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How Long do Tires Last?

By Ken Black
Updated Feb 02, 2024
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The life of a tire depends on a number of different factors, some having to do with the quality of tire and some having to do with the quality of care. Typically, each manufacturer will list how long its tires last on the labels. Carefully pay attention to these labels as it may be that a few extra US Dollars per tire will get you an additional 15,000 or 20,000 miles (24,000 or 32,000 km).

Typically, tires last anywhere between 25,000 and 50,000 miles (40,000 to 80,000 km). There are a number of variables that must be taken into account, however. These include road, weather, and driving conditions. Also, some simple maintenance may be able to increase how long tires last by as much as 50 percent, so a tired rated at 50,000 miles (80,000 km) may be able to go 75,000 miles (120,000 km).

One of the easiest ways to make sure tires last as long as possible is by keeping them properly inflated. Not inflating tires properly puts stress on areas of the tire that are not meant to receive as much stress. Also, it causes the tire to become hotter than it normally would, as it has more contact with the road surface for longer periods of time. Therefore, the structural integrity of the tire is likely to break down much quicker than it would with normal inflation.

To make sure tires last longer, vehicle owners should also rotate the tires. This usually includes moving the front tires to the back and vice versa, as well as possibly switching the tires to opposite sides of the vehicle. Vehicles with front-wheel drive tend to wear the front tires down faster. The opposite is true for rear-wheel drive vehicles. This is why tire rotation is so important.

In addition to lack of maintenance issues, tires last shorter periods of time if the primary driver is aggressive in his or her driving habits. Those who accelerate fast or stop quickly are more prone to wear out tires at a much higher rate than those who drive more conservatively. Every time a tire squeals, some of the tread is left on the road's surface.

However, all tires last only a certain length of time before normal wear and tear takes a toll. To determine if tires are at the end of their useful lives, most manufacturers of newer tires have installed wear bands. The bands appear across the tire once they have reached the end of their useful lives. Not only is it illegal in many jurisdictions to continue driving on bald tires, it is also very dangerous.

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Discussion Comments

By anon973674 — On Oct 13, 2014

Tires never last as long as you hope they would.

By anon943630 — On Apr 02, 2014

Basically, it ranges according to tread rating. Just add two zeroes. So in other words, a tire with a rating of 400 should last 40k miles, but the problem is you pretty much lose all traction on anything lower than 3/32's, which would be considered 30 percent life left, so in reality these 40k mile tires will only be usable for 30k miles unless you run the em to the ground, in which case you could "get 40k miles" out of them.

You also don't want a tire that is more than six years old. They start getting dry rot and that leads to blowouts especially in hotter climates.

By anon356077 — On Nov 21, 2013

Tires that are over six years old may not be safe to drive, even when tread looks good. There is a DOT code on the inside of tires showing the date and year.

For example, a DOT Code ending in "3009" would mean the tire was manufactured the 30th week of 2009. Many people have had accidents due to old tires. ABC news 2020 did an article called "The Cryptic Code That Could Save Your Life." I would look it up. Never buy old tires, even off the shelf. I have one vehicle that sat for 17 years now and two of the tires that had perfect tread simply blew out and the belts stick out the sides.

By anon354808 — On Nov 11, 2013

Thanks for all the great advice. I probably need to look for new tires and this is great to know.

By anon344507 — On Aug 10, 2013

@anon3111: Depending on the the tire quality, normally tires usually last between 20,000-80,000 km. and on driving habits, if you don't squeal them, brake hard or accelerate quickly, drive conservatively.

My truck is has new tires. I drive safely, rotate the tires every six months or so, check them often to see if there is unusual wear and see where it is coming from, or if there is any wear (shoulders, insides, center). Find out by checking the where it is and go to a tire company and look in your manual. It often says whether you have a warranty or do not.

By anon344466 — On Aug 09, 2013

drive em till they pop !!!

By BAU79 — On Oct 29, 2012

Are there any driving strategies that can help my tires last longer?

By profess — On Oct 28, 2012

One thing that a lot of people don't think about when they buy a used car is the state of the tires. It is always worth it to check out how much wear and tear is on the tires and estimate, as best you can, how much longer they will last.

A new set of tires costs upwards of 300 dollars. If you are buying a cheap used car with bald tires it can be a hidden cost that contributes significantly to the ultimate sale price.

By Mor — On Oct 12, 2012

@anon83111 - Most likely they haven't worn out yet, but you can't tell just from that information. It depends on what kind of tires they are and how you've been treating them.

If you can't find reliable information online on how to tell whether your tires have worn out, you'll probably just have to take your car in for a check to make sure. If you're not sure yourself, don't take the risk, as bald tires are extremely dangerous and it's impossible to ask how many miles do tires last without a bunch of extra information it sounds like you don't have.

By browncoat — On Oct 11, 2012

@anon150776 - I think most tire companies are on the conservative side when it comes to stating how long their tires will last, so even in the worst conditions, their tires will make it into the range they state. And very few people are going to be using the same tires over many years without putting much use into them, so that's kind of a specialized thing to discuss which a short article can't really cover.

The thing is, tires are all different. Driving styles are all different. Conditions are all different. If you really want to know how long your tires are going to last, with your driving style, and in your conditions, check the manufacturer listings, buy the best tires you can, do everything you can to make sure they don't wear out too fast and then, once they do wear out, figure out how long it took. Want a decent sampling of information? Do it again.

By anon150776 — On Feb 08, 2011

Article needs a discussion on tire age, not just mileage. You can have plenty of tread left on a tire that is compromised by age. Age is measured not just chronologically, but in terms of environment (exposed vs garaged).

By anon86316 — On May 24, 2010

it the state of wisconsin you should typically get new tires if the tread is less the the distance from the rim of a penny to abe lincoln's hair. if your tread is less than that, it is illegal and you can be ticketed.

By anon83111 — On May 09, 2010

All I want to know is how many miles for tires? My car two years old and has 20,000 miles.

By anon73995 — On Mar 30, 2010

No. No motorcycle tire manufacturer tells how many miles their tire typically lasts. There is no place in the world where this information can be found.

By clyn — On Aug 06, 2009

There seems to be such a huge range for the "typical" amount of time a tire lasts. Are there ways other than tire bands to tell if a tire is wearing out? Should a certain amount or depth of tread be visible? I'd love some tips on how to tell.

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