A large pile of tires.

There’s nothing like a new set of tires on your car to improve your driving experience, keep you safer on uneven roads, and help your car endure all weather conditions. On average, good quality all-season tires last anywhere between three and five years. Depending on how many miles you put on your car annually, some tires can last up to seven years before needing to be replaced.

This comprehensive guide is designed to help build your knowledge of essential tire information to improve driving habits and safety on the road. We provide information on the lifespans of tires, the most common tire maintenance tips, and what to look for when your tires need replacement.

Compare Seasonal Tires

All-season, winter, and summer tires all have different purposes and lifespans. When it’s time to look for new tires, you’ll want to consider your driving style, weather conditions, and the type of tire for your vehicle.

All-Season Tires

All-season tires are designed for driving in any weather condition aside from heavy snow and ice. All-season tires are generally most appealing for drivers who don’t want to change tires between seasons. These tires last anywhere from 55,000 to 85,000 miles.

Winter Tires

Winter tires, or snow tires, are specifically for cold-weather driving. The special rubber tread compound remains flexible in temperatures below 45 degrees. These tires have an incredibly dense siping to safely grip snow and ice. You’ll want to change these tires more frequently if you experience heavy snow storms in colder months. These tires will last between 30,000 to 40,000 miles on average.

Summer Tires

Summer tires are ideal for driving in both wet and dry conditions. These tires have a wider tread and soft compounds with deeper grooves to provide good traction and resistance to hydroplaning. If you live in an area that experiences summer storms, these tires could be a good choice during the hotter months. These tires generally last between 20,000 to 40,000 miles.

Tire Maintenance Tips

An individual checks a vehicle's tire pressure.

Knowing that good quality car tires last at least a few years before needing replacement, it’s important to keep your tires in top condition. With a few tips for maintaining your car tires, you can extend your tire’s lifespan and save time and money.

Tire Pressure

In accordance with the Department of Transportation‘s (DOT) tire regulations, your vehicle should not be operated if your tire pressure is below the intended levels. This information can be found in your owner’s manual or in the doorjamb of your vehicle. Most dealerships and auto shops recommend checking your tire pressure at least once a month.

To check tire pressure, our team recommends either a tire pressure gauge or a tire inflator with a gauge. Both options are reliable and compact, making them easy to store in your vehicle and use as needed. Tire pressure gauges simply check the psi of your tires. Tire inflators with gauges check psi and can inflate your tires if your tire pressure is low. 

If you don’t want to invest in a handheld tire pressure gauge or tire inflator, most auto and tire shops will check the pressure for you at no charge. Some gas stations also have digital readouts with their air pumps. However, these are often more inaccurate than other methods since the air pumps are less maintained at gas stations.

Regardless of your method for getting a tire pressure reading, you’ll want to check your tires when you haven’t driven for several hours to get the most accurate reading possible. We suggest using a handheld gauge or inflator to check your tires in the morning since your car has been parked and not running overnight.

Tire Rotation

Getting your tires rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles helps to extend your car tire’s lifespan. Front-wheel-drive vehicles drive in a way that wears down your front tires quicker and vice versa for rear-wheel-drive cars. All-wheel-drive cars still need rotation as well. Taking your car to an auto shop or dealership when your car is within the above mileage range for a rotation will ensure each tire wears evenly over time.

Balance and Alignment

To operate your car safely, tires need to be perfectly round and balanced. Your car’s wheel alignment and balance need to be checked routinely, every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or once a year. Tire shops, mechanics, and many dealerships that provide maintenance will use a balance machine.

During this maintenance check, they can also check that your wheels are aligned, keeping your car driving straight, also reducing tire wear. When the time comes to purchase new tires, always have the alignment checked and your wheels balanced by a professional.

Signs You Might Need Your Tires Changed

A rack of tires.

There are a few wear indicators to determine if you’ve been driving on worn-out tires. As a vehicle owner, you need to stay on top of your tire’s condition to keep you and other drivers safe in all road conditions.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that tires with a tread depth of 2/32 of an inch are considered unsafe and need to be replaced. Most tires have tread-wear indicators, which are small bars in the tread that will show up once the tire has worn down and needs to be replaced. You’ll notice these bars will start making a noise, alerting you that the tread has gotten too low and you need new tires

The penny test is a common way to check your car tire’s tread. Place a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head pointed down. If you can see the top of his head, your tread is far too low and your tires need replacing.

Bulges, Gouges, and Cracks

When tires deflate, the sides begin to bulge, which is also a sign of low tire air pressure or a slow air leak. If you notice cracks, gouges, or anything else that looks out of place along your tire’s sidewalls, you’ll want to take your car into your dealership or auto shop to get your tires checked.


If you notice a vibration or thumping sensation while driving, specifically if you feel that it’s coming from underneath your seats, your rear tires might be out of balance. If your steering wheel is vibrating, there could be a suspension issue or an issue with your brake pads. Regardless of the reason, if your car isn’t driving smoothly, you should take your vehicle to the dealer 

Temperature Changes

If you live in an area that experiences extreme temperature changes, your tires are more likely to wear out at a faster rate. Tire pressure drops in extremely cold temperatures, so throughout the winter, you’ll want to check your tire pressure more frequently to help prevent wear. In the summertime, especially in hotter areas, underinflation is not only dangerous but will generate more heat and wear out faster while driving on the roads.

How Long Do Tires Last: Bottom Line

While there are different types of tires and tire manufacturers, most tires last an average of three to five years. The life of your tires varies depending on maintenance frequency, manufacturer, driving style, and weather and road conditions

This guide has hopefully helped to compare the different types of season tires, along with some maintenance tips and things to look out for that indicate your tires might be too worn down.

How Long Do Tires Last: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.