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Tire longevity

Is there a typical mileage after which tires need to be replaced? The tire store is telling me it’s about 30,000 miles.


It’s based on how much tread is left (assuming you don’t get up to the eight-year point or so). How much tread do you have left?

It all depends on the type of tire used. A wild guess of Passat tires is 30k-50k. It really depends on tread depth left. 2/32" is legal limit when bars appear, 4/32" is a good point to replace for full safety as less makes wet stops and winter driving treacherous.

It depends on many variables. There is no specific mileage. Some high-performance tires don’t last 10K miles. High quality passenger car tires, on the other hand, might last 50K miles.

There are wear indicators molded into the tread. When the tread wears down even with the indicators the tires are due for replacement.

Maintaining the correct inflation and keeping the wheels aligned will help you achieve the longest life possible from your tires.

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

I use a tire tread depth gauge like this one to measure the remaining tread. Generally, once your tires get to 4/32 of an inch, it is time to replace them.

The legal limit in many places is 2/32 of an inch, but I think that usually isn’t enough tread to safely drive in the rain. For commercial truck drivers, the steering tries must have at least 4/32 of an inch, and all the other tires must have at least 2/32 of an inch.

rotate, rotate, rotate


Mileage varies widely depending on teh vehicle, the driving environment, how you drive, the type of tire, and the make and model of the tire. Ignore the salesman.

All tires, however, are required to have “wear bars” (indicators) molded in to display minimum depth. It’s a “bridge” across the tread reliefs. They only indicate an absolute minimum tread depth, however. When that wear bar becomes clearly visable it’s time to get new tires. Remember that the only thing keeping the car on the pavement gong where you want, and the only thing that stops the car, is those four rubber patches. It is not worth trying to save $100 worth of rubber still left when it may be compromising your safety.

If you’re unsure, than Whitey’s 4/32 of an inch is a good rule of thumb to follow.

And remember to measure the tread at it’s lowest point. There may be uneven wear, like on the outside or inside of the front tires.

No. If you did not ask that question at the tyre store and they came up with the comment, then I would try a different shop. On the other hand If you asked when they should be replaced, their comment is very conservative and since there are many other factors that should be considered it was an overly simple answer that might cause you to buy tyres when they are not needed.

Nope, agree with everyone else. I’ve gotten 110K on 15" wheels but can vary widely.

I have gotten that on 15" wheels also,just not on the tires.

Depends on the weight of the vehicle, the quality of the tire body, the rubber compound, where you drive, and most importantly, how you drive.

My '91 Volvo wagon has gone 80k miles to 90k miles on each set of Michelin X tires that I have put on it (286k miles total and counting). I replace tires when the first wear indicator peaks through.

My two Daughters get about 70k miles per set of Michelin Energys on their '97 328 BMWs.

My wife mysteriously can go through two sets of rear tires per set of front tires on her 330 BMW. Same thing happened when she drove one of the 328s when it was new. My wife also gets far poorer gas mileage from any of the cars than the rest of us do. She also gets more tickets than the rest of us put together. Does anyone other than me detect a pattern here?

She must enjoy “spirited” driving. I used to go through tires pretty quickly when I lived in a place where that kind of driving was possible without endangering pedestrians and other drivers.

Tire wear is highly dependent on driving style. I am not a believer in tire rotation on right wheel drive cars as it tends to mask problems with the suspension. After a problem is detected and corrected, sure. In feeble wheel drive vehicles, it is a sad necessity.