Car ownership comes with the added responsibility of tire maintenance. Some owners are pretty good at keeping tabs on maintaining their tires, while others end up choosing the path of neglect.
Keeping a watchful eye on the condition of your tires is important to your car’s health because the effects of worn-out tires may then end up being very costly. In regions where season changes are the norm and enough to warrant a tire swap twice a year, the issue becomes more urgent. Regardless, proper tires are integral to the safety of your car and you’d be wise to know the answer to the following question: How long do tires last on average?
Tire cost plays a huge part in the purchasing decision, but drivers should consider how long tires last to help justify the cost: If a more expensive tire lasts longer, it might be worth paying a bit more. If a tire is cheap but has a short life expectancy, it might end up costing a driver more in the long run. Knowing how long your tires are supposed to last will help you be more aware of when they might be running out of life and becoming unsafe, without even looking at the physical condition of the rubber. Safety should be the main priority when selecting a tire, and it requires making considerations extending beyond affordability.
“A typical family car all-season tire’s mileage is listed between 60,000 miles and 100,000 miles,” Consumer Reports states. “A performance tire’s official mileage is listed quite lower between 40,000 miles to 60,000 miles.”
Before a consumer quickly latches onto the promise of those figures though, there is a long road ahead to getting close to them.
Gene Petersen, a tire testing specialist at Consumer Reports explained this clearly. “Tire mileage figures are obtained under the most perfect road conditions and do not take into account real-world conditions. Customers can be expected to reach close to these figures if they religiously follow usage rules,” he said.
It should be a standard rule to do tire pressure checks once a month. “It’s the little checks that matter. Ignoring that minor-looking bump on your tire or nagging tire pressure leakages can irreparably limit your tire’s mileage potential,” Petersen said. Negligence weakens your tire’s ability to last up to its official rated mileage and the longer you neglect, the harder it is for your tire to bounce back to its intended function.
Consumers should be proactive with their tires. Here’s how to help your tires last longer:
1. Educate yourself on the load value index specified for your tire and avoid exceeding the load capacity. If it’s absolutely unavoidable, make it brief and don’t do it often.
2. Keep an eye out for a possible underlying alignment issue. If there are consistent moments of your vehicle veering too far to the right or left when being driven, consider getting an alignment check. Bad alignment can eat up tires quickly.
3. Once every week, perform a simple physical inspection of your tires. Run your hand across the thread area, looking out for nails or foreign objects.
4. Drive your vehicle like you actually want your tires to last. Brake moderately and resist the urge to race from green lights all the time. Obviously, refrain from doing donuts or burnouts.
5. Scheduled maintenance checks usually include a detailed tire inspection that will expose any issues. If you’re keeping up on your regular oil changes and such, it should be enough to catch any issues before they become too serious.
It’s not easy to come up with an answer for how long your tires should realistically last because there are too many different variables at play. Scientific testing has provided us with official mileage ratings that are useful as a baseline but don’t accurately represent real-world experience. All tires have a general mileage rating, but how much life you get from your tires are a direct reflection of how you drive, the conditions you drive in, and how proactive you are in maintaining your tires.
If you’re shopping for new tires, be sure to do your research at TireReviewsandMore.com