Tires are your car’s only point of contact with the road. They must be in excellent condition to keep you and other drivers safe while driving. And now comes the question that every driver wants to know — how many miles should tires last?
Tires should last 50,000 to 60,000 miles (80,467 to 96,561 km) or about four to five years. However, some tires can also last up to 80,000 miles (128,748 km), and others last around 30,000 miles (48,280 km). The lifespan of a tire can be influenced by various factors, such as the tire manufacturer.
In this article, I’ll discuss the factors that determine tire lifespan, and give you some tips on extending the life of your tires. I’ll also let you know how to tell when it’s time to replace them. Keep reading to learn more.
What Factors Determine How Long Your Tires Will Last?
Here are the factors that determine how long your tires will last.
- Type of tire
- Weight of the vehicle
- Weather conditions
- Driving habits
- Tire age
I will discuss these in detail below.
Type of Tire
Most manufacturers design different types of tires with varying lifespans. Some tires can last about 60,000 miles (80,467 km), while others can last as little as 30,000 miles (48,280 km). They also claim to produce tires that can last up to 80,000 miles (128,748 km).
So, the type of tires you purchase determines how long they will last.
In addition, each tire type has a different tread depth, which aids in handling and your car’s grip on the road. As a result, the softer the tire, the more grip it provides, causing tires to wear faster. Similarly, high-performance tires will wear more than all-season, summer, and winter tires because of different treadwear ratings.
Pro Tip: Check the treadwear rating to predict your tire tread’s life expectancy.
Weight of the Vehicle
The vehicle’s weight also plays a significant role in how long your tires will last. For instance, trucks and SUVs exert more pressure and weight on tires than a family sedan. So, if the tires mounted on the vehicle aren’t the appropriate ones, you can expect them to wear out faster than expected.
Overloading your car also reduces your tire’s lifespan because each tire type has its own loading capacity. Unfortunately, a higher loading capacity indicates a shorter tire lifespan and vice versa. Always stay within the specified load index of your tires to minimize further tire wear. Overloading might result in tire bursts or malfunction.
Weather conditions also impact the efficiency of your tires and lifespan because the tires work harder to maintain road traction. Some weather conditions that can seriously impact a tire’s lifespan include:
- High temperatures
Warmer temperatures cause more friction between the tires and the road. The more friction there is, the faster the tires will wear down.
Use the right tires, such as the all-season tires, which are engineered to perform in most weather conditions for optimal road safety. So, where you live and seasonal factors can affect your tires.
Road conditions might cause suspension damage and misalignment, affecting tire wear. Common road conditions that create these problems include:
- Damaged roads
- Gravel roads
- Other hazards
Off-road driving, such as driving on hills or mountains, also increases tire wear because more friction is required to start and stop the car than on flat surfaces.
So, it’s best to avoid such roads if you want to increase the lifespan of your tires. However, if your daily commute includes rough terrain, it’s good to schedule regular tire inspections and follow correct tire care procedures.
Not everybody drives the same. Bad driving habits, like strong acceleration, fast cornering speeds, and sudden braking can significantly affect your tires in the long run. Poor driving habits put additional stress on tires, causing them to wear out quickly.
What’s more? Aggressive driving affects your tires and puts you at risk of a fatal collision. To ensure your safety and extend the life of your tires, avoid overspeeding when encountering bumps and potholes.
You’ll take better care of your tires if you take better care of your driving style.
A tire may age due to a lack of driving, reducing its overall lifespan. An older tire may have more tread depth, but its structural integrity is compromised since the tire needs to be driven often to keep the chemical in its rubber active.
Think about it. Why do spare tires and those in recreational vehicles and antique cars wear out so quickly? However, it also depends on the storage conditions of the tires. It would be best to rotate your spare tires with your other tires regularly to extend their life.
Additionally, it would be best to replace tires older than six years as the rubber components in a tire deteriorate over time, creating dry rot, which makes them susceptible to a blowout and treads separation. Get new tires regardless of tread depth if they are six to ten years old.
5 Tips To Extend the Life of Your Tire
Let’s get started on some tips to guarantee your tires don’t wear out before they should.
1. Check Your Tire Air Pressure Regularly
Over or underinflation causes premature aging and uneven tire wear.
Therefore, you should maintain the correct air pressure in your tires monthly to extend their life. In addition, the wrong air pressure can increase the risk of a blowout. So, make sure to check your tire pressure at a gas station at least once per month. You can also use a tire pressure gauge to check your tires’ air pressure whenever you notice any abnormality.
2. Rotate Your Tires After 6,000 to 8,000 Miles (9,656 to 12,875 km)
You should rotate your tires after 6,000 to 8,000 miles (9,656 to 12,875 km) or during an oil change to increase the life of your tires. Tire rotation is when a technician moves your tires to different wheel positions depending on the specific rotation pattern in your owner’s manual to ensure they wear evenly. The good news is that you can rotate your tires yourself because it’s a simple procedure.
3. Rebalance Your Wheels
Tire balancing should be done simultaneously with tire rotation to avoid uneven or premature tire wear. How is it done? A mechanic uses a tire balancing machine to ensure that weight is evenly distributed within your tires to prevent vibration and excessive tire wear. Small weights are added to the wheel to rebalance it.
4. Make Sure Your Wheel Alignment Is Correct
If you notice your car drifting to the right or left while driving, it’s a sign that your wheels are out of alignment. All four wheels should be parallel and point straight forward for correct wheel alignment. To extend the life of your car and tires, improve gas mileage, and maintain optimal road safety, have your wheel alignment checked at least twice a year.
5. Use According to the Tire’s Specifications
Tires come in different types, including snow tires and summer tires. You should use each type of tire according to its specifications. For instance, avoid using your snow tires in the spring because they weren’t built for that season. Doing so can cause premature tire wear and damage. However, you can use all-season tires because they are less affected by seasonal conditions.
When To Replace Your Tires?
Generally, it would be best to replace your tires every six years regardless of tire tread. More importantly, have them evaluated by a certified technician to determine whether you should keep or replace them.
Although it’s best to obtain professional advice on when to change your tires, you may look for some signs to see whether you need new ones.
Here are signs that can help you know when to replace your tires:
- Low tread depth: When the tread is down to 2/32 inches (0.16 cm), a tire is considered completely worn out and should be replaced immediately.
- Steering wheel vibration: If you notice vibration while driving, it’s a sign you need new tires, especially if you’ve just balanced and rotated them.
- Abnormal bulges or bubbles: These usually occur after hitting a pothole or a curb and cause air pockets to form on the tires. It would be best to replace tires with abnormal bulges or bubbles immediately because their layers have already been damaged.
- Sidewall cuts or cracks: If you spot any sidewall cuts or cracks, replace the tire right away to avoid a blowout or major accidents at highway speeds.
- Any other visible damage: Uneven wear patterns or damage should not be overlooked. They may indicate that a tire requires rotation, wheel misalignment, or other serious actions such as replacement.
Read: How To Read Tire Size?
If you want your tires to last longer, start with our five tips above to increase the lifespan of your tires. However, tires should last 50,000 to 60,000 miles (80,467 to 96,561 km) or four to five years on average before requiring replacement.