Tire Scrubbing: Yes, It Is Normal

It’s a cold Monday morning, and you are backing your Porsche out of your driveway.  You turn the wheels at a sharp, lateral angle, press the accelerator and immediately hear a ‘Schkt Schkt Schkt Schkt’ noise and experience a scooting/hopping feeling in the front end. You immediately call your Park Place service concierge and book an appointment,  but once you arrive at the dealership to diagnose this odd noise with our certified Porsche technicians, it’s gone and cannot be duplicated.

As a Porsche owner, this may sound all too familiar. When your tires are not gripping at low speeds and sharp angles (such as backing out), the noises and vibrations that result are called “tire scrubbing,” and surprisingly, this is a completely normal reaction to specific external conditions.

When it comes to high-performance vehicles, the enhancements in the suspension for peak road-performance and aggressive turning simply do not apply in colder weather- that is until your tires have had a moment to “heat up.”

Below are three key questions you may have to understand the phenomena of tire scrubbing:

  1. So what is “Tire Scrubbing”?

Tire scrubbing occurs at low speeds, higher steering angles, and colder weather, which may produce an odd noise and noticeable vibration when you first press the accelerator and turn your wheelbase at a sharp angle. The tire is “scrubbing” or physically skipping laterally when the wheels are turned.

Cold tires do not grip the surface of the road as cleanly as heated tires, making the absorption of lateral loads less smooth during your initial vehicle start-up and turns. Porsche advises that cold tires do not deform to absorb lateral loads as well as a heated tire.

Once your Porsche warms up, and you reach your end destination, the tires are “heated” and properly deforming to absorb powerful lateral loads, so you most likely will not experience the sound or vibration.

  1. What actually produces the noise?

The energy released when turning a tire, especially a larger tire, is more than enough to create noise as the tire laterally scrubs the surface of the road and as it moves through the suspension components.

  1. Is “Tire Scrubbing” is completely normal?

Yes, this is a natural reaction due to internal power enhancements and energy expenditure Both Park Place Porsche and the Manufacturer both advise that the slight dragging of the tire is normal and thus, no repairs are necessary.

If you hear an odd noise accompanied with a “skipping” or vibration during these last few weeks of winter, please reflect on what point of the drive it occurred.  If it was at the beginning, it could very well be something that per the manufacturer, is actually supposed to be happening.

The benefits of the Porsche’s high-performance suspension completely outweigh the momentary noise that may occur. If the vibrations and noises continue when the tires have had time to warm up please feel free to come by or schedule an appointment. Otherwise, once your vehicle is warm, (safely) hug those curves and experience your journey the  Park Place Porsche way.