How many miles before tires should be replaced

Guide to How Long A Tire Lasts

The question, "How long does a tire last?" tends to be followed by several others like, “What causes a tire to wear? When should tires be replaced? What can be done to make tires last longer?” Fortunately, we can help provide clarity around these questions.


There is no exact answer to how long a particular tire will last, but there are things a driver can do to get the most out of their tire investment and avoid driving on unsafe tires. On average, people drive between 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year, which means the average good quality all-season tire will last somewhere between three and five years, depending on maintenance, driving style and conditions, etc.

 The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) states a driver is three times more likely to be involved in a crash caused by poor tire condition. Safer is smarter when it comes to the health of tires, so if there is ever a question on tread wear or age, have the tires checked.


Multiple factors play a role in how long a tire may remain in service. Miles driven, road conditions, driving style, maintenance and age all affect how long a tire lasts.

Worn vs. Aged

Tires naturally wear the more they are driven and worn out tires provide reduced traction compared to those with adequate tread, especially in adverse weather conditions.  Most drivers understand worn out tires (remaining tread depth at or below 2/32”) should be removed from service.

Many drivers are not aware that minimally used tires, like the ones on recreational vehicles, collectible cars, or even spare tires, tend to experience aging instead of wearing, due to a lack of driving. An aged tire has a substantial amount of tread; however, the structural integrity of the tire is weaker because the tire needs to be driven for the chemicals in the rubber to remain effective.

Curbs, Potholes, and Other Hazards

Hitting curbs or driving on roads in poor condition (potholes, broken pavement, poorly graded railroad crossings, unpaved roads, etc. ) can cause misalignment, and suspension damage that affects tire wear. If your daily drive includes these challenges, be sure to schedule annual suspension, alignment and tire checks.

Weather Conditions

Driving in poor weather conditions like ice, snow, and rain can cause tires to wear quicker because they must work harder to maintain traction. Purchasing tires that are specially engineered to perform in specific weather conditions can provide drivers with an extra measure of traction and control (meaning greater safety) while delivering good treadwear.

Bridgestone offers different types of tires designed to keep you and your car safe during any weather or road condition. For example, Bridgestone's Blizzak tire series is built to perform in harsh winter weather conditions providing durable traction on snowy and icy roads, and the Dueler tire series is one of several that offer a secure grip on wet road conditions for areas that experience heavy rain.

Poor Driving Habits

Poor driving habits like hard cornering, quick acceleration, and sudden braking can increase the stress on tires tremendously, causing them to wear rapidly. Drivers can extend the life of their tires significantly by avoiding aggressive driving.

Neglected Maintenance

It is important to regularly have tires checked for damage, to maintain air pressure levels, and to keep tires aligned and rotated. Without proper maintenance, tire life can be reduced by as much as half - even more, in some cases.


If the below signs are evident with your tires, it may be time to have them replaced. 

Low Tread Depth

Tread loss is a significant sign a tire needs to be replaced. Low tread is a sign driver can physically see happening on their tire. Depending on the part of the tire that is wearing, there may be other problems with the vehicle.

    Pronounced inner or outer shoulder wear: tires are misaligned

    Edge of the shoulder wear: tires are under-inflated, need to be rotated or both.

    Center wear: tires may be overinflated or have been subjected to extremely hard acceleration.

    Cupped wear: the vehicle is experiencing suspension problems

    All tires have tread wear indicators built-in, but if the tread looks low take time to do the penny test on the tires.

    Rough Drive

    If you’re experiencing a vibration (particularly if it just started), or high (and increasing) levels of tire noise it may be a sign your tires are out of balance, not wearing properly or have a structural issue.  In some cases, this may affect safety, so have your tires checked by a qualified professional asap.

    DOT Number

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number on the tire’s sidewall is another way to help keep track of when they need to be replaced. It’s easy to identify - look for the letters “DOT” followed by eleven or twelve letters and numbers.  On tires made after the year 2000 the final four digits signify the week and year of manufacture. So, a tire with “3618” would have been made in the 36th week or 2018. A tire that has a 3-digit week-and-year code means the tire was made before the year 2000 and should be replaced due to age.

    Bridgestone recommends that its Bridgestone or Firestone brand tires be removed from service after ten years regardless of their remaining tread depth.  They also recommend periodic inspections by a qualified technician for damage such as punctures, impact damage, signs of improper inflation or overloading, or other conditions resulting from the use or misuse of the tire.


    Tires are both one of the largest maintenance expenses a vehicle owner is likely to face, and one of the most critical in terms of driving safety and performance.  For both reasons it’s important to care for them properly. Bottom line: good maintenance and driving habits help keep drivers safe, and it saves them money by extending tire life.

