Tire Lifespan Tips: How to Make Summer Tires Last Over Two Years

Buying tires can be expensive. This is especially true in the case of summer tires and even more so if you run higher-performance tires. Obviously, there are some self-evident ways to prolong the life of your summer tires. Doing burnouts, donuts, and spirited driving can all certainly take a drastic effect on the lifespan of your tires.

Make sure your vehicle has a proper wheel alignment

A tire with water on it, possibly all-season tires.
Wet tires | Getty Images

According to Autoevolution, there are a handful of things to do to ensure you maximize your tire lifespan. Here are some things to keep an eye on if you want to prolong the lifespan of your summer tires.

The most effective action one can take to proline the lifespan of their tires is to ensure that their vehicle is properly aligned. A wheel alignment ensures that your vehicle’s camber and toe settings are properly within spec. If they aren’t, you’ll be scrubbing parts of the tires as you drive along and wear them out quicker. This is especially the case with toe.

Your vehicle’s steering wheel may be straight, and it may drive perfectly fine despite your vehicle’s alignment being incorrect. So, it’s imperative to have a proper alignment done to ensure that it’s as close to perfect as it can get. Though alignments are a bit pricey, they are a whole lot cheaper than buying a new set of tires. Furthermore, some places offer an alignment plan like Firestone’s lifetime alignment, where you pay once and receive alignments throughout your entire ownership of the vehicle.

Run your tires at the proper pressure

A woman checks the air pressure on a car tire at a gas station.
A woman checks the air pressure on a car tire at a gas station. | Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

Although it has been proven that running a higher tire pressure can indeed increase fuel economy, it can also reduce the lifespan of your tires. So, before you consider drastically bumping the pressure up before a road trip, consider the cost of replacing your tires vs. fuel savings!

Of course, running your tires too low on pressure can also kill your tires quicker than one might expect.

In either case, running incorrect tire pressure changes the tire’s specific contact points with the road, which can cause them to wear improperly. Though it may not seem too obvious, constantly driving with improper tire pressure can severely cut their lifespan.

Rotate your tires as needed

A mechanic changes tires on a car.
A mechanic changes tires on a car. | Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images

Without consistent tire rotations, the tires on your vehicle are likely to wear unevenly at each corner. So, the lifespan of one tire may become drastically affected while another is fine.

Ideally, one should rotate their tires every 5,000 miles. Many tire shops rotate them for free if you purchased your tires there. Alternatively, it is a fairly straightforward DIY task to execute yourself.

Keep your tires clean!

Man giving a spring wash to his Porsche 911 GT3RS with a pressure washer and wash bucket
Man washing a Porsche | Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images

Although tires are, of course, meant to withstand outside conditions like weather and unideal roads, they do still require some basic care.

Petroleum products like engine oil and gasoline can negatively affect the rubber compound of tires. So, if you’ve got some oil spots on your garage floor or drive through some gas at a gas station, get those tires cleaned ASAP!

When washing your car, it’s easy to take a few extra seconds to spray out the treads of your tires. It may make their lifespan a bit longer than you think!

Tire lifespan is entirely dependent on their owners’ care

If you don’t drive your car super hard and don’t put a ton of miles on your car, you’ve already got an edge up on making your tires last longer than most. However, it’s important to make sure you’re on top of the topics above.

It’s especially important to keep an eye on tire pressure, even if you have nitrogen in them. Even if you have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), the allowed pressure variances before a sensor turns the dash light on may be more than you think. So, check your tire pressure routinely once a month!

Overall, your tire lifespan, much like the lifespan of your car, depends on your proper care and upkeep.

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