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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177 Comments

  1. 2016 leased KIA Sedona — Hankook Dynapro HP2 OEM tires. Worn out at 24k. Dealer won’t do anything — says contact Hankook. Hankook had me take them to NTB for inspection then said they wouldn’t warranty treadwear on OEM tires… but were going to offer me 25% off on new tires if I purchased thru NTB today. I told them both to pound sand….

  2. dealing with the same thing. 2016 Honda CRV w/ 19K miles, garage parked. dealer is saying right rear tire is worn and i need a new one. have continental tire on it.

  3. I lease a Mazda CX5 with Yokohama Geolander tires. I have $20,000 miles on my car. Tires rotated every other oil change. Now, they say I need 4 new tires. This is why I leased, so I wouldn’t have these expenses. This is my first lease, and may be my last. Especially with Mazda. I am so upset! Reviews of Yokohama say their customer service could care less if you file a complaint. My salesman says the tires have no warranty on tread. What a ripoff!!

  4. I have a 2016 Ford Fusion and was just told today that I need 4 new tires. The car only has 22000
    miles on it. I am more than a little upset about this. On top of the other issues with the car, I am almost ready to give the damn thing back to them!!

  5. I have to agree that I think this is BS too! Just leased an infiniti Gx70 1.5 years ago. Has 18,000 and guy is telling me I need knew tires!!!! WHAT!!! That is ridiculous! Tires have been rotated every 6K. I am beyond annoyed. I am not buying new tires for a car that has 18K! Last time I will be leasing, that’s for sure!

  6. I have a 2016 CRV and previously had a Civic. The civic got about 40k before I had to buy new tires. The CRV currently has 37k. The tires are getting low, but nowhere near the treadwear indicators. I normally replace my tires when they reach 4/32 due to getting a lot of rain here and once below 4/32 you start to lose traction in wet weather.

  7. I know that they design the new car tires to get about 20k only. Toyota especially… you go in for your 20k service and they tell you, well… you could get 10k or 5k more but better to change them now when your car is there for the 20k service. Then they make more money for the tire manufacturer and the dealership replacing your tires. everything revolves around money.

    • That happened to me too on my Nissan Rouge. I haven’t even had the car for a year, and bought it with zero mileage. And when I went to the dealer for my 20k maintenance they said I needed to get new brakes and new tires.

  8. I have the same problem with my 2017 Kia Forte, @ 10k they tell m my tires are half gone, well I’ve took it up with the dealer n now waiting on a reply to weather they are getting me new tires or not, if not I’m calling Kia, I agree with everyone, it’s all a big money scam!!

  9. When I complained about noisy tires @ 18,000 I was told by the service dept at my dealership that original equipment tires are not a warranty item. Why? Because new cars come with “soft” tires to improve your test drive experience by allowing the car to have a nice quiet ride. I learned to always ask for a new set of tires to be put on the new car before purchase, or work in a new set at 20000 miles into your deal. It’s a ridiculous, expensive sales ploy and as we as consumers catch on, we can either demand warranty coverage, as we expect with any other tire purchase or they can put decent equipment on new cars to begin with!

  10. 2016 optima here. Two weeks ago the treads on my fronts were fine. I put about 300 miles on them since then looked at them today they are balding in the front and the car isn’t out out alignment or doesn’t seem to be? It seems like manufactures are putting cheap tires on cars these days because my last 3 news cars went through tires really quickly. Best car I ever had for tires was my 2004 galant GTZ. Tires that came with it were rated for 50k I changed them out at 50 with plenty of tread left 3 times all with the same tires that came from the factory. Tires on that car wore evenly and it was never out of alignment.

  11. Interesting article. However I would not get hung up on just replacing after a certain number. It all depends on the amount of tread remaining on the tyres to keep the vehicle safe while on the road. In Australian for instance it is said you can get anywhere from 10,000km to 50,000km before needing to change your tires. This is a huge range and it all depends on the road conditions the tyres are exposed to. As a comparison 20,000 miles = around 32,000kms.

  12. Here’s the thing – there are soft compound and there are hard compound tires – soft compounds are great grippers but wear out earlier and the hard compounds last a lifetime but are not one bit grippy. Choosing a tire is more like a balancing act on how much to compromise on what. It’s not buying from a reputable company that makes the tire have great life – get hard compounds if thats what you need.

