Tires just might be the most important part of your vehicle. As the only part of your car that touches the ground, they’re in charge of your safety, handling, and overall driving experience.
But how long do tires last? The answer varies.
Find out if it’s time to replace your tires or when you need to start checking them regularly.
So: How Long Do Tires Last?
New tires should last between 30,000 miles and 80,000 miles depending on the quality of the tire, but they also have a useful life of 10 years, regardless of the mileage or tread depth. The average life of a set of tires is typically around 60,000 miles.
The actual life span of tires depends heavily on some factors. This can include:
- Type of tire and manufacturer, as high-performance tires typically don’t last as long as general use tires
- Driving style - aggressive styles tend to wear down tires more quickly
- Weather and climate - in warmer climates with high amounts of sunshine, tires can wear down more quickly
- Deterioration of rubber over time, typically between six and 10 years
- Routine maintenance or lack thereof
Factors That Affect Tire Mileage
The factors listed above can adversely affect the longevity of your tires. But to understand how quickly these might wear down your tires, let’s take a more in-depth approach to tire construction and driving behavior factors.
Tire Construction: UTQG Rating
While some believe that directional vs symmetrical and asymmetrical tread patterns affect mileage, this is a common myth. What is important and more dependable to judge a tire's lifespan will be the 3-digit number in the tire's UTQG rating - this is a direct measurement of the rubber compound's resistance to wear.
Driving Behavior Factors
Your driving behavior and style can also impact how long your tires last. Very simply, the more aggressive you are, the more likely you’re going to need replacements. Besides, inattentive driving coupled with aggressive driving can also degrade your tires more quickly than attentive, moderate/safe drivers.
This is due to many factors, including:
- Driving over debris and potholes without slowing down
- Braking and accelerating too quickly
- Driving too fast
- Carrying heavy loads routinely
Tires Care Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for Success
Although your tires can last up to 60,000 miles, these tips, tricks, and hacks can help ensure you see that longevity from your tires. So even after you buy new tires, make sure to follow these suggestions to save money and protect the integrity of your tires.
Keep the Right Air Pressure in Your Tires
Keeping the correct psi (pounds per square inch) of pressure in your tires is perhaps the easiest thing to do to ensure your tires last longer. Fortunately, many new vehicles come with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), which alerts you if your tires become over-or under-inflated.
If your car or truck doesn’t have a TPMS, don’t stress. Your owner’s manual lists the correct tire pressure so you can inflate or deflate your tires to the right psi. And in extreme heat or cold, check your tires regularly.
Rotate Your Tires Regularly
Rotating your tires regularly is another method that’s proven effective to prolong the life of your tires. Front tires can wear unevenly due to turning and cornering while your drive wheels are put under extra stress when you accelerate. By rotating the tires, your tires will wear more evenly, allowing them to last longer.
Cool Your Jets on the Road
If you’re an aggressive driver, one of the best things you can do for your tires is to apply the principles of defensive driving. When you slow down, your tires don’t wear as quickly due to less friction.
Plus, you won’t have excessive degradation of your tires from speeding around corners, hitting debris at high speeds, or stopping/accelerating harshly.
Don’t Tread on Me; Get New Tires Before Your Safety and Vehicle Performance Are at Risk
Although you can apply the suggestions above to prolong the life of your tires, don’t wait to get replacements if your tires are worn or the tread is at a depth of 2/32 of an inch or less. Your driving experience and your safety depend on it.
People Also Ask
Even with some basic knowledge of the life span of tires and signs to look for regarding excessive wear, you may still have some questions. So whether you need to replace them or you have other concerns associated with aging tires, here are some of the most common questions that people also ask.
Should I Replace All Four Tires at the Same Time?
It is highly advised to replace at least 2 (front or rear) tires at a time. We especially suggest replacing all four tires on an all-wheel-drive vehicle, as different tread depths can cause the tires to spin at uneven rates.
How Long Do Tires Last If Not Used?
Most tires last up to six years if unused. After that, the rubber starts to deteriorate, and many manufacturers suggest recycling these tires at this point.
How Much Should a Tire Replacement Cost?
The average price of a new tire is around $150 with about $20 to $30 in labor for each tire.
Do I Need Alignment After Replacing Tires?
Although an alignment after replacing tires isn’t a necessity, it’s highly recommended to ensure your wheels are correctly angled for safer driving and to help your tires last longer.
Why Do New Car Tires Wear Out So Fast?
Most manufacturers equip new cars with a softer type of rubber that’s prone to faster wear. Also, most automakers don’t include tires in their new car warranties, which means they can save on costs by equipping new vehicles with more affordable tires.
How Do I Know If My Tires Are Worn Out?
The best way to tell if your tires are worn out is to conduct the penny test. Grab a penny, turn it upside-down, and stick it in the tread. If Lincoln’s head is completely visible, you need new tires. If it’s partially covered, your tires are still good to go.