How to Stop Tires from Rubbing (Best Way)

Fender wells scraping off the edges of tires makes them an eyesore. If not addressed right away, these nuisances will result in a blowout if too much tread is exposed.

To stop tires from rubbing, you must first diagnose the problem. If the tire rubs occur when you change or modify anything on the wheels, the fender should be rolled to increase wheel offset, allowing more space between the fender and the tires.

In contrast, faulty suspension components, such as shocks or bushings, are more likely to be the culprit.

Whether you have upgraded your tires or wheels, replaced them with OEM parts, or your vehicle is already aging and showing signs of impending repairs, the root cause of tire rub can easily be determined.

How Do Tire Rubs Work?

A tire rub occurs when a tire strikes a component on your vehicle’s undercarriage or when there is not enough clearance between the tires and the wheel arch.

As your wheel crashes into the wheel well whenever you hit a bump on the road, tire rubbing is extremely dangerous and can lead to a tire blowout.

The reasons behind tire rubbing

Any changes in the wheel wells can cause tire rubs or damage to the tread edge.

A change in wheel offset or bigger tires can cause these problems. Other causes include wheel spacers, or, in some cases, replacing new tires with the same specifications can also cause tire rubs.

The installation of larger tires

Wheels and tires are commonly modified on a variety of vehicles. When you hit a pothole or are steering too hard, your tire will push against the wheel well without adequate clearance.

Offset change for wheels

Wheel offset is one of the most difficult things to get right when replacing wheels. This is the distance between the surface of the wheel and the tire’s centerline. Wheel offsets that do not match will cause tire rubbing.

Spacers for wheels

Wheel spacers are commonly used for style and performance reasons. By moving the wheel and tire assembly outward from the hub, interior clearance is gained, but the fender and/or wheel well liner will rub.

As a result, spacers will reduce the offset even further and push the wheel outside the fender, resulting in even more rubbing.

Tires replacement

If you follow the manufacturer’s specifications exactly, chances are, you’ll still rub them at the fender wells.

As a result, the original wheel and tire gaps are very restricted, and even a slight difference in the tire design (e.g. shoulder construction, tread pattern) can increase the overall profile.

As the wheel clearance has a very slim tolerance, even the slightest difference in tire dimensions can cause tire rubs, especially at certain steering angles and driving conditions.

The tires rub without changing the wheels or tires

Occasionally, suspension system issues will be the cause of the problems. A skilled mechanic will be able to diagnose malfunctioning suspension components quickly.

Look into this area if your vehicle is old or has a lot of miles on it and still has all of its original suspension components.

Problems with suspension components

When driving over bumps or taking corners where weight transfer compresses one side of the vehicle’s suspension, you may experience tire rubbing.

Over time, shocks can fail, springs lose elasticity, and bushings and shock mounts wear. Consequently, the suspension or damping capacity sags and is no longer able to handle road bumps or vehicle loads.


It is also possible for tire rubbing to be caused by a vehicle out of alignment with its caster angle, or if the caster angle is significantly out of specification.

In severe cases, alignment problems can lead to tire damage as well as uneven tire wear.

Checking for Tire Rubbing

Ensure that you are on level ground before assessing your tires for fender rub. Set the gears to ‘Park’ and pull the handbrake. Use a flashlight to inspect the wheel well for any areas where the tire is making contact.

As a result, the contact point between the wheel well liner and the tire sticks out like a sore thumb. Identifying the location of the rubbing can help you and your mechanic determine the cause and provide appropriate solutions.

What You Can Do To Stop Tires From Rubbing

In order to accurately diagnose the problem, a proper diagnosis must first be performed. To prevent further damage, always have the proper tools on hand when assessing or repairing the problem.

Step 1: Material to be used

  • Reforming tool for wheel arches
  • A spare set of lug nuts
  • Using a flashlight
  • Using a heat gun
  • Wheel chocks, jack stands, and jacks
  • There is plenty of time

Step 2: Consider these things before moving forward

This process cannot be reversed

You cannot reverse the process of adjusting your wheel well to accommodate the newly installed tires. Prior to deciding on this procedure, verify the proper fender rolling procedure and consider other alternatives.

Wheel wells should be cleaned

To ensure accurate measurements, the fender wells must be free of dirt and mud.

Make sure the shocks aren’t dead

A fender roll might not even be necessary, but new shocks might.

Step 3: Repeat the process

Make sure you park on a flat surface

Using a jack, lift the vehicle and remove the wheel beneath the first fender. The lower suspension arm must be supported by a jack stand since the hub must remain at the same level as when the tire is on. Remove any fender liners if necessary.

The wheel-arch reforming tool should be attached

To prevent paint cracking, heat the fender first. Then tighten and secure the lug nuts with the same torque you used when attaching the wheel. Bubbles will form if you attempt an extreme roll right away.

Gradually roll the fender

The final step is to apply heat to each corner of your vehicle and gradually roll it in, beginning at the top and ending at the bottom.

Keep an eye on the angle and adjust it as little as possible. Slowly push in if more clearance is needed. You’ll have more breathing space for your tires and fewer fender rubs at each corner.

Tire rubbing risk

Wheel well liner damage is the most common cause of tire rubbing. There are some enthusiasts who accept this as a necessary measure in exchange for larger wheels and tires.

Contact between suspension and steering components is a more serious concern. A simple alignment or suspension component replacement can sometimes resolve tire rubbing.

Before tackling the tire rubbing problem, you must first have complete information and check.

Final Thoughts

Tire rubs are usually caused by self-inflicted modifications and upgrades, which deviate from the wheel’s original design and specification.

There are, however, cases where faulty or aging suspension parts and components are also to blame. In order to accurately solve the problem, a proper mechanical diagnosis must be performed.

References and Resources:

Video detail of How to Stop Tires from Rubbing

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