  13. I find it odd that people complain of excessive tire wear after getting 25000 miles and only having 5/32 left, most passenger cars come come with10-12 mm tread depth wear indicators are 2mm. If you see wear on the inside or outside of a tire that is severe you need an alignment. Tires are second procedure emergency repair only beat by brakes. A good shop manager will tell you to replace both. That is how we turn a 20$ oil change into a thousand dollar service ticket. Job security. Thanks.

  14. Bought new Mercedes Benz GLC300 at 2016, maintain regularly in local dealer, just had service this week, and was told I need to replace all 4 tires for my 19000 miles tires with price over $1000. Ridiculous! Complain to Benz custom service, let’s see the feed back.

    • Im dealing with this as we speak. This is outrageous… never buying a mercedes again.

    • Same thing happened to me with my brand new Honda CRV. At 6k miles I had 6/32 tire wear. Brand new it’s suppose to be 10/32. Now a year later they tell me I need new tires. 4/32. Explain that. I am going to Firestone first tomorrow. Then will be taking this up with my Honda dealer. I will go to corporate Honda if I have to. I am not paying for new tires. This is on them. We shouldn’t have to put up with this. Make them pay!!! Good luck.

    • Mine is exactly the same! I have 2016 GLC300, I was told to replace all 4 tires a month ago, I only have 20,000 miles… Here is MB customer service reply:
      Based on the current readings (measurements) on your tires I do not feel the alignment is why the tires should be replaced.

      All four are averaging around 2 mm across the tread. Our manufacture likes us to start recommending tires at 3 to 4 mm. As thousands of miles of driving alignments can surely change or get out of specifications and we also recommend performing alignments when we replace tires to

      try to achieve maximum wear on the replacement tires.

      Unfortunately most all tires produced now have moved to a much softer composite which means to achieve 40,000 miles or better just doesn’t happen this day and age certainly on our (Mercedes-Benz) vehicles. There are many reasons why our cars handle and perform the way that they do a lot of those reasons are because of the softer rubber but the effect is lower mileage. We have a few certain models that don’t see more the 10,000 miles out of the tires, definitely not all of them. Your particular vehicle seems to average around 15,000 to 20,000 miles on tires but again that is an average.

      We may be able to find a different composite tire for you without sacrificing ride quality and performance and still keep with an OEM tire. Mercedes usually gives us a few options or choices on tires but we have to install what MB recommends on what goes back on the vehicle. I honestly feel that any we choose will be around 20k or SLIGHTLY higher but as stated this is not uncommon wear for your model vehicle.

      Mercedes tire come with a two year road hazard warranty and we at RBM will give to free tire rotation for the life of the tire (if applicable) we also do a price match of local tire suppliers as long as we are comparing the same tires.

      Please let me know what questions you have and how I may be able to assist to make sure your investment is protected.

      • Hi Jane,

        I am delaing with the same problem. My 2017 GLC300 tire worn out around 18000 miles. I was shocked when the SA told me when I checked in my car for 2nd year servicing. My previous VW had enough tire threads even after 26000 miles.

    • Did you get any feed back
      I have 8000 miles on my car and I am being told coz it is an amg gts these tires do not last more then that

    • Hi Roby,

      I am dealing with the same problem. They got back to me and said we can only give you $300 discount. Please let me know if you found anyway to get rid of the tires and car.

    • I have the same problem, not sure if its a design issue or something else

  15. When I leased a Mini Cooper 2015, after 20,000 miles one tire went flat on me (2 years from start of lease). I went to dealership they told me I need to change the 4 tires and that anyway before my lease ends (it is a 3-year lease), I needed to change the tires otherwise the dealer will have to charge me for new tires when I return it (at 30,000).

    Now my other leased car (Mercedes E-300 2017) just passed 21,000 and back right tire going flat on me. Have to go tomorrow to dealer to check it out. I am afraid they will ask me to change tires.

    Seems the new norm now is to change tires for cars after 20k miles (sigh)

    • Update: Sent the Mercedes to dealer and seemed there was a nail in the tire, changing only one tire. Yaaay!

