Off-road tires make it easy to handle and drive a vehicle through rough, rocky, and uneven terrain, providing reliable traction and ensuring a comfortable trip.
So if your commute takes you through rough terrain and you use off-road tires, you may be wondering – how long do off-road tires last? Here is what I’ve found through my research!
How Long Do Off-Road Tires Last?
Off-road or mud-terrain tires last for about 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers). Additionally, these tires are specially designed for rough terrains, so using them on highways can reduce their lifespan. Note that if an off-road tire’s tread depth goes below 2/32 inches, it must be replaced immediately.
If you want to know more about whether off-road tires wear faster, how you can make them last longer, and much more, keep on reading!
Do Off-Road Tires Wear Out Faster?
Generally, off-road tires wear out faster than standard tires that are made for use on highways and roads.
This is because off-road tires, although sturdier, have to deal with a lot of rough and uneven terrain, as well as sharp rocks and muddy swamps.
Because of this, the tread of off-road tires wears faster than that of street/highway tires, which are driven on a smooth surface.
Other than that, note that off-road tires normally come in two types: mud-terrain tires, which are made especially for off-road drives, and all-terrain tires, which can be used on highways as well.
The performance of all-terrain tires is a bit rough on highways, but they are a great option if you often switch between highways and off-road.
Mud-terrain tires wear out faster than all-terrain tires, lasting for about 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers), whereas all-terrain tires last for about 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers).
Additionally, mud-terrain tires are made up of a softer rubber compound and have wider channels and aggressive treads.
These features make them great for adventurous off-road drives, but unsuitable for highways.
Although this is the general rule, there are some great off-road tire brands in the market that offer really good mileage warranties.
When Should I Replace My Off-Road Tires?
If the tread of your off-road tires has worn down to 2/32 inches (0.0625 inches), you should replace the tires immediately.
The best way to check the tread depth of your off-road tires is to use the Lincoln penny tread depth test.
As part of this test, you have to place a penny in your tire’s tread on several points around the tire such that Lincoln’s image is upside down.
In any of those positions, if Lincoln’s head is obscured by the tread, your tires still have a good tread depth for you to carry on using them safely.
However, if you can see Lincoln’s head, this means that the tread depth has fallen below 2/32 inches and you should replace your tires immediately.
Other than the tread depth, you should also look for any cuts, cracks, scrapes, or bumps on your tire.
If you note anything unusual, you must seek a professional to fix it right away.
Are Off-Road Tires Worth It?
Whether off-road tires provide good value for your money depends on the terrain in which you drive.
They are strictly designed for rough terrains (loose gravel and rocky hillsides) where normal street tires would have very little grip and would perform poorly.
So if you regularly drive through rough terrain, getting a set of off-road tires is definitely going to be worth it.
However, keep in mind that while off-road tires give great performance in terms of traction in rocky mountains or muddy paths, they wear out very quickly if used on highways.
Because of this, if you drive on highways often or switch between terrains, they may not be the best choice.
Are Off-Road Tires Good In The Rain?
Off-road tires are not very effective in the rain because they are prone to aquaplaning.
Aquaplaning (or hydroplaning) is when the tires are unable to clear water between the tread blocks, preventing them from making contact with the terrain’s surface.
For this reason, when you drive on wet terrain or snow with off-road tires, your vehicle is very likely to skit, putting you at risk of getting into a serious accident.
Do Off-Road Tires Affect Gas Mileage?
When it comes to tires, gas mileage depends a lot on the rolling resistance, with a low resistance reducing the fuel consumption and increasing the gas mileage.
For off-road tires, the tread design with its wide channels and large tread blocks increases rolling resistance on the highway a lot.
Because of this, off-road tires significantly reduce gas mileage of the vehicle, as compared to standard tires.
Keep in mind that these design features necessitate this adverse effect on gas mileage because they are intended to provide superior traction and handling on rough terrain.
If you are not a serious off-road driver, all-terrain tires may be a better option for you since they are versatile in their performance and give a much better gas mileage.
How Do You Make Off-Road Tires Last Longer?
Maintaining the correct inflation pressure plays an important role in prolonging the lifespan of your off-road tires.
You should keep your off-road tires inflated to around 1 bar below the recommended pressure to compensate for the effects of heating and friction.
Off-road tires with slightly low pressure have a larger footprint on the ground, which increases their grip.
Because of this, any debris, rocks, or loose gravel causes less tread wear, increasing their lifespan.
Other than that, another important thing you can do is to ensure the good health of your vehicle’s suspension system.
The shock absorbers mitigate the impact your off-road tires take when moving on a bumpy path.
If the suspension system is not good, your tires may suffer from cupping and develop uneven tread wear.
Finally, making sure that your wheels are aligned and balanced is also an important measure to ensure equal tread wear of your off-road tires.
Off-road tires are great for adventurous rides on rough terrains, and they usually last an average of 40,000 miles. Also called mud-terrain tires, they are designed specially to have an excellent grip in mud trails, rocky mountains, and areas with loose gravel.
Some effective ways to ensure the increased lifespan of off-road tires are to keep inflation pressure slightly below the recommended limit, keep the vehicle’s alignment balanced, and maintain the good health of the suspension system.