    Easy Does It

    Tire life can be reduced by as much as half when they’re subjected to a lot of hard braking and aggressive acceleration from a standstill.  Avoiding tailgating to reduce the need for frequent hard braking will increase tire life. Easing into the throttle when pulling away from a stop reduces strain on the tires and improves wear. Slowing before sharp corners also reduces stress on tires, as does avoiding potholes and broken pavement when possible. If you’re interested in spending less on tires, following these steps can help.

    Regular Maintenance

    Another way to extend tire life is to keep up with the proper maintenance of a vehicle and its tires. A couple of things you can do yourself are to check the air pressure and tread depth.  You should have a qualified technician periodically check their balance and alignment and be sure to have tires rotated at regular intervals. maintenance is essential for your tires to perform their best and last their longest.

    How Long Should a Set of Tires Last?

    It may be tentative, but tires do have an expiration date. There is a general consensus that most tires should be inspected, if not replaced, at about six years and should be absolutely be swapped out after 10 years, regardless of how much tread they have left.

    How do you know how old your tires are? There’s a code on the sidewall that you can read about here. Wear is a far more straightforward consideration: Tiremakers and safety advocates say a tire is worn out when its tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch. That’s all fine, but what most car owners want to know is how long to expect a set of new tires to last before they need to be replaced.

    “I wish it were simple to say how long each tire might last, but tires are different,” said Dan Zielinski, a spokesman for the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA). “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.” Or less; some high-performance tires on cars driven aggressively will be worn to the 2/32-inch point without ever seeing 15,000 miles, but those are extreme cases.

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    The average American drives between 14,000 and 15,000 miles a year, according to data from the Federal Highway Administration. Zielinski said that, if you’re kind to your tires—that is, you aren’t constantly peeling out at stoplights and you properly maintain them—most new tires on the market today will last about 60,000 miles. For what it’s worth, the USTMA did a review of several thousand recently scrapped tires and found that most were three to four years old. There was no way of telling how many miles were on those tires, but it’s easy enough to multiply four years by 15,000 miles annually to confirm the rough approximation of tire durability.

    If you want to figure out how soon you’ll wear out the tires on your car, Zielinski said it would be a good idea to start by determining how many miles you drive each year. Divide the number of miles on the odometer by how many years you’ve owned the car (starting, obviously, from when you first got the car and accounting for any mileage it had on it at that time). Then you can compare that with any advertised warranty on the make and model of the tires and figure out how many years of service to expect. If you live where winter tires are advisable and swap those onto the car for some months of the year, your regular tires will get less use and will endure for a longer period of time, but remember the caveats about tire age.

    Zielinski also noted that if you hit the wear bars at 50,000 miles on a set of tires with a 60,000-mile warranty, for example, tiremakers that offer such coverage will typically prorate the price of a new set. In this example, you could expect a discount on the new set equal to one-sixth their price, or about 17 percent. You might not get it, though, if you decide to change brands.

    Kypros/Getty Images

    In general, the best way to preserve the life of your tires, and keep yourself and your passengers safe, is to maintain them properly. Here are some tire basics and maintenance tips:


    A tire is considered unsafe, and should be changed, once its tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Many tires have tread-wear indicators, which are little bars in the tread that show when the tire is worn down to replacement level. These will start making noise to alert the driver that they need attention. You can also use a penny: NHTSA recommends putting the penny in the tread with Abraham Lincoln’s head upside down and facing toward you. If you can see the top of Abe’s head, it’s time for new tires.


    To ensure even wear, tiremakers and auto companies recommend that vehicle owners check their tire pressures monthly. The pressure should be at the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended level, which is usually found in the car or truck’s doorjamb or in the owner’s manual. One quick and easy way to check tire pressure is with a handheld tire-pressure gauge, which you can find starting around $10 at an auto-parts store. Tire shops will often check the pressure for you. Some gas stations have digital readouts as part of their air pumps; these are not always accurate, though. It’s best to check the pressures when the tires are cold, meaning that they have not been driven on for several hours. So you’re better off checking them at home after the car has been parked overnight.

    Balance and Alignment

    Tires need to be round, and the tire/wheel combination needs to be balanced. Tire shops and mechanics will use a balance machine, which spins the wheel to see where high and low spots are and detects any imbalance. The tire shop will then add weights, which are hammered onto the wheel, to balance them. These shops can also make sure your wheels are aligned to keep the car tracking straight, which also reduces tire wear.

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    Rotating your tires can help prolong their lives. For front-wheel-drive vehicles, the tires in the front will wear more quickly and can be swapped with the rear ones. The inverse is true for rear-wheel-drive cars and trucks. All-wheel-drive models, too, may need rotation. Most owner’s manuals contain a recommended pattern for rotating tires to spread the wear evenly. The USTMA recommends tires be rotated every 5000 to 8000 miles.

    All about tire mileage: what resource are they designed for? ...

    According to manufacturers, car tires should last up to 10 years, but this is the maximum period. The recommended service life of tires is no more than 5-6 years - in practice, after such a time, it is necessary to change the rubber, since it loses its consumer properties. This is very important, as is seasonal replacement, as worn tires greatly increase the risk of an accident, especially on wet or icy roads. Where you can confidently drive at a speed of 70–80 km/h on new tires, it is easy to lose control on worn tires already at 55–60 km/h. Therefore, every motorist needs to know about the service life of tires so that the operation of the car is not only comfortable, but also safe.

    What affects tire life?

    The specified service life of 5–6 years is rather arbitrary. More important is not the date of issue of rubber, but the degree of daily wear and mileage .

    The main factor influencing tire life is the vehicle type , which determines its load capacity. We are talking about what the maximum load a car can carry and whether its tires can withstand, which can be understood by their load capacity index.

    Overloading the machine by 20% shortens the service life by 30%, so the vehicle must not be allowed to carry loads that exceed its carrying capacity.

    In addition to the type of car, the list of factors that affect the life of tires of any type includes:

    • Size. If the tire is too wide in corners, friction increases, causing wear to occur faster. The same applies to low-profile tires, which, when driving over bumps, absorb shocks less and negatively affect the disk and the suspension as a whole.
    • Tire pressure. If it is excessive, the rubber is subject to external impacts and uneven wear; if it is insufficient, there is an excessive bending of the lateral side, due to which heat accumulates, the structure deteriorates and wear occurs.
    It is necessary to control the optimal pressure in the tires of your car during all seasons.
    • Installation in relation to vehicle movement. It is important that the tires are correctly mounted on the rim and rotate in the exact direction indicated on their sidewall. Otherwise, the performance properties of tires will be significantly worse, regardless of the type of driving, and wear will occur faster.
    • Location on axle. The front (driving) wheels wear out more. This explains the recommendation that after 10-15 thousand kilometers the tires must be rearranged to another axle.
    Regarding the correct rearrangement of tires, we prepared a separate and detailed material, which you can find at the link.
    • Driving style. Fast acceleration, heavy braking and aggressive maneuvering shorten tire life.
    • The quality of the road surface. Obviously, the more often you have to drive on bad roads, the faster the tires wear out.
    • Operating conditions. Summer tires last longer than winter tires because they are less affected by negative factors.
    • Frequency of car use. Also an obvious factor, but it is worth mentioning, because not only time (years) calculates the period of operation. With more frequent driving, tires use up their resource faster.
    • Storage conditions. Tires must be stored in accordance with established regulations. Otherwise, their service life is reduced due to deterioration in performance.

    Based on the list of influencing factors, we can conclude that reduces the life of tires:

    • Intensive use (daily, many kilometers of car driving).
    • High overloads.
    • Incorrect tire pressure.
    • Suspension failure.
    • Aggressive driving.
    • Driving on bad roads.
    • Failure to comply with the conditions and rules of storage.

    How can I tell if my tires are worn out?

    Critical tire wear can be determined by special indicators that are carried out during tire production. These are transverse protrusions (lintels), reaching a height of 1.6 mm.

    When the indicators become visible, the tire has begun to wear out.

    The location of the indicators is indicated on the sidewall of the tire using the triangle symbols or the letters TWI meaning Tread Wear Indicator.

    Critical tire wear is indicated by:

    • The remaining tread depth is below the minimum.
    • Small cracks on the side of the tires.
    • Deep cuts (requires immediate replacement).
    • Blisters ("hernias"), indicating a break in the strands of the cord layer.

    Residual tread depth

    Summer and winter, passenger and truck tires have their own minimum residual tread depth, which is determined by wear indicators. You can measure this value with a special depth gauge: if it is below the set limit, then the rubber needs to be replaced.

    Measuring is difficult due to uneven wear. In this case, it is necessary to determine the suitability of rubber in the area where wear is most pronounced . When the tread edge wears out on one side, we can speak of a violation of the toe-in angle . In this case, you need to contact the service station.

    Tires also have numbers that wear out as they wear, which also helps to determine its degree.

    Learn more about the types of wear and what it can threaten in the article.

