Out Of Round Tire: Causes, Symptoms And How To Prevent

Out of round tire is a common term used to describe a tire that is no longer perfectly circular. This can happen for several reasons, such as wear and tear, improper storage, or a pothole or curb impact. Driving on an out-of-round tire can be dangerous, resulting in poor handling, decreased fuel efficiency, and even flat tires.

This article will explore the causes of out of round tires, their symptoms, and how to prevent them. Whether you’re a seasoned driver or just starting on the roadways, properly inflated and balanced tires are crucial for your safety and vehicle longevity. So let’s dive in and learn more about this common issue!

What are the Types of Tire Runouts?

Out Of Round Tire

There are two types of tire runouts.

Radial Runout

Radial runout occurs when there is a difference in the distance between the centerline of the wheel hub and the tread surface across a single rotation. This means that as the tire rolls down the road, it moves up and down slightly due to an inconsistency in its shape. Radial runout can be caused by several factors, such as manufacturing defects in tires or wheels, uneven tire wear due to improper alignment, or lack of maintenance.

Lateral Runout

There are several potential causes of lateral runout in tires. One common culprit is worn wheel bearings, allowing the wheel to wobble as it rotates. Another possible cause is a bent or damaged rim, which can create an uneven surface for the tire to roll against. Also, improperly installed or unbalanced tires can contribute to lateral runout issues. Whether caused by wear and tear or improper installation, addressing lateral runout promptly is crucial for ensuring safe and effective vehicle performance.

Out of Round Tire Symptoms

Out-of-round tire symptoms can be frustrating to deal with. They can cause vibrations, uneven tire wear, and even poor gas mileage. If you feel a vibration in your steering wheel or seat while driving at various speeds, one or more tires may be out of round. This is often caused by hitting a pothole or curb and other road hazards.

So what are the signs or symptoms to look out for when identifying tire runouts?

  • Loud tire noise when going at high speeds
  • Shaking/vibration of the steering wheel
  • Soft spots on your tire
  • Uneven tread wear

What Causes Out of Round Tire

Out Of Round Tire

Out-of-round tires can be a frustrating problem for drivers. They cause vibrations that make it difficult to steer and can even lead to accidents. But what causes out-of-round tires? Several factors contribute to this issue.

Getting Cheap/Lower Quality Tires

One of the most common causes of out-of-round tires is getting cheap, lower-quality tires. Many people are tempted to save money by using cheaper options when purchasing new tires.

These lower-quality tires may be manufactured to different standards than more expensive options. This means they are more likely to have manufacturing defects that can cause them to go out of round quickly. Cheap tires often have thinner sidewalls and weaker construction materials, making them more susceptible to damage from potholes and other hazards on the road.

When shopping for new tires, it’s essential to look beyond the price tag and consider factors such as brand reputation, manufacturing quality, and durability.

Improper Mounting

Improper mounting is one of the leading causes of out-of-round tires. This issue is often caused by technicians who need the proper tools or training to mount and balance tires correctly. When a tire is mounted improperly, it can lead to various problems, including vibration, uneven wear, and handling issues. This can also cause when you don’t rotate your tires on time or rotates your tire while lacking professional expertise.

One common mistake inexperienced technicians must correct is failing to properly center the wheel on the hub before tightening the lug nuts. When this happens, the tire will not be centered on the vehicle’s axle, which can lead to vibration and uneven wear. Another common issue with improper mounting is using an incorrect torque specification when tightening lug nuts. This can cause the wheel and tire deformation, leading to an out-of-round condition.

Wrong Diagnosis

Diagnosing an out-of-round tire can be tricky, and often drivers or mechanics may misdiagnose the issue.

One common mistake in diagnosing an out-of-round tire is assuming that a problem with the wheel causes it. While this may be true in some cases, many other factors could contribute to an out-of-round tire. These include imbalanced wheels, worn suspension components, improper alignment settings, or even normal wear and tear over time.

How Far can a Tire be Out of Round Before it’s Bad?

How far out of round can a tire be before it becomes bad? The answer is complex, as it depends on several factors.

The severity of the out-of-roundness will determine its impact on the tire’s performance. A slight deviation from a perfect circle may not have any noticeable effect, but it should be addressed immediately if it’s severe enough to cause vibrations or excessive wear. Tires with high-speed ratings are also more sensitive to out-of-roundness than those designed for lower speeds.

A factor to consider is where on the tire the out-of-roundness occurs. If it’s near the center of the tread area, then there may not be any significant impact on performance or safety.

Can An Out Of Round Tire Be Fixed?

If you’re driving a car, the last thing you want to experience is a flat tire. , an out-of-round tire can be just as dangerous. The good news is that, in many cases, it’s possible to fix an out-of-round tire.

Out Of Round Tire

An out-of-round tire typically occurs when the belt inside the rubber casing gets damaged or worn unevenly. This can cause the tire to develop bulges or bumps, making driving smoothly on the road difficult. If you suspect your tires are out of shape, take them in for an inspection as soon as possible.

A mechanic can fix your out-of-round tire by patching and rebalancing any damage. , if your tire is severely damaged or showing signs of wear and tear, it may be time to replace it.

Can I Drive With an Out of Round Tire?

Driving with an out-of-round tire can be risky and could put you and your vehicle in danger. Most drivers might think driving with an out-of-round tire is okay if the car moves forward. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

An out-of-round tire can cause several driving problems, including vibrations, uneven wear, and reduced handling performance. These effects can cause serious safety concerns, such as losing control over your vehicle while driving at high speeds or during turns. Prolonged driving on an out-of-round tire may damage your vehicle’s suspension system and other components that rely on proper alignment for optimal performance.

How to Prevent Out of Round Tire?

Here are some tips on how to prevent an out-of-round tire.

Purchasing High-quality Tires

Choosing a reputable brand when purchasing new tires for your vehicle is essential. A well-respected manufacturer will use advanced technology and high-quality materials to create their products, resulting in a more reliable and durable tire. Select the correct size and tire type for your vehicle make and model.

Proper Maintenance

Tires are one of the most essential parts of a vehicle, and their proper maintenance is crucial for optimal performance and safety. You can take several steps to prevent your tires from becoming out of round.

Regular tire rotations are essential in preventing uneven wear patterns on your tires. By rotating your tires every 6 months or 6,000-8,000 miles (depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations), you ensure that each tire wears evenly over time. Maintaining proper tire pressure is another crucial factor in preventing out-of-round tires.


An out-of-round tire can cause many problems for your vehicle and compromise your safety while driving. It is essential to watch for the warning signs such as uneven wear patterns, vibration, or shaking. Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent this issue from occurring in the first place. Check your tires regularly and rotate them every 5,000-7,000 miles to ensure even wear. By following these preventative measures, you can save time and money and avoid any accidents on the road. Take your time. Take action now!


Which company is the most reliable to buy tires from?

This question has no definitive answer as it depends on several factors, such as the company’s size, location, and history. Companies that may be reliable tire buyers include Costco, Walmart, and Sam’s Club.