Get the Longest Life from Your Tires

As a former Bridgestone engineer, I have spent numerous years researching tires and their care. Tire care is essential to vehicle maintenance, but many drivers overlook it. This blog will explore how proper tire care can help you to get the longest life from your tires and save you money in the long run. Neglecting tire care can lead to decreased performance and reduced lifespan of the tires. That’s why I highly recommend checking out Discount Tire – Treadwell, as they provide effortless recommendations based on value, performance, and local favorites without you having to visit the store.

How can you Get the Longest Life from Your Tires?

Getting the longest life from your tires is essential to ensure you drive safely and save money in the long run. Tires can be expensive, so taking care of them is important. You can extend the life of your tires in several ways, including regular maintenance, proper inflation, and careful driving.

Regular maintenance is key to getting the longest life from your tires. This means rotating them every 5,000-7,500 miles and balancing them every time you turn them. Having your wheels aligned at least once a year or when you notice uneven wear on your tires is important. Checking for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or punctures, is also important for keeping your tires in good condition. Proper inflation is another critical factor in getting the longest life from your tires.

How Long Should Tire Last on Average?

When buying tires, there are countless options available for drivers. From all-terrain and mud-terrain to all-season and summer tires, each category has a specific purpose and is designed to perform under different conditions. One common factor that every driver seeks from their tires is longevity. After all, no one wants to invest in new tires only to replace them after a few months of use.

To maximize the life of your tires, it’s important to understand the average wear life of each type. All-season tires typically have an average tread life of 50,000 miles, while summer tires have a shorter lifespan at around 20,000 miles. Mud-terrain and all-terrain tires fall somewhere in between, with an average tread life of 40,000 and 60,000 miles, respectively.

Average Tire Tread Life by Category:

Average Tire LifeMinimum Tread Depth for Replace
All-Season60,000 – 75,000 miles4/32” –> Summer 2/32” –> Winter
Summer 30,000 – 40,000 miles2/32”
Winter25,000 – 35,000 miles4/32”
All-Terrain50,000 – 60,000 miles2/32”
Mud-Terrain30,000- 40,000 miles2/32”
Highway-Terrain70,000 – 90,000 miles2/32”
Competition/Track Tires10,000 – 20,000 miles

I have included the minimum tread depth figures for tire replacement to ensure you get the longest life from your tire. If you continue to use your tire below this value, …

  • To maximize the longevity of your tires, ensure that you maintain traction.
  • To ensure your tires last as long as possible, follow these guidelines.
  • There will probably be problems with handling and hydroplaning.

How Long Are Tires Good for?

Tires are made with rubbers, an elastic material that naturally loses its functionality over time. As a result, all tires have a certain lifespan determined by the Department of Transportation. The birth date of a tire must be indicated on the sidewall and is referred to as DOT in the market.

According to regulations, tires can be used for 10 years: five years for storage and five years for use. However, it’s important to note that this rule only applies if the tires are stored correctly. Their lifespan may decrease significantly if not kept in proper conditions, such as extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.

While 10 years of use doesn’t typically cause any issues with tire performance or safety, it’s crucial to remember that tires stored for more than five years cannot be used even if they haven’t been driven on yet.

How to Read DOT Numbers?

Get the Longest Life from Your Tires

As mentioned earlier, the DOT number on your tire can tell you a lot about its production details. The first four digits of the DOT number represent the tire manufacturing plant code. The Department of Transportation assigns this code and indicates where the tire was manufactured. In our case, FD AP JLO could represent one of many plants across different countries.

Now let’s move on to determining the age of your tires using the DOT number. The last four digits following the plant code indicate when your tire was produced. The first two digits represent the week, while the last two indicate the year it was made in. So, in our example, 4518 would mean that this particular tire was produced in week 45 (around November) of 2018.

Regarding the Production Year:

one important factor to consider for the longevity of your tire is the DOT number. This number provides critical information about your tire’s production date and can help you determine its age. Specifically, you should pay attention to the last four digits of the DOT number, which will reveal when your tire was manufactured.

For example, if your DOT number ends in 4518, your tire was made in the 45th week of 2018. From there, you can easily calculate how old your tires are by using the current date. It’s essential to keep track of this information because as tires age, they become more susceptible to wear and tear, leading to road safety hazards.

Regarding the Production Plant:

One important thing to keep in mind is where your tires were manufactured. The first two digits of the plant code on a tire can tell you where it was made. For example, FD is the plant code for Yokohama, Japan.

Knowing the origin of your tires is important because different countries have different manufacturing processes and standards. Tires made in the USA may have a longer lifespan than those made elsewhere due to stricter quality control measures. By checking the plant code on your tires, you can make an informed decision about their potential durability and how long they will likely last.

How do I Choose the Right Tires?

Getting the longest life out of your tires starts with selecting the right ones. Don’t just go for the cheapest option or what looks cool on your vehicle. Follow these tips to ensure you make an informed decision:

  • Always use the tire size recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. This information can usually be found on the inside door jam of the driver’s side door.
  • Check your vehicle’s load and speed indexes before purchasing a tire. The load index refers to how much weight a tire can support, while the speed index indicates how fast it can safely go.
  • Consider your driving conditions when selecting a tire type. If you only want an all-terrain tire for its appearance, metric passenger tires may be a better choice than LT tires which are heavier and wear faster, compromising comfort
  • Proper maintenance is also key to getting long-lasting rubber from your tires.

