seriously no one thought of that? If the problem of vibration went away when you swapped wheels then obviously it is THE WHEEL.
#1 likelyhood the wheel was bent.
That's true... the bearing thing I mentioned definitely doesn't explain the 3 inch long bald spot.

EDIT: Although, blown shocks could cause cupping. Take pictures for us! [thumb]
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok,took some pics finally today,hope i can figure out how to load them here. On further review,the wear is way more then the 3 inches I thought originally. This is the same tire.
 

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That looks a lot like diagonal wear to me. A few questions:
1. When was the last time you had an alignment? Do you have a lot of negative camber? If so, that rear toe should be very close to 0. The rear of the car is very light and excessive (-/+) toe, especially with excessive (-/+) camber, causes the tire to skip on the road - which can lead to this type of wear.
2. Do you have rear discs or drums? If discs, can I see a picture of your rotor up close? [:)]

Diagonal Wear
What's Happening
The tire is not tracking straight down the highway. But is bouncing slightly sideways during parts of its rotation. It may be wobbling on the axle or rim. On trailers, the condition is aggravated by running empty. Because of the light load, the trailer begins to bounce, creating more irregular wear, which creates more bouncing, and so forth. The bouncing can create vehicle suspension component wear.

Probable Causes
loose wheel bearings
mismounted tire/ wheel assembly
out of balance wheel assembly
tread design/ tire design
worn bearings, shocks, springs or other suspension components
mismatched duals
inconsistent dual inflation (10 PSI or greater)

Corrective Action
Tighten wheel bearings. Check wheel assembly for proper mounting of tire on wheel (or rim) and for proper mounting of axle. If you have many tires of the same tire brand and tread design with cupping/scallop wear, test other tire brands, tire series or tread designs. Match duals by the tire brand, size and series (differences no more than 1/4" in overall diameter). Inflate tires to fleet standard.

What to do with the tire
Continue to run tire. When worn area reaches tread wear indicators, have Kal Tire retread the tire.
This site has some helpful information as well, especially concerning diagonal wear (heel-and-toe wear) with its relationship to rear toe.

Too much toe in at the rear will wear them badly, just need to make sure the bushings there aren't worn causing the problem.

Worn bushings cause wonky handling BTW, if it wanders or feels strange in the turns that's a sign of trouble there.
^ I agree with all of this.

With that wear at 20k, something should really stick out as being wrong. Since you are capable of swapping tires, you shouldn't have a problem checking the hubs/knuckles/control arms for loose components. Spin the tires and check for bearing noises or irregularities in the wheel/rim on both sides. Do the shock bounce test while you're at it. It's not 100% accurate as far as diagnosing bad shocks (they can be bad in a certain range, etc.), but the likelihood that a good shock fails the bounce test is even lower.

Good luck!

TSB for diagonal wear: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180050
 

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Usually an incorrect toe condition will affect both tires almost identically, and looking at the wear on both id say both have that issue coupled with having one tire worn more than the other on the inside shoulder is telling me there's too much negative camber on the right rear. There also could be an incorrect thrust angle contributing to this.

Worn bearing will most likely cause a toe out and negative camber condition as the wheel is being dragged along and it will push the leading side of the tire outward and the top side inward. Depending on the severity of the bearing wear also the potential of wobbling oscillation is likely.

I'm going to venture to guess there's a suspension issue with bushings on the upper or lower control arms on the passenger side.

Have an alignment check done and get a print out of it, it might tell the story of whats going on or give some hints at minimum.
 

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This picture is of the SAME tire,rotated,not two different tires.
Ahh ok, then id consider a thrown belt in the tire causing it to be out of round and of course out of balance.

Any pix of the drivers side rear tire???

Id also have a tire shop diagnose the tire and try and pinpoint the exact cause of the tire wear as well as an alignment check.
 
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