Tires on New Cars: Replace After 20,000 Miles?

Expensive car, inferior tires?

Expensive car, inferior tires?

I think car manufacturers and tire makers have a deal with each other. Here’s why:

I bought a 2007 Suzuki SX4 two years ago to serve as a commuter car. Today it has 22,000 miles on it, and last week I had to replace all four tires, because the front ones were nearly bald.

I figured I just had a case of bad luck and partly blamed myself, since I failed to rotate the tires on a regular basis. But the guy at the tire shop said he’s noticing a common trend: People are coming in for new tires with about 20,000 miles on the odometer. 

I got home and started searching online, and sure enough I found forums where people complain that their new cars need new tires after only 14,000 to 20,000 miles. A guy here made it 18,000 miles with a 2007 Lexus ES 350. Same thing here on a Mercedes GL450.

What’s the deal? Are car companies cutting costs by putting inferior OEM tires on their vehicles?

While I don’t doubt that could be a possibility, I think the bigger picture is a lack of proper tire maintenance. The guy who sold me the new tires for my Suzuki recommended having them rotated every 5,000 to 6,000 miles; maybe if I had done that in the first place the originals would’ve gone another 10K or so. 

Also, please keep an eye on your tire pressure. As temperatures rise, tires that were properly inflated in cold weather could suddenly be overinflated. Measure your tire pressure “cold.” If possible, park the car in your garage overnight, and check the pressure in the morning.

Even with proper maintenance, tire life is another thing to consider when buying a new car. Check to see if the tires come with a warranty, and if not, use it as a negotiation tool to inch your price down.

When selling a car, consider doing what the guy who traded in the car my wife bought did: He felt bad getting rid of a car with used tires, so he put on brand-new 18″ Yokohamas before getting rid of it. Sweet!

Has anyone else noticed a short life for tires on new cars? How many miles do you typically get out of a set of tires?


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    1. Michael Guerra
      July 22nd, 2016 at 22:18 | #1

      I just bought a New Dodge ProMaster on
      Sept 2015 and now it July 22 2016 I have 17745 miles and they were rotated correctly and they have about 20% left of thread. Really sad they are sticking to us again. I use this truck for bussiness around town and Highway. I need to start checking prices.
      It’s like buying a printer with factory ink cartridges. They giveven only for the first 10 prints…

    2. Amanda
      July 9th, 2016 at 15:00 | #2

      I drive a 2009 AWD IS 250. I put Continentals on it in Jan. 2014 when the OD read 40,000. Now, I am at 70,000 miles and due for tires. I am very anal about getting my oil changed and tires rotated every 6 months. With that type of care, they have lasted me 30,000 miles.

    3. Elaine
      June 7th, 2016 at 10:25 | #3

      @ Curtis Flora
      Sounds like I will buy my own tires and negotiate the price down on my new car. I will tell them to keep their tires and put the ones I bought on. The dealership wants $800 to replace all 4 tires. My tires lasted 25,000 highway miles on my brand new,2014 Toyota Corolla that I bought 12/19/14.

    4. Elaine
      June 7th, 2016 at 10:20 | #4

      @ Daniel
      You are not alone. I drive extremely careful because I want my car to last a long time

    5. Elaine
      June 7th, 2016 at 10:19 | #5

      @ susan
      I agree. I assumed Jim Norton Toyota had switched out my tires when they rotated them and changed my oil until I started looking at all of the other complaints about tires.

    6. Elaine
      June 7th, 2016 at 10:15 | #6

      I bought a brand new 2015 Toyota Corolla on December 19, 2014. Drove it off the showroom floor. At 25,000 miles (all highway miles), I was told that I needed to buy 4 brand new tires. I asked him after 17 months of having my brand new car I have to buy brand new tires??!!! I looked at my Firestone tires and took pictures this morning. I’m thinking about trading in my car. I’m super frustrated about having a car not even 2 years and having to buy brand new tires.

    7. Sam
      May 26th, 2016 at 20:49 | #7

      What guys? Are you eating them tires? The Hankook tires on my Renault Fluence are 5 years old and past the bar of 200.000 and are like new.

    8. susan
      May 22nd, 2016 at 19:54 | #8

      I was told by the shop guy that the tires they put on new were “soft” tires and wont last long. He said soft tires were to keep road noise down. I live in the hills and dont care about road noise. I will be writing a letter to the Ford Company

    9. susan
      May 22nd, 2016 at 19:52 | #9

      I just bought a new ford focus hatchback. It now have 24,000 miles on it. I rotated the tires almost every oil change and was told last oil change that i would be needing new tires after the oil change after next. I AM NOT happy about that. Im believing new tires should last more than say 20,000 to 30,000 miles this is BS

    10. Daniel
      April 20th, 2016 at 15:41 | #10

      Yep, same here. I bought a 2015 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid last year and have about 24500 on it right now. Tires are about bald. Getting new ones put on Friday. Ridiculous…. I thought maybe it was the mountains I have to drive around in, but it’s not like I drive fast or fly around turns, because I’ve always thought the number was 50K miles or so is where I should be looking at new tires. Judging from all these comments, I’m not alone.

