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I know what I believe, but trying to convince my partner is another thing. She has a fairly new Honda SUV with about 16,000 miles on it.

After only 10,000 miles she needed new tires. Just last week a local outfit told her she needed a new air filter.

In my view she shouldn't be having to replace these things on a vehicle with so little mileage and I'd like to hear from anyone else who has had maybe a little more experience with such things.

On the other hand, she probably is a little rough in turning the vehicle. I think many drivers turn in a way that the power steering tends to grind the tread away prematurely. I think this happens more if you didn't experience a time before power steering when you learned the importance of allowing the car to gain a little forward momentum before forcing it to turn. Just turning at a dead stop can be murder on tire treads. The powering mechanism will allow you to do it, and you may have to when parking in a tight space, but the more you're inclined to do this the more wear you'll develop.

As for the air filter I was reading recently that on newer vehicles the computer employs sensors to adjust for how dirty the thing may be makining regular cleanings even less important. On old vehicles we used to just take the thing out and bang it a few times to get (some) of the dust and dirt out and we were good for a few more miles.

Still it's hard to imagine a new vehicle could need a new one after only 16,000 miles if she's only driving over relatively clean city streets.

Any thoughts?

As others have noted, OEM tires generally are crappy. Some models get better stock rubber than others. 10K is really premature for them to wear out, but if she is tough on the vehicle, hard braking, jack rabbit starts, etc. etc. and ignored proper tire pressures, certainly in the realm of possibility. Basically the easy way to figure out if they put crappy or good OEM tires on, do the tires have a warranty on them for mileage. The warranty would not be from Honda, but from the tire maker. No warranty means they were either a sticky, high performance summer only tire (very unlikely) or they were crap to begin with.

With all that said - I would be pissed if OEM tires lasted 10K miles, and not all OEM tires are crap. I got almost 60K miles from the stock rubber on my 2005 Grand Prix. My 2009 Pontiac G8 GT has 25K miles on it and I still have the OEM summer only Potenzas on them, good for another year or two depending on how many miles I drive. Those tires have been drag raced, road coursed, and three driving schools on top of that. Good rubber.

On the other hand I remember years ago my first car came with the absolutely lowest common denominator tires that Goodyear made, and I think they barely lasted 10K miles.

As far as the air filter, 16K miles isn't out of the normal realm of things - even in an urban environment. Can you pull the filter and look at it?
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