Wondering how long do tires last? Well, there is no one way to answer this question. It all depends on how you drive your vehicle. Some folks drive their vehicle like they are taking part in a racing competition and others drive like they are part of a snail’s race. For an average driver the tire wear will be nominal, however, here the tire’s quality will come into play. You have to look at the quality of your tires other than your driving style. Cheap tires from lesser known manufacturers won’t last long, whereas good quality expensive tires from reputable manufacturers will last longer.
As a general rule of thumb, inspect your tires once every year. Better quality tires might not require regular inspection but it is always best to take precaution and check them accordingly.
So how long do tires last?
A general tire will last for 10,000 – 12,000 miles or 3-4 years.
How to Determine the Age of a Tire?
Tires are just like any other material object in this world. They have a certain lifespan. Once their lifespan ends, they need to be replaced. Fortunately, tire wear can be seen easily, you don’t need any special equipment or lab tests to determine its fitness. When you buy a new tire, you can see its tread patterns easily but once the tire wears out you start to see less of the tread pattern by each passing day. Furthermore, your vehicle’s handling gets affected. You will feel you have less grip on the road. Once such signs start to appear, it is time for you to test the life of your tires.
There are many ways to test a tire but the most common way is to test tread depth using the coin method. All you have to do is take out a penny from your pocket and flip it to the side which shows the Lincoln Memorial. Place the coin between the tire’s grooves. If the top of the Lincoln Memorial is covered by the tread pattern then you have 6/32” of depth left. To go even further, you can use the quarter. If Washington’s head is partly hidden by the tread then you have 4/32” of depth left. Up till now, your tire is in good health but if it goes to 2/32″ depth then it means it is time to change it.
If you place a penny in the tread and the tread is touching Lincoln’s head then you are at the point where 2/32″ depth has been achieved. The law states that once this point comes you have to change your tire. It is important to remember that 2/32″ tread depth is the absolute limit. At this point, your car will fail to perform on snowy or wet roads. Therefore, it is best to start thinking about changing your tires once you reach 6/32″ depth point.
What Makes Tires Age Faster?
As stated above, tires can wear out slowly or quickly determining on your driving style. Tires are made of rubber and rubber tends to wither away when it comes face to face with friction. If you are driving fast and turning your car hard, more pressure is being put on your tires. They are experiencing more friction and as a result, wearing out faster. Alternatively, if you drive your car normally then the tire wear will slow down. Moreover, heat can make tires highly susceptible to wear and tear. If your tires are constantly exposed to the sun they can soften up and deteriorate quicker than normal.
How to Extend Tire Life?
The only way to extend a tire’s life is to slow down its wear and tear process. First off, you need to buy yourself good quality tires as not much can be done to extend the life of poor -quality tires. Tires will last long if you keep them away from unnecessary heat. Exposure to the sun can melt the rubber on the tire so it is best to park your car in a garage or under a tree. Secondly, try not to drive roughly. Slow down your vehicle on turns and avoid braking too hard. Last but not least I recommend rotating tires to make sure they wear evenly.
How to Know If You Need New Tires?
The answer to this is simple. If your tire’s tread pattern has deteriorated to such an extent that there are no grooves left it is time to change it. You will also lose grip on the road while driving so always keep an eye out for that.
Worn out tires are not easily discernible from fresh tires. To the untrained eye they both look the same, however, there is a big difference between the two. That is why you should regularly check your tires for their tread depth. Make sure to check the entire tire in different places (at least 15 cm apart) so that you can make a proper judgment.