How Long Should Tyres Last For?Tue, 15/05/2018
Tyres are the only things sitting between your car and the road, and they are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. As such, you need to look after them and make sure they are in good condition. However, how can you tell when it’s time to replace your tyres, and when should you expect them to reach the end of their life?
How Long Do Tyres Last?
The lifespan of your tyres will depend on a number of factors, including the type and design of the tyres, the weight of the vehicle, your driving habits, and external factors such as driving conditions and the weather. There are even ways to make your tyres last longer, which we’ll get to later.
Typically, tyres last between five to ten years. So when it gets to the five year mark, make sure your tyres are inspected at least once per year by a professional. By the tenth year since their manufacture, consider replacing your tyres – even if they appear to be in good condition. Note that the tyres that came with your car are likely to last longer than replacements.
Generally, you should be able to get around 20,000 miles out of your front tyres and double that for your back tyres. (You may want to consider rotating them because your front tyres will wear more quickly.) However, there are too many different factors to be able to say for certain how long your tyres should last.
What About Spare Tyres?
Tyres can be worn down as they get older even if they are not used very often. Physical and chemical changes can cause tyres to age regardless of whether they are driven on, as the rubber naturally ages. So the rules above also apply to your spare tyre – whether you’ve been using it or not, by ten years or sooner you should consider getting it replaced.
When Should You Replace Your Tyres?
Aside from age, there are other factors to consider when looking after your tyres. For example, the legal tyre tread depth is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and around the entire circumference of the tyre. However, you shouldn’t wait until your tread gets that low before you change your tyres. Your grip on the road can be reduced even at 3mm, especially in wet weather. Aim to replace your tyres once the tread wears below 2mm.
You should also look out for severe cracks in the sidewall and low tyre pressure, which can both cause a tyre to burst and put you in danger of an accident.
How Can You Make Your Tyres Last Longer?
Changing your driving style can help your tyres to last longer, as aggressive cornering, high speeds and hard breaking can increase wear. Try to take your time and brake gently. Carrying a heavy load can also increase wear, so don’t keep heavy things in your car if you don’t need them.
If you notice your tyres wobbling at higher speeds, or you see some uneven wear, this could mean that your wheels need to be rebalanced. Incorrect alignment and worn shock absorbers can also cause your tyres to wear quickly and unevenly.
Under inflation and over inflation can both increase wear, so try to get your tyre pressure just right. If in doubt about how to best look after your tyres, always follow the manufacturer’s advice.
How Should Tyres Be Stored?
Store tyres without rims standing upright, and lie them flat on top of each other if they do have rims. Store in a cool, dry place away from grease, oil and petrol.