How Long Do Tires Last?

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We would expect at least 50,000 miles from the tires that come with any new vehicle, but tire life depends on so many factors that it's impossible to give anything other than broad guidelines.

Among the factors are the quality of the tire, the treadwear rating, whether it is a performance summer tire or an all-season tire, the type of vehicle it is mounted on and how it is driven. Performance tires may grip like leeches on dry pavement, but they tend to wear out faster than tires with less rolling resistance. If you drive your vehicle like you just stole it that also will wear tires faster. The Tires 101 information in the Cars.com Advice section, found here, will help you sort out the different types of tires and which is best for your driving style.

Driving for extended periods on underinflated tires shortens their lifespan, as will driving a vehicle whose wheels are out of alignment. If you never or seldom have your tires rotated, that also can accelerate wear, especially the tires mounted in front on a front-wheel-drive vehicle. They not only carry most of the vehicle's weight but also carry most of the load in braking, cornering and jackrabbit starts.

Though we would expect at least 50,000 miles from original-equipment (and quality replacement) tires, the reality can be quite different. Owners of late-model Honda CR-Vs have complained to us, for example, that they had to replace all four tires around 20,000 miles. We also hear complaints from people who bought replacement tires that were supposed to last 50,000 miles or more but were good for only 30,000 miles. In other words, there are no promises.

Here are some additional guidelines: You don't have to spend lavishly on tires, but don't automatically buy the cheapest ones either. Tires are the only part of your vehicle that are supposed to touch the ground, so make sure they're up to the task. Choose tires that have high treadwear and traction ratings, and bear in mind that performance tires with higher speed ratings may not last long. A balanced combination of wet traction, ride comfort, low noise levels and a high treadwear rating will probably be your best bet.

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By Rick Popely | May 15, 2013 | Comments (29)

Comments 

DC

Any comment about how run-flat tires are costing the consumer a bundle? They seem to wear out much faster than regular tires. (A valid casual observation)

I really think run-flat tires and no spare on many new cars are getting people upset about the expensive and frequent replacement cost and inconvenience of having no spare tire. What are they saving in weight, .03 mpg?

Tony

Take away your vehicle condition, driving style, driving conditions and tire rotation schedule; here what it is:

if you put on Dunlop, Good Year, Yokohama, etc, etc , etc...
Especially Dunlop, OK? - then you are going to face short tire life.

For the longest tire life look towards Michelin, Bridgestone - these are still truly lasting tires (outside performance models)
You will get 50K out of 80K-rated Continentals. Some Pirellis are not bad.

But the good news is that if your tires wear before time, most of these companies (if you provide the receipts) will pro-rate and take off some $$$ if you get new set of the same brand from them.

I personally really closely follow my tires. I make sure that pressure is correct and every 5K during rotation I measure wear on the outside and inside, and I keep the log. It takes 5 minutes but it helps to detect problems early, it also helps to determine when it is too much pressure. For example, on one of my cars my tires squeaked sometimes with pressure 35psi (recommended by manufacturer). I pumped it up to 38psi and squeaking went away. But 5K later I found slight more wear on inside ot tread. So, I moved back to 35psi because 38psi was too much and caused tire to wear in the middle. So, I would rather hear intermittent squeaking in turns.

JJJR

With 50 plus of driving under my belt I've never seen 50K on a set of tires. Something in the 30's is more like it. Most people I know share a similar experience, of course I don't wait until the tires are smooth before replacement.

toronado455

50k is possible from replacement tires. But not usually from factory tires. The factory usually installs tires that don't last very long.

AL.G

Nice article. It's hard to know with tires.
I agree with the comments made. The Factory Tires that came with my Camry wore out way before 50K. They barely lasted 30K. When I replaced these tires, I went with Yokohoma which was a decent enough tire, it certainly lasted longest than the factory tire but wore quickly around 50K. I replaced these tires with Michelin Primacy and have been very pleased so far with the performance and the wear. Tire Brand can make a big difference as well as other factors mentioned.

Tony

AL.G, toronado455

You banging your head on the wall.
It doesn't matter factory or replacement. Only matter is the brand. Honda, Mazda puts good tires on new cars. Toyota is not! No wonder your Camry tires didn't last. My Highlander first set was gone in 30K. My second set, Michelin is 25K and it is not even looking like a half life.

So, please, don't tell OEM vs Replacements. The only matter is what IS your OEM

Tony

JJJR,

with much less driving experience than yours, I've seem multiple times 50 and 60, and even 80K miles on a single set of tires.

Tony

If you want to know how long a tire/model lasts go to tirerack.com. They have surveys where you can see how happy people with life of their tires

Highdesertcat

I've had really good luck with Michelin, Pirelli, Hankook and Yokohamas, both as OEM and as replacements. With these brands I actually got the advertised life expectancy and wear, both on the new vehicles and as replacement tires.

