New car tire close up

How Long Do Tyres Last? How to Make My Tyres Last Longer?

How long do tires last? How does driving style and conditions affect tyre lifespan? How to make my tyres last longer? Click here for more

Your car’s tyres are super important because they’re what keep you connected to the road. So, it’s crucial to make sure they’re in good condition. As time goes on, tyres wear out and become less effective at gripping the road properly. If you keep using worn-out tyres for too long, they might blow out, leading to an accident.

Many car owners wonder: how long do tyres actually last? Is there a specific distance they can go or a certain number of years they’re good for? We’ll answer these questions and share some tips on how to make your tyres last as long as possible.

Related article:

How Long Do Tyres Last?

When it comes to the lifespan of tyres, there are two main factors to consider: time and wear. Let’s break it down:

Time

Every tyre made after 2000 has a 12-digit code on its sidewall known as the tyre identification number (TIN) or Department of Transportation (DOT) code. The last four digits of this code represent the week and year the tyre was manufactured. For example, “2620” would mean the tyre was made in the 26th week of 2020.

Most tyre manufacturers suggest replacing tyres after about 10 years, but some experts advise considering replacement as early as six years due to potential deterioration. Over time, the rubber in tyres can dry out, making them harder and reducing their grip on the road. Old tyres can also see tread separation, which can lead to dangerous blowouts.

wheel of a car on the sand in the desert

Wear

Tire wear is measured by the depth of the tread, which is the space between the tread blocks. In general, tyres are considered safe until the tread depth reaches 1.6 mm. However, some specific types like winter tyres and all-terrain tyres may recommend replacement at 3.2 mm. While defects in manufacturing can affect tyre life, they are rare exceptions rather than the rule.

How Far Can My Tyres Go?

Estimating the distance your tyres will travel can be a bit tricky, as it depends on factors like the type of tyre, driving conditions, and your driving habits. However, you can gauge a tyre’s expected mileage based on its warranty.

Tire warranties vary, with some offering no mileage coverage at all. Those with a mileage warranty typically range from 40,000 km to 130,000 km. If your tyre wears out prematurely before reaching the warranty mileage, you might receive a prorated credit towards a replacement.

Another way to estimate tire longevity is through the treadwear rating, found on the tire’s sidewall. This rating, ranging from 60 to 620, reflects how a tyre performed in a controlled 9,600-km test compared to the average tyre.

The baseline for treadwear rating is 100, representing an average tyre. A tyre with a rating of 200 will wear twice as slowly as average, while a 620-rated tyre will wear 6.2 times slower.

Typically, high-performance and summer tyres have shorter lifespans due to their softer rubber for better grip. They often lack mileage warranties and only offer defect coverage. On the other hand, all-season tyres, prioritizing comfort and traction in various conditions, tend to have longer tread life, often with warranties up to 130,000 km.

Vulcanizer Tire Repair Job. Modern Car Wheel Under Maintenance Closeup Photo.

How Does Driving Style and Conditions Affect Tyre Lifespan?

The way you drive and the conditions you drive in can significantly impact how long your tyres last.

Aggressive driving, like speeding around sharp turns, rapid acceleration, sudden braking, and driving at high speeds, can generate extra heat and stress on your tyres, causing them to wear out faster.

However, it’s not just driving habits that can affect tyre life. Road conditions also play a role. In places like Melbourne where snow and ice are common, slippery roads can cause tyres to lose traction. When a tyre suddenly grips onto a solid surface after sliding on ice, it can put extra stress and heat on the tyre, leading to premature wear and tear.

How to Make Your Tyres Last Longer

Investing in a new set of tyres can be a significant expense, so it’s essential to make sure you’re getting the most out of them. You can achieve this by following proper tyre maintenance and implementing a few smart strategies:

Adjust Your Driving Habits

If you notice that your tyres wear out quickly, take a look at your driving habits. Are you prone to sudden acceleration, hard braking, or aggressive cornering? Even driving too fast on highways can contribute to premature tyre wear. Making small adjustments to your driving style can go a long way in extending the lifespan of your tyres.

Choose the Right Tyres

When it comes to replacing tyres, don’t just settle for the cheapest option available. Different vehicles require specific types of tyres to perform optimally. For instance, large SUVs and pickup trucks may need tyres with a higher load rating to handle their weight effectively. Using the wrong type of tyre can put excessive stress on them, leading to faster wear and potential tyre failure.

Mechanic opening valve stem on a tire

Consider the Driving Conditions

Take into account the weather conditions in your area when selecting tyres. In regions with cold, snowy winters like Canada, investing in winter tyres is essential. Winter tyres are designed with special tread patterns and rubber compounds to maintain traction and flexibility in freezing temperatures. Using all-season or summer tyres in winter can lead to increased wear and reduced performance due to the hardening of the rubber in cold weather.

Maintain Your Tires with Regular Rotations

Regular tyre rotations are essential for maximizing the lifespan of your tyres. This maintenance task involves lifting the vehicle and swapping each wheel to a different position. There are five common rotation patterns:

  1. Front-to-rear rotation: Rear wheels move to the front, and front wheels move to the rear without changing sides. Best for vehicles with even tyre wear or directional tyres.
  2. Forward cross: Rear wheels move to the front without changing sides, and front wheels move to the rear while changing sides. Suitable for front-wheel-drive cars with uneven tyre wear.
  3. Rearward cross: Similar to forward cross but reversed, suitable for rear-wheel or four-wheel-drive vehicles with uneven front tyre wear.
  4. X-pattern rotation: Tyres move from front to rear, changing sides, creating an X-shaped pattern. Effective against uneven tyre wear on any vehicle.
  5. Side-to-side pattern: Used when tyres have staggered sizes, moving tyres from one side to the other instead of front to rear.

Plan to rotate your tyres every six months or 12,000 km, or follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule for specific recommendations.

Keep Your Alignment in Check

Regular vehicle use can cause the chassis components to shift, leading to misalignment and uneven tyre wear. To prevent this, have your vehicle’s alignment checked every six months and adjusted if necessary. While alignment checks can cost between $60 to $100, some shops offer lifetime alignment packages, which can be a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Keep Your Tire Pressure in Check

The air pressure inside your tyres directly affects how they wear. Insufficient pressure can cause the centre of the tyre to sag, leading to excessive wear on the outer edges. Conversely, too much air pressure can cause the centre section to bulge, resulting in excessive wear in the middle of the tread.

To prevent uneven wear, make it a habit to check and adjust your car’s tyre pressure once a week. Always do this before driving, as driving can heat up the tyres, giving a false pressure reading.

Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation for the correct pressure, which you can find in the owner’s manual or on the tyre placard located in the driver’s side door jamb. Avoid inflating your tyres to the maximum pressure listed on the tyre, as this is often too high for normal driving conditions.

Final thought

Looking after your tyres is super important for keeping things safe and making them last longer while you’re out cruising. Make sure to give them a spin (I mean, rotate them) regularly, keep them straight (that’s alignment for you), and check that they’re pumped up just right. Doing all this means your tyres will stick around for more road trips and keep their cool performance-wise.

And hey, it’s not just about the tyres – it’s about how you drive too. Pick the right rubber for the weather, and stay on top of those check-ups. Trust me, your wallet will thank you later, and you’ll be zipping around with peace of mind. So, don’t slack on tyre care – it’s the smooth move for a bump-free ride!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *