Many often think that the more miles they put on their tires, the closer they get to their shelf life. What about situations where you don’t drive often, drive only short distances, or leave the tires idle for long? Does it also translate to long-lasting tires?
If people think that the shorter the mileage, the longer the tire stays, how long do tires with low mileage last? We will find out as we progress. But first, let’s know how long a normal tire lasts and what can affect a tire’s longevity.
What’s the Normal Tire Life?
The normal tire life is estimated between 50k to 75k miles (4-5 years), though averaged at 60,000 miles. But how did this estimate come out?
Usually, most drivers average between 12,000 and 15,000 miles yearly. If they continue consistently like this with proper maintenance, the tires may last between 4-5 years or even more. This is true, especially if the manufacturer-recommended life span is within that range.
This is why most manufacturers place a 60k mileage warranty on their tires. By now you should have got answer to the concern, how many miles do tires last?
However, whether your tire makes it to 60k miles, less or beyond, depends on factors like manufacturer, tire type, driving habit, region, etc.
What reasons affect the longevity of tires?
While tires have lifespans, their longevity depends on several factors. Let’s explore factors that can affect how long a tire lasts.
While most manufacturers designed their tires to last 60k miles, it’s not universal. Each manufacturer, depending on the material used and the purpose of the tire, has a distinct shelf life. Some tire manufacturers build tires that can last 75k miles, whereas others have a warranty of up to 80k miles or more and even less.
This evident in the answer to how long do Michelin tires last compared to Kumho? Michelin tires are built to last between 45k and 85k miles. Whereas Kumho can go 60k-90k miles. So if your tire has a lifespan of 50k miles, don’t expect it to last as those designed to last for 70k miles.
Every tire manufacturer builds a specific tire for a particular purpose. While all-season tires are used all year round, snow tires are built to be used only in the cold months. Typically, the purpose influences how long it lasts.
For example, while performance tires have excellent traction and handling, their life span is way shorter than all-season tires. While an all-season tire can last 75k miles or more, a performance tire may only go 15k miles.
The type of vehicle your tires are mounted on also plays a huge role in its longevity. If you outfit tires made for small cars to SUVs and its counterpart, your tires will wear faster due to too much weight exerted on them, regardless of the manufacturer warranty.
Even car manufacturers make this mistake when outfitting tires to a new car. I have seen cases where many gave terrible reviews about certain tires that came with their vehicle. However, when I researched, I found out the tires weren’t the issue.
These car manufacturers outfitted an excellent tire to the wrong car. Because the tire couldn’t stand the burden of the vehicle, it wore quickly
But how long should tires last on a brand-new car, or rather how long should factory tires last? Factory tires can last up to 50k miles, depending on the kind of tires the car manufacturer uses. Except it’s your car manufacturer’s fault, only mount tires recommended for your specific vehicle.
Tread wear rating tells how long the tires would last and are matched with tires based on what the tires are built for. Usually, the longer the tread rating, the longer your tires last, especially when used according to manufacturers’ guidance.
Another factor that influences how long tires last is how you drive. If you drive moderately every other day, like accelerating slowly, taking moderate speeds, and braking carefully, your tires will last longer.
If, however, you are an aggressive driver, your tread will wear out sooner than expected. More so, if you want your tires to last longer, you may want to avoid heavy loads. Carrying heavy loads on your car may strain your tires and cause them to wear faster.
How much you drive
Usually, the more you drive, the faster your tire tread wears out. If, however, you commute only short distances or don’t drive often, your tires will last longer. A driver who puts on 6000 miles yearly will surely have a longer tire life than those who put on 12,000 miles or more.
The condition in which you drive can also influence tire longevity. Driving through port holes or regularly commuting in areas with extreme temperatures like snow or rain can cause your tires to wear out faster.
So if you want your tires to last longer, you may want to avoid driving under extreme conditions or going through bumpy roads.
Tire manufacturers build specific tires for specific terrains and expect you to stick to them to reach the recommended life span. For example, if you buy an all-terrain tire and use it as instructed, it may get its shelf life.
If, however, you use all-season tires for hills and mountains, your tires may wear out faster due to additional strain on the tire. Using your tires on only suitable terrains will let them wear uniformly, eventually increasing their lifespan.
Properly storing your tires can also help them last longer. If you won’t use your tires for a while, keep them in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. Tires exposed to sunlight or severe temperature can degrade quickly.
Also, ensure they are lifted from the ground; you can use a jack to lift the car. But how long do tires last if not used? With proper maintenance, it can last 6-10 years.
Regular and proper maintenance is key to having long-lasting tires. If you follow your manufacturer’s recommendation as of and when due, your tires will last longer. This includes keeping the correct tire pressure, performing tire rotation and balancing, alignment, etc.
How Long do tires Last with low mileage?
Tires with low mileage can last up to 6-10 years. However, be careful of old tires with low mileage. You will hardly see 10-year-old tires with good tread; don’t get tricked by what you see and still use them.
Tires with low mileage will not show physical tread wear but are usually worn inside. These tires are made of rubbers that can deteriorate after a long time, making them unsafe for driving.
Regardless of how long you’ve driven them, old tires will break down eventually. So ensure you replace your tires every 6-10 years, whether with low or high mileage.
However, it is wise to keep updated with related forums if you want precise and authority answer to your queries. Yes, in forums, you will have the experts sharing updated and accurate guidelines on matters. Community Car Talk is one such rendezvous of automobile experts where you will find the expert and updated information addressing the issues and concern commonly faced by drivers and car owners.
Important tips for tires with low mileage
Even if you don’t drive much, the tires must be cared for. So, if your tires have recorded a low mileage, here are helpful tips that can make your tires last longer.
- Store properly if not used for a while
- Don’t store it for too long; otherwise, the rubber may dry and rot away due to not getting air.
- Regularly rotate the tires
- Inspect the tire pressure every time you refuel
- Don’t overload your car
- Periodically inspect the tires for damages
By now, those asking how long do tires last with low mileage have had their answer loud and clear. However, to recap, tires with low mileage can last up to 6-10 years. Meanwhile, be wary of low mileage but old tires, as they are not always what they look.
Generally, you may be tempted to keep them after 10 years since they may still look healthy. Therefore, even if they look good outside, they may have rotted inside, making them unsafe for driving. So ensure you change all tires after 6-10 years, whether with low or high mileage.