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Tyre wear

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Cuban814/03/2018 11:19:24
1950 forum posts
3 photos

I don't like mysteries, so maybe somebody here might be able to throw some light on a problem.

A destinctive humming noise has been developing from the rear wheels of my Mondeo Estate for quite some time now, not particularly loud up to recently, but getting quite annoying now, more so with the seats down. Quite loud at 60mph, but less so at 70+ (!).

I had the rear wheels off yesterday and there is quite clearly a very odd wear pattern developing around the circumference on the inner 20% of the tyre treads - the rest of the tread is perfectly normal although getting to the legal limit, so due for a change anyway. I can best describe the wear as resembling the flat edges of an old thruppenny bit. Fronts are perfectly normal and wearing fairly evenly.

Trawling through the web I see that this is known as 'castleing' and is very common over a wide range of vehicles, but.............I can't find a definitive reason for it or why some cars have it and some don't.

As with a lot on the web, there is so much misinformation and I've come across just about every reason that you can think of, most of it totally contradictory - under/over inflation, too much/too little tow in/out, cornering too quickly, driving too hard, mechanical wear, bearings, poor quality tyres......the list goes on and on. No real hard and fast evidence.

One guy on an auto forum claims to have had the total rear suspension of his car rebuilt, only for the problem to start again on a new set of boots.The remedy seems to be replacement and annual tyre rotation to even out the effect - fronts to back.

I've had the car since new, it's my old company car that I bought from the leasing company when I retired. 135000 miles now and I used to get through a set of boots every 25000 miles/18 months or so when I was on the road so maybe the problem didn't get a chance to develop and become noticeable.

Any ideas please?

Levanter14/03/2018 11:36:17
721 forum posts
351 photos


​I had the same problem shortly after a tyre change on an Audi estate about three years ago. I went to t German tyre dealer who assured me the tyres he had ordered and put on were very good quality. The price certainly seemed to indicate so.
​I couldn't go back to them to complain as they closed down shortly afterwards so I went to another dealer who said the problem was cheap tyres. They were in fact Chinese lookalikes but were horribly noisy. It also turns out I paid nearly four times what they were worth. Lesson learned!

​Not saying this is your problem but I coughed up for a new set of Pirellis and the noise just disappeared.


Denis Watkins14/03/2018 11:54:20
2725 forum posts
137 photos

Castleing is very common Cuban, and as you say, rotate the wheel 1 nut space every 1000 - 2000mls

It is more associated with high mileage vehicles and is to do with power transfer to the road.

2 things are taking place, for example on a 4 cylinder motor, there is peak power transfer 4 times each rotation

So regularly through wheel rotation the pattern of power transfer shows in the tread

Then through an high mileage diff, there are high and low spots by the thou

So the car literally 3d bits along

Wear and tear on suspension at the rear can result in the whole wheel leaning in at the top and out at the bottom

Which leads to one edge wearing

As does in your case, a slight toe out

There are a number of rubber bushes that hold the whole lot inline, that can be replaced

Edited By Denis Watkins on 14/03/2018 11:54:51

Peter Christy14/03/2018 12:49:35
936 forum posts

Shouldn't be power transfer, Denis - the OP says rear wheels and the Mondeo is FWD.

It could be the wheel bearings going at that sort of mileage, and wheel bearings can produce some odd noises when they wear. They might also produce some odd wear patterns.

One word of advice - steer well clear of Kwik-Fit! Find a local independent tyre shop. They may be a little dearer, but my experience has been that you get much better service! The last time I went to Kwik-Fit (some time ago!) they managed to fit the tyres with "INSIDE" clearly showing on the OUTSIDE!

You couldn't make it up! angry



Piers Bowlan14/03/2018 12:50:54
1243 forum posts
36 photos

You have obviously ruled out worn rear wheel bearings Cuban8?

ChrisB14/03/2018 12:55:21
1191 forum posts
34 photos

Also be aware of your cars jack points and style of jack points. Many modern cars use seam/sill points and not pads. This can result in crushing as the weight of the car is taken on a narrow surface area. The grease monkeys often don’t care and just merrily jack away then deny all knowledge afterwards. Some hockey pucks with cut outs or blocks of wood will help.

J D 814/03/2018 13:49:01
826 forum posts
53 photos

Weak springs worn dampers on your car can result in the symptoms you describe. The castling will make a rumbling sound like driving on a set of knobbly winter tyres. Check the bearings though

Trevor Crook14/03/2018 13:59:31
662 forum posts
50 photos

Excessive wear on the inner corners of tyres can be caused by frequent straddling of speed cushions - best to run over them with one wheel. However, that wouldn't easily explain the wear only being on the rear tyres.

ken anderson.14/03/2018 14:21:46
8022 forum posts
729 photos

hello Cuban...check the shocker isn't past its sell by date...

ken dept.

