How long should my tires last?

When you buy new car tires you are likely to wonder how long the tires will last? Driving on the tires as they are in good condition and the tread is at least 2/32 of an inch deep, can go from a few years to up to 6 years Some may get even a few more years, but factors other than tire wear come into play; the condition of the rubber needs to be closely watched for natural deterioration. While the manufacture’s warranty is a good basis for how long the tires last, the life of tires is influenced by other factors as well.

As a starting point, and taking the manufacturer warranty, simply divide the warranted mileage by the number of miles you drive each year. On average, cars are driven 14,000-15,000 miles a year. So, with a little math, a 60,000 mile warranted set of tires should last 4 or more years. This is pretty straightforward. Obviously, the number of years you end up calculating will change based on your annual mileage and the tires you actually purchase.

Factors Influencing The Life Time of Auto Tires

Starting with the warranty mileage is a good start. But, we all know people who seem to get much more or much less than that. So, why is that?

Correct Installation of Tires

When tires are designed, they are designed to meet certain specifications, and the warranted mileage assumes these specs are followed. 

The right tire for the vehicle

Car tires, SUV tires, and truck tires are manufactured to handle vehicles within these classifications. As the weight of a vehicle increases, the friction and pressure on the tire also increase. So while you may be able to fit a tire designed for a car onto an SUV, doing so is not a good idea. The nature of the vehicle and the assumed driving conditions are different. You will get less life out of the tire.

Tire alignment and balancing

Tires do not operate in isolation. They are part of a system and must be installed in such a way that they work well within the system. Even fresh off the car assembly line, every car is slightly different. To accommodate this difference, tires/wheels have to be aligned and balanced. As the car ages, the variability that has to be dealt with changes. 

Failure to properly mount the tires, aligning, and balancing the wheels, will result in reduced life for the tires, not to mention a less comfortable ride. Tires will wear unevenly, causing the tread in part of the tire to wear faster than it should.

How you Drive

The life of tires can be maximized by driving more cautiously (in addition to just being a safer way to drive.) Hard turns, fast take-offs, too-quick stops all take just a little bit more off a tire’s tread. Sometimes this can even take a lot more off the tread. Over the (shortened) life of the tire, this little extra wear has an impact. Slowing down does have its advantages.


Driving Conditions

Rougher roads, extreme heat, widely and quickly changing temperatures can increase the wear on tires. These factors affect the way tires grip the road, the amount of friction, and the inflation/tire PSI. Experienced for extended periods of time, and these conditions can shorten the life of the tires.


Tire Maintenance

Vehicle tires operate in conditions that will change. Tire pressure (psi) can decrease, balancing and alignment will go ‘off kilter’ over time. Begin mindful of the tires, checking the tire pressure, and having the balance & alignment checked annually as well as regular tire rotations will help maximize the life of the tires. Ignoring these simple maintenance steps can lead to tire damage, dangerous tire conditions, and shortened tire life.


At D. Wells Automotive we have provided tires and tire service to our customers for over 40 years. If you have any questions about the condition of your tires or need recommendations for the best set of tires for your vehicle, give us a call. 


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