It’s a common question and an understandable one, but the answer never satisfies. How long tyres last depends on several factors. It may be infuriating, but there’s no definitive number we can give. Generally, we advise that tyres should last around 40,000km, but that’s not a guarantee. So much of a tyre’s lifespan depends upon factors that are either within the control of the driver or within no one’s control at all. That’s why tyre manufacturers never make guarantees around longevity.
Let’s take a look at what’s affecting your tyres and what you can do to make them last the distance.
What determines how long your tyres last?
This one sits firmly within your control; the style of driver you are impacts on your tyres. Do you take corners hard and to the sound of screeching rubber? Do you break late? Do you spin the wheels on take-off? If you’re a driver that tends more to the aggressive style than defensive, then you will be replacing your tyres more frequently than necessary.
Freeway or city streets? Well-maintained bitumen roads (they exist, so we’ve heard) or potholed, crumbly-edged country lanes? The condition of the surfaces your tyres deal with go a long way to determining their lifespan.
Obviously, a harsh encounter with a curb or pothole can bring an abrupt end to a tyre’s life. But it doesn’t have to be so dramatic to be detrimental; continued exposure to rough surfaces will weaken sidewalls and wear down tread quickly.
City streets usually mean more breaking and accelerating, which can also wear tread. But don’t assume freeway driving is the ticket; hotter temperatures generated by higher speeds can also decrease the life of your tyres. Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do.
We’ve written about this before, but it can’t be said enough: tyre pressure matters. Primarily for safety, but also for tread wear. If a tyre is overinflated, it becomes rigid and stiff, suffering more damage when driven over rough surfaces like potholes, crumbly edges or curbs.
If a tyre is underinflated, there is more rubber in contact with the road which leads to faster wear, particularly on the shoulders, or outer edges. Always pay attention to the pressure in your tyres, and make sure you give them a quick check at the servo once in a while. You can find the correct pressure for your tyres in the car’s manual or on the driver’s door.
Alignment and balance
Turns out, there’s not much in the life of a human that doesn’t require balance: walking, diets, opinions, even work and family. Your tyres need it too. If a tyre is unbalanced, it leads to uneven wear and more frequent replacement.
Wheels can also become misaligned, which simply means they don’t all want to go in the same direction. This can happen due to every day driving and should be checked every 10,000km. Like unbalanced wheels, misaligned wheels will wear faster. Eastern Tyres has all the equipment necessary to ensure your tyres are in the best position for a long life.
What you can do to get the most out of your tyres
- Drive defensively, like your instructor advised in the dim past. Take corners sedately, look ahead and brake early, and accelerate as if you’re not entirely sure where you’re going.
- Always keep an eye on your tyre’s pressure and adjust as necessary.
- Make sure your wheels are balanced and aligned every 10,000km.
- Have your wheels rotated every 10,000km.
- If you consistently carry heavy loads in the car, make sure the weight is distributed evenly so that each tyre carries as close to an equal share as possible.
If you’re not sure of the condition of your tyres or can’t accurately remember the last time they were replaced, drop in to Eastern Tyres and we can determine how safe they still are.