How long do tyres last?

So many factors impact on the life of your car’s tyres. As David Morley explains though, look after your tyres and they’ll look after you.

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Um, at the risk of sounding like we don’t know, how long is a piece of string?

There are probably more variables that determine tyre life than there are brands of tyres for sale in Australia. Start doing burnouts and donuts (heaven forbid) and a brand new set of tyres might last a couple of minutes. Do the right thing by your tyres and you might get anything up to 100,000km out of them. Or anything in between.

But let’s assume you’re not a serial hoon and you drive like a normal homo-sapiens. Even at that point, there are still many, many variables.

You can extend tyre life by making sure the inflation pressures are checked and adjusted regularly and by rotating the tyres front to rear every 20,000km or so.

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Wheel alignment is also critical and this should be checked every 12 months (or any time you clout a kerb or median strip).  

Worn suspension can shorten a tyre’s life and stop-start driving in urban traffic will wear tyres out faster than running in highway conditions.

Towing a trailer can shorten tyre life, too, and really high-performance tyres naturally wear faster because the rubber their tread is made from is physically softer.

Even the coarseness of the individual little stones that make up the bitumen in your part of the world can make a difference.

But taking all that into consideration, if you can squeak 60,000km or so out of a set of tyres on a conventional hatchback or sedan, you’ve done pretty darn well.

 

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David Morley
Journalist

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