How many miles will car tyres last?

There are lots of factors that impact the life of a tyre, including the type of driving you undertake, what type of tyres you have on your vehicle, and the sort of driving and road conditions the tyres are subjected to.
 


In general, the advice from Michelin, one of the country’s leading tyre manufacturers, is that any tyre reaching the age of 10 years old should be replaced as a matter of course; however, the company also suggests subjecting tyres over five years old to an annual inspection to make sure they are in good condition and still fit for purpose.


If you are unsure, do not risk driving on illegal tyres

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Some tyres are manufactured from particularly hard-wearing compounds. This extends their life - sometimes quite considerably - but the downside is that they tend to be noisy on most road surfaces. Conversely, tyres made from a softer compound will provide you with a much quieter ride but won’t last as long.
 
Some tyre manufacturers claim that a tyre should have an expected life of around 20,000 miles; however, this is dependent on a variety of factors, including weather and driving conditions. As a general rule of thumb, the tyres that are fitted on a new vehicle tend to have a longer lifespan than replacements, with some manufacturers suggesting a lifespan of up to 50,000 miles. It is still advisable to seek expert advice from tyre fitting experts on an annual basis to make sure there are no faults that could impact vehicle safety.
 
As a general rule of thumb, front tyres tend to wear out more quickly than rear tyres. This is because they are subject to a greater amount of movement from steering, particularly on a front-wheel drive vehicle. Rear tyres tend to last longer, although less so if your vehicle is a rear-wheel drive.
 
Factors that may have an influence on the life of your tyres include your driving style, with aggressive braking and cornering increasing the speed at which the tyres become worn or damaged. If you do a lot of motorway driving, you may find that your vehicle's tyres wear down faster. The same applies if you regularly carry heavy loads in your vehicle.
 
There are steps you can take to prolong the life of your tyres and to minimise the risk of damage or excessive wear. Check your tyre pressures regularly, as incorrect pressure has a profound impact. Under-inflating a tyre causes it to flex more, which promotes wear, whilst over-inflating a tyre reduces the amount of surface in contact with the road, causing uneven wear. This could compromise your car’s safety. The same applies to wheel alignment, as incorrectly aligned tyres will also create uneven wear.
 
Check your tyre’s tread depth regularly, particularly once it is less than 3mm. This is close to the legal limit of 1.6mm. Don’t be tempted to risk driving on tyres with less than 2mm, as road grip will be affected. This is particularly the case in wet driving conditions, compromising your own and your passengers’ safety.
 
Cracked, worn and damaged tyres need to be replaced as a matter of urgency - never be tempted to drive on unsafe tyres.

 

About the author

Dean Richardson

Dean is a Regional Director for Protyre who is also responsible for the running of our Protech Academy. The Protech Academy is a centre of excellence where the Protyre team learn the latest mechanical knowledge and skills, gain qualifications and develop their expertise to share with our customers at their local garage. The Academy is also designed to help us stay ahead of the ever changing automotive market by ensuring we have the best skills available to deal with advanced driver assist systems, hybrid/ electric vehicles in addition to all the new technology finding their way into our vehicles. During Dean's career he has worked for some of the biggest names in the fast-fit and mechanical aftermarket and as the man responsible for developing our people and their mechanical skills he is ideally suited to help provide advice in the latest in car technology and ongoing maintenance of your vehicle no matter how new or old it maybe.

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