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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117 Comments

  1. Same here…Bought a Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 last year. The tires are run flats. The car only has 16,000 miles on it, 1 tire blew up while driving on the interstate because it was so worn out and the remaining three are totally bald! Of course I went to Mercedes only for them to tell me “it is perfectly normal”

    • Yes, I’ve known this since 2004. Bought new Lexus RX, had blowout at 23000 miles, all tires needed to be replaced. A good, honest person advised me, that all new cars come with inferior tires. Less tread, and you are lucky to get 20k out of them. Yes, we are being robbed. I bought another RX, NEW, it has almost 17k miles, need new ones. Ill never get another Lexus, they are also doing terrible things, to produce more money coming in. Watch out, when you go in for “free” service. You will have to return in 24 hours. I KNOW this to be true, or I wouldn’t type it here. WAKE UP, PEOPLE, WE ARE BEING RIPPED OFF BY AUTO MAKERS EVERY DAY! The guy that said “its like buying a printer that only prints 10 pages” was right on!

  2. I’m having the same issue. I drive a 2015 Nissan Murano. Absolutely an amazing vehicle and I love it but just last week I brought it in for my 25,000 mile service appointment and Nissan says I will need to change all of my tires soon…..

    Not sure why the tires would have worn out so quickly. Have taken very good care of the vehicle and have brought it in every 5K miles for the service appointments. Never drive on rough roads or hit potholes, don’t drive over the curb lol (if either of those have anything to do with it). The only thing I could think of is that I drive 70mph+ each day on my commute to work, so maybe the higher the speed the faster the tires wear out.

    Anyway, anyone have any suggestions on good tires to get that will last a while?

  3. Bought new 2015 Hyundai Elanta, have maintained the car according to the manual, and just brought in for an oil change at 25,000miles and told that I need new tires asap. Not totally bald, but getting slick and I’ve noticed a rougher stop the last week or so.

    Couldn’t believe it, not happy at all. Decoded to search to see if others were seeing the same.

  4. C grade tires are only available to dealerships that is why quick wear on new vehicle. This was told to me by a guy at a tire shop and makes perfect sense.

    • New Volkswagen needs all new tires at 11,000miles. All bald. does that make sense?

  5. I have a 2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, same as many other comments, 31,000 miles and need new tires! My 2007 Avalon went for 55,000 until I needed new tires! My wife drives a 2012 Highlander and we replaced those tires at 60,000. What is happening to tires since a couple of years ago? By the way, the majority of my miles have been and still are interstate miles? Marc

  6. i am a mechanic and own a shop. i will say it there are many factors to tire life. For example, I had a customer that brought his own tires (which I hate lol), tiger paws and I installed them. we rotated them once but after 18k there were done! Now this was a AWD so those eat tires. Now on 10 of 2014 I installed 4 NOKIAN WRG3 on a Volvo XC90 AWD. at the time his miles were 43025. He just made an appointment to get them replaced. His odometer is at 87962. 44937!!! By the time he gets his new tires he will have over 45,000. And the tires could probably go to 48 to 50k. This is not uncommon with the Nokian tires, however I have seen them get worn in way less miles. So here is a suggestion from a professional:

    *Get a 4 wheel alignment with new tires. VERY Important
    *MAINTAIN AIR PRESSURE! CHECK OFTEN ESPECIALLY IN CLIMATE CHANGES
    *Have tires inspected for uneven wear by someone who knows…(tire shop for example) NOT a quickie service!
    *If needed have get an alignment. (much cheaper than new tires)
    *Rotate Tires!!!! Most tire places will do it free if you buy them there.
    *MOST IMPORTANTLY, Remember this….
    YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!!
    Invest in good tires and take care of them and you WILL get more for you money and in the long run, end up spending LESS!

    All the best,
    TT

    • I bought new tires from Discount Tire. Had them rotated at every scheduled internal and they still only lasted about 20,000 miles and they were supposed to be 60,000 mile tires. Why do you think that is?

  7. My 2010 Mazda 5 went 19000km (12000 miles) and The 2012 Nissan Quest got 22000 km (16000 miles). I was very disgusted and in both cases the dealer just shrugged. My 2014 Chev Sonic has 47000km (30000 miles) and tires still have good tread although the tread grooves look a little dicey as there are deep cracks in them.

