I was having lunch with a colleague today, and he was telling me that when he took his summer tires off, the inside edge was down to the cords and the outside was almost at full tread depth. He guessed the culprit was excessive negative camber, probably from his custom springs settling lower than they were when the alignment was set.
The life of a tire expert usually means that we're paying attention to the tires of many other people: customers first and foremost, but also friends and relatives. Sometimes that means we forget to pay enough attention to our own. I have seen my colleagues (and yes, sometimes myself) running with tires over-inflated or under-inflated. Or driving with too much negative camber, bent wheels, winter tires in the summer, and numerous other sins against proper tire care.
While defects do happen, modern tires from reputable brands tend to have extremely good quality control. But since everything the car does goes through the tires, it's the tires that often show the results of other problems.
Next time you see strange or premature wear on your tires, talk to an expert about what might be causing it. Finding the real problem early will often save you a lot of expense and frustration later.
To make sure you get the most out of your tires, check out our Tire & Wheel Owner's Manual. This manual also has links to relevant articles about checking air pressure, proper rotation and other topics on properly caring for your tires.