How do You Take Care of Tires?

Get the Longest Life from Your Tires

As a car owner, you know that tires are one of the most important components of your vehicle. They keep you safe on the road and ensure you reach your destination without mishaps. That’s why properly caring for them is crucial to get the longest life out of them.

Ensure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure level recommended by the manufacturer. This will increase their lifespan and improve fuel efficiency and handling. Check tire pressure regularly, especially before long trips, as temperature changes affect air pressure levels. Reset tire pressure if needed. Monitor tread depth and rotate your tires regularly to ensure even wear. When replacing worn-out tires, consider buying ones with longer-lasting treads or those designed for specific weather conditions in your area.

Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly:

Inflation pressure is undoubtedly one of the key factors when it comes to ensuring that your tires have a long-lasting tread. Unfortunately, many vehicle owners still overlook its importance. However, the reality is that inflation pressure plays a crucial role in determining the payload capacity of your tires. The air inside your tire carries all the weight; if it’s not at the right level, you’re putting unnecessary stress on your tires.

The tread design is responsible for transmitting load to the ground and providing optimal performance based on your driving conditions. This is where the contact patch comes into play – also known as a footprint. If you use an over or under-inflated tire, this contact patch may not work as designed. For example, low inflation pressure can cause uneven wearing on tire shoulders since they don’t properly contact the ground.

Rotation:

To get the longest life from your tires, rotation is highly important. While this section may not be crucial for some categories of tires, it’s essential to ensure equal wear on all four tires. Due to load distribution, the traction axle’s tires will wear out quicker than the rest without proper rotation.

But even with regular rotations, achieving equal wear on all four tires is impossible. Your number of turns to the right or left isn’t always the same, leading to uneven tire wear patterns. Aggressive turns can also cause inner or outer shoulder tire wear, further complicating matters.

Proper tire maintenance can significantly extend their lifespan and prevent costly replacements. Regular rotations and attention paid to abnormal wear patterns allow you to keep your vehicle running safely and smoothly for years.

Wheel Alignment:

When it comes to tire maintenance, wheel alignment is often the first thing that comes to mind. Even tread depth is just as important for proper wheel alignment. This is because a tire’s tread affects how it grips the road and distributes weight across the tire. Uneven tread wear can cause misalignment, leading to poor handling, reduced fuel efficiency, and even premature tire replacement.

To ensure your tires last as long as possible and perform their best, it’s recommended that you have your wheels aligned every 10,000 miles or so. While this may seem like a tight schedule for some drivers, it’s better to be safe than sorry when preserving your tires’ longevity. Regular alignment checks can help detect potential issues before they escalate into more costly repairs.

Wheel Check:

You’re mistaken if you think your tires are the only thing that can affect your vehicle’s performance. A bent wheel may seem minor, but it can lead to disastrous consequences. The most common problem caused by a bent wheel is air leakage. Even if your tire is perfectly healthy, a bent wheel will cause it to lose pressure over time. This can result in irregular wear and eventual tire failure.

Another serious issue that can arise from a bent wheel is bead cracking. The bead of the tire holds it securely onto the wheel’s rim. If this area cracks due to a bent or damaged wheel, the tire can become dangerously unstable while driving. This could even cause a blowout on the road – something no driver wants to experience.

To ensure the longest life for your tires, inspect your wheels regularly for any signs of damage or bending.

Stay Away from Tire Shining:

  • Your tires are more high-tech than you might think. They’re made up of a complex blend of rubber compounds, including various chemicals and additives designed to improve their grip, durability, and performance. One key ingredient in tire rubber is a group of lubricants that help keep the material supple and flexible in all weather conditions. Over time these oils can migrate to the tire’s surface and start to evaporate or react with other substances they come into contact with.
  • This is where tire shining products come in – they’re meant to enhance the appearance of your tires by creating a glossy or matte finish on the surface. Not all tire shines are created equal. Some contain harsh solvents or petroleum-based ingredients that can strip away some of those protective lubricants from your tires’ surfaces.

Conclusion:

It’s crucial to consider several factors when purchasing and using tires. Always use a set of four tires for the best performance and safety to get the longest life from your tires. If there’s a noticeable tread depth difference between old and new tires, replace all of them. Avoid using winter tires in temperatures above 7 degrees Celcius, and don’t use all-season tires below that temperature. Lastly, pay attention to load range and speed index specifications to ensure maximum tread life. To learn more about SL and XL-rated tires, click the provided link. Drive safe!

FAQ’s:

What can I do to extend the life of my tires?

Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires can cause premature wear and tear, so check them regularly with a tire pressure gauge. Keep an eye on your alignment and suspension. Poor alignment can cause uneven tread wear over time, and worn suspension components can lead to decreased handling performance and premature tire failure

How do I know if my tires are nearing their lifespan?

Check the tread depth. Tires have built-in indicators that help you measure tread depth. If the tread is below 2/32nds of an inch, it’s time to replace them.
Look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or bulges in the sidewall. These indicate that the tire has been damaged and should be replaced immediately.