Today: Will Daily Garage Ramp Driving Wear Tires Unevenly?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 15, 2015

Dear Car Talk:

I park in a parking garage for work, and I have a question about tire wear. I usually park on level 4 or 5, and the only turns that are made are right-handed (clockwise), for both entering and exiting. My question is: Will one side of my tires wear more quickly than the other? Thanks!

-- Rodney

Rodney, it's really tempting to tell you that every other day you have to drive backward up and down the ramps just to keep your tire wear even. But the truth is, you don't have to worry about it.

If you were spending all day driving up and down those ramps, then yes, you might wear out the tires on the left side of your car faster than the tires on the right.

But the amount of wear your tires get from going up and down those ramps once a day is tiny compared to the wear they get driving around the rest of the time. So you don't need to do anything.

If it'll make you sleep better at night, one thing you can do is simply rotate your tires on a regular basis to even out the wear.

For instance, when you get your oil changed every 7,500 miles or so, you can have your mechanic swap the tires around.

I think you'll find that a lot easier than backing up four or five stories of ramps on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Just don't ask your mechanic if making all those right turns on ramps is wearing out your left springs faster than your right springs. They're a lot more expensive to rotate than tires.

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