Consumer Reports has put tires to the test. And while some tires don't always last as long as promised - one manufacturer is a standout.
When you buy tires, don't just look at the price you pay - look at the tread life to see how long they'll last.
Manufacturers claim anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 miles. But Consumer Reports tests of 47 tires finds that some don't always last as long as promised.
When you shop for tires, you may be swayed by the tread-wear claims.
But like many people, Paul Niedermeyer finds his tires don't last that long.
"The tread-wear warranty would suggest they would last 80 thousand miles and typically might just last 40 or 45," said Niedermeyer.
Consumer Reports tested the tread life of 47 tires - two samples of each.
A convoy of trucks drove each tire 16,000 miles. The tread was measured at regular intervals to project how long the tires will last.
"Tire life does depend on the vehicle and proper maintenance. It also makes a difference how and where you drive. But our mileage projections are a good way to compare tread wear," said Mark Rechtin, Consumer Reports car editor.
Some tire mileage claims proved overly optimistic, although they're tread life is still quite good.
The Kumho's warranty is 75,000 miles. Consumer Reports projects 55,000.
The Continental brand says 90,000, but Consumer Reports projects 60,000.
Far worse is the Nokian tire. Its warranty is 80,000 miles, but Consumer Reports projects just 35,000.
However, some tires last much longer.
"Michelin was a standout. The three models we tested all met or exceeded their mileage warranty and came in with a projected tread life of 80,000 miles or more," said Rechtin.
The longest lasting tires in Consumer Reports' tests are the Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus. They claim 90,000 miles, and Consumer Reports estimates they'll go 100,000.
Consumer Reports says don't expect to get all your money back if your tires wear out before the mileage warranty.
You'll only get a credit for the miles that the tire didn't last. And it's only good toward the retail price or dealer's retail price for an identical or comparable tire from the same manufacturer.
Discounts, which are common, could leave that credit worthless.
Consumer Reports tests tread life on dozens of tires