An old tire is like an old rubber band. If it has been sitting around for a long time and then experiences stretching, it will crack. Over time, such cracks start to develop in the tire’s rubber on the surface and inside as well. This can cause the steel belts to separate from the rest of the tire. If tires aren’t maintained properly or have experienced a lot of heat, this process is accelerated. Incidences like these have been observed in tires that are over six years old. They result in loss of control and rollovers. Even tires that have been rated for higher mileage will succumb to age.
How long do tires last?
There are no specific standard guidelines about tires. However, many car manufacturers like Ford, Nissan, and Mercedes-Benz recommend that car owners replace tires six years after their production date. Tire manufacturers say their tires last up to 10 years as long as you get annual tire inspections after the fifth year.
There are several variables that affect the life of a tire. Let’s examine them.
Heat: Tires tend to age more quickly in hotter conditions. Exposure to sunlight and coastal climates can also quicken the aging process. So, if you live near the coast and in an area that experiences warm weather, remember this point and retire your tires accordingly.
Storage: This refers to spare tires that sit around in a garage or a shop. A tire that has not been mounted ages more slowly than one that is in service on a car. But even if it is sitting around in a shop or a garage, it will age.
Spares: Spares are rarely used. They usually don’t even get exposed to sunlight. But they still degrade with time. If any tire has been inflated and mounted on a wheel, it’s in service even if it hasn’t been used. If your spare is mounted under your vehicle, it is exposed to heat, dirt, and weather and needs to be replaced in time.
Usage: This refers to the life the tire experiences. Incorrect inflation, impacts, miles driven, surfaces all affect the life of a tire. The only