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When you are driving on a long-distance trip, you need to remember the condition of your car's tires to know when to replace them on time.

Overusing a tire can be dangerous, leading to flat tires or vehicle problems that could have been avoided. Instead, you can learn about tread life and how long a tire lasts to care for your car and tire properly.

On average, you should replace a tire after 40,000 miles or six years, but it will vary based on many factors. Many tire manufacturers recommend replacing a tire after six years because the rubber wears down and becomes more susceptible to wear, tear, and damage over time.

Many people don't think about replacing their car's tires until they have worn down to a certain point. This is because there aren't many warning signs that a tire needs to be replaced. Some signs indicate you should replace your tires before they wear out completely; this guide explains it all.

We have tested nearly all tire brands in the past to know exactly how long each one tends to last when in use. Keep reading to learn more about how many miles the average tire can handle and when to replace them.

Table of Contents

When To Replace Tires

When a car owner notices that the tire is worn out, they can replace them with new ones. But there are so many factors that come into play when deciding when to replace tires.

Your tires are like a part of your car's body. The tire itself is made up of rubber and steel cords that hold the air inside and make it bounce as you go over bumps.

When they get old, they start to lose their elasticity and grip on the road surface, which can cause them to wear out faster than new ones.

You can expect about five years or 40,000 miles of use from a reliable set of tires. However, this can vary widely based on the tire type. Some high-quality options will last up to 100,000 miles.

Four primary signs indicate it is time to replace tires. We have listed each below for you to consider.

Tire Age

The tire's age is the first sign to consider when determining when to replace tires. The tire’s age can be determined by its tread and sidewall.

Most tires will indicate the initial production date on the sidewall within the tire size. This allows you to always keep track.

The tire's age indicates that the tire's tread has worn down below a certain level. It also means there is a greater chance of damage from road debris, and the tire could be more susceptible to punctures.

It is best to avoid using a tire older than six or seven years, even if it has minimal use. The rubber tends to wear down after this amount of time.

If you are unsure whether or not your tires are worn out, check them regularly by visually inspecting them to see if they have any visible wear patterns.

Tire Wear

The next best way to know if you need to replace your tires is by checking the tire and tread wear. This can be done using a small coin like a penny or a specially designed gauge.

This gauge will be much more effective in determining the exact tread depth on the tire. However, if you want to save some money, using a penny will work too.

If your tire depth is at or below 2/32 inches, it is time to make a change. Anything below this number would put your tire at risk of failing while driving.

Road Vibration

You will also know when it’s time for a tire replacement if you notice any unusual noises coming from your car while driving. This can be heard while driving, or you might also feel a vibration from the tires.

A lot of the time, road vibration can be attributed to uneven tire wear. If you notice that your car vibrates more than usual while driving, it may be because one or more of your tires has gone flat.

When this happens, you should also check each tire's tire pressure and ensure they are at the recommended level. If the PSI isn't an issue, it likely means you need to replace the tire.


When you notice any tire deformation like bulging or cracking, you should replace it to ensure that your car is safe.

It is common to see the treads crack or peel. This tends to happen when a winter tire meets hot pavement or vice versa, with a summer tire driving in the cold.

You may also notice a tire bulge at the interior of the tire or around the rim. This indicates that the tire should be repaired or replaced immediately. It can bust open and cause a dangerous flat tire incident.

What Factors Determine How Long Tires Will Last?

When you notice that your tires are starting to wear out, it is time for a new set. You may ask yourself how long you should wait before replacing your tires?

There are a few factors that go into this question.

Total Miles

The total miles you drive on your tire will impact how long a tire will last and when you need to replace it. The more mileage you put on your tires, the shorter their lifespan.

It is best to always check the recommended mileage for your tire too. The manufacturer will provide a warranty and average tire lifespan when you upgrade.

Tire Type

Your tire type will impact how long a tire will last and when you need to replace it. For example, a touring tire will last for more miles, but it may also not handle rugged conditions.

You must match your driving style and climate with the right tire type. This will allow you to get maximum use from your tires.


The brand of tire you use matters too. Michelin and Bridgestone tires are known to be two of the most durable and long-lasting tires, with many touring tires that provide 100,000 miles of tread life.

Road Conditions

Many factors contribute to how long a tire will last, but road conditions are one of the most important. This is why you should match your tire type with the season.

When you drive on rough roads, your tires wear down faster than they would if you were driving on smooth roads. The same goes for when you drive on wet roads versus dry ones.

Driving Style

Passenger cars' average tire life is approximately six years, but that might vary depending on the driving style. However, this can vary.

In some cases, the driving style can impact your tire life. If you are a hard braking and accelerating driver, you will need to change your tires sooner than if you were a gentle braking or accelerating driver.

This is because the more force you put on a tire, the more heat it generates. Heat causes the rubber to deteriorate faster than normal wear and tear. The quicker you go, the shorter your tire life will be.

How Often Should You Replace Your Tires

Many people don't know how often they should replace their tires. There are some general rules of thumb for when a tire needs to be replaced, but it is difficult to give a specific answer.

The lifespan of a tire is about 5-6 years. It is essential to replace your tires when they end their life cycle.

They are constructed from rubber and other materials that are not as durable as steel, so that they will wear out over time. Tires should generally be replaced every five years or 40,000 miles, depending on the brand and tire type.

In fact, the NHTSA says you should replace tires within six years, no matter how many miles they have on them.

How you take care of and maintain the tires will impact how long they last and how often they should be replaced too.

When To Replace Tires

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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