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Discussion Starter #1
HI folks,

2016 Q3 Prestige Sport. Less than 8,000 miles. Noticed when I run my fingers clockwise on the treads, there is light stepping on all tires all (inside to outside) treads. The next tread block is a little higher than the back of the previous. More noticeable on the front tires than rear, but present on all.

Could this be a tire pressure issue? I drive usually solo with 38.5 all around for a balance of mileage and comfort. I cannot imagine alignment on all four tires nor suspension issues on all four wheels.

What do you think and how concerned should I be? I don't think i can capture this in a picture, but sure you get the idea.

Thanks.

~Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Bob. But my issue is front to back on the tread. Not side to side. And all four tires though front a little more.

I will try to take a picture but I really doubt the camera will capture what I am just starting to feel.

~Bob
 

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Thanks Bob. But my issue is front to back on the tread. Not side to side. And all four tires though front a little more.

I will try to take a picture but I really doubt the camera will capture what I am just starting to feel.

~Bob
but, but, but, you said...
there is light stepping on all tires all (inside to outside) treads
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry. Tried to say all treads from the inside to the outside and the middle. Wheel well to lugnuts. Not just the treads on the outside edge as if from cornering maybe. Same across the entire tire surface. But the "steps" are from front to back of the car with the higher being the one in the rear of each lower.

Has that made it more clear or muddier? :)

~Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not parked on a hill, Bob. Checked a little further yesterday. Both front and rear but 2 or 3 times as much on fronts. And just starting really. But noticeable to the touch. Significantly more on the inside and outside treads of the tires and next to nothing on the inside treads. I'm thinking to Google the highest rated tire shop in my area and go ask them. Maybe it is just tire pressure. If anything more, under warranty of course. ~Bob
 

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I'd do an alignment check anyway - this sounds more like that kind of issue than simply pressure - and yours is high enough that unless you're auto-crossing every day, should not be a cornering issue. If you were running 30-32 for comfort, then I'd suggest a few more pounds -
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, two high end tire dealers and the Audi service had no clue. Everyone wanted to throw money at it. Balance, align, rotate maybe it will help :) Give me $200 and 2 hours.

I went out with a friend last night in his A4 with 8000 on the tires and guess what? Stepping in the front.

Went to the Audi used lot today and every used Audi Quattro had this on the front tires. Some worse, some better. But all. So, I think it is OK.

VW put out a tech bulletin on this claiming that if the height difference between low back block and high front tread block is less than .8 mm, no worries. So this must be common.

So let me ask one more question please....

Since the tires are the ContiProContact and have no directionality, what rotation pattern are you folks using???

Thanks.

~Bob
 

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I will check my car (quattro) for this later this week and report back - meanwhile, I rotate fronts straight to back and backs cross to front, about every 4-6K ... Remember that our quattro cars are ESSENTIALLY front drive 95+% of the time. Unfortunately most folks WON'T take their cars in for a simple rotation unless another service (like oil) is also needed. Remember the NHTSA/DOT are mandating maintenance intervals these days which has ALMOST nothing to do with good practices so you maybe missing the best you can do if you merely subscribe to the mandated recommendations.
The 'stepping' observed above is also called 'feathering' or 'scalloping', and to a degree IS normal, but can be a sign of alignment issues (especially camber) and cross rotation can help if done often enough...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks.

I did an immense amount of reading on this and feathering and scalloping are shown as two different issues from this. Feathering is across the tire inside to outside, not front to back. And scalloping is much more severe and is not on every tread block..

I think the best thing is rotation and likely at every 5,000. I will be doing this tomorrow. And likely X which reverses the tread blocks on the affected fronts.

Thanks.

~Bob
 

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Many VW/Audi vehicles that are based on the Mk5/Mk6 Golf suspension seem to suffer from this treadwear issue, causing excessive tread noise issues, due to tread blocks that don't wear "flat". Often called tread block feathering, sometimes incorrectly called "cupping". The harder tread compound tire, like the OEM Contis that VAG often uses, are more prone to this.

I don't think it is an alignment issue, rather a design issue with the rear suspension, related to the amount of negative camber, and my guess of a toe change versus suspension compression, which is a characteristic of the suspension geometry design.

I think the only thing you can do is rotate the tires, to spread the feathering wear.
 
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