Tires don’t last forever and there is no way to tell exactly how long a tire will last. The lifespan depends on a number of factors including driving habits, tire care, tire design, climate, and road conditions.

The two main reasons for buying new tires are tire wear and tire damage. There are ways to diagnose the health of your tires yourself, but you should also get your tire thoroughly inspected by a professional at least once per year after five years of use.

Another reason to buy new tires is that some vehicles require seasonal tires and need to change them to match the season. Lastly, you may also buy new tires simply to upsize your tires. Some performance-minded drivers do this for improved traction or just cosmetics and to make a car look more sporty. Upsizing tires can offer better handling when done properly.

Proper care plays an important role in extending a tire’s lifespan. Maintain correct air pressure, perform regular tire rotations and carry out regular vehicle maintenance to increase your tire's longevity. Though the lifespan and mileage of tires vary, it is recommended to consider changing your tires at least every 6 years regardless of use. 10 years is considered the maximum service life for tires. You can also check your owner's manual for specific recommendations related to your car.

Once you’ve decided that you need new tires, selecting the right tires for your needs and budget can seem like a confusing and difficult task. We’ve put together some information to help simplify the process for you.

Number of tires: If you need to replace just one tire due to damage or uneven wear, you should replace it with a similar brand, series, speed rating and load capacity to your three remaining tires. When replacing two tires, these can be of similar or better quality and should always go on the rear of the vehicle. Lastly, purchasing all new tires opens you up to a much wider range of options.

Tire size: If you’re replacing your tires with the same size as before, there are several ways to determine your tire size. You can check the sidewall of the tire itself. Alternatively, the information would be available in your vehicle’s owner’s manual and on the vehicle’s tire placard. When going for a different size, tires with a lower profile improve stability and handling of the vehicle. Plus-sizing your tires improves tire response and handling. Upsizing, or selecting a larger tire, is common among SUV and truck owners. Taller and wider tires improve performance and ride quality. On trucks, larger tires can improve traction, load carrying capacity and appearance.

Driving conditions: What, where and how you drive affects the type of tire you need for your vehicle. Most people purchase all-season tires for acceptable performance and traction across the range of possible driving conditions in all four seasons. Performance enthusiasts often use seasonal tires for better handling and traction, using winter tires during snow and summer or dry type designs the rest of the year. For pickups and SUVs, you should consider purpose-built tire design to match your driving needs, ranging from HT (highway tread) to AP (all-purpose) to AT (all-terrain) to MT (mud terrain) in order of aggressive tread design. Highway ride quality diminishes as the tread design becomes more aggressive.

Performance and speed ratings: When comparing tires within a brand, you can use the UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) ratings (treadwear grade) to calculate value and compare them by price. Traction and temperature ratings are standardized and can be used to compare tires between brands. The speed rating corresponds directly to a tire’s handling response and speed capacity. We recommend always replacing tires with those possessing the same or a higher speed rating to safely achieve the speeds your vehicle was designed for.

5 questions to ask your dealer: Finally, you should not forget about a very useful resource available to you when buying tires. Instead of feeling intimidated by the tire buying process, ask your dealer any questions you may have, including the following:

