How Long do All-Season Tires Last?

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You’ve been having all-season tires on your car for awhile now. Perhaps you start to feel that the grip level isn’t where it used to be. So, you’re wondering; how long do they last?

A good quality all-season tire should last about 55,000-85,000 miles, which for the average person is about three to five years. This, of course, depends on driving style, road condition, and maintenance.

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Association) states that a driver is three times more likely to cause an accident due to poor tire condition.

So, to make sure you drive on fresh all-season tires, continue reading.

Factors That Influence How Long All-Season Tires Will Last

Several factors play a significant role in the duration a tire can remain in service. Let’s discuss each of them in-depth.

Tire Age

Regardless of the tread depth, if your tire is more than five years old, you should replace it. This is due to the deterioration of the rubber compounds over time, which may lead to dry rot. Dry rot makes a tire more vulnerable to flats and tread separation.

Tire manufacturers always advise tire replacement if they are 5-10 years old. But for most drivers in some regions, a tire tread will wear out before that age.

Remember your spare tire too! According to the age of your car, you might be driving around with a spare long past its prime. If it is more than 10 years old, you should think of replacing it.

Driving on broken pavement, potholes, unpaved roads, poorly graded railroad crossings, or hitting curbs can lead to suspension damage and misalignment that affects tire wear. If your regular drive includes such challenges, be ready to schedule annual alignment, suspension and tire checks.

The Vehicle

Believe it or not, your vehicle plays a significant role in how long your tires will last. Trucks and SUVs subject tires to more weight than a sedan, so if your car is not mounted with the correct tires, the tires may wear out more quickly than recommended.

Weather Conditions

Driving in snow, ice, and rain can make your tires wear out faster since they have to work harder to maintain traction. Acquiring tires designed to work in specific weather conditions can offer drivers extra traction and control while providing good treadwear.

Poor Driving Behaviors

Poor driving behaviors such as quick acceleration, cornering, and braking suddenly will increase the stress on tires, leading them to wear out quickly. Drivers can significantly improve the life of their vehicle tires by avoiding such driving habits.

Neglected Maintenance

It is worth noting that having regular tire check for damage, tire rotation, alignment, and maintaining pressure levels is a wise idea. If there is no proper maintenance, your tire life will be reduced by half or even more in most cases.

How to Know When it’s Time to Replace Your Tires

Your tires must function effectively and provide a secure grip in all scenarios. Tires must be maintained regularly to achieve this. We will discuss some of the warning indicators that indicate when it’s time to change your tires.

The following are indicators telling you it’s time to replace your tires:

2/32″ of Tread Depth Left

In most states, you should replace your tires with roughly 2/32′′ of tread depth remaining. Of course, if your tires are showing signs of wear due to bad weather, it’s a good idea to replace them sooner rather than later.

A tread depth gauge is a simple gadget that you can use to check your tread depth. Test the gauge against a flat surface and make sure you’re reading in 32nds of an inch rather than millimeters. When entirely compressed, it should be at zero.

Push the measuring scale as far as possible into the gauge before positioning the tool. Press down on the tool’s base in a circular groove.

For accuracy, repeat the operation several times at different places and average the results.

Tire Tread is Down to The Wear Bar Indicators

Wear bars can be seen if you look at the tread pattern of your tire. These qualities will assist you in determining when your tires need to be replaced. Obviously, when the tire tread reach the same level as the wear bars, the tire is no longer legal to drive on.

Wear bars are found on every tire sold in North America, and each tire also has a treadwear grade number written on the sidewall. The tire manufacturer assigns these grades to tires to represent their estimated longevity.

Higher numbers suggest a longer lifespan, but your driving behaviors significantly impact the actual outcomes. For example, if you routinely brake hard or tow large equipment, you shouldn’t put too much faith in that statistic.

Deep Rubber Cracks

The weather has a significant impact on the total wear of your tires. Rough circumstances, such as road debris and severe temperatures, degrade the rubber, resulting in cracks.

Although this protection does not persist indefinitely, anti-ageing compounds are used in tires. When a technician inspects your tires, they may mention ozone cracks. These are essentially surface cracks only evident on the thread grooves’ base and sidewalls.

Such cracks aren’t a concern, but it’s time to replace the tires when they get deeper into the rubber. Driving the car regularly can help prevent cracking by maintaining the rubber’s flexibility. 

Bulges, Blisters and Bubbles

Any bulges or bubbles in your tires should be noted as symptoms of a significant problem requiring immediate tire replacement.

Bubbles indicate severe damage to the tire’s inner lining, which can happen if you hit a curb or have a collision. If your tires are brand new, check the warranty to see if you can save money.

Vibrations Caused by Low Tread or Uneaven Tread Wear

You may have recently noticed some vibration in your vehicle after changing or rotating the tires. No matter how quick or slow you drive, you should never overlook any form of vibration from your car.

Vibrations are frequently felt through the steering wheel or the car’s front end. This is pretty normal once your tires have been serviced. However, vibrations could also be because your tire treads are getting to low and/or because of uneaven tread wear. You should consider replacing your tires during both of these circumstances.

To avoid uneaven tread wear make sure your wheels are correctly aligned and also rotate them at least every 5,000-8,000 miles (more about that later).

As a general rule, if you notice any form of vibration when driving your car, take it to a mechanic.

Vibrations could also be caused by loose lug nuts. Check the lug nuts for tightness. If you opt to perform it yourself, you may find the particular torque (how hard the lug nuts should be screwed) required in the vehicle’s manufacturer’s instructions.