Gary Binnie14/03/2018 14:59:10
503 forum posts
29 photos

I had this on my S-Max when I bought it a year ago.

Believed it was a rear wheel bearing making the noise, so I changed it, no difference.

Took it to my local tyre shop where the manager spotted stepped tread blocks.

Caused by the rear suspension arms being out of adjustment (toe setting), they are adjusted with eccentric cams.

Tyre place said that they're often out of adjustment straight from the factory.

Four wheel alignment done (Hunter I think it was called) and a new set of tyres, bliss!

The S-Max, Galaxy and Mondeo share the same chassis.



oldgit14/03/2018 15:15:51
457 forum posts
9 photos

so you have to change the tyres, bearings, bushes, suspension & shockers - that narrows it down a bit cheeky

Martin McIntosh14/03/2018 16:04:53
2424 forum posts
935 photos

A former workmate had an ancient Mondeo estate which suffered the same problem. Following him, it was obvious that the rear wheels were splayed outwards from the bottom. New springs etc more or less cured it and raised the car considerably.

Phil Claridge14/03/2018 16:09:46
1921 forum posts
32 photos

last four should show up on mot

onetenor14/03/2018 16:18:03
1647 forum posts

Worn bearings can produce exactly those symptoms. They allow "Straddle" of the wheels allowing the edge wear and snatching ( skipping) as they approach total seizure. This is what causing the faceted wear pattern. Change them and the rubber bushes. I suggest replacing them with POLYPROPYLENE ones. Much firmer and harder wearing.At this age and mileage all bushes need replacing as they are semi perished and will show signs of cracking around the edges. Simple age and weathering will be a major contributor for this.Change them and the bearings ASAP. It is a DIYable job if you have the tools including a good G Clamp.

BTW don't forget the ones on top of the McPherson strut mount on the front wings. ( If still fitted to your Mark ). If a bearing does seize and lock a wheel causing all sorts of trouble. Especially at speed.. Really dangerous.

John (Ex Mech ) O/T

P.S. If a bearing does seize it can become welded onto the hub and might need the changing of hub if it can't be shifted John

Engine Doctor14/03/2018 17:27:32
1954 forum posts
19 photos

The Mondeo rear suspension has some large rubber bushes at the front of the rear trailing arms. These are notorious for delaminating and a then allowing the rear hub to move back and forth. They will drag out of alignment when braking and can cause the wear you describe on the inside of your tyres. The same bushes are used on Volvo V70 and cause similar tyre wear accompanied by creaking noise when loaded up. Not expensive parts but some garages push up the labour and its really a simple job typically 2 hours ish for both bushes. Its often overlooked by mot testers as covered by a plastic dirt guard and testers can't remove the guard to check bushes. Its worth checking .

Nigel R14/03/2018 17:49:05
1219 forum posts
275 photos

Expecting this on my a4; came with some tyres which made a lovely droning sound at 70. It is now on new tyres, but I have an audible creak from the rear suspension. So I expect it is due a round of new bushes. C'est la vie.

Martin McIntosh14/03/2018 19:02:01
2424 forum posts
935 photos

The rear noise must just be a Mondeo thing. Someone pranged my current car when parked and I was given a fairly high spec. brand new Mondeo whilst it was being repaired. There was a very loud noise from the rear so I stopped to check that the boot, doors and windows were shut which they were. To think that one of these was on my short list at the time makes me shudder.

Cuban815/03/2018 10:06:12
1950 forum posts
3 photos

Thank you all for taking the trouble to reply. Again, quite a variation of possibilites to consider. Just thinking aloud, I'm trying to get my head around an MO that would give such a perfectly formed and regular 'thruppeny bit' pattern on the tyre edge. We've all seen seen tyres with smooth wear bands (almost bald) caused by bent track rods, but in that case the scuffing wear is regular and quite linear and is easy to understand how it might form on a rotating tyre.

If you wanted to design a test rig that gave you the castleing on a tyre, how would you go about it? And what on a vehicle would emulate the design?

J D 815/03/2018 11:04:01
826 forum posts
53 photos

The "thruppeny bit" effect is quite common on 4x4 vehicles fitted with knobbly tyres as they have less rubber in contact with the tarmac and the "knobbles" take more load.

Tracking out,camber out,worn bushes,tired damper's tramping [ bouncing up and down rapidly a short distance ] all lead to the symptoms you describe.

Colin Carpenter15/03/2018 12:06:59
479 forum posts
34 photos

135000 miles ? Just get new tyres and turn up the stereo !!!😁😁😀 Colin

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