  • Are my current tires the best tires for my vehicle?
  • What are the best tires that match my driving habits and my price?
  • Can you give me a pricing tier of my tire type with three choices?
  • What is the mileage warranty (if any) of my new tires?
  • Is the tire manufacturer highly reputable?
For most people, all they really care about a tire is that it fits their car and will get them from point A to point B safely and smoothly. But when you’re shopping for tires and come across some terms you don’t recognize, here’s a glossary of common tire terms. If you’re still confused about something or didn’t find what you were looking for, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
The measure of force by which the air inside a tire is pressing outward, which is expressed in pounds per square inch (PSI), or kilopascals (kPa), the metric designation for air pressure.
When all wheels on the vehicle are adjusted so that they are pointed in the optimum direction relative to the road and each other.
Tires that provide a good balance of traction in rain or snow with good tread life and a comfortable, quiet ride.
The relationship of a tire’s sidewall height to its section width. In a tire size designation, it is 65 in "195/65R15". It is also referred to as the tire’s profile or the series.
An extremely dangerous situation where water builds up in front of the tires resulting in the tires losing contact with the road surface. At this point, the vehicle is skimming on the water surface and is completely out of control. Also called hydroplaning.
Also known as rearspacing, this is the distance from the mounting pad to the back edge of the rim. Not to be confused with wheel offset.
The even distribution of weight on a mounted wheel and tire. To correct an imbalance, a trained mechanic will add weights on the interior or exterior of the wheel.
The part of the tire that sits on the wheel made of steel wires, reinforced by body ply cords, shaped to hold firmly the tire against the wheel rim.
A key component of the tire that is the contact point between the tire and the wheel, designed to withstand forces the wheel puts on the tire during mounting as well as the dynamic forces of driving and braking.
The diameter of an imaginary circle drawn through the center of each lug nut hole and then measured from two holes that are directly across from each other. The measurement is used in selecting the proper wheel for replacement.
The arrangement of bolt holes on a wheel. Some wheels have more than one bolt pattern on the same wheel to accommodate multiple fitments.
A term used to describe a loss of traction when negotiating a curve or when accelerating from a standing start. The tires slide against, instead of grip, the road surface.
The supporting structure of the tire consisting of plies anchored to the bead on one side and running in a radius to the other side and anchoring to the bead. Also called casing.
At a given air pressure, how much weight each tire is designed to carry. For each tire size, there is a load inflation table to ensure the inflation pressure used is sufficient for the vehicle axle load.
The amount of air pressure in a tire, before a tire has built up heat from driving.
The area in which the tire is in contact with the road surface. Also called footprint.
A designation molded into the sidewall of a tire consisted of the DOT mark and 10-digit code. Provides information such as the week and year the tire was produced, plus the manufacturer, plant, tire line, and size. DOT is an acronym that stands for Department of Transportation.
Circumferential channels between the tread ribs of a tire.
Indicates how much weight a tire is certified to carry at maximum inflation pressure.
An assigned number ranging from 0 to 279 that corresponds to the load-carrying capacity of a tire.
A term describing a tire with a low relative aspect ratio or series classification (short sidewall, wide tread).
The maximum air pressure to which a cold tire may be inflated; can be found molded onto the sidewall.
One system used to describe a tire’s size. It is the standard system of the ETRTO (European Tire and Rim Technical Organization).
When the wheel mounting face is closer to the brake side of the wheel, moving the tire and wheel assembly out of the fender well.
The diameter of a tire rim, given in nearest whole numbers (e.g. 15 in.).
The offset of the rim is what locates the tire/wheel assembly in relation to the suspension. A wheel with zero offset has a mounting face that directly aligns to the wheel’s centerline. A positive offset means the wheel’s mounting surface is positioned in front of the centerline of the wheel/tire assembly, bringing the tire closer to the suspension. Conversely, a negative offset means that a wheel is behind the centerline of the wheel/tire assembly, causing the tire moves further from the suspension, to stick out away from the vehicle.
Tires selected by a vehicle manufacturer that best match tire performance to vehicle performance characteristics. Also known as the Stock tire size.
The diameter of the inflated tire, without any load.
The distance between the outside of the two sidewalls, including lettering and designs.
Too much air in the tire, resulting in premature wear in the center of the tread.
An option allowing drivers to customize their vehicles by mounting low-profile tires on wider rims (one or two inches greater in diameter), usually enhancing vehicle appearance, handling, and performance. It is recommended that you keep the overall tire diameter within the certain range of the OEM tire size to prevent problems with speedometer, transmission, gas mileage, and braking.


A rubber-coated layer of fabric containing cords that run parallel to each other and make up the structure of a tire. Layers of this material are called plies, and they extend from bead to bead, between the inner liner, and belts or tread. Plies are usually reinforced with either textile or steel cords.
Uniform designation of tire sizes, in metric measurements originally introduced by American tire manufacturers in 1977; commonly called P-metric series. A typical P-metric tire is P205/70R14 93S.
A tire designed to be filled with air.
The mounting face of a wheel is toward the wheel’s street side, moving the tire and wheel assembly in toward the vehicle.


