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.