Worst tires ever were Firestone, Firestone, Firestone, Goodyear, Kumho and Uniroyal, both as OEM and as replacements. These brands were made with cheap materials and wore out long before they were supposed to.

I replace my tires when the tread-wear indicators are flush, or if Lincoln's head on the penny equals the depth of the tread (1/32" remaining). Others may drive on them longer.

Putting cheap tires on a car at the factory doesn't save the buyer any money since they usually wear out long before they're supposed to. So buying cheap replacement tires works the same way. Camry made in Japan came with Yokohama tires that lasted longer than the expected tread life. Camry made in the US used the cheapest tires and parts they could find.

My recommendation, do some research at tire rack or discount tire and then buy the best you can afford.

Tony

Highdesertcat,

I think, you're right 90%

Although, my Highlander was made in Japan, it came with Dunlop. So, it is not really matters if the car is made in Japan or US. It is matters who is tire supplier for that batch. Honda used Michelin and Bridgestone and both performed good. But the fact remains, Toyota putting bad tires on their new cars and during purchase that should be considered since this could be additional $700-1000 in 2.5 years.

I was thinking, what company I forgot - you got it - Firestone. What a junk.

Speed

I agree w/ Tony's comments. The best and longest lasting tires I've ever had in my 30+ years of driving have been Michelin and Bridgestone. The last two sets of Michelin's I had gave me 56k and 59 miles respectively. I once had a pair of Bridgestone on my wife's Acura that lasted 63k.

Highdesertcat

Tony, my Japan-built 2008 Highlander 4X4 Limited came with Yokohamas.

At ~65K I put on new Yokos at the staggering cost of nearly $2K because of the optional larger wheels.

My wife's 2012 Grand Cherokee 4X4 Overland Summit came with Goodyear. I replaced them ~30K with Michelins at a cost of nearly $2500 because of the 20" wheels. But the ride and wear are both better with Michelins.

Tires are not cheap. So when a person buys that new car they should do due diligence and also consider the replacement cost of the tires.

Skankzilla

You paid way too much for your tires, sorry to hear that.

Tony

Highdesertcat,

I guess, they treated owner of 40K car better than owner of 25K car. I have 17 inchers and I replaced it with Michelin (Latitude, I think) for less than $950. And that included with 5K free rotation.

When I was buying a car, I was thinking to purchase Venza but when I saw those 19 inch wheels , I stepped back. I took lowest Highlander, 4cyl, 2 row, 17inch Dunlop junk. It is not tearing the road but it is great cruiser, 21.5 mpg average. And I don't have to worry about those low profile tires. I was replacing a wheel for a lady driving Highlander hybrid. She ripped it by running over manhole. She could probably charge the township but the manhole was not on the road but on the grass. she was blocked on the long park entrance, and inpatient, decided to go over the grass. She was crying. Because she just got those new tires and the job was $1200. I said to her, "listen, you driving $40K car. Don't cry about $250 tire"

Town Crier

OEM tires will NOT last as long as replacement tires. They are intentionally designed to have less tread life in order to save weight. They also have low rolling resistance, which is good for gas mileage, but POOR for braking performance. Many tires that have warrantied mileages of 70,000+ miles will not reach that number, they're just warrantied to that number to get you back into the dealer to buy a replacement set from that manufacturer, since they are pro-rated. Word.

Highdesertcat

Replacement tires cost a lot of money these days, especially if you want the ones that are in high demand, and/or you want the higher speed rating (for the stiffer sidewalls and better heat dissipation).

So I did my due diligence, shopped around, compared pricing online, and then decided that the only reliable on-line outlets were the ones like tire rack, discount tire, martin tire, sears, etc.

You have to pay for shipping and then you also have to pay for mounting and balancing if you don't have the equipment in your garage yourself.

But not all of the on-line outlets carry the tire line that you may want. They push what they carry. Best ones are tire rack and discount tire, IMO and experience. I've done business with both of them over the years.

In my case I went out of town to the nearest discount tire center and special ordered the tires through their distributor. Took a couple of weeks to get them in.

It is true that you can get tires in the sizes that I bought a lot cheaper than the ones I bought but it is unlikely that they will have the same speed rating as mine.

I don't buy the S or T rated tires but opt instead for an H at minimum, or better, because my wife cruises at high rates of sustained speed in excess of 85mph through the desert. All that heat doesn't dissipate well and a stronger tire with heftier sidewalls is the way to go for us, since I've had Firestone treads come apart on me at speed. Talk about scary! There's nothing like the deathgrip on your steering wheel when your vehicle veers off in one direction when your tire comes apart and then blows and goes flat.

My trucks all use at least E-rated tires for load range instead of the A, B or D that come from the factory.

