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Tires are one of the most crucial components of any vehicle, impacting acceleration, braking, handling, and performance. Plus, they’re the only parts that touch the road. Knowing how important tires are, it’s only natural to ask “How long do tires last?” The wheels on the bus go ‘round and round…but not forever!
It would be nice if there were a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but there just isn’t. Tire lifespan depends on multiple factors, such as driving habits and maintenance cadence, among others (more on these variables later). Ultimately, it’s best to consult your owner’s manual, tire dealer, or manufacturer to help give you a ballpark estimate of your tire lifespan.
While a specific answer is difficult to provide, many tire manufacturers offer warranties based on mileage, so consider checking with your tire dealer or manufacturer to find out what your tire warranty states. Just keep in mind, warranties are just estimates since several factors can affect the longevity of your tires.
As tires age, they’re more susceptible to failure. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some vehicle and tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires that are 6-10 years old, regardless of tread wear. Check with your tire or vehicle manufacturer to see if they have information regarding tire age.
Regularly driving on gravel, unpaved roads, or other roads in poor condition may cause vehicle misalignment and suspension damage, which can affect tire wear. Additionally, hitting curbs, potholes, and other hazards can reduce the lifespan of your tires.
Tires tend to wear quicker in rough weather conditions — e.g., ice, snow, rain, etc. — because they work harder to maintain traction. If you regularly drive in these conditions, consider purchasing tires designed for specific weather conditions to help get better traction, control, and tread wear.
Hard acceleration, sharp steering, sudden braking, and general aggressive driving are all bad habits that can contribute to accelerated tire wear, reducing your tires’ lifespan. Be conscientious of your driving habits to help optimize your tire lifespan.
Regularly inspecting your tires for damage, checking tire pressure, and keeping your tires properly aligned and rotated help extend the lifespan of your tires. If you neglect this routine maintenance, you can significantly reduce tire life
All good things must come to an end, and tires are no exception. If you think your tires are on their last leg, here are a few things you can do to find out if you need new ones.
Checking tire tread depth is one way to determine when to replace your tires. By law, your tire’s tread depth cannot be less than 2/32”. If it is, you must replace your tires right away.
So how do you check tread depth? You can use a depth gauge, but if you don’t have one, a good ol’ penny will do. Insert a penny into the shallowest groove on the tire with the president’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Honest Abe’s head, it might be time to replace your tire.
As mentioned before, the NHTSA reports that some vehicle and tire manufacturers recommend replacing your tires when they’re 6-10 years old, regardless of tread wear. So how do you tell the age of a tire? You can check the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number on the tire’s sidewall. The last four digits of the DOT number indicate the week and year the tire was made. For example, if your DOT number shows “2618”, this means your tire was manufactured during the 26th week of 2018. If your DOT number falls in the 6-10-year range, it’s time to set up a service appointment.
Hearing strange noises coming from your tires? Or maybe you’re experiencing vibrations while driving your car? These symptoms could indicate uneven tire wear, unbalanced tires, or other tire-related issues. It’s best not to ignore these warning signs, so have a professional inspect your tires to see if they need to be replaced.
We all know that good quality tires aren’t cheap — especially if you must replace all four of them. Luckily, there are ways to optimize your tires, so you get the most bang for your buck.
Monthly tire pressure checks are important for extending your tires’ lifespan. Underinflated tires can increase friction, causing them to overheat, which results in premature wear, tread separation, and blowouts. On the other hand, overinflated tires can cause uneven tread wear, loss of traction, reduced braking, and damage to the front suspension. To avoid these issues, keep your tires at the car manufacturer’s recommended psi, which you can find in your owner’s manual or on the inside panel of the driver’s side door
Keeping up with routine maintenance is another way to increase tire longevity. To ensure even tread distribution, schedule a tire rotation every 6,000 to 7,000 miles. It’s easy to remember because this timing typically aligns with every oil change! Also, if you notice shakes or vibrations that interfere with a smooth ride, you may need your wheels balanced by a professional.
Do you brake, corner, and accelerate aggressively? If so, you’re putting a lot of pressure on your tires, causing them to wear out sooner than they should. Instead, take a gentler approach when you get behind the wheel. Your tires will thank you when you take time to accelerate, brake, turn, and pull out.
How often should you replace your tires? Typically, replacing your tires is recommended if your tread reaches an unsafe depth or a tire is damaged beyond repair. That’s why regular maintenance is key to helping extend the lifespan of your tires. And, when you need service on your tires, you can visit your local Jiffy Lube. We offer a wide range of tire services to help you get back on the road fast.
NOTE: Not all services are offered at all Jiffy Lube service centers. Please call ahead or check jiffylube.com to ensure the service is available at the Jiffy Lube location near you.