Reader Question: Uneven Tire Wear?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Matthew asks: I have a 2009 Impala that I purchased last December. Sometimes the check engine light will come on saying Engine Power is Reduced at the same time the Service Traction Control light comes on. Also, I have noticed that my left rear tire is wearing very unevenly compared to the other three tires on my car. Do you have any idea what could be going on and are the two issues related at all?

My reply: The only way to know is to check! Specifically, the rear suspension/alignment/wheel bearings and so on. The car may not be tracking true and that could be the cause of the uneven wear as well as the traction control light illuminating (something not-right with the rear suspension could be sending wheel speed sensor data that the computer doesn’t like, etc.).

You could try an experiment: Rotate the wheels and see whether it has any effect. Also, keep in mind that if the uneven wear has progressed too far you will probably need to replace both tires on that axle.

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