When Is Your Car Tire Too Old?

Due to wear and tear, your tires age the fastest among all car parts. This is why it requires regular checks and periodic replacement. But how old is too old for a tire? In this post, we discuss when your tires are too old for driving and the factors that affect its lifespan.

How old is too old for car tires?

Remember that car tires aren’t made equal. Also, tires are subjected to varying levels of wear and tear. With this, there’s no specific age as to when we can say that a tire is too old for use.

In general, these factors affect the lifespan of a car tire:

Tread depth

Most car tires have a tread depth of 8 mm straight from the manufacturer. This will become shallower as you drive. Generally, such a tread depth is estimated to last for 20,000 miles.

As you reach this mileage threshold, the tread depth deteriorates, and the sidewalls will start to crack. By this time, we can say that your car tire is already too old for driving. In fact, it’s also illegal to drive a car with this tire condition.

Tire type

Car tires come in different types, which vary in longevity and durability. For example, all-season tires will wear faster compared to all-terrain tires. So even if an all-terrain vehicle reaches long mileage, it can still be drive-worthy.

Moreover, car tires made from harder and tougher compounds can endure more mileage. Basically, softer car tires will age faster.

Driving habits

Are you a smooth driver or an aggressive one? Aggressive driving puts more wear and tear on your tires. In the long run, this harsh way of driving will cause your tires to age fast.

Moreover, driving at high speeds is guaranteed to reduce the lifespan of your tires. This is because the tires get hotter at high speeds, which will cause more damage to the material.


Poor or lack of maintenance will take its toll on the condition of your tires. Badly maintained vehicle tires will crack and look old fast. Meanwhile, tires that are checked regularly and have optimal pressure will last longer.

If you want your tires to last long, you should get your suspension system checked every 7,500 miles. Proper wheel alignment is also crucial to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your tires.

When to replace your car tires

Car tires aren’t made to last forever. Once it wears out, you have to avail of a replacement to ensure the roadworthiness of your vehicle.

A tread depth below 1.6 mm is also a tell-tale sign for a replacement. Driving with this tread depth is dangerous, especially in snowy and rainy conditions.

Lastly, a replacement is necessary if your tires are old and can’t hold proper pressure anymore.


There’s no definite formula to calculate your tire’s age. The tire type, tread depth, driving habits, and maintenance level will affect the lifespan of your tires. No matter how long your tires last, it’s important to change them once signs of damage are present.