How Long Do Car Tyres Last?
So then car owners, we want to ask you a question. How well do you know your car’s tyres?
Now, this might sound like an odd question but it’s a fact that many car owners don’t know one of the most important parts of their vehicles.
As I’ll reveal in this blog post, maintaining your car’s tyres is crucial. It might just be the difference between avoiding a heavy bill or even breaking down in the middle of the road. Your tyres carry a crucial part of your journey, so they shouldn’t be ignored.
Did you know that you could actually save money on fuel if your car tyres are well maintained? And if not… Well, that could be a bit of an expensive mistake.
So, really how long do car tyres last? It’s a great question and one we are going to be covering in great detail below. Just remember that it’s important for many different reasons to maintain your car tyres.
Legally, we need to ensure that we have a minimum tyre tread depth of 1.5mm to legally drive on Queensland roads. The same applies for those who are getting their roadworthy inspections. This is a common area where people fail on, so make sure your tyres are up to date.
Let’s get straight into this then, here’s how long car tyres last and how to ensure they last longer!
Table of Contents
The Importance Of Maintaining Your Tyres
We often take our tyres for granted, which is easy to do. If you don’t know what to look for when evaluating your tyre health you may miss some vital signs. So, it’s very important to maintain the health of your tyres.
This is because car tyres that are not properly maintained can cause problems across the board. Firstly they can affect your vehicle’s handling which can impact road safety for yourself and other road users.
If you don’t properly care for tyres can also affect the performance and longevity of your vehicle and can really cost you down the road. Not to mention the impact they can have on your car’s fuel economy. Yes, that’s right… It can cost you more money.
Not only this, but you’re putting yourself and others at risk by not maintaining your tyres meaning you may be more likely to break down or crash. No one wants this burden on them, therefore it’s important to maintain the health of your tyres.
There are many factors to consider, and many benefits towards maintaining your tyres. With better tyres, essentially your car is going to run better all round. There will be less stress on your engine, suspension and other areas when you have properly maintained your tyres.
How Long Should Your Tyres Last For?
These days car tyres last a lot longer than they used to. However, it is hard to tell exactly how long your tyres should last as there are a variety of factors at play. Also remember, the condition of your tyres can have a huge impact on your experience with your vehicle, so you should regularly check them.
We’d like to recommend to our customers to have them checked over every 5 years by a professional – provided they are not showing any obvious signs of faults or degradations in quality. But truthfully, this wouldn’t be great advice at all.
5 years is a very long time. I believe anyone making regular use of their vehicle should check their tyres themselves every 12 months or so. Alternatively every 10,000KM. Whichever comes first.
This is a good ratio because you won’t be over checking, nor will you not be checking often enough. Therefore, it gives you wheels the chance to start to show any wear and tear. Also, the more often you check, you’ll have a better idea of what state your tyres are in.
You will be able to pick up new issues if there are any. Michelin official recommendation is that if 10 years have passed since your tyres were manufactured, you should replace them as standard just to be on the safe side.
Areas That Affect How Long Tyres Last For
So, as we mentioned before, there are a variety of factors which can influence how long tyres last for. Of course there is a lot to go through, so we’ve summarised it for you. Here are the main ones.
Your Driving Habits
Driving habits can significantly dictate the lifespan of your tyres especially when it comes to wear and tear. If you find you have the tendency to hard brake, screech around corners or make your tyres spin when you start off, you’ll definitely see a reduction in how long your tyres last.
Speed also plays a part. The faster your car goes, the more friction there is between your tyres and the road surface. Drivers who drive faster will cause more wear and will be required to replace their tyres more frequently.
Driving carefully can potentially add years to your tyres and prevent you having to replace them prematurely. Honestly, not only are you saving money, you’re also saving your health. Seems like a win-win to me right?
Even things such as driving over potholes, or regularly driving over rough road surfaces can wear down your tyres and potentially bring you problems. Be careful where you are driving. In Australia, we have a lot of outback and bush, if you drive in these areas regularly it’s important to maintain checks on your tyres.
If you have the wrong tyres for your climate you can expect to see faster deterioration in the quality of your tyres. In areas that have a mild climate throughout the year you’ll probably be just fine with regular, all-season tyres. These tyres are usually provided as standard out of the factory and most of the time they are completely fine for general use.
For us Queenslanders though we go through some seriously hot weather. This means that we should be checking our tyres more often than those in Victoria for example. Why, you ask? Well, because we regularly see hot and wet weather in the summer, and hot and dry in the winter.
Having this hot temperature all year round means your tyres will get worn quicker. It’s a known fact that the heat degrades rubber and therefore the performance of the tyres. Therefore, it’s important to remember that there are some specific tyres we can get to help with the climate.
Summer tyres are designed to provide better performance in the warmer months. They usually are made from a hard compound that softens when the temperatures become milder. This allows them to effectively be used in both wet and dry conditions.
Speaking of climates… Again another area that’s going to affect your tyre health is temperature. When tarmac gets hot, your tyres are going to be the areas that get affected first.
Temperature affects the air pressure in tyres. When the temperature begins to drop outside, tyres can deflate. An increase in temperature can artificially inflate your tyres as well, which is common in Queensland.
Either of these scenarios isn’t ideal. If there are significant changes in the temperature in your area throughout the year, you should periodically check your tyre pressure at a service station and compensate if necessary.
