A question for the ages, “How long should my tires last?” The answer, of course, is, “it depends.” The life of your tires depends on the tire itself, how you drive, where you drive, and a lot of other factors. One reason you may not have considered is that if you move to a different climate, odds are you will need to change tires.
Starting with that one, individual tires are designed with certain weather conditions in mind. Some will perform better in rainy conditions, while some are designed to work well in snow, while others can stand up to the heat of the Arizona desert. If you take a tire designed for summer driving to Seattle, for example, it won’t handle nearly as well as it did, or as well as a tire designed for rain. That means a simple panic brake could send you sliding into another car, or worse.
The most common reason for tires to retire is damage or wear. We all know that damaging tires is easier than it should be, from tricky parallel parking jobs to road debris like nails and screws. Some damage can be repaired, but after repeated punctures, it may be time to replace the whole thing. Wear and tear is quietest way for a tire to go. After a long life they have avoided road hazards and other problems, and simply don’t have enough tread to keep you safe anymore. You can tell when your tread is worn out by performing the “Lincoln test,” which we’ve mentioned before. Just take a penny with Lincoln facing you upside down, and place it in between the treads of the tire in question. If you can see the top of his head, then it’s time for new rubber.
A lot of other situations can arise that make it seem like you go through tires too fast. Tires that boast exceptionally good handling usually don’t last as long as cheaper tires. The rubber is softer to provide better grip on pavement, but that also means that they wear down faster. A bad alignment job could make tires wear out really fast in one particular area, and if you don’t notice, it could mean a whole new set.
But to answer the question posed, the average life of a tire is around 40,000 miles. Like we said, it all depends on other factors. High performance tires can last as little as 20,000 miles. Moving to a new climate may mean you need a new set, and picking up nails and other nastiness can mean immediate replacement.
All we can say is to check the tread of your tires regularly—we recommend once a month. It is worth some piece of mind knowing that your car is working the way it should. Plus, you can see problems well before they become problems.
Want to learn more about checking your tread? Want a professional to handle the task? Visit our superstore today—we are, after all, tire experts.