How long should my tyres typically last? When should I replace them?

How long should my tyres typically last? When should I replace them?

When should I replace my tyres?

There is no definitive answer for how long your tyres should last. However it’s recommended that you should always replace your tyres once they are ten years old.

The lifespan of your tyres will vary, depending on a number of factors. These include the driver’s habits, the climate, the design of the tyre, the condition of the roads, and the maintenance you put into looking after your tyres.

How many kilometres should tyres last before needing to be replaced?

Broadly speaking, a tyre can travel an average of anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 kilometres. This can vary wildly based on how you drive (no burnouts!), the weather, the road condition, whether you are doing highway or stop-start city driving, and more.

How many years will my tyres last?

Ten years is the maximum lifespan for tyres

Even if your tyres look pretty good, it’s recommended to replace tyres after ten years from their manufacture date. This also includes spare tyres. Even if you think your tyres could last a little longer, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Get your tyres checked every year after five years

You may find you don’t drive your car very often and aren’t putting many kilometres on the odometer. Regardless of how far your are driving, once your tyres are five years old you should get them checked yearly.

After five years a tyre will begin to deteriorate, as the rubber loses its suppleness through the drying out of moisture and oils. This includes the spare tyre, as it’s a separate issue to the distance the tyres are travelling. So once your tyres have reached five years from their build date you need to be more vigilant on your tyre maintenance to make sure you replace them when it’s needed. You can get them checked by your mechanic or a tyre store. Many tyre stores offer a free Tyre Health Check.

9 Easy ways to increase how long your tyres last

Tyres of today are much better quality than those of 50 or 60 years ago, and there are some quick and easy ways to check how long your tyres will last and what condition they are in, as well as some simple ways to lengthen their lifespan so you can save money on tyre replacements.

Monitoring your tyres’ condition is very important: your vehicle’s safety is dependent on sound tyres. The last thing you want is to realise your tyres need replacing when you’re skidding on a wet road, or getting a fine from the police for driving with a bald tyre.

As there are so many factors that can affect a tyre’s longevity, it’s not always possible to get a definite answer from a tyre expert on how many kilometres your tyres will last, or even exactly how many years. But there are some ways you can check your tyres to get an idea of whether you’ll need to replace your tyres soon.

Proper car tyre maintenance to reduce wear and tear

With care, you can extend the life of your car tyres with these 9 easy tips.

1. Always check your tyre tread


What is tyre tread and why does it matter?

Tyre tread refers to the rubber on the tyre’s circumference that makes contact with the road or ground. The grooves on your tyres is the tread pattern, also known as just the pattern. The tyre tread is the raised section that actually touches the ground when you drive.

As a tyre ages and wears down, the tread is worn off, which reduces its effectiveness and safety. The grooves in the tread serve a number of important purposes to keep you safe in a range of driving conditions. In fact, there are a variety of different tread patterns for this reason: some patterns are optimised for driving on snow, or to reduce noise or increase grip. The grooves in the tyres allow water to be expelled from beneath the tyre to prevent hydroplaning.

Hydroplaning occurs when your tyres can’t expell all the water they encounter because the depth of the grooves is too shallow from wear. This creates a thin barrier of water between the tyre and the ground, causing the car to skid and potentially crash.

How to check your tyre tread

check your car tyre tread with a coin

An easy tip for checking your tyre tread is to put a coin into the groove to see how deep it is. If you stick a 20 cent coin in and the tread isn’t touching the platypus’ bill, it’s too shallow. You can also check by running your hand over the tread and making sure you can feel all the grooves.If you aren’t sure, take your car to the tyre manufacturer for a checkup.

Look for a tread wear indicator on your tyre, usually marked by a triangle on the sidewall of the tyre. Inside one of the grooves in line with that triangle, you will see/feel a raised section which indicates the minimum depth of the tread. If the rest of the tyre is level with this raised section, your tyre is due for replacement.

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2. Keep your tyres of out the sun

Park your car away from direct sunlight. This will minimise the damaging effects of UV rays on the rubber. If you don’t have an indoor parking spot, try to park in a shady area.

3. Swap your tyres around

Check that each tyre is wearing at a similar rate. Rotate the tyres – including the spare if it’s a full sized tyre – so that the front tyres are placed on the rear of the car and vice versa, every service or 10,000 kilometres. Your front tyres will wear more quickly because of the position of the steering, so it’s important to rotate them regularly to spread the wear evenly.

4. Get your wheels aligned

The alignment of your tyres will affect how quickly they wear, and the way your vehicle handles. Check that the wheels are correctly aligned by getting your car serviced regularly.

5. Don’t be a stuntman

This should be obvious, but drive regularly and carefully. Don’t be a wannabe stuntman: aggressive cornering, burnouts and hard braking will all wear your tyres down quickly.

6. Watch your speed!

Aside from the safety and legal issues, the higher heat generated from high speeds wears tyres prematurely.

7. Keep your car clean

The heavier your car, the more pressure you are putting on your tyres, so don’t overload it by driving around with a boot full of junk. Make sure to remove any especially heavy items you don’t need in your car.

8. Keep your tyres inflated to the correct PSI

Do not inflate your vehicles with the incorrect pressure! Aside from being dangerous, it will cause your tyres to wear faster.

It’s easy to find your tyre’s correct correct operating pressure, usually measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). Check inside the driver’s door: there should be a placard there that will show the front and rear tyre pressure recommendations. Depending on the vehicle, these may be different. If the placard isn’t in the driver’s side door frame, look inside the fuel door, the glove box or your car’s manual.

Check your tyre’s current pressure by heading to a petrol station with a tyre inflation service. Many of them offer it for free, or sometimes you may need to pay a dollar or two to use it. Attach the lead to the valve on each of your rims and the machine will do the rest of the work. Depending on the machine, you can either set the PSI you want, or manually fill it.

It’s important to note there are two types of tyre pressure - maximum tyre pressure and operating tyre pressure.

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9. How often should I check my car’s tyre pressure?

You should aim to check your tyres monthly! It’s important to check this regularly to ensure your tyres haven’t deviated too far from their ideal PSI, especially if you engage in any type of rough driving, or driving in extreme weather.

Tires or tyres?

Tires is the US and Canadian spelling, and tyres is the preferring English spelling outside of North America. The word tire is also means to grow weary or fatigued in all English speaking countries.

For example:
Tony began to tire while replacing his tire (North America).
Tony began to tire while replacing his tyre (Everywhere else).

By following these tips you should be able to increase the life of your tyres.

It’s also important to remember that there is no one final answer to how long tyres last, so always use your common sense and if you aren’t sure if your tyres are roadworthy, take them to a professional to get them checked.

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