If you're not a "car" person, you likely don't pay too much attention to anything unless your vehicle alerts you to a problem. While cars made in the past dozen or so years do have a tire pressure monitoring system that will alert you to a tire needing air, this system won't tell you how long your tires will last or if they are in good shape. Here is what you should know about caring for your tires.
How Many Miles Are Tires Good For?
According to United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the typical American drives an average of about 13,500 miles annually. How many miles a tire will last depends on a lot of factors, but Consumer Reports found that all-season tires may last for 70,000 miles or more while ultra-high-performance tires were less than half that. In theory, your tires may last for several years.
Which Factors Affect Tire Lifespan?
In addition to the type and quality of the tire as well as how many miles you drive, tire lifespan is affected by other factors.
If you tend to drive fast and stop quickly or take corners too fast, your tires are going to show wear and tear faster than if your driving habits were more low-key.
Climate also plays a role in tire longevity. Areas with extreme heat, such as the American Southwest, can be hard on a tire as the temperature and exposure to direct sunlight can speed up the aging process. This can eventually lead to cracks, which weakens the tire.
Conversely, extremely cold and snowy climates expose your tires to constantly decreasing tire pressure and caustic chemicals like road salts and deicers used to keep the highways clear of snow and ice.
Like any other part of your vehicle, your tires need to be properly cared for if you are going to get a long life out of them. Following the tire manufacture's care instructions will go a long way in extending their life.
What Is Proper Tire Maintenance?
Your tires should be routinely checked to ensure they have the proper pressure in them. Keep in mind cold weather will cause them to lose pressure at an accelerated rate. Like professional semi-truck drivers, you should also do regular pre-trip inspections. Check the tires to see if there are any bulges, cracks, rocks, or other debris in the tread. Have your tires rotated according to the manufacturer's instructions. The service provider will let you know when it's time to consider new tires.
To learn more, contact your local car tire company.