How long does a tire last? The real answer
How long does a tire last? That is a question we are asked by many customers, however there is not always a straight forward answer to this question.
The majority of tires are rated to last between 50,000-80,000 miles and the average American drives approximately 12,000 miles per year. This means tires usually last around 5-6 years.
However the real world lifespan of a tire depends on a variety of factors. In this article, we will discuss the different aspects that will affect the answer to the question “how long does a tire last?” We will also provide some tips on how to extend the life of your tires!
How long does a tire last?
Factors that affect tire lifespan include:
How much you drive
The amount you drive is the clearest indicator and answer to the question “how long does a tire last” as it is the main factor that will affect how long your tires last. The more miles you put on your tires, the faster they will wear out.
This is because every time you drive, the tires are subjected to wear and tear. If you only drive a few miles each week, your tires will last longer than if you put a hundred miles on them every day.
The type of tire (summer, all season, winter)
There are three different main types of tires. Summer tires, All-season tires and winter tires. All three types of tires have different characteristics that will affect how long they last.
Summer tires are designed for high-performance and better handling on dry roads. They typically don’t last as long as all season or winter tires because they are made with softer compounds. This gives summer tires superior grip and performance over other all-season and winter tires.
The trade off for this is that they will wear at a faster rate and will not last as long as all-season or winter tires. They are also not suitable tires for cold winter months.
All Season Tires
All-season tires are a compromise between summer and winter tires. They are designed to perform well in a variety of conditions including dry, wet and also light snow.
The downside to all-season tires is that they are not going to perform as well as dedicated summer or winter tires. They are typically made of harder wearing compounds to deal with the a variety of road conditions. This means that you can usually expect them to have a longer lifespan.
Winter tires are designed to provide the best possible traction in winter conditions. This includes icy and snowy roads. Winter tires have special compounds and tread patterns that help them grip the road better than other types of tires. They also have deeper grooves which helps evacuate snow and slush from the tire contact patch.
The downside to winter tires is that they will wear out faster than all-season tires when used in warmer months.
The driving conditions (city vs highway)
Another factor to consider when asking “how long does a tire last” is the driving conditions. Tires driven on city streets will have a shorter lifespan than those driven on highways. This is because city streets typically have more potholes, bumps and debris which will wear down the tires faster.
The constant starting and stopping associated with city driving also wears the tire away faster. As highway driving is much smoother, the tires typically last longer.
How well the tires are maintained
The way you maintain your tires will also affect how long they last. If you regularly rotate your tires and keep them properly inflated, they will last longer than if you don’t. This is because rotating your tires helps to distribute the wear evenly.
It also helps to prevent uneven tread wear which can lead to an inefficient tire that wears even faster, and even tire failure. Keeping your tires properly inflated to the correct PSI will also help to extend their lifespan as it reduces the amount of flexing that occurs when you are driving.
Your driving style
Your driving style is another factor that will affect your tire lifespan. If you are an aggressive driver who tends to speed and brake hard, your tires will wear out much faster than someone who drives more cautiously. This is because aggressive driving causes the tires to flex more which leads to premature tread wear.
The tires age
Even if you take good care of your tires and drive carefully, they will still eventually wear out. This is because the rubber and other materials used to make tires break down over time. The average lifespan of a tire is about five years, but this can vary depending on how well they are maintained and the driving conditions they are subjected to.
Some tires may last longer but after this period of time we recommend keeping a close eye on the condition of your tires. Tires that are left out in hot weather in direct sunlight are also prone to suffering from premature dry rot.
Your type of vehicle
The make and model of your vehicle will also affect the answer to the question, how long does a tire last. Heavier vehicles such as trucks and SUVs typically wear their tires out faster than smaller cars. This is because the added weight puts more stress on the tires which leads to them wearing down quicker.
The drivetrain layout of your vehicle will also determine which tires wear down faster. Vehicles will wear down the driven wheels of their tires faster than the non-driven wheels. This is because the driven wheels are what provide power to the vehicle and have to work harder.
Your wheel alignment
Another factor that can affect how long your tires last is your wheel alignment. If your wheels are not properly aligned, it will cause the tires to wear unevenly. This means that one side of the tire will wear down faster than the other. This can lead to premature tread wear and even tire failure if not corrected.
Lastly, one of the biggest factors that can affect how long your tires last is excessive speeding. If you regularly drive above the speed limit on the highway, it will cause your tires to wear out much faster. This is because when you are driving at high speeds, the tires are flexing more which leads to increased wear and tear.
The previous fastest car in the world the Bugatti Veyron Supersport, when on a top speed run at 248mph would wear out its brand new tires in just 37 miles. We do not endorse anyone to attempt this, but the correlation between very high speeds and the lifespan of a tire is clear to see.
Here are some tips to extend the lifespan of your tire:
Inspect tires regularly for any signs of irregular wear and tear
Keep tire pressure at the recommended levels as specified by the manufacturer
Adjust your driving style to avoid aggressive accelerating, braking and turning
Keep your vehicle in good condition mechanically
Rotate tires with every oil change
Avoid potholes and rough roads as much as possible
Ensure you have the correct tires for the climate you are driving in
Which tires last the longest?
It is impossible to know which tires will last the longest, but generally the premium all-season tire brands will always offer the most superior tire with the greatest tread life.
To get the most out of your tires, it is important to be aware of these different factors. So to answer the question “How long does a tire last?”, most tires with good maintenance should last beyond 50,000 miles and at least 5 years. However we have also seen some tires last as little as 20,000 miles with poor maintenance.
Tires are a large investment, so we know it is always worth taking good care of your tires and following these tips. It will help you to extend their life and get more out of your investment. Click here to find the best tires for your vehicle.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!