If you recently bought a new car, you probably have a few questions about the original tires (OEM) that came with it.
In this article, we’re going to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about OEM tires.
What Are OEM Tires?
OEM tires are the original tires that come with your new car when you purchase it.
These are the tires that the manufacturer of your car had specially made for the vehicle.
They will have been put through many tests while fitted to your car to make sure that they handle well, don’t make any noise, and complement your car’s features.
OEM tires are designed to work with your car, but that doesn’t mean they are the right tire for every driver.
For example, if you drive in snowy conditions, you’ll need a set of Winter tires with thick tread.
Whereas, if you drive on the highway a lot, you might want to replace your tires with tires that perform better on smooth pavement.
Do OEM Tires Have Warranty?
OEM tires usually come with a manufacturer’s tread-life warranty, which guarantees that the tread won’t wear out before a certain distance (usually 30,000 to 50,000 miles) However, this warranty will only cover abnormal defects with the tire and will not cover road hazards, like puncturing a tire.
That said, you may have purchased an additional warranty when you bought the car, so it’s worth checking with the dealership.
The specified OEM warranty for your tires will be covered in the car manual that is stored in your car’s glove box.
Do OEM Tires Wear Faster?
Yes, OEM tires usually wear faster than aftermarket tires due to the fact that most manufacturers like to use soft rubber for their tires.
This soft rubber wears faster than harder aftermarket tires but provides a smooth, quiet drive with great handling.
These traits increase the likelihood that you will enjoy the feel of the car when taking it for a test spin prior to purchase.
Manufacturers also like to recommend using quite a low tire pressure. This makes the car drive smoother but is likely to make the tread wear faster.
Therefore, it’s always best to use the recommended pressure from the tire manufacturer (which can be found on the tire itself) rather than the recommended tire pressure from the car manufacturer.
Do OEM Tires Have Less Tread?
OEM tires often have less tread than aftermarket tires because the car manufacturer has prioritized tires that have a smooth and quiet ride with great performance.
The more tread you have on a tire, the louder and more clunky it is to drive.
It’s kind of like breaking in a new shoe.
The car manufacturer doesn’t want to give you a brand new shoe that feels stiff and uncomfortable, they want to give you a well-worn shoe
that fits like a glove and is comfortable and cushioned right from the start.
However, this trade-off means that the tread on OEM tires won’t last as long as aftermarket tires with a deeper tread.
How Many Miles Should OEM Tires Last?
OEM tires should last at least 50,000 miles if driven on well-paved roads.
Most OEM tires will come with a tread life warranty that guarantees the number of miles that the tires should last.
Keep in mind that there are lots of factors that can have a negative impact on a tire’s lifespan.
If you drive on roads that are in poor condition or drive in an aggressive manner, don’t expect your tires to last this long.
Why Are OEM Tires More Expensive?
OEM tires are often more expensive than aftermarket tires because of supply issues.
Car manufacturers produce OEM tires with unique custom traits that fit perfectly with the new car you bought.
A few years down the line, when your tread wears out and you’re looking for new tires, the car manufacturer has already produced several new models of your car, each with its own unique tires.
Your car model is now old news, and so are the custom tires that came with it.
That means you’re not buying a standard tire off the shelf, you’re buying a tire that needs to be specially created for you.
You also usually have to go through a dealership to get the original tires that came with your car.
As the dealership acts as a middle man and wants to make a profit, the OEM tires are always going to be more expensive than if you bought tires directly from a tire manufacturer.
Should You Buy OEM Tires?
Some people really have a thing about sticking with the original parts of a car.
If this is you, and budget is not a concern, then by all means splash out on the original tires.
However, many aftermarket tires will perform just as well (if not better) than OEM tires.
They’ll also last longer and cost significantly less.
Therefore, for most people, it’s simply not worth buying OEM tires after the tread wears out.
Are OEM Tires The Same As Aftermarket Tires?
OEM tires are the tires that come with your car when you buy them new.
They are custom tires, developed by the manufacturer to fit your car.
If you want the same tires that came with your new car, you usually have to buy them through a dealership, and they are expensive.
Aftermarket tires are any tires that you might purchase from a tire shop, like Walmart, tire kingdom, or discount tire.
Aftermarket tires are usually a bit stiffer and will last longer than OEM tires.
When Should You Replace OEM Tires?
OEM tires will need to be replaced around 50,000 miles. However, if you have an aggressive driving style, or regularly drive on poor-quality roads, you may need to replace them after 30,000 miles.
It’s important that you inspect your OEM tires regularly for wear and tear as well as low tread. Your OEM tires need to be replaced when the tread has reached a depth of 4/32″.
To see if your tread is too low, grab a quarter from your wallet and place it head down in the tire groove. If you can see the top of George Washingtons’ head, the tread is too low and it’s time to replace your OEM tires.