If you hear a humming sound coming from your tires, there’s a good chance you need to get them checked for balancing and rotation, leading reasons for tires humming noise. And the sooner the better! Prevention is key when it comes to tire maintenance.
What kind of noise might indicate that your tires need attention? A high-pitched whine, uncontrolled vibrations, or anything excessive can be signs of an issue — and all three should be looked into before they cause any damage.
Why Do Tires Make A Humming Noise?
Tires that are out of balance or need to be rotated are what most often cause humming noises. A tire will typically vibrate when an out-of-balance situation exists, which makes for a noisy ride. When tires are mismatched in weight, tread, or most typically diameter, an imbalance results, causing the tire to shake. That shaking is typically the high-pitched humming noise you hear coming from your tires.
Being that said, here are the 4 possible reasons:
#1 Abnormal Tire Wear
Poorly balanced tires will wear unevenly, and that results in less-than-ideal tread patterns on the rubber. As a result, you’ll notice more tire wear as well as varying levels of noise.
#2 Tire Offset
The third and most obvious cause of a humming tire is an offset. A tire is offset when the rim (the circumference) of the tire differs from the rim (the width). It’s typically created by using one or two wheels that are larger than the others — mostly for aesthetic reasons.
#3 Wheel Alignment
Another common cause of a humming tire is wheel alignment issues. Your tires and wheels can be perfectly centered on your vehicle, yet when you drive it tends to lean one way or the other. The same event can occur when pulling out of a tight parking spot.
If you’ve ever had this problem, it’s likely due to worn-out spotters or bushings that are causing the wheels to be misaligned. You can also have an issue depending on the way the car has been used for a long period of time. The tightness of the steering can change because your vehicle will heat up and cool-down daily. This causes the steering to become looser over time, making any tire humming noise increase.
#4 Wheel Bearings
If the sound is caused by wheel bearings problems, it is more likely a grinding sound than a humming one. Your wheel bearings will do their job allowing your wheels to turn at the proper speed. However, when these bearings are worn out they will begin to grind away at your tire, causing the noise. If you ever hear a grinding or grinding, hissing, the vibrating sound coming from your vehicle, have it evaluated immediately by a professional tire tech.
How to help prevent and control the problem
It is very important to keep your tires properly inflated and rotated on a regular basis. If you notice that the tire has lost air or has become uneven, then it is important to replace that tire before anything else happens. Most times though, it is more of an aesthetic issue than one of safety.
You can also check to make sure your wheels are aligned, especially after any kind of off-road driving with the addition of rocks or leaves. If your car is constantly pulling one way or another, you will most likely notice that your steering feels loose, and the steering wheel may feel loose when you pull it away from the road. Furthermore, if your car is pulling either to the left or right, the front wheels will randomly steer back and forth.
Tread depth, height, and width are the three main elements that go into the designs of tires. When these numbers are considered, it is possible to see how important keeping them in perfect condition is. Lack of tire rotation is one of the most common reasons for low, damaged tires. If you want to prevent issues with your car’s tires, then make sure that they are replaced on a regular basis by an experienced technician.