Choosing tyres leaving you confused? Click here to let our experts do personalised research for you
Old tyres with uneven wear on their tread

Scalloping / Cupping Wear On Tyres - What Is It?

Have you ever noticed irregular patterns or waves forming on your vehicle’s tyres? That’s a phenomenon known as scalloping or cupping wear.

While it might sound like a fancy term, it’s actually a common issue that can affect the performance and lifespan of your tyres.

What is Scalloping Tyre Wear?

Scalloping, also referred to as cupping wear, is a type of tyre wear pattern that appears as uneven dips or scallops along the tread surface.

These scalloped depressions typically occur in a repeating pattern around the tyre.

If you were to run your hand over the tread, it would feel like a series of hills and valleys. This irregular pattern is not only visually unappealing but can also lead to various problems.

What Causes Cupping Wear On Tyres?

Several factors can contribute to the development of scalloping wear on tyres.

One primary cause is improper wheel alignment. When your wheels are misaligned, it can result in uneven contact between the tyres and the road. This inconsistency in contact leads to the formation of these scalloped patterns over time.

Additionally, worn-out or poorly balanced shock absorbers can also play a role in causing this type of tyre wear. The shocks help maintain even pressure on the tyres, and when they’re not functioning correctly, it can lead to uneven wear patterns.

How Problematic Is It?

Scalloping wear on tyres can have several negative consequences.

Firstly, it can significantly impact your ride comfort. As you drive, the irregular tread pattern can create vibrations and noise, making for a less pleasant driving experience.

Moreover, these patterns can affect the handling of your vehicle, leading to reduced stability and potentially compromising your safety on the road.

How to Prevent Scalloping Tyre Wear

Proper Inflation

Make sure that your tyres are adequately inflated in accordance with the guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Underinflated tyres are more prone to developing uneven wear patterns.

Wheel Alignment

Regularly check and adjust your wheel alignment. Proper alignment ensures even contact between the tyre and the road surface, reducing the risk of scalloping wear.

Balancing and Rotation

Have your tyres balanced and rotated at recommended intervals. This helps distribute the wear more evenly across all tyres.


Ignoring tyre cupping can have several negative consequences.

Not only does it compromise the overall driving experience by introducing noise and vibration, but it also affects the vehicle’s handling and braking capabilities.

While it can be problematic, the good news is that it’s preventable through regular tyre maintenance and care.

Louis from Tyre Geek


I'm Louis, an engineer passionate about helping Australians choose better tyres for their vehicles!