    11. Curtis Flora
      April 14th, 2016 at 01:00 | #11

      I purchased my New 2014 Honda Pilot, and needed new tires; and I know why! My uncle worked for Firestone for 30 years in upper management; He told me that Dealerships purchase a less superior product line for thier New vehicles. Meaning that they have a totally different Tire Product Line, for the Firestone franchise dealers. Also for the Mom and Pop Franchises their tires are of a more superior product. This is why my New Honda Pilot and your New vehicles need new tires after 20k miles. And this came from the mouth of one of the upper executive management from Firestone. Humm…sounds like we are being robbed!

    12. Tom Hutton
      March 31st, 2016 at 17:56 | #12

      Low mileage OEM tires make me nervious. Are they safe? How could they be?

    13. Adam
      January 15th, 2016 at 13:04 | #13

      @ Judi Dingfelder
      Nitro fill is not worth your money. Nitrogen just has less water then air does. With straight air the water could freeze inside your tire but there is such minimal water that it doesn’t even matter. Imagine taking a few drops of water and putting it inside your tire. Nitrogen is just a way for the dealership to get more money out of you.

    14. Beckster
      January 13th, 2016 at 21:00 | #14

      Thank you all for validating what I’ve been suspecting for some time now! My (was new) 2014 Dodge Challenger has less than 24,000 on it and the original tires are now almost bald. Now I drive fast (obviously) but otherwise normal:I’m over 40, so no peeling out, laying drags, donuts, etc. My previous car was a 1 year old Challenger and the dealer had to replace those tires before I took the car because they were almost bald too. I truly believe (and have heard for years) that the new car tires are not built to last as long as regular tire sales. As a lifelong driver of sport cars, I’m used to replacing tires more often than, say, family cars but this is getting ridiculous (and very costly!).

    15. teresa
      December 30th, 2015 at 02:29 | #15

      hi just lease a 2016 toyota camry se and put 2000 miles on it
      and just few days ago ive noticed all my tires are all low in pressures!
      and called the dealer and said that the tires are not included in the warranty!
      now my questions is “how the hell this happened” with 2K miles on it! what’s the websites for the toyota recalls or forum sites?
      this is a brand new toyota camry se

    16. Karen
      November 28th, 2015 at 09:42 | #16

      I bought a new 2013 Nissan Murano – at 20,500 miles I had to replace all 4 tires. Tires were well maintained, rotated every 5,000 miles. Junk.. Just spent $900 on new Firestones, with a 60,000 mile warranty on the treads. I wish I would of known to ask about the tires at the time of purchasing the vehicle.

    17. Drake
      November 8th, 2015 at 17:44 | #17

      Bought from Firestone on February 8th 2014 a brand new set of Primewell Valera Touring Tires for my Kia Rio5 at 47,000 miles. Today, November 8th 2015 was told my tires are bald and I need new ones, I am at 74,000 miles. I only got 27,000 miles on these tires, when the ones from Kia I was able to put 47,000 on.

    18. TKlocker
      November 4th, 2015 at 18:00 | #18

      2013 Prius needs new tires at 30,000! Ridiculous.

      @ Judi Dingfelder
      Consumer reports found nitro not that much better than regular air. Will they do cheaper if NOT nitro? Otherwise it’s not a ‘bonus’..

    19. Lin Connery
      October 17th, 2015 at 18:57 | #19

      We have just under 19,000 km – not even miles – on our factory-installed tires and they must be replaced already. It turns out there’s no warranty of any kind on the rubber. For famous name tire makers to produce what is essentially temporary tires, and for high profile car manufacturers to put them on their vehicles, it must cheapen both brands in the eyes of their customers. As far as the car is concerned, it makes me wonder what other corners have cut to keep costs low.

    20. Judi Dingfelder
      October 8th, 2015 at 15:22 | #20

      I drive a 2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (the top of the line for this car). I have 24,000 miles and I think I need new tires. My original tires have “nitro-fill” and I’m willing to buy new ones from the dealership (who will “throw in Nitro-fill”) – is Nitrofill worth it? How many miles should I realistically get from these tires – pressures are always ok (they are measured by the car) and they have been rotated regularly.

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