Age and Harsh Weather Conditions

Always keep an eye on the age of your tires for safety reasons. Treads can split from the tire as it ages, resulting in decreased traction. Long-term heat exposure, how you store your automobile, and how you use it can affect tire quality and durability.

The tires are protected from the weather by storing the vehicle in a covered garage. Remember that not all tires are designed to endure the same number of miles, but regular rotations will extend the life of your tires by ensuring that the treads wear evenly.

Although your tires may appear to be in good condition and provide adequate traction, make sure you have tires best suited for the needs of the various seasons. This can entail having two sets of tires: those that work better in the dry season and those specifically intended to function better in the rain.

7 Tips for Extending The Tread Life of All-Season Tires

1. Rotate Your Tires Every 5,000 – 8,000 Miles

When driving down the road, not all of the tires on a car get the same amount of use. For example, on a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the front tires wear out faster than the tires on the rear axle.

In the case of a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, the opposite is true. As the car’s computer transfers the job from one tire to another, even all-wheel-drive tires are used unevenly.

Because of the uneven distribution of effort, the tires wear down faster in specific places on the car than in others. Tires with plenty of treads may wear out if left in one position for too long. Tires are frequently rotated from front to rear and left to right to utilize all available rubber on the tread.

2. Check The Air Pressure Regularly (once per month)

Under normal driving conditions, car tires lose one psi (pound per square inch) of pressure per month.

This value may be even higher in colder weather because the air inside the tire compresses and takes up less space due to the lower temperatures. During the summer, the opposite is true. The air expands as the temperature rises, increasing the pressure inside the tire.

The wrong air pressure inside the tire impacts the car’s performance both inside and out. Underinflated tires can increase stopping distance and make the vehicle less responsive to steering changes. Because of the slow response time, avoiding collisions is more complicated.

Under inflation also causes the tire to wear out more quickly. More rubber is in contact with the road on a flatter tire. The tread and tire walls wear away as a result of the friction. When a car’s tires are not correctly inflated, the vehicle’s fuel economy suffers, and you will spend more money if you drive.

You can learn more about setting the correct tire pressures in this post.

3. Have Your Wheels Balanced

Tires on automobiles are naturally imbalanced. Though the manufacturing process is accurate, it is not entirely without flaws.

Every tire has areas that are heavier and lighter than others. In most cases, the difference is merely 12 to 14 ounces. This seemingly slight variation can cause minor vibration and additional tire wear.

Tire rebalancing is carried out by a machine capable of detecting slight weight changes and compensating for minor adjustments. When your car’s tires are rotated, it’s good to have them balanced.

Want to learn more about wheel balancing? Check out our post “Wheel Balancing: What it is and Why You Should do it“.

4. Have Your Wheel Alignment Checked Bi-Yearly

All four tires should be parallel and directed straight ahead for the best fuel efficiency and tread life. Having your wheels aligned on a regular basis will help with this.

Toed-out or duck-footed tires point away from the center of the vehicle. Toed-in, often known as pigeon-toed, refers to tires that point inward. You may notice that the car pulls to one side or that the steering wheel rattles while you drive if your tires are mismatched in one of these ways.

The shaking of the tires is a common cause of misalignment. A shift in wheel alignment might occur if you drive over a pothole, a curb, or a parking block too hard. Even if your car appears to be in good working order, have it checked.

Want to learn more about wheel alignment? Check out this post next.

5. Don’t do Donuts And Burnouts, Also Avoid Accelerating Quickly

The majority of roads aren’t racetracks. Donuts, burnouts, and accelerating so quickly that the tires screech wear down the rubber tread. To avoid scratching the rubber off the walls of your tires, keep an eye out for curbs when negotiating corners or parallel parking.

Most new tires have a tread depth of around 10/32 of an inch. That may not seem like a lot, but that amount of rubber should last for a long time on a good tire.

Keep an eye on how much tread remains on your tires, or ask your technician when they rotate them. When the tread wears down to 4/32 of an inch, it’s time to consider replacing them.

6. Remove Your Snow Tires in The Spring

Snow tires are designed to hold the road even when buried in snow. As a result, their treads have more slots and grooves. While these grooves are useful for channeling snow out of the way, they also add to the number of contact points with the road once the snow has melted.

The tread on your snow tires will wear down faster on empty roads. Replace your snow tires with a pair of summer or all-season tires designed for the asphalt as soon as the weather warms up.

7. Prevent Dry Rot

Dry rot, which causes cracking or splitting in the tire’s walls or tread, can force your tires to retire early. Your tires are more prone to develop a leak or blow out on the road if they have dry rot. The two most significant contributions to this condition are ozone and ultraviolet light.

Even if you can’t altogether avoid them, you can assist slow down the process by avoiding parking your vehicle in direct sunlight as much as possible.

Also, if your vehicle is not used frequently, transfer it from time to time, as many vehicles were during COVID-19 stay-at-home directives. Moving the vehicle keeps the tires from becoming flat and settling in one position.

Do All-Season Tires Wear Out Faster Than Other Types of Tires?

All-season tires used in their ideal mild to medium hot weather conditions, i.e. above 7 degrees C (45 degrees F) and not when it’s too hot outside, will last longer than all the other tire types.

As stated earlier, all-season tires will last for an average of about 60,000 miles, compared to summer and winter tires that lasts on average 30,000 miles. So, when it comes to durability, all-season tires are unbeatable, at least when used properly.