Why Do My New Tires Squeal?

by Nina DuBois

While the squealing of new tires can be annoying for a driver, they may offer a helpful warning of an undetected problem. Improperly installed new tires are sometimes susceptible to the same squealing problems older tires face and might need to be adjusted before they are road ready.

Wheel Alignment

Misaligned wheels cause squealing in new and old tires. When the wheels are improperly aligned, the outer tire travels a greater distance than the inner tire as the vehicle turns. When the tires remain parallel during the turn, one tire drags across the road surface. This limits steering control and stability and causes the squealing sound.

Tire Pressure

Squealing tires may also be a symptom of low tire pressure. This is especially true if the tires squeal when cornering. Too-low tire pressure can lead to premature wearing of new tires. It can also increase friction between the tire tread and the road, which causes tires to overheat and eventually leads to tread separation.

Tire Type

Some tire types are simply prone to squealing. Green tires, for example, which are made by infusing orange oil into natural rubber, squeal even when new. Though squealing is usually a sign of excessive wear, new green tires do not wear faster than other tires. Verifying a new tire’s propensity for squealing with salespeople before purchase helps rule out premature tread wear as a concern.

About the Author

Nina Dubois has been a published writer since 2004. She has written features for the global anti-poverty agency ActionAid International, Stanford University's "The Real News" and a host of other publications. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University where she majored in anthropology and political science.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera tire image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com