August 25, 2023

How long should tires last?

Unlike wine, tires do not get better with age! And, as with most car maintenance items, the true answer to this question is: it varies. Generally speaking, many tire experts agree that drivers should expect somewhere between 4-6 years of usage out of new tires.

The lifespan of a tire vastly depends on myriad factors including but not limited to: how often you drive, where you drive and the road conditions, the climate you live in, the tires’ design and quality, and how often you rotate/care for the tires.

What damages my tires and/or hurts their longevity?

  • Road conditions: Potholes, speed bumps, road debris, and other factors that impact the terrain you drive on will impact your tires’ lifespan in a negative way
  • Climate: Extreme swings in temperature are never good for tires – for instance, a good rule of thumb with weather is for every 10 degrees of temperature change, your tire pressure will fluctuate 1-2 pounds (decreasing in pressure for colder swings and the opposite for warming temperatures).
  • Improper usage/driver error: Just like many other car care maintenance items, neglecting tire rotations, alignments, and balancing will definitely impact the life of your tires.
  • Using mixed tires or the wrong type of tires: Ever used a spare just a little too long? Used summer tires on snow and ice? We’ve all been guilty of a tire transgression or two, but it’s better to avoid these mistakes if you want to extend the life of your tires.

How do I check the health of my tires?

The easiest way to get to know your tires and stay on top of necessary maintenance is to get regular service as prescribed by the manufacturer, and regularly DIY a quick check up on the health of your tires yourself. Don’t forget to regularly check all four tires’ tread depth. Using the quarter test and related rubric that we outlined in previous post here, check the tread depth on your tires.