How to Identify and Diagnose Tire Cupping-Updated 2021

Cupped tires? Yes, you heard me well! This is in fact one of the most frustrating and upsetting things that can happen to you as a driver. Luckily, having done immense research on the topic, this article will give you vast information on how to prevent tire cupping noise.

If you’re an avid driver, one of the most critical situations you have to deal with is the issue of aging tires and the discomforts related to them. Tires are paramount accessories that connect your car to the road, so any issues with your tires will always be detrimental as it will always affect the quality of your drive. For those who may not have realized, tire cupping can make your vehicle become somewhat bouncy and a little bit out of control.

While its highly vital that you schedule an appointment with your mechanic or auto expert, this article will not stop there, but we’ll go ahead to reveal some potential reasons that cause tire cupping as well as offer useful tips on how to prevent this condition.

So, how do you differentiate normal tire noise with tire cupping noise?

Well, this is one key question most car owners find themselves asking when it comes to the topic of tire cupping noise. Now, normal tire noise can be caused by a number of factors such as;

Using low profile tires

These types of tires usually have less rubber on the sidewall which makes the tires to produce more noise as the rubber gets into contact with the road. Although these tires offer an improved traction, they’re generally noisier.

Wide tires

Wide tires also produce a lot of noise as compared to their narrow counterparts. These tires have more rubber on the sidewall and a larger surface area which result to more noise.

Bad wheel bearing

Finally, we have bad wheel bearing. Most drivers confuse this condition with tire cupping. Here, the sound of the tires will change as you change the direction. For instance, if you turn left and you happen to hear a grinding noise, it simply means that the tire on the driver’s side has a side wheel bearing and needs to be replaced.

Finally, there’s tire cupping noise. To distinguish this condition from the rest, your tires will generate more noise as you increase the speed of your vehicle.

 So, with that said, if you notice any signs of tire cupping noise, the first step you should take is to contact your technician or visit a trusted repair shop to get your car diagnosed.

So, what exactly causes tire cupping noise?

There are various reasons that are responsible for tire cupping noise. Here are some of the most common reasons.

Use of low-quality tires

One of the major causes of tire cupping noise is the use of low-quality, cheap or fake tires. You see, unlike their high-end counterparts, cheap tires have thin rubber compounds that deny them durability, strength, and the ability to resist high temperature and stress. As a result, such tires become heavily imbalanced, worn out, cracked, and finally cupped.

Faulty suspension system

If you’ve installed new and high-quality tires and you’re still experiencing some noises, then the problem might be the suspensions. You see, if your vehicle’s suspensions are worn out, bent or loose, they will cause the tires to bounce a lot leading to tire cupping noise at the long last. Your car’s suspensions/shock absorbers should be checked and replaced at least every 50,000 to 60,000 miles or at least every year to avoid such problems.

Tire imbalance

Another underlying cause of tire cupping noise is crooked wheels. You see, when your tires are not aligned properly, they will cause vibrations which will increase with speed. These vibrations will cause bouncing which will lead to severe wear and tear on the tires’ rubber. With time, this will eventually lead to tire cupping noise. 

Inadequate inflation

Finally, there’s the issue of inadequate inflation. When your tires are not inflated sufficiently, they become vulnerable to most aberrations on the road such as potholes, stones, and other fragments. This weakens your tires making them susceptible to damage leading to tire cupping noise.

how to prevent tire cupping noise

So, how do you prevent tire cupping noise?

Now that we’ve learnt about the various causes of tire cupping noise, it’s time to diagnose the problem to get rid of it once and for all. To avoid confusion, we will state the cause then give a possible preventive measure. Our first cause of tire cupping noise was the use of fake or low-quality tires. To prevent this problem, it’s highly recommended that you install new tires which are from authorized dealers or shops.

Our second cause was faulty suspensions or shock absorbers. Here, you need to be very careful with the ball joints, the bushings and the springs. Components such as shock absorbers are quite delicate and should be checked quite often for any cracked, loose or worn out parts. Take your car to an authorized repair shop for technical checkups and replacements in case there should be any.

Next, we have tire imbalance. In case you experience this, the first action you need to take is to drive directly to a repair shop. From there, a technician will diagnose your car’s tires by applying weights opposite the stiffer spots. The tires should be perfectly balanced to prevent any tire cupping as this will help to prolong the life of your tires. 

Another cause of tire cupping noise is wheel misalignment. By this, we simply mean that the wheels are not perpendicular to the road or are not parallel to each other. To diagnose this problem, it’s highly recommended that you take your car to a technician for thorough inspection. Also, your vehicle should be inspected in case you install a new part such as suspensions as they too can cause wheel misalignment.

Finally, there’s the issue of inadequate inflation. Here, all you need to do is to ensure that your car’s tires are adequately inflated without being over inflated. Check to ensure that all tires have equal amount of pressure to prevent imbalance.


So, if you’ve been wondering about how to prevent tire cupping noise, then we believe you’ve found an answer. You see, tire cupping noise is a serious problem that can cause severe consequences if it’s not handled on time. While most drivers blame the tires, they sometimes fail to know that the problem might be emanating from the vehicle. Things like suspensions, shock absorbers, tire imbalance, and wheel misalignment are some of the major factors that cause tire cupping noise.

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