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?

-tgriffith

92 Comments

  1. I just was told that my Hyundai Elantra with only 30,000 miles on it needs new tires. The dealer wanted to put the same brand of tires (Hankook P205/55R16 89H) on as a replacement. I was wondering why I got such horrible wear; apparently I did pretty good compared with what other people are saying. I think the cheap tire explanation is probably the correct one. In over 30 years of driving, I have never had tires wear out so quickly before. I will definitely shop elsewhere for my new tires.

  2. I have a 2015 Chrysler 200 with Bridgestone tires as original. I get them rotated every 7500 miles per the recommendation in the manual. They are shot after 29,000 miles. I had this fabulous vehicle into the dealer ship for its fourth recall (don’t get me started) and I asked about the uneven tread wear on one of the tires. They said they would look at the alignment. When I went to pick it up they gave me the Heisman and said the wear was normal. I called Bridgestone customer service about it and and was told, by a very helpful person, that the auto companies buy tires that are softer rubber than the normal tires that are warrantied for 50-70k miles so as they provide better mileage. So, this means that we have to suffer and buy new tires at 25 to 30K miles so the auto manufacturers can advertise good mileage and adhere to the government mandated mileage targets. BTW, tires that come standard on a new car are not warrantied by the tire manufacturer because of the inferior rubber they have to use. According to the Bridgestone rep, they even cost more to make and therefore more for us to pay for our automobiles than the normal higher wear capable tires. If I ever buy another new car I will make part of the deal that they credit me for the tires that come with it and I will bring them tires they can install.

  3. Bought a 2014 Infiniti QX60 from Southwest Infiniti in Houston (NOT recommended as a dealership to buy from at all!!!)
    I questioned the VERY worn tires at only 15k miles, but the salesman said it was acceptable based on the coin test. At 27k miles They are almost completely bald and will be replaced this week. It seems I got more milage than some others, but still. I am looking at tires and most seem to be good for at least 50 for this car!

    • I have a 2013 Hyundai Sontana bought new now has 22 miles every oil change tires rotated and aligned once a year today they said tire tread is 30/ 40 need new tires I was told by several people today Hyundai puts cheap tires on their new cars. probably why I have hard time in winter on pa roads and hills. so I will get new tires but not at dealership you pay a lot for new cars give us good tires. I mean 22.000 miles not 22.

  4. What brand tires are most of you having trouble with? maybe you can get a sort of poll going here and see if there is any correlation between these tires. List the brand, the load rating, the tire pressure and how you drive it would be helpful. If there is no common thing that is causing this, maybe the tire companies are together with the car manufactures. I don’t think so but I don’t really trust anybody now days, especially after seeing Hillary run for President.

  5. At least the vast majority of you had someone from the dealership inform you that you needed new tires…mine didn’t offer rotation, didn’t suggest I replace the tires, and the other day I had a blowout on the freeway, wheel well/body damage, none of it is covered under my warranty, and it happened closer to a different Hyundai dealership with shitty attitudes and they weren’t even looking at my car until I repeatedly called them and even had my car salesman call them, and then they misinformed me about the extent of the damage, and ultimately just gave me the number of a body shop/tow truck in town. I would love to be complaining about having to just replace the tires sooner than expected.

  6. I bought my car last year and it has 18,800 miles and Toyota dealer is telling me because I didn’t get alignment they recommended last oil change/tire rotation that this caused wear on my tires. They would not rotate my tires saying that the 2 front ones are bad.

    • Wow I had the exact same thing happen with my 2015 Rav 4 I have made a complaint to Toyota because the dealership told me the tires should only get 15000 to 20000 miles. I think something stinky is going on between the car and tire companies.

  7. Just got back from the Hyundai dealership getting an oil change. 2014 Elantra, 37k- I am a high mileage driver. Need new tires. :( In my experience, tires should last 4-5 years and at least 50k miles!! They quoted me $570 for new tires. NO WAY on a small car!! Headed to Costco!!!

  8. 2010 Honda Civic
    20K miles and tires could use replacing. I have never rotated, but still
    doesn’t seem like many miles.

    • 2015 Hyundai Accent

      I noticed my front tires were pretty bare after 10,000 miles. I tried to get them rotated, and they said they were too long gone. Pretty Ridiculous to have to purchase two new tires after only 10,000 miles!

      • Are you a hard driver, hard into corners, a lot of city driving? I notice a lot of the people that have small cars tend to thin they are racers. Just saying.

  9. I bought a 2015 Hyundai Elantra. At 24,000 miles I had to buy new tires, and should have at 18,000. My Hyundai salesman told me they put cheap tires on all the cars…gives a quieter ride. The serviceman at the same dealership said they were only warranted for 12,000 miles. Salesman claimed most manufacturers are doing this. I advise not buying until they agree to put quality tires on you brand new car. Buyer beware.

  10. I drive my new Toyota Sienna 2014 LE. This van is having only 23500 miles on it and all tires are almost bald only 10-155 remain. I am so surprise how it could be possible. I did tire rotation on every service(each after 5000 miles). Still….

    Car companies are surely cheating with customers…….

  11. Not all new vehicle tires are created Equal it would seem.

    Examples:

    My 2013 Genesis: 25k miles and replace tires required.
    My 2015 Lincoln MKZ 23K miles and replace tires required.
    My 2012 Inifiti QX56 68K miles and replaced tires because I was shocked that they were lasting so long. Dealer said that I have at least another 10k on the tread. Replaced anyway early.

  12. Purchased new 2013 Toyota Highlander – had to replace tires after only 17,000 + miles! Should of kept my Volvo…
    White color has lots of chips – should of kept my Volvo….. still have lots & lots of payments – should of kept my paid Volvo. My daughter has an old Toyota huge van and loves it & it has lots & lots of miles.

  13. 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…..lol

  14. 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.

  15. @ 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.

  16. @ 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.

  17. 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.

    • It’s not the car but rather the tires. I think they put softer tires on many Toyotas. I had a 2006 Solara and had to replace my tires at 25K miles.

      With my 2013 Hyundai, I have nearly 49K on the original tires and they still ride great although they are due for replacement very soon.

      You can always go with a different tire which will last longer although they might not be as quiet.

  18. 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.

    • Maybe back then the Hankook Tires where made with quality but now I don’t believe that is the case. I’ve bought my Ford Explorer December 2016 with 20 inch Hankook Tires and 10 months later 28000 miles 98% Highway mileage @ the last oil change they recommended to change the tires soon. In my opinion the making of the tires deteriorate and manufacturer cutting the corners and make a bigger profit. That’s pretty sad how they cheat us car owner.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

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

  24. @ 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.

  25. 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!).

  26. 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

    • Maybe the dealer should have topped off your nitrogen level on each tire. This happened to me when I bought my toyota camry in 2012. As soon as the weather temperature chaneed my tire pressure indicator came on. Once they put more nitrogen in the tire the problem never returned.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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’..

  30. 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.

  31. 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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