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!

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

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136 Comments

  1. 2014 Hyundai elantra only put 14,200 miles and the mechanic is telling me I need new tires soon. I get oil change and tire inspection every 3k and have done two tire rotations. What’s the deal? Cheap tires or second opinion?? Abes head looks good.

  2. I purchased a brand new 2015 civic two years ago, and I’m replacing the original tires now at about 26k. I did only rotate them once however, and they are low profile, so I’m assuming that’s why they wore more quickly. Something still does not seem right!

  3. I have a Mazda C-X5 I have 53000 and still have 4/32nd tread left.. i rotated every 5,000 with oil change. They have one of the best tires it came new with, Yokohama’s. I’m only replacing because I’m fixing to make a 6,000 mile trip. Auto shop said I should not have a problem but want to be safe than sorry.

  4. My 2016 toyota corolla s has only 26,135 miles and the Firestone tires that came on it were already worn down to 5mm. I went to Tire Discounters today and bought a brand new set of Pirelli Cinturato tires. They have a 70,000 mile warranty. Much better tires than the Firestone than were the oem that were on the car when i bought it. It rides and handles so much better now. I wont ever put Firestone tires on my car.

  5. sounds very familiar….my 2016 camry I drive 64 EASY highway miles every day…..had it in to the dealership every 5k as required…..at 28000 miles guess what??? you’re down to 3/32 ??? I believe the car companies are putting cheap tires on new vehicles, because when you ask the dealership about it they have had issues but their corporate sales people won’t do anything about it…..and when you ask them what the mileage rating is on your NEW tires, they say they don’t have a rating……BS

  6. I have a 2016 toyota corolla that i bought brand new. I drive the speed limit and I’m careful when i break. I also take my car in for service to the dealer where i bought my car. Every 5,000 miles they rotate the tires and check the tread. My car isn’t even 2 years old yet and i am about to need to buy new tires for it. The manufacturers should put better tires on their new cars!!

  7. I have 2 new Toyota cars; one 2013 and another 2015 .. both tires are bald at barely 30K while following all proper tire rotations schedules and driving very carefully (not burning tires at stops). It is crazy when they want to sell tires to everyone who come for oil change while sitting at the waiting area. what is going on??
    I think I will punish them by not getting new tires from car dealership. Secondly they charge over 100 bucks for alignment every time! And every time it is OFF when I have not run into curbs or pot holes. What is wrong with these car makers.

  8. I bought a new 2015 Chrysler 300s awd and 24,000 miles later the tires are almost bald. I rotate them at every oil change. It’s B.S they say they don’t see anything wrong smh.

  9. Our cars, one of humans’ greatest inventions, are indeed complex machines. They are made up of different kinds and sizes of parts and components that all work together for your mobility, driving convenience, safety, and more. Being that all these different vehicle parts have each of their own functions and responsibilities, it is only natural to think that some will wear out and get tired faster than the others.

  10. Hyundai Sonata, 2016, with 18,258 miles. In For inspection and 2 tires need to be replaced at a cost of $228.20. Not happy!!!!!

  11. It can happen. It depends on the tires, the alignment, and to a degree, it might be the drive system (AWD/4WD).

    Tires have wear ratings. In theory, longer wearing tires are “harder”, but they may not grip as well, or be more 3 season, than 4 season (not great in cold weather).

    An alignment that keeps a car tracking true is a compromise. The current “fashion” of wide, low profile tires, makes alignment and stability a balancing act. Wide tires can be sensitive to uneven roads. They can be great for dry grip, but not so great for rain and snow. If you’re getting an alignment, get a 4 wheel alignment.

    I’ve pulled relatively good OEM tires off my cars because they just don’t feel good during bad weather. They’re adequate, but not good. That’s important when you live in a rural, mountain, area.

  12. Same here. New car rotated every 5 thousand miles like clockwork! 29,000 miles later and the last maintenance check reported them at 2/32. I need 4 new tires. The brand of tires on it report a 60,000 mile warranty on New tires but are not covered under warranty for a new car. What a rip off. The tire company should NOT make substandard tires specifically for a car company and not back their warranty! The public should be aware.

  13. I have 2015 Ford F350 cutaway van I purchased new and just replaced the tires at 16k. The tire shop asked if I wanted the old Tires because they said they weren’t half bad. They were at about 50% of their life, but they absolutely sucked in the Seattle rain and especially in the snow going down the highway. It’s Fall and Winter is right around the corner and I wasn’t going to spend another winter on crappy tires. So for my safety and my employees safety, I changed out the tires. After just driving10 miles, I could tell that the new tires offere far more traction and a comfortable ride. Money well spent and a warranty that covers flats, balancing and tire rotating for the life of the tire.

  14. 2016 Volvo V60 came with Michelins. I expected a reputable tire to last longer. I’m 4/32 at just over 30,000 miles. Totally shocked.

  15. Same thing here. as of 10/05/2017. Have a 2015 Honda Fit with Firestones from Dealership.
    28,000 miles and the fronts are bald at the sides.. Never hit any curbs or anything . Only drive on freeways…..

  16. Bought 4 new tires at firestone in feb 2017. It is now october and 10k miles later, these tires are really really worn. No way I can make it thru the winter with them. They have a 40k mile warranty on them….

  17. My dodge journey has 19k miles on it. I need all 4 tires and a wheel alignments all around. How the heck does a practically new car need new tires and wheel alignments! It’s not like I’ve done any kind of hard driving on the thinkg

    • I contacted Kumho directly they stated Dodge requires certain specs on their tires for new vehicles to only last 20-30k. I am contacting Dodge tomorrow re this issue.

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