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Tires May 3, 2018

How Long Should Tires Last? 5 Factors to Consider

How long should tires last?

If your tires are out of commission, so is your car. Think about it: Your tires are your car’s only contact with the road. They need to be in tip-top shape to ensure your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.

So, how long should tires last? The straightforward answer is: it depends. There are, however, a few key factors that come into play when you’re evaluating the lifespan and longevity of your tires.

How Long Should Tires Last? 5 Factors to Consider:

1. The Manufacturer

One factor that can determine the lifespan of your tires is the manufacturer.

Although the average tire on the market lasts about 60,000 miles, spokesman for the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, Dan Zielinski, emphasizes that every tire is different.

“Some tire manufacturers offer a warranty as high as 80,000 miles or more, reflecting confidence in that particular product’s longevity based on its engineering, technology, and design. Other tires may be built to provide 30,000 miles of service.”

In addition to the tire manufacturer, the type of tires you purchase will also play a role in their longevity. For example, in a study conducted by Consumer Reports, ultra-high performance tires lasted nearly half the amount of miles than their family-tire counterparts. Additionally, all-season tires and summer-performance tires will have different treadwear ratings and therefore, different lifespans.

Virginia Tire & Auto carries tires from more than 20 quality manufacturers. Search tire options now and let our knowledgeable staff help outfit your vehicle with brand new tires.

2. The Vehicle

Believe it or not, the vehicle on which your tires are mounted plays a role in how long they last.

Cars like SUVs and trucks put more weight on tires, so if the vehicle isn’t outfitted with the appropriate tires, this can cause them to wear faster. Another way to risk wearing your tires out quickly is to ignore the recommended tire rotation and wheel alignment schedule in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Other times, there isn’t a clear explanation as to why one car model’s tires last longer than another’s. According to, certain models of the Honda CRV have experienced premature tire wear and damage, increasing the risk of blow outs or accidents on the road.

3. Driving Style

Everyone knows someone who drives like they’re in a real-life version of Mario Kart. These individuals are at a higher risk for prematurely worn out tires. If you regularly subject your vehicle to hard acceleration, heavy loads, and aggressive driving over speed bumps and potholes, your tires will take a hit.

In addition to driving style, the amount you drive will also contribute to the lifespan of your tires. On average, the American driver clocks between 14,000 and 15,000 miles a year, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Some drivers, however, drive way more or less than that.

Did you know that 81% of commuters in Fairfax County drive a car to work? This is the highest in the DC area. The longest average commute in the region goes to drivers coming from Prince George’s County. That’s why it’s more important for those of us in Northern Virginia to take care of our tires.

Read: Car Maintenance is Crucial for Northern Virginia Commuters. Here’s Why:

4. Where You Live

In addition to
how you drive, and how much you drive, where you drive is another factor to consider when evaluating how long tires last. 

Tire wear differs based on the terrain and the region in which you live. Lower temperatures mean lower pressures in your tires, which can result in underinflation, flats, and ultimately, unsafe driving conditions. On the other end of the spectrum, extremely high temperatures cause the pavement to warm up, creating more friction between your tires and the road. The increase in heat emission coming from your tires can be dangerous if your tires aren’t inflated properly, are cracked or damaged.  

Regardless of where you live, it’s best to avoid damaged roads, potholes, and gravel roads as much as possible. Think about it this way: if it’s best for your safety, it’s most likely best for your tires, too.

5. Maintenance Routine

If you want your tires to last, practice proper tire maintenance. You might be wondering what that looks like.

First, make sure you check your tire pressure on a monthly basis. Look for the recommended amount of air pressure in your owner’s manual, or your door placard. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will also indicate how often to have a tire rotation (according to the Tire Industry Association, it’s about every 5,000 to 7,000 miles). During this time, you should also have your technician inspect the tread wear of each tire. When your tread depth reaches 4/32 of an inch your tread becomes compromised with regards to evacuating water and at 2/32 of an inch, your vehicle will legally fail state inspections. Why? Worn out treads are extremely dangerous, as they affect stopping distance and contribute to car accidents.

Read: Proper Tire Maintenance 101: Taking Care of Your Tires

Ready for New Tires?

Bring your vehicle into Virginia Tire & Auto and we can assess the condition of your tires. If it turns out that you need a full replacement, we’ll help you choose the right ones for your vehicle and get you back on the road. You can also find tires using our online tool and schedule an appointment at your convenience.

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