Your tires are one of the most underrated parts of your car. The technology and durability of each tire is truly remarkable. If kept in a climate controlled warehouse, a tire can last a lifetime. And even once it’s on your car, it’s not unreasonable for your tire to last ten years.
However, most tires last significantly shorter than that. There are several factors that determine the life of your tire, the first of which is the quality of the tire you purchase.
There’s a lot to this but for now, if you liked your old tires, get the same model again. Your manufacture chooses a tire they think will accentuate the best aspects of the car. If not, it goes without saying that better tires normally cost a little more upfront, but if you calculate in the extended tread life, you will likely come out ahead.
How you treat them
Another factor that can shorten the lifespan of your tire has nothing to do with the tire and everything to do with how you drive. We’re not going to tell you what to do. You already know that fast starts and sudden stops will bring an early death to your four rubbery friends.
Maintain optimal tire pressure
Low tire pressure can also cause your tires to wear down rapidly. Most car sensors don’t send an alarm until your tire pressure has passed a fairly low permitted perimeter. On average, a tire loses between 1-2 psi a month. That means by the time your alarm goes off, you’ve been riding low for a while. Regularly checking the pressure of your tires can work wonders on extending tire life.
Rotate tires every 7 months
Perhaps the most important aspect of tire care is tire rotation. You can have the best tires and treat them like a baby, but if you don’t rotate them, they’ll wear out long before their time. This is because tires in different positions of the car wear at different rates and for different reasons. If you have a front wheel drive, the weight of the engine will be disproportionately laid on the front two wheels causing them to wear faster.
Front tires have increased stress from breaking and steering. Steering can also cause the outsides of your front tires to wear down. In America, because we drive on the right side of the street, the front, passenger-side tire often wears away the quickest. This is simply because right turns are tighter than left turns, and we spend more time making right turns (in parking garages, on ramps, etc.).
And then there is always the right sidewall of your outside tires to consider from all of those parallel parking jobs you do. You do many of the same things to the same parts of your tires day in and day out. After months and months, it should be no surprise that you can tell the difference. That’s why it is generally recommended that you get your tires rotated every 7500 miles or every seven months (which ever comes first). You can save a lot of money if you do.