  16. 2016 Porsche Cayenne tires are Pirellis over $700 a tire. Car has 21000 miles. Porche Dealer of Tysons Corner tells me I need 4 new tires already. What’s worse is I bought the tire protection plan. Took it in because I had a nail in one of the tires. The dealer in their infinite wisdom told the insurance company it was “in a repairable location” so now they won’t cover the replacement. What a rip off. And why are tires on a $100k car lasting only 20000 miles?

  17. I bought a brand new Honda CR-V in 2017. I’ve had the tires rotated 3 times, and at 20,000 miles, they are worn out. This is rediculous. My Toyota came with firestone tires and I got almost 60,00 miles from them. What is the deal with Honda putting cheap grade tires on their touring model crv’? I complained and got nowhere. I’m not done yet though. I’m mad.

    • I have the same car and the same problem! I can’t believe only 20k Miles!!! Did you get anywhere with complaining?

    • I complained I replace my tires every year, keep getting nails and blow outs. The last blow out almost killed me. Honda did not give a hoot. They only sell continental tires, they are the worst. My 2 tires in the front are not even 1 year old and are down to 5/32. I complained and they treated me like I was a pain. I had 2 blow out and many flats. It is very dangerous I hate Honda I will never by one again. Now I have to replace the one rear tire because they replace the other one with the continental, because of a blow out on the George Washington Bridge. I told them I did not want a Continental they said that was all they sell.

    • Wow. I have the same car! I just went to my dealer and my 1.3 year old car with 23k miles needs new tires. I’m going to fight this one AGAIN. YES this happened to my 07 CRV. But my 2012 CRV tires lasted 88k miles. Good luck!!

  18. When I asked the dealership in Langley why the Langley tires didn’t last 50,000 miles as advertised, they said that many new car tires only last 12,000 miles. Needless to say, I have to get new tires.

  19. Replaced OEM tires on a Toyota Sienna van at 32,000. Bought Pirelli’s and rotated every 6k with oil change. Pirelli’s come with 65k warranty but now tires are down to 5/32 after on 30k of wear. So, I’m shopping once again after 2 years and 30k of mileage for another $800 tire replacement. Such a ripoff…

  20. There are tread wear indicators on every tire. Read the owner manual or google how to check them.

  21. I just got back from an oil change and tire rotation (done every 5,000 miles). I must be very lucky because the tires on my 2014 Ford Focus lasted almost 47,000 miles. When I asked the dealership why the tires didn’t last 60,000 miles as advertised, he said that many new car tires only last 12,000 miles. Needless to say, I have to get new tires.

  22. My primacy mxv4 on the 2015 Pilot were worn by 27K miles. Nice ride but thread life fall way short of 60K as indicated.

  23. 2013 VW with 23,000 miles. I drive 1 hour 3 times a week along with normal errands. Dealer recommends new tires and now afraid not to get them. I am 70 years old and have had many cars..this is the first time I will be buying new tires. Their game sucks!!?

  24. I win! ? I just left my 15K service interval, 2016 Nissan Sentra, economy car that sees under 1000 miles a month, and the kid says I’m going to need new tires within a couple months! I was jaw-on-the-floor because, I mean it’s a LEASE. Why would one EVER need to replace brand new tires??? Well I guess I’ll cross that bridge with management at the dealership when I have to. It’s a commuter car, that I do have maintenanced at the dealership every 5K miles and do have the tires rotated. But I’m saying it now, there’s no way they’re getting any $$ outta me over this.

    • I have a 2017 Nissan Sentra Nismo with just over 19k purchased it with 6 miles on it and they are telling me my tread is down to 4 on the thread mm. Like why buy a sports car with performance parts/tires that even when properly maintained needs to be changed at an irregular rate.

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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

  30. 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!!

    • Your car is only two years old, but that is irrelevant. What was the mileage?

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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!!!!!

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

    • Just happened to me today! Bought a brand new 2017 Hyundai Accent, maintained @ dealership on schedule. Between last tire rotation/oil change and today my tires are suddenly in the RED @ 24K??? Something really odd.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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…..

  40. 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….

  41. 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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