There are several factors that influence how often you should replace your tires on car or truck. But the main thing you need to consider is the tire wear and their condition. Tires feature certain pattern and are made of ridges and grooves, which make a tread. Tread is exactly what makes the tires what they are, allows to keep traction in different weather conditions.
Yet, when the tires wear, they gradually become less effective, hence they are less safe to drive over time. Here are some other factors that influence the frequency of tire changes:
- Type and weight of the vehicle;
- Quality of road the vehicle is driven on;
- Weather and temperature conditions where the vehicle is used;
- Quality of tires;
- Style of drive.
Average tire lifespan
Some tires wear quicker than the others, and that’s because of differences in the material they are made of. Softer tires perform great when braking and are more responsive on the road, but because of that softness they wear out quicker. In average, the lifespan of tires is between 25.000 and 50.00 miles. However, it’s always better to consider car owner’s manual and specific tire manufacturer recommendations that are usually enclosed when the package arrives or online.
What makes tires wear out quicker?
The short answer is the way you drive your vehicle. If you are into fast cornering or tend to brake heavily, your tires are likely to wear out sooner, than it’s noted in your manual. Another factor that reduces tire lifespan is road surface, as rougher it is, the less your tires will last. Besides, if you tend to drive with overloaded trunk or bed (if you drive a pickup), it becomes more difficult for the tires to rotate under that pressure. Hence, they wear out quicker. When the tires are constantly under- or over-inflated, they wear out unevenly, which further results into more frequent tire changes. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes, that drivers need to check the tire pressure at least once a month (that’s for the vehicles, that do not come equipped with TPMS sensors).
7 factors that shorten the lifespan of your tires
- Heavy braking;
- Fast cornering;
- Poor road condition;
- Constant heavy cargo transportation;
- Improper maintenance.
Tire tread depth: legal requirements
To avoid risking your own safety on the road and not to get a ticket from a police officer, it is a must to measure tire depth to make sure it is legal to drive the tires that you’ve got on your car or truck. Here is a quick chart that will help you understand, whether it is time to replace tires, or you can still drive for some time with what you’ve got.
Tire Tread Depth
|TIRE DEPTH||TIRE WEAR (%)||REQUIRED ACTION|
|8 mm||Tire is 0% worn||maintenance on regular basis|
|7 mm||Tire is 15% worn||maintenance on regular basis|
|6 mm||Tire is 31% worn||maintenance on regular basis|
|5 mm||Tire is 47% worn||maintenance on regular basis|
|4 mm||Tire is 62% worn||maintenance on regular basis|
|3 mm||Tire is 78% worn||inspect monthly|
|2 mm||Tire is 94% worn||replace urgently|
|1.6 mm||Tire is 100% worn||legal limit|
How to check tire wear: easy DIY test
As it was said before, it is so important to check the tread depth to make sure your tires are not bald and are street legal. Otherwise, you risk your own safety and safety of the people who are around you. There is an easy test that will take you a couple of seconds to check, whether your tires are still good to go. This is a penny test. You will just need to fit a coin into the tire tread and see, how deep it goes. Check out our complete guide on how to measure tire tread depth with a penny.