So, the replacement cost of a tire is driven as much by its speed rating or load rating.

Ask any Corvette owner what their replacement Z-rated tires cost them.

Ask anyone with 20" wheels what their replacement tires cost them.

The less expensive tires are those for the common 14" and 15" rims. Even 13" rims can set you back more for tires than the bread-and-butter lines for the 14" and 15" rims.

Bottom line: don't be shocked by the cost of replacement tires if you buy a vehicle with rims outside of the norm.

J

Tony,

I am the perfect counter argument to your case.

07 Civic OEM tires were Bridgestone Turanza EL400. Guess what? Gone under 30k.
Totally garbage tires with no traction at all.

Tony

J,
this is a good argument. Bridgestone Turanza EL400 is a tire with no treadwear warranty and low treadwear rating. However, more context needed. In my case, for example, I drove Highlander mostly on highway and no turning blocks or stop-and-go traffic. On my all other new cars the original set lasted 50-60K under same conditions. I don't know where and how you drive, so, it could be different. My brother had 4 new Accords and on 1, in the city, Michelins lasted over 70K. He was always happy with the tires that came on his Accords. I was also happy until Highlander.
Yea, looks like Chinese tires forcing good companies to produce cheap junk. But people will soon find out that those expensive tires are not better that the cheaper ones and will stop buying them.

Highdesertcat

It sounds to me like you guys could do with el cheapos like Mastercraft, Fisk, Cooper or Big O.

They cost $55 - $80 each installed and they give pretty fair wear for what they cost. You may only get 30K - 40K miles of wear from them, but they cost a lot less.

I know commuters who do just that for their grovery-getters. Buy the el cheapos at < than $300 a set of four installed, and then repeat that when the tread gets thin.

That would beat $250 and up per tire and not getting much more wear out of them.

I replaced the original Kumho tires on my grand daughter's 2011 Elantra with Pirelli tires, and then most recently with Michelins. But that was only because of the long highway commute she has to college and back every day.

If it had been city driving I would have put el cheapo Mastercrafts or Big O's on her Elantra.

Not sure if you need new tires? 3 things to watch out for when it comes to tire are, The treads, are they worn? are the sidewalls cracked? and is the surface of the tire bulging out? if you said yes to any of this then I suggest getting them replaced right away! Hope our tips where helpful
_Your friendly tirehouse.com specialist_

ZZ

Save money and DO NOT buy Cooper Lifeliners. Ride was terrible and they wore out fast.

Felis Leo

I change all four tires every 40K kilometers... Safer.

The most mileage I have ever gotten out of tires was 37K. I had Michelins that probably would have lasted more than that, but unfortunately, the car was flooded.

Anyway... to the drivers that get 50K to 80K on tires... I assume you do mostly smooth highway driving... because if you do mostly stop and go city driving (NYC), I highly doubt you will squeeze that much life out of your tires.

TJ

Interesting you mentioned the CR-V. Not sure if they share the same underpinnings, but I had a similar experience with my '09 Honda Element. Just notched 80,000 miles, I've had two sets of tires and am sitting in the dealership as I write this waiting for my third. Also have had problems keeping them properly balanced — mechanic says the previous pair was always cupping. The fronts were almost completely bald and they can't have much over 25,000 miles on them. Hopefully, this next set does a mite better.

JT

I had Hancook (they suck) on my Elantra and the back tires are considered racing slicks now and I only have 18,000 miles on them...CRAZY that I bought my car new alomst a year ago and I need tires...plus they never had good traction to begin with grrrr

TheShadowKnows

Highdesertcat, you will suffer more than just lack of mileage from cheap tires. Noisy, poor handling, longer braking, etc., problems that I would not want. I have found that a good tire will give you much more, plus the advantage of safety where money should not be a factor.

If your objective is because your just cheap and don't want to spend the money for a good tire, then it's the old saying, "You get what you pay for".

You aren't the only one on the road and you many endanger others with your cheap tires.

Soheezy

Remember warranties everyone. I just submitted a Michelin claim for a 2011 Camry with 17,500 miles which had tires that were worn down prematurely. I was able to get new Michelin tires with a 68% credit from the tire manufacturer. It took about 10 minutes on the phone and the Tire Kingdom representative did the rest of the work for me (ie measuring tread depths). Keep in mind my tires were rotated regularly and they were also worn evenly.

NO_BS

I just have to brag a little...I purchased my tires 3.5yrs ago and they are well over 175k,000 mark. Recently they started to show some wear and tear and will definitely need to be replaced before winter. I drive a lot for work and long distance too. These unbelievable tires are Continental 235/55/17. How do you explain that?? :)

Steve

I'm finally needing new tires. I paid around $500 for new Goodyear tires (including tax, mounting, alignment) around 70,000 miles ago.

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