How Long Do Car Tires Last?

Whether your car is new or old, high-priced or budget, you probably will want to know how long do tires last. The good news is that car tire technology has improved dramatically over the years, so you will probably get much more mileage out of your current tires than you did from your previous set!

For instance, tires had an average life expectancy of about 20,000 miles (32,187 kilometers) in the 1970s. Today, there are long-lasting car tires rated for as much as 80,000 miles (128,748 kilometers) of use before they need to be replaced!

How Long Do Tires Last In Years?

A quick and easy way to figure this out how long do tires last in years is: Take the expected life of your tires and divide it by your average annual car mileage.

50,000 Mile Tire Life Expectancy / 12,500 Miles Driven Annually = 4 Years

Factors Affecting Tire Life

How long your tires last depends upon how you drive, the condition of the road, and the maintenance of your car overall. For instance, your car’s alignment can affect how your tires wear with use.

Here are additional factors to consider for your tires:

  • Do you maintain recommended tire pressure?
  • How often do you have your tires rotated of rotation?
  • Do you pair similar tires on the same axle (new opposite new, old opposite old)?
  • How do you balance the load on your car or truck?
  • What conditions, such as temperature or weather, do you drive-in?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) says you can help your tires last longer by doing the following:

  • Maintain the proper tire pressure as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Avoid loading your car or truck with heavy or uneven loads
  • Avoid potholes and other hazardous road conditions
  • Inspect your tires for punctures and other problems on a regular basis

A final factor to consider: just because you don’t drive your car a lot doesn’t mean that your tires don’t age. Inflated tires on a stationary or stored car can but unnecessary pressure on the tires, which can cause them to age prematurely.

Car Tire Maintenance

The importance of keeping your tires inflated at the recommended pressure cannot be overstated. In fact, the proper tire pressure can improve your fuel efficiency! The proper tire maintenance can result in a 3.3 percent increase in fuel efficiency, which translates to about $2 of savings every time you refuel.

It is well worth it to buy a new and reliable tire pressure gauge. These tire gauges are low cost and are easy to use. Did you know that if your car was built after September 2007, it has a tire pressure monitoring system automatically installed—isn’t technology great?

How To Find The Correct Tire Pressure?

While cars and trucks are required to display the correct tire pressure for your vehicle, you may have to hunt for this information. Fortunately, there are only a few places to look:

  • Glove box door
  • Driver side front door jam
  • Vehicle owner manual
  • The tire itself!

Keeping your tires at adequate pressure — no more and no less — is the right thing to do. You’ll find the maximum tire pressure listed in metric kilopascals (kPa) and pounds per square inch (psi). If the owner’s manual or door sticker differs from what’s on the actual tire, always go by the information on the tire.

Before you have driven anywhere, you will want to measure tire pressure when the tires are “cold” – before you have driven anywhere. As you drive, the friction causes the air within the tire to heat up and expand. If you take tire pressure measurements after a drive, your readings will be over-inflated.

Therefore, you should never inflate your tires to their maximum level since this can cause problems. Using the recommended level of tire inflation to get the most from how long tires last.

Rotate Tires To Increase Their Life!

Car mechanics recommend that you rotate your tires about every 5,000 to 8,000 miles (8,047 to 12,875 kilometers). The reason to do this is that the tread can wear more evenly so that you get the most use possible from your expensive tires.

Provided you know how to safely use a jack and jack stand, rotating your own tires is a simple maintenance procedure. This tire rotation chart (midway down the page) from the NHTSA shows proper tire rotation on front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and four-wheel-drive vehicles.

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