    Car tires

    The average load capacity of passenger cars is 2 tons , and the tire mileage is about 45 thousand km. Depending on the driving style, the characteristics of the car itself and the season, you can drive on passenger tires from 40 to 70 thousand km .

    Summer Tires: Standard Mileage, Influencing Factors and Recommendations

    Summer tires tend to last longer than winter tires because the operating conditions are less severe. All that summer tires can face on the road is high temperatures, hot or wet asphalt. The last to be determined is the safe value of the residual tread depth - for summer tires it is 1.6 mm . With a shallower groove depth, water drainage becomes impossible. Although the behavior of the tire on the road becomes unsafe already at a tread depth of about 3 mm.

    Summer tires are more rigid than soft and elastic winter tires. The peculiarity of the composition and less difficult operating conditions explain the longer service life: an average of 5-6 years with careful driving on a flat roadway.
    Winter: standard mileage, influencing factors and recommendations

    Winter tires have much less time and almost always fail due to tread wear, because the tread of a new tire is 7-8 mm, and the working height remains only 3-4 mm.

    In the case of studded tires, very few metal elements are retained with such wear, so it can no longer provide proper road safety.

    Friction (not studded) tires with similar wear also lose most of their performance.

    In reality, winter tires have an average mileage of not exceeding 30,000 km .

    Some motorists decide to re-roll "bald" tires in the summer, but this is dangerous, because the grip on the heated road surface will be very low.

    So, the service life of winter tires differs depending on their type:

    • Studded tires serve an average of 3-4 seasons , provided that the driver does not test them for strength by off-road driving and sharp turns.
    • Friction (so-called Velcro) with a quiet driving style without extreme wear, last up to 5 seasons .
    You can find detailed recommendations on choosing winter tires for your car here.
    Tread depth for winter tires

    Residual tread depth for winter passenger tires is 4 mm . The value was chosen taking into account the fact that to ensure safe driving on winter roads: snowy, icy, covered with wet snow. In the latter case, a phenomenon akin to aquaplaning occurs - slashplaning, i.e. sliding on snow slush (slush), which occurs at speeds above 50 km / h. The wheels seem to "float" over the road at high speed.

    The tread must have sufficient height to ensure that the slush is quickly removed from the contact area with the road. This is due to the fact that the thickness of the layer of wet snow can be several centimeters. Grooves that are too shallow just won't do the job.

    It has also been proven that directional tread tires resist slashplaning better. The direction of rotation is usually indicated by an arrow and the word Rotation.

    Light truck tires and tire life

    Light truck tires are designed for light trucks, pickups, buses and light commercial vehicles that have load capacity from 2 to 4 tons . The average mileage of the tires used on them is 60 thousand km . This is due to the fact that such tires belong to the category of commercial tires with a reinforced structure.

    To prolong the life of your light truck tires, we recommend checking the pressure at least once a week, preferably every morning before driving. Measurements must be made on cold tires , i.e. not less than 3 hours after the end of the trip.

    The choice of the correct size of tires depending on the season also helps to increase the resource: appropriate wide models are more suitable for summer, and winter and narrower ones are better in winter.

    Truck tires: differences and features of calculating the cost of a kilometer run (FKP)

    Trucks have the largest load capacity - more than 4 tons . Accordingly, their rubber has the greatest resource, which is 65–70 thousand km . In this case, the residual tread depth is 1 mm .

    Increased wear resistance is due to the fact that truck tires are primarily designed for intensive use, often daily throughout the year. The decisive role in the service life of such tires is played by:

    • Overloads and uneven weight distribution. The most common cause of accelerated wear, especially with regular high speed driving. Tires quickly deform, overheat, become covered with cracks, which in the end can even lead to a rupture.
    • Aggressive driving style. Hard braking, fast acceleration and tight turns affect truck tires just as much as car tires, and sometimes even more, since such tires are subjected to more significant loads.
    • Poor quality of roads. This problem is especially acute for truck tires, as trucks often have to cross the whole country. This explains the importance of careful driving to help reduce the risk of tire damage.

    The issue of service life for such tires is also important because it affects the cost per kilometer (CPC), which is important for evaluating the performance of rubber, optimizing fleet costs and determining the profitability of freight transportation. Recall that the indicator is calculated according to the following formula:

    UPC = (Tire cost + Maintenance costs - Carcass price) ÷ Mileage (km).

    From the formula it becomes clear: the greater the mileage of the tires, the lower the UPC, which means that the freight transportation is more profitable. Therefore, companies conducting such activities seek to increase the resource of tires. This is possible by following the basic recommendations that are suitable for all tires:

    • Check pressure.
    • Do not drive aggressively.
    • Be sure to pay attention to maintenance and driving style.