  8. I like that you recommend to keep an eye on your tire pressure. I was riding in my brother’s car the other day and commented that it was a little bumpy. We first thought that it was his shocks or something else, but then we realized that the air pressure in his tires were really low. I would imagine that this also caused them to be worn in certain spots as well.

  9. I drive a 2015 Nisson Rogue with 23000 mi. The tires on rt side measure 3 and 4 the other side are 8’s

  10. Interesting string, sounds like we all are being taken for a ride…
    I was told the tires that come with new cars are soft “High Performance Tires” . Ergo high performance good cornering tires. I said all well and good, but since I don’t corner at 50 mph, can I get High Millage tires for my 17″ wheels? She said no, all I can buy is High performance tires for 17″ wheels”. I imagine the same for 18″ and up as well..

    So much for the High performance package at no extra charge. This is nuts!!! Looks like I will be buying my tires from the Salvage Yard, certainly can’t be any worse that these new Junk tires…

  11. I have a 2016 BMW X3 with 29K mi on it, and I am replacing all 4 tires this week. Very worn and very disheartened. When you spend this kind of $ on a vehicle, I would expect at least 50K mi?? It sickens me to see the other comments. Its a racket between car manufacturers and tire makers.

    • I don’t think it’s a racket between car mfg and tire mfg. I think car mfg. are simply putting cheap tires on new cars to cut costs. If I ever buy a new car again, after I agree on a price I will then tell them what tires to put on.

  12. Bought a used 2012 Ford Edge AWD…just replaced my 20″ Pirellis at 56,000 miles. Most dealerships don’t properly rotate tires. They just go from front to back…it’s supposed to be rotated as an X for equal wear. I typically rotate my own tires because of all the idiot workers out there. When I’m lazy I goto a highly trusted tire shop near my house and watch them do it.

    • You say you bought a used 2012…how do you know that the original equipment tires were not replaced before you bought the car?

    • Back in the days of poly-ply tires (up until the 1980’s), the general rule was to rotate in an X pattern. All that changed with steel-belted radials (virtually all passenger car tores today).
      Steel-belted radials (modern tires) should always remain on the same side of the vehicle to which they have adapted. By switching sides, you are creating a situation where the tire is suddenly rotating the opposite direction of what it’s been used to. Steel-belted radials will separate if you do this. You never want to switch modern tires from the driver’s side to the passenger side… very dangerous practice.
      Some car maintenance rules from 40-50 years ago do not apply anymore. Be careful of the advice you take and consider the source.

  13. 2010 Altima. I’m getting ready to replace my tires for the 2nd time. I wasn’t rotating between 1st set & 2nd set, so that “was the reason” for not getting more than 1/2 of my warrantied mileage. So I started rotating .. when I went in a year ago for my rotation, they told me I was close to needing new tires. I waited a year & now I need a new set .. tho they told me I needed new tires a year ago. I made it 27,000 miles on this set. Calculating the miles I had on it & the fact that they told me I needed to replace my tires a year ago “soon”, it doesn’t appear it would have made any difference if I would have gotten it rotated 6 months ago .. whatever. I’m getting roughly 1/2 of the 50,000 mile warranty. Is it really worth it to buy a more expensive tire .. how many more miles could I get out of it??

  14. My 2015 Hyundai tires are bald at 19,000 miles. I. Ought the car brand new from the dealership! Disgusted! ?

    • I have a 2014 RAV4 with 31000 miles. The OEM tires came with nitrogen rather than air so the pressure remains constant regardless of temperature.They have been rotated as required by Toyota.
      My tires are only 1/2 worn out.
      When buying new tires find a shop that uses nitrogen.

  15. I guess I’m in the same boat…Hyundai XG350 2004 and I have to replace tires about every 30,000 miles, but I drive in the city and sometimes in the country, with gravel roads and potholes, hard into corners and I like to drive fast.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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!!!

  23. 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.

        • Kevin you described me to a T, I drive a 2004 XG350L Hyundai and I only get 30,000 miles out of my tires.

  24. 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.

  25. 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…….

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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.

  30. @ 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.

  31. @ 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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

  35. 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

  36. 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.

  37. 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!

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

  39. @ 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.

  40. 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!).

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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’..

  45. 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.

  46. 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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