tire unevenly worn down to steel belt
I noticed a few days ago that the inside edge of my left front tire was massively worn down. So worn down, in fact, that frayed steel wires were sticking out. Yeah, no kidding. It was kind of alarming since I was 150 miles from home visiting friends for 4th of July.
I swapped it to the back of the car before driving home, and luckily it didn't blow on the way.
Any ideas on what could be causing this? I sort of need new tires anyway (and an alignment, of course) but I'd like to understand what the problem might be before dealing with a repair shop.
The car, by the way, is completely stock (steel wheels and everything), not lowered or modified in any way, and the tires are rather ordinary Continentals that I rotated around a few times since I got the tires and an alignment 43,000 miles ago.
I would check out the upper control arm bushings and ball joints, as well as the lower ball joints and tie rods. Making sure the boots and bushings aren't torn
If you're due for an alignment anyway, why not do it now? The alignment guys normally would inspect your suspension to check if everything is in order before doing the alignment job, and would tell you if anything is out of whack so it can be fixed before a proper alignment job can be done. We can all just speculate as to what's wrong with your suspension, so why not let the alignment guys get their hands dirty and tell you what's wrong with your suspension.
More then likely your toe is out of spec. Either came loose or you are not telling us everything in regards to anything that may have happened to the vehicle since the last alignment.
Thanks for the replies. Good to know about the toe-in issue. Nothing significant has happened to the car since the last alignment (haven't hit any curbs or giant chuck-holes, etc). I try to be real gentle with the car and drive like a little old lady most of the time. When I have a minute I'll jack up that corner of the car and do the standard tests to see if the tie-rod or ball joints are loose. I'd just like to know what's wrong before I bring it in to the shop so they don't try to scam me.