Generally speaking, it’s estimated that a new set of tires should last drivers at least 50,000 miles. The amount of time that a set of tires lasts depends on a variety of conditions (i.e., highway vs. city driving, road conditions, driving climate, driving behavior), perhaps the most important factor involved in preserving wear and tear on tires has to do with how well you take care of them. With that being said, it’s important to stick to a rigorous vehicle maintenance schedule that includes your tires and to also be aware of other things that can take their toll on your tires’ tread life. Here’s a look at how to prevent tire wear and tear so you get more miles out of your four wheels:
- Rotate Them: If there’s one thing that you do as part of a tire maintenance plan, make sure it’s this. Regular tire rotations (for best results, have all four tires rotated every 5,000 to 7,000 miles or at every other oil change) help ensure that they all wear at the same rate. Most tire stores will do this for you complimentary if you’ve purchased tires from them in the past.
- Ensure Proper Inflation: Ensuring your tires are properly inflated is a common pitfall of car owners – yet it’s one of the easiest fixes. This is because tires have a tendency to lose air pressure over time, especially during the winter months when it can drop as much as one-half to one pound per square inch for every 10 degrees the temperature falls. So pick up a digital tire pressure monitor and check the tire pressure at least once a month (or even more during the cold weather months). While low tire pressure typically isn’t obvious to the naked eye, deflated tires not only risk a tire blowout as far as safety goes, but it’s estimated they can reduce fuel economy by up to 5 percent and tread life by up to 25 percent. So check tire pressure regularly and immediately inflate to the vehicle manufacturer recommendation if it’s low.
- Check Them: Another simple preventative measure – regularly check your tires’ tread depth and for even wear. If the tires appear to be wearing unevenly and you have them regularly rotated, you may need to have your front or back ends realigned on your vehicle or your tires re-balanced to ensure more even tread wear.
- Adjust Driving Habits: Hard cornering, aggressive braking and aggressive acceleration aren’t good for preserving tire tread life. Starting with hard cornering, vehicle weight is transferred to the outside wheels, putting more pressure on those tires to the point where fast cornering can really accelerate tread wear. In terms of aggressive braking and starting, this scrubs the rubber off of the tire, essentially wearing out certain parts of it over time. It’s also recommended that you brake your car in a straight-on position so that the vehicle’s weight is evenly distributed on all four tires instead of braking as you travel through a corner.
- Other Preventative Tips: If your shocks or struts are worn, then your tires are also likely to wear faster. When shocks and struts are on the fritz, the vehicle is less in control of itself, jeopardizing the steering and handling. The vehicle is also more likely to bounce than to correctly grip the road as it should, which impacts tire life.
As you can see, there’s a lot that you can do to preserve tire tread wear and ensure that you get the maximum mileage out of them. All it takes is a little bit of effort and routine maintenance.