Abbreviation for pounds per square inch, which is the automotive industry’s measurement of the pressure in a tire.
A type of tire with plies arranged so cords in the body run at 90-degree angles to the centerline of the tread.
Also called rpm. Measured number of revolutions for a tire traveling one mile. This can vary with speed, load, and inflation pressure.
A pattern of tread features aligned around the circumference of a tire. There are usually multiple ribs across the tread area of a tire.


That portion of a wheel to which a tire is mounted.
The diameter of the rim bead seats supporting the tire.
The measurement between the flanges of a rim.
Also called drop center, a change (drop) in the rim profile between the rim flanges in which the bead area of a tire is placed during the mounting process. This allows the tire to be mounted on the rim.
Surface of the rim of the wheel that contacts the side of the tire bead.
The linear distance traveled by a tire in one revolution (its circumference). This can vary with load and inflation. Rolling circumference can be calculated as follows: 63,360 divided by revolutions per mile = rolling circumference in inches.
The force required to keep a tire moving at a uniform speed. The lower the rolling resistance, the less energy needed to keep a tire moving.
The changing of tires from front to rear or from side to side on a vehicle according to a set pattern; provides even treadwear. Rotating your tires on a regular basis (every 6,000-8,000 miles) is a simple way to add miles to their life. See your tire warranty for more information on recommended rotation.
The height of a tire, measured from its rim to its outer tread.
The distance between the outside of a tire’s sidewalls, not including any lettering or designs.
When the tire is cornering, torque created at the road contact patch acts at a point somewhat to the rear of the actual wheel center due to pneumatic trail. This has the same effect as positive caster and tends to force the wheel back to the straight-ahead position.
Tires with the same aspect ratio, or relationship of section height to section width.
That portion of a tire between the tread and the bead. Protects the tire against impacts with curbs, etc. This is also where the sidewall markings can be found which tell you important information regarding the tire.
An alphabetical code (A-Z) assigned to a tire indicating the range of speeds at which the tire can carry a load under specified service conditions.
The amount of weight a given size tire can carry at a recommended air pressure.
Uniform tread pattern on both sides of the tread for better performance in specific conditions and on specific roads.
Also called pneumatic tire, a precisely engineered assembly of rubber, chemicals, fabric, and metal, designed to provide traction, cushion road shock and carry a load under varying conditions.
The combination of tire width, construction type, aspect ratio, and rim size used in differentiating tires.
An alphanumeric code molded into the sidewall of the tire that describes the tire’s size, including width, aspect ratio, rim diameter, load index, and speed rating. Most designations use the P-Metric system.
A metal or paper tag permanently affixed to a vehicle, which indicates the appropriate tire size and inflation pressures for the vehicle. The placard can ordinarily be found on either the driver’s doorpost, the glove box lid, or the fuel-filler door.
Tool used to properly measure the air pressure in a tire.
The friction between the tires and the road surface; the amount of grip provided.
That portion of a tire that comes into contact with the road. It is distinguished by the design of its ribs and grooves. Provides traction in a variety of conditions, withstands high forces, and resists wear, abrasion, and heat.
The depth of usable tread rubber, the distance from the top of the tread to the grooves in a tire. The measurement is taken at the centerline of a tire it's measured in 32nds of an inch. If a tire comes new with 10/32nds of rubber, you have 8/32nds of usable rubber. Tires must be replaced when the wear bars are visible at 2/32nds.
The life of a tire before it is pulled from service; mileage.
Narrow bands, sometimes called wear bars, that appear across the tread of the tire when only 2/32 inch of tread remains.
The arrangement of grooves, blocks, sipes, and channels on the tread of a tire that provide a varying degrees of effects on traction, tread life, and other tire factors.
The width of a tire’s tread.
Operating a tire without sufficient air pressure to support the weight of the vehicle with occupants and additional load; could cause failure of the tire when heat is generated inside the tire to the point of degeneration of components.
A device that lets air in or out of a tire. It is fitted with a valve cap to keep out dirt and moisture, plus a valve core to prevent air from escaping.
Small weights attached or secured to the wheel to balance the tire and wheel assembly.
When the mounting face of the wheel directly aligns with the wheel’s centerline.