    When choosing truck tires, you need to take into account the operating conditions of the truck and the category of goods transported, depending on what they buy:

    • Trunk.
    • Regional.
    • Construction tires.

    It also matters the type of axle where the tires will be installed: trailer tires cannot be placed on the steering axle due to the incorrect operation model and the load calculated by the manufacturer. These actions can not only significantly reduce the life of the tires, but also be dangerous for driving on the roads.

    It is equally important to follow the recommendations for driving, in particular, do not drive at high speed with a heavily loaded car, move smoothly, do not accelerate too quickly.

    Tires for agricultural (agro) and special equipment

    Tire life is as important for agricultural machinery as for trucks.

    The cost of operating rubber here reaches 20% of the total cost of per car. And during the service life of equipment , rubber has to be renewed 3-4 times .

    Due to the operation in difficult field conditions, tires for agricultural and special equipment have an increased resource. High wear resistance is provided by a multi-layer construction (6–24 layers) of the sole and sidewalls, reinforced reinforcement, a special tread compound and stiffeners.

    But even with a special design, tires for agricultural machinery usually last less than for passenger cars - sometimes is less than 5 seasons , which is explained by difficult operating conditions. To extend the service life, you must follow a number of rules:

    • Select tires according to the soil on which the agricultural machinery operates. The wetter the ground, the higher the lugs should be. To work on soil with a high level of adhesion, lugs are needed, located as far apart as possible.
    • Strictly adhere to the regulations for internal tire pressure depending on the load . At the same time, in additional tires it should be 0.02 MPa less than in the main ones.

    When driving, pay attention to whether the vehicle is pulling to one side. If this happens, then a swap is required.

    • Eliminate long slip, hard braking, skidding. This increases the load on the rubber and reduces its life.
    • Disengage the front axle when driving on a dry road surface. Proper use of the front axle not only reduces wear but also reduces fuel consumption.


    1. Tire life depends on many factors : from the type of rubber itself to the driving style of the driver.
    2. The condition of the tires must be checked regularly so that the operation of the car is comfortable, safe and more economical.
    3. If the recommendations are followed, a set of tires lasts an average of 5-6 years , and in some cases - for 10 years .
    4. Critical and uneven wear regardless of the age of the tire is a reason for replacement. In order to complete it in time, it is important for the car owner to be able to determine how worn out the tires are, which can be easily done by their appearance and special indicators that are cast by the manufacturer on each rubber.

    Why is it necessary to swap tires on a car? . It is clear that for such a run, the rubber needs to create ideal working conditions. But it is easy to extend their service life to 30,000-40,000 km, it is enough to follow the simple rules for rotating tires.

    Eduard Raskin

    Of course, how long a tire can last safely depends on many factors. Of great importance is the class of the vehicle, your driving style, the type of tires used and the general technical condition of the car. It is clear that it is impossible to compare the service life of tires for a slow-moving summer resident who leaves the garage a couple of times a year, and for a street racer, which blows smoke from under the wheels in vain. The degree of wear of suspension elements such as ball bearings, bushings, shock absorbers, correctly set camber, and tire pressure are also important.

    In addition, there is another way to extend the life of your tires - periodically change the wheels in places. Recently, for some reason, they forgot about him, although in former times this was an immutable rule.


    The fact is that different forces act on different wheels, and this, of course, leads to significant differences in wear. For example, the front tires bear most of the weight of the car due to the fact that the vast majority of cars have a heavy engine there. In addition, they account for up to 80% of the weight during emergency braking. Finally, when turning, the drive wheels turn, which also leads to their rapid and uneven wear.

    If the front tires wear the tread edges the fastest, then the middle part of the rear tires. Swapping shoes from back to front and, accordingly, vice versa, will allow the rear tires to wear out on the sidewalls, and the front tires along the plane. This extends the service life of the kit, reduces noise and vibration.

    Of course, if you have extra money, you can simply change the front tires after they wear out, since this will have to be done twice as often as with the rear. Thus, you will have to buy six tires instead of four. But it is much easier to arrange a rotation for them, extending the service life by one and a half times.


    Tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires every six months or after 8000-12000 kilometers. Since in Russia law-abiding drivers must change “winter” to “summer” for any reason and vice versa, it is very convenient for them to combine one action with another.

    In most cases, the tires should be rotated in the following order: left rear to left front, right rear to right front, left front to right rear, and right front to left rear.

    However, if your machine has tires with an asymmetric tread pattern, they must not be swapped from one side to the other.

    Learn more