The Lifespan of a Tire

Giving a definitive expiration date on tires is no easy task. Tires carrying a heavy load or left outdoors in a desert-like environment with infrequent use are examples of the most severe service conditions. This will certainly shorten the lifespan of a tire. On the other hand, a tire that is driven only daily, garage parked and in a moderate climate will have the potential for the longest lifespan.

The tender loving care or lack thereof on behalf of the owner also contributes to tire life. Regular cleaning, air pressure checks and rotations and alignments all contribute to maximizing tire life. Some possible areas of neglect and abuse that will shorten the lifespan include overloading or running the tire underinflated. Road hazards such as potholes or curbs or other punctures, cuts and impacts can result in irreversible damage. A tire's durability can be compromised when abused or damaged.

This is why it is very difficult to determine the lifespan of a tire based on a calendar age. Tire Rack has found 6-10 years in service as being a reasonable expectation.

If you have more questions, feel free to contact your favorite sales specialist at Tire Rack for more information.


Friday, June 22, 2012 by Jim

I have a 61 corvette that has 4 very good looking Firestone 678.15s They show no cracks or any flaws. 90% tread. The DOT date 366 shows them to be manufactured on the 36th week of 1996 or 86 or maybe 76. I drove the car on a trip with them on for about 350 miles. Mostly freeway at speeds about 65 due to a heating problem when I went faster.(radiator restricted) No problems with tires. Do you recommend I just replace them or use them since they look good. I don't know how they were taken care of before I bought the car.

Friday, June 22, 2012 by Hunter

Thanks for your question.
10 years and out is the rule. Your tires are definitely outside that guideline, I have to advise replacing them. There could easily be internal deterioration that can't be seen with a tire.

Take good care and enjoy that car!
Thursday, January 17, 2013 by Kyle

I just picked up a set of factory wheels and Continental tires that were removed from a 2008 Escape when it was new with less than 15 miles on it. The tires have full tread and are, aside from having a date code of 1308 (13th week of 2008), brand new! They were stored stacked and under a tarp in a covered shed here in Florida since 2008. They do not have any flaws or cracks and have been full of air since they were stored.

I will probably put over 30k miles on my car (a 2006 Escape) this year and will more than likely be replacing these tires before they reach the 10 year old mark as they are around 5 years old now.

With these installed on my car, what precautions should I take with these tires over the next couple years of service? Is there more of a risk of failure since they were stored mounted and inflated vs. if they were stored for the same amount of time, unmounted in a warehouse? Thanks!
Friday, January 18, 2013 by Hunter

To be conservative, I would suggest taking to a tire shop for an inspection. Technically even with only 15 miles on them, they are considered in use for that entire time, which puts the 6 year in use guidance in play.
Monday, May 20, 2013 by NASIRU

I notice that the conventional tires for the 2010 acura mdx are the 255/55 or50/18.My 2010 Acura Mdx advanced tech model however runs on 255/50/19 103H Michelin latitude tires from the factory.Is there any problem with this?I need to replace the tires due to wear, what tires do you recommend I replace them with?some users consider the michelins too noisy

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