Too Much Sun Exposure
Here in Australia we have the pleasure of intense sunshine most of the year. This can however be bad news for your tyres though, even though we love the sun. Direct, strong exposure to sunlight can reduce the lifespan of your tyres as it can soften the rubber.
Also remember, don’t leave your vehicle in the direct sunlight. This of course is going to increase the temperature of your tyres and wear them down. It may also cause weakness in the rubber and issue later on in the future.
You should make an effort to park your car out of the sun in the shade where possible. This one shouldn’t be hard to remember, nobody likes getting into a boiling hot vehicle 😆!
The Inflation Of Your Tyres
If your tyres are under/over inflated it will affect their longevity, due to making them too soft or too hard. This will cause them to wear out faster. It’s good to use PSI pressure gauges to remind yourself of the right inflation.
This is around 30-32 PSI which suits the Queensland climate perfectly. Keep your tyres balanced and regularly inflated. When you go to areas with sand or beach driving, make sure you deflate your tyres for optimal driving.
Your tyre pressure can sometimes be one that you forget easily but will have a huge impact on how long your car tyres last for.
If the wheels on your car are misaligned, your tyres will wear down faster and you’ll need to get them replaced sooner. It also might mean that the tyre or wheel does not drive straight. Tyres have a flat surface area that has been designed to withstand repetitive use.
However, if you begin to slightly drive on the softer, round area of the tyre you might be putting yourself and your car at risk. You need to make sure that your wheel alignment is correct and you can check this by a mobile mechanic or during a service.
This one is more rare, however it’s definitely something to consider for older or second hand vehicles. This can also apply to your power assisted steering and your computer diagnostics.
Improper Distribution Of Weight In Your Vehicle
If your vehicle regularly carries a heavy load, then you might find your tyres wearing out faster. This will be especially apparent if the load is unevenly distributed in the vehicle. In this case the tyres on one side of your car will wear out faster than the others.
This is quite important for all the tradee’s who drive utes and carry heavy tools in the back. Make sure that you are evenly spacing your load so it’s balanced between all tyres and not just one. This will result in some tyres worn down more.
Again, you might get frustrated by this because some tyres might need changing before others and mean you need to spend more on the service hours because rather than getting your tyres changed at the same time, you have to do it at different times.
How To Ensure Your Tyres Last For A Long Time
Limit Exposure To The Sun
As mentioned above, sun exposure can damage the rubber in your tyres. So limiting exposure to the sun can help you extend tyre lifespan.
Make sure that you are parking in the shade or in a garage. Don’t forget you can also cover your vehicle and wheels with a shade or something similar to prevent any sun damage.
Drive Safely & Carefully
Driving your car safely and consciously can help improve the lifespan of your tyres. The less stress your tyres undergo, the less wear and tear they’ll have and they’ll last longer as a result.
Try to avoid potholes. For those who require going outback or risky areas, make sure you just drive slowly and attempt to avoid any deep potholes or bumps.
Perform Regular Checks On Your Tyres
One easy way to ensure you avoid your tyres not lasting long is to regularly check them. The more you check, the better it will be. You will also be able to recognise any new issues that might come up on your tyres.
Avoid Driving Over Curbs
I know it might seem tempting, but every time you take a shortcut and drive over that curb you are putting your tyre more at risk. You may cause damage to the tyre sidewalls and cause fractures which will weaken over time.
Keep Weight Evenly Distributed
The best way to prevent improper weight distribution from accelerating tyre wear? Load your car correctly of course! Try to distribute your car’s load evenly on each side of the vehicle, especially if you’re carrying a particularly heavy load often.
Get Your Vehicle Regularly Serviced, Make Sure Your Car Is Well Maintained…
Sound’s kinda obvious I know. If you have other areas of your vehicle that are failing this can cause stress on your tyres and wheels. This means they will have to work harder to make up for the other areas of your car that aren’t performing as well.
Rotate Your Wheels
Your tyres will naturally wear out at different speeds depending on their location on your vehicle. By swapping your wheels around on your vehicle, you can ensure a more even wear. This should be done every 5000 to 10,000KM.
Turning Your Car Wheels Without The Engine On
This can cause excessive wear in your tyres because they are not being moved properly using the power assisted steering (PAS). This extra stress might result in breaks or weaken areas of your tyres which over time can cause the tyre to break or fail.
When Do You Need New Tyres?
A tyre puncture is one of the most common reasons why a tyre might need to be replaced. Although sometimes a puncture can be repaired if it is on the treads, if it is on the sidewall the tyre will require immediate replacement.
You are also required to have a minimum tread depth of 1.5mm in Queensland therefore, if your tyre tread is less than this you will be driving illegally. This also applies for roadworthy inspections, it’s a common area that people fail on.
Make sure that your vehicle tread depth is 1.5mm or get your tyres changed. It’s a simple fix as it’s just a replacement of the tyre and not the wheel. You may also need a new tyre is your previous tyre has any cuts or open areas that reveal the inner tube.
It’s just best to ensure you change your tyres every 10-15,000kms. This will ensure that your car’s tyres will last a long time.
So there we have it. That’s exactly how long car tyres last for and how you can ensure your tyres last above average as well.
Just remember to maintain your checks and drive carefully. This is also important if you’re looking to sell your vehicle as any pre purchase inspections or potential buyers will be checking your tyres. No one wants to be left with a huge bill for tyres after buying a new car.
It’s best to get your tyres checked and inspected or changed. Either way, let us know your thoughts in the comments below. How long do your tyres usually last?