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

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!

If you want to learn more about tires, please read our Beginner’s Guide to Car Tires.

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?

-tgriffith

Find Certified Pre-Owned Cars and Used Cars in your area at CarGurus.

Shopping for a new vehicle?
Bring along CarGurus’ mobile app to help check prices, find good deals, and research cars on your smartphone.

205 Comments

  1. Guess I should be happy. Got to almost 28000 miles on 2017 CRV Honda. Not my first rodeo so was saving for inevitable. You are all right. 20000 is average.

  2. Add us to the list 23,000 miles on a 2017 Honda CR-V, completely bald on all 4.

  3. have a 2016 ford fusion at 19000 miles need tires already dealers must sell cheap tires on new cars i rotated evey other oil chang cheek pressure all the time did not matter still worn

  4. 10000 Miles on my 2017 Nissan Titan and need to replace two tires.
    ??? Not sure rotating every 5000-6000 miles would make too much of a difference.
    TOYO – not a fan.
    Bought the vehicle used when it had 3100 miles, so do not have original receipt and Carmax doesn’t offer any warranty on them.
    So I’m stuck having to purchase two new tires.

  5. I am replacing mine from 2018 Honda Odyssey at 18k today. Who would buy tire that only last less than 20k?

  6. Just bought a new Audi A4 with the S Line package and Continental Sport tires. After only 3000 miles the rear driver side tire blew out along the whole edge of the sidewall. Audi is trying to tell me it is my fault that the tires drove with not enough air. Interesting because this car tells you when the air is too low, but mine did not. They are trying to make me buy a new tire and not stand behind the ones they put on the vehicle, which has only been driven for a little over one month (most of the miles are from driving it home from buying from out of state). RIDICULOUS Scam artists!

  7. I have a 2016 Toyota Highlander and my car only has 40,000 miles on it and already the dealer is telling me that the front tires have to be changed because they are 3/32 inches or less. The tires are in great shape. When I asked the service guy why he says they are wearing out so fast he said that because the Highlander is a front wheel drive you put more wear on the tires in the front. But, I rotate them every 5000 miles so they’re not necessarily the tires that were in the front when I first got the car. These may be from the back. He then explained to me that they are Bridgestone tires and that while they have better performance (not) they don’t last as long. He says that Toyota never puts the same tires on all the cars. One month they might put on Bridgestone tires. On another month they might put Michelin tires. He was telling me that you can find used tires at Ram tire’s or Mexicali tires. He said Mexicali has more variety. He told me that Hancook are lower performing tires and that Bridgestone are better performing tires. A lot of times the tires that last longer don’t perform as well. He said on the side of the tire they give a letter grade for handling and traction. To look for the letter A for both. He went on to tell me you can find used tires at Ram tire‘s or Mexicali tires. He said Mexicali has more variety. He told me that Hancook are lower performing tires and that Bridgestone tires are better performing tires. He said that Toyo tires and Bridgestone tires will wear out the fastest but are the better performing tires. Is this a load of crap they are feeding us? I feel they just want to get us to spend more money if it’s unnecessary. I’m going to get a second and third opinion.

  8. After reading these comments I don’t feel so bad! Was very surprised when Nissan just advised me I needed new tires (2013 with 27,000). Tires have been rotated and I have always kept an eye on tire pressure. One more thing to think about when buying a new car! I expected 40 -50K at least! Also, I have mainly driven only in town – short distances and low speeds.

    • That’s me too! Before Christmas when I had the oil changed (when they usually rotate my tires) the dealer said he wouldn’t rotate them they were too bad. A 2016 with 22,000 miles on it!

  9. I have same issue with my new 2017 Infiniti QX 60 which has only 19K miles on it. It came with a Bridgestone Dueller tire and I had been rotating those every 5K miles along with the oil change. Unfortunately one of the tires caughta nail and was losing air slowly.

    When I took to the dealership, they advised that I change all tires. I called Bridgestone to inquire about having to change tires with such low miles and they asked me to go for a tire inspection at a Firestone nearby. They also recommended changing the tires due to the tread being 2/32 and 3/32.

    I’m planning to follow this up through BBB autoline.

    • Omg that’s me too! I have a 2018 qx60 and need 2 new back tires. Only 21k miles and I have to replace the back brakes too. I’m glad that I’m not alone…. sorry about your four Bridgestones, I only need two so I’ll stop complaining

  10. My 2015 Ford Focus has a little less than 19000 miles. I’ve rotated my tires and keep an eye on tire pressure and drive it almost exclusively on toll highways. I have an appointment tomorrow to change them as they are now at 2/32-4/32s tread depth…Anyone getting more than 20000 miles from the OEM Continentals is far the exception than the rule in my opinion..

  11. 2015 Mazda CX-5 with 22K miles, told 2 of the tires are 3/32 and 2 are 4/32 and should be replaced soon.

  12. I drive a 2007 Toyota Prius which now has 144,500 miles on it. Took car in for rotation and told I need new tires and that they ares worn. Looked back at the record I had, last set of tires was purchased mid year in 2016. Odometer at that time read 104400. This will be the 4th set of tires I have had to purchase. No…I did not rotate tires quit the way I should have, but after reading all the comments and post here…looks like that would not have helped anyway. Clearly the tire manufacturers have found a way to sell sub standard tire quality yet claim to back their products up with 50-69,000 Mile warranty. How are they getting away with this is what I would like to know?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.