How Long Should Tires Last? | How To Improve Tire Longevity?

There are many parts that contribute to your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, braking, handling, and acceleration. However, the tires are the crucial point of contact with the road surface, influencing mileage, traction, and ride comfort. Are you thinking, how long should tires last?

How Long Should a New Set of Tires Last

A simple answer is it depends on different factors. Typically, a standard set of tires can last around 60,000 to 75,000 miles, roughly spanning four to six years. Yet, several pivotal elements impact the longevity of your tires.

This article explains the service life of tires and the factors affecting their life.

Factors that Affect the Longevity of Tires

The following factors affect the longevity of your vehicle tires.

1) Tire Quality

Tire Quality

According to Dan Zielinski, spokesperson for the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, most tires available in the market are engineered to endure approximately 60,000 miles. However, each tire’s lifespan can vary. The type of tires you choose also contributes to their longevity.

2) The Vehicle

Interestingly, the car model you drive influences your tire’s service life. Trucks and SUVs exert more pressure on tires compared to sedans. Consequently, if your car isn’t equipped with suitable tires, they may deteriorate quicker than anticipated.

Occasionally, the reasons behind the differing tire lifespans between car models aren’t evident. For instance, specific versions of the Honda CRV have encountered early tire wear, heightening the risk of accidents or blowouts, according to

3) Weather Condition

Tire wear is influenced by the terrain you navigate and your geographical location. Cold temperature leads to decreased tire pressure, potentially causing underinflation, flats, and risky driving situations.

Conversely, very high temperatures force the road surface to heat up, resulting in increased friction between the pavement and your tires. If your tires are improperly inflated, damaged, or cracked, this heightened heat can pose risks.

Moreover, experience with sunlight and warmer climates accelerate tire deterioration. That’s why tires in hotter Southern areas usually need to be changed more often.

4) Driving Style

You might have seen people who drive like they’re playing a real-world Mario Kart game. These drivers can make their tires wear out faster. If you often accelerate hard, carry heavy things, or drive aggressively over holes and bumps, your tires can get damaged sooner.

Apart from your driving style, the annual mileage you cover also impacts the vehicle tire’s lifespan. On average, the typical American driver travels between 13,000 and 14,000 miles annually, as per the Federal Highway Administration. However, some individuals exceed or fall below this range.

5) Tire Maintenance

Proper tire maintenance involves routinely monitoring tire pressure, maintaining accurate inflation levels, and implementing tire rotations. This helps share the weight evenly on all tires and keeps the tread wear even too.

6) Road Conditions 

The condition of the roads you frequently traverse has a significant impact on tire wear. For instance, consistent exposure to damaged roads, gravel, potholes, and other hazards can diminish tire lifespan.

7) Tire Age

Regardless of tread depth, any tire exceeding six years of age should be replaced. This is due to the gradual deterioration of rubber compounds within tires, leading to dry rot. This makes tires more likely to burst or the tread to come apart.

Usually, vehicle and tire makers suggest swapping tires that are 6 to 10 years old, no matter how much tread they have left.

How To Improve Service Life of Tires?

Follow the below-given control measures to improve the life of your tires:

1) Tread

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers a tire unsafe and in need of replacement when its tread has worn down to 2/32 of an inch.

Numerous tires contain a tread-wear indicator, small bars within the tread that become noticeable when the tire’s wear reaches the replacement threshold. This indicator starts making noise to tell the driver it’s time to take action.

Tire Tread

Alternatively, you may employ a penny test: as suggested by the NHTSA, place a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head pointing down and toward you. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, it indicates the need for tire replacement.

2) Main Tire Pressure

For consistent tread wear, tire manufacturers advise checking the tire pressure every month. The pressure of the tires must match what the owner’s manual recommends, which you can also find on the door of the vehicle.

An efficient and simple method to assess tire pressure is by using a handheld tire-pressure gauge. Tire service centers also provide pressure checks as well. Many gas stations have digital readouts on their air pumps, although these might not be precise.

For the best outcomes, it’s ideal to measure tire pressure when it is cold, which means it hasn’t been driven on for a few hours. The ideal time for this check is at home after the vehicle has been parked overnight.

3) Tire Rotation

Regular tire rotation is essential. Consult your vehicle’s manufacturer manual to ascertain the recommended frequency for tire rotation. The Tire Industry Association suggests undergoing a tire rotation every 5,000 to 7,000 miles.

4) Balance and Alignment

Unbalanced Tires, tire balancing

Tires necessitate a circular shape, and the tire/wheel combination requires proper balance.

Many mechanics employ a balancing machine, which rotates the wheel to identify low and high areas, thereby detecting any imbalances. To rectify this, weights are affixed to the wheel using a hammering process. These mechanics also offer wheel alignment services to ensure the vehicle maintains a straight trajectory, thereby minimizing tire wear.

FAQ Section

How do you know how old your tires are?

You can find out how old your tire is by looking at its side. Find the letters “DOT” followed by a numerical code. This code denotes the tire’s production age: the initial numbers indicate the manufacturing week, and the subsequent numbers indicate the year. According to tire manufacturers and safety advocates, as the tread of a tire is only 2/32 of an inch deep, it’s time to change it.

How long do tires last with low mileage?

Regularly used tires tend to remain viable for about 6 years, whereas tires with minimal mileage can endure for about ten years. To put it differently, even with infrequent use, the rubber degrades over time, rendering the tire unsuitable for safe driving.

How often should tires be replaced?

The average service life of tires is about 36,000 to 75,000 miles or six years. However, the actual durability of a tire is influenced by variables such as driving, upkeep, and climate behaviors. Regardless of their appearance, tires shouldn’t be used beyond a 10-year period.

What is the role of mileage in determining the lifespan of tires?

Statistics indicate that an average driver covers approximately 15,000 miles annually. This implies that the longevity of a tire is directly linked to how regularly you drive. While various tire types come with distinct mileage capacities, their service life is inevitably shaped by elements like maintenance practices, habits, and driving conditions.

How long do tires last if not used?

When stored in suitable conditions, tires can remain usable for multiple years. Nevertheless, many tire manufacturers recommend changing tires after six years, even if the tread still looks okay. This is because the rubber in the tires may get weaker over time and might not be safe to use anymore.

Can tires go bad from sitting too long?

The entirety of your vehicle’s weight rests on its wheels. When the car remains stationary for an extended period, the tires can experience deflation, flattening, decay, or distortion. While inflating the tire may provide some relief, it might not always be safe to drive on tires that have been stationary in a garage for an extended duration.

How long can tires sit before they dry rot?

In dry environments, tire dry rot can last for about five years. Conversely, in more humid surroundings, the dry rot process tends to slow down due to reduced susceptibility to the fracturing and fissures that tire dry rot induces.

How long will the 3mm tire tread last?

An average tire with 3mm of tread can usually last for about 10,000 to 15,000 miles before replacing it. But remember, it’s important to check your tires often because this mileage can change based on different things about your tires and how you drive.

How long do 40,000 mile tires last?

As a general guideline, it’s recommended to change tires every six years after accumulating 40,000 miles or when a tire sustains damage beyond repair. The effective lifespan of a tire can be longer or shorter, contingent on your driving habits, tire maintenance practices, and environmental factors.

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