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One of the biggest misconceptions about winter tires is how long they last. And we are here to tell you that it’s not true and they have reliable durability.

Winter tires are the most reliable option for cold weather and they have a solid tread life too. The average winter tire will last over 30,000 miles or for at least five winter seasons when taken care of properly. This will vary based on usage for each driver, but they consistently last long.

Winter tires last longer when they are inflated properly and used in the correct conditions. They are also extremely reliable when the weather gets cold and the snow starts to fall, helping to improve the durability of your vehicle too. This guide will explain exactly how long winter tires typically last.

Our experts prepare for the winter months by testing different winter and snow tires to gauge performance and longevity. The objective is to get accurate estimates about winter tire tread life to help consumers make more informed tire purchases.  

Table of Contents

How Long Do Winter Tires Last?

One of the most important elements of a winter tire is the tread. They are designed to be softer with wider contact patch areas to enhance the traction capabilities in colder temperatures and on slippery roads.

Winter tires last for at least 3 winter seasons, but they will wear down faster than a typical all-season tire. This is because of the pressure in the tire changes due to cold weather and the difficult conditions they face.

Understanding the durability of winter tires is important for consumers who are planning to buy them in the fall to prepare for the cold weather. If you use them correctly and avoid letting them get exposed to heat, they will provide you with four months’ worth of wear every winter for 3-5 seasons.

While there is no specific life expectancy for snow tires, various tire manufacturers claim that a set of winter tires can serve you through all four seasons. Apart from the life expectancy of a snow tire, many tire manufacturers estimate that you will have at least four seasons of wear.

With winter comes tough road conditions that justify tires for ice and snow. Snow-covered roads and ice in winter can make it slippery and unwieldy on hard rubber tires. The tread and rubber of winter tires wear faster than at warmer temperatures.

What Causes a Winter Tire To Wear Down?

Warm temperatures can cause your winter tires to lose their handling characteristics because they are softer and more flexible than summer tires during the season.

Allowing winter tires to run longer as temperatures get warmer increases the wear on the compound, allowing them to remain flexible in freezing temperatures but wear out on warmer roads.

Driving in wintry conditions means that your tires are subject to different wear and tear than in summer. The treadwear on winter tires depends on how many miles you drive per month and how often you drive on snowy roads. In general, the softer treads of winter tires wear faster at warmer temperatures.

Driving winter tires all year round is a compromise between optimum tread wear and expensive tire changes throughout the season. You can benefit from softer compound tires with a winter-oriented construction because it is better for the season than summer tires.

If you have invested in the added safety of winter tires, switching to a set of out-of-season summer tires at the right time can help to extend the life of winter tires and save money. By driving winter tires out of season, you will certainly cause them to wear quicker than expected too.

How Many Winter Seasons Will Your Tire Last?

We all like winter tires because they provide more traction than summer tires and also make sure that we can drive on snow or ice without having to worry about breaking down completely. However, some drivers opt to avoid winter tires.

Year-round radial tires are designed to work well in a variety of weather conditions, including parts of winter. However, they are not guaranteed to work well in heavy snow and ice and can lose traction at temperatures below freezing.

Summer tires are designed to withstand warmer temperatures and offer a longer service life. They cannot handle winter conditions and this is why it is best to rely on a winter tire during this time.

Snow tires are a great way to keep you and your vehicle safe on icy roads in winter. With deep tread depths and special tread designs that make snow and winter tires ideal for bad winter weather and extreme cold driving conditions.

The winter tire tread patterns and sipes are designed to bite snow and mud and to transport them away with additional tread depth to ensure the best traction on the road.

They can last for multiple winter seasons if taken care of properly too. It is estimated that the average driver puts 5,000 miles per winter on their tires in the United States. This would mean that the average winter tire could last nearly five full winter seasons before significant wear.

4 Ways To Make Your Winter Tires Last Longer

The convenient thing about purchasing winter tires is you typically get plenty of usage out of them before it is time to find a new set. This makes it a hassle-free investment that you know will be something you can rely on each winter.

However, like most things, if you fail to take care of your winter tires they will wear down much faster. Here are a few tips on how you can make your winter tires last longer.

1. Avoid Summer Heat

The key to making your winter tires last longer is using them at the right times. This means waiting to install them on your vehicle until after the warm weather has passed and removing them before the spring gets too warm again.

By following this simple step, you can avoid unnecessary wear on your tires. The heat is the number one enemy to a winter tire and the stronger rubber compounds become extremely susceptible when exposed to summer conditions.

2. Regularly Check Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is one of the most important factors in creating a long-lasting tire. When you drive on a poorly inflated tire, you put unnecessary weight and wear on it and cause it to degrade the critical rubber treads.

This is especially important in the winter when the air inside the tire condenses during freezing temperatures. By slightly overinflating your tire in the winter, you can ensure it will remain strong enough to drive during the cold.

It is best practice to check tire pressure every few weeks during the winter just to stay on top of it, especially if you are experiencing harsh conditions.

3. Monitor Tire Wear

The treadwear warning on winter tires is a great example of how you can consistently check your tire for wear and tear. It is a good indicator for when you should consider making the change to a new set of tires too.

You can also take a coin and check the tread depth to ensure you have enough left to handle snow and ice. If the treads become too deep, that means you are losing the ability to properly grip the roads when you need it most.

4. Store Tires Safely

The last step you can take to make your winter tires last even longer is by properly storing them during the off-season so they are ready when the winter arrives again. You should always start by cleaning them after removing them from your vehicle.

After they are clean, it is best practice to put them inside durable bags to keep them safe during storage. If you have a cool, dark area this would be ideal for storage because sunlight and hot temperatures can cause unnecessary wear.

How Long Do Winter Tires Last?

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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