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Tyre wear.


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Does anyone know does uneven tyre wear affect the 4WD Haldex system on a Kuga - I previously owned a Freelander and the advice was to keep tyre tread levels the same on the 4 corners or it causes conflict (different rolling radius) in the 4WD system leading to damage as the front tyres suffer more than the rears.


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In My Opinion, I don't think that it really makes any difference, some old school mechanical 4wd systems (I think) might have had problems, but the Haldex has an electronic clutch at the rear, and only engages 4wd when it needs to, so most of the time it's running in FWD only.

The difference in the rolling circumference left to right can be no different to a FWD or RWD car ... I always ended up changing the tyres in pairs on the same axle. But Front to Back I can't see it makes any difference. 

Certain tyre models do suffer from "castellation" [see below] whereby the tread block pattern on the rear eventually wears in a shark-tooth pattern .. Goodyears and Pirellis suffer with this (sounds like the wheel bearings are shot) but I changed to Falken ZE912s (18") and they were really quiet and reasonably priced.

I don't think there's a reason to do this swapping of tyres because of the 4WD, ONLY if you're experiencing the saw-tooth wear problem and this can be (better) rectified by changing the brand of tyre to one that has less "blocky" tread pattern on the outer edge of the tyre ,.
Saw-tooth tyre wear
The cause of the “saw-tooth tread wear” lies in the cooperation between the tread and the road surface.
Where can we see the saw-tooth tyre wear most often?
The tyres on the rear (dead) axle are more susceptible to the saw-tooth tyre wear.
Why is this happening?
Imagine how the tyre on the rear axle operates. The vehicle is driven by the front axle, while the rear axle is dragged along. When driving, the road surface force always has the same direction, i.e. it is always stronger toward the trailing edge of the tread blocks, which causes them to wear. When braking, the rear tyres push on the road surface, causing a stronger mutual reaction, which still works in the same direction, thus wearing the same edges even more.


tyre wear

Where does the saw-tooth wear occur?

Which factors influence the saw-tooth tyre wear?

  • Tread pattern - The greater spacing is between tread blocks, the more the risk of the saw-tooth wear occurring increases
  • Mixture hardness – hard tyres will be less susceptible to saw-tooth wear and noise
  • Tyre pressure - overpressure increases the risk of saw-tooth wear
  • The condition of suspension and shock absorbers - damaged suspensions and worn-out shock absorbers also increase the risk of saw-tooth wear
  • Driving style – abrupt acceleration and braking will increase the saw-tooth wear on dead axles. Fast driving on winding roads will diminish the effect.

Does a multi-link suspension cause saw-tooth tyre wear?

Contrary to popular belief, no. In the case of such a suspension, the phenomenon is much more visible, as the tyre is not worn out laterally to the driving direction, which is the case with older suspension systems, where the saw-tooth wear was lateral.

How do I minimize the effect?

In order to minimize the saw-tooth tyre wear of the tyre tread, one should systematically (at least once every season or every 8-10 thousand km) switch the positions of the vehicle’s wheels/tyres.

Switching in four-wheel drive vehicles should be performed according to the following chart:

Saw-tooth tyre wear

4 WD

Such switching should ensure that the rolling directions of symmetrical and symmetrical tyres is switched. In this event, directional tyres should be removed from the rims to retain their correct rolling direction.

The chart above applies to both symmetrical and asymmetrical tyres. The switching should ensure that the rolling direction is reversed.
In case of severe saw-tooth tyre wear, the tyres can be evened out using a special device available in some tyre service centres, which may diminish their durability. It should, however, be noted, that this kind of uneven wear does not directly influence the driving safety, it just decreases comfort by increasing noise levels.

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