I know that they say that it's recommendable to change summer or regular tires every 4 years because the rubber hardens. Even if they are fine related to the depth of the tread.

However, how long studded tires last? I don't drive that much and this is going to be the fifth winter of my current set and it my first time using this, so I don't have any folk's knowledge about this. I don't know if I should change them. They look fine and the studs are in a good shape. Are there any wide on how to assess this?

  • 1
    There is no hard and fast rule because there are many variables. Not the least of which is storage conditions. If you inspect the tires for signs of aging like cracks or checking, ply or tread separation, dry rot, etc. and don't find any, then I'd go ahead and use them.
    – jwh20
    Oct 29, 2019 at 12:08
  • I only use winter tires 2 seasons as the rubber degrades...
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 29, 2019 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


If the tires look OK, they are probably fine.

Issues to check for:

  • cracks in tread and sidewall
  • bubbles in tread and sidewall
  • even wear
  • cuts, embedded foreign objects

Storage conditions make a big difference. Storing tires in dark plastic bags away from sun light and ozone sources makes them last longer. Tires not mounted on a vehicle last longer.

There is industry guidance on when tires are to be replaced due to age that is probably based on the tires being mounted on a car that sits outside year round.

I just installed my current snow tires for their 3rd or 4th winter. They have minimal wear.

If your tires have meaningful wear on them (say, they are roughly at half life), you may consider having a tire shop flip them inside out and using that as an opportunity to inspect the inside surface of the tires.

  • UV degrades the rubber in winter tires, so they only do two winter seasons if not used in summer... Seen someone who was stuck on snow who had fantastic winter tires with excellent tread depth, which were not working due to the deteriorated rubber - were 4 years old...
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 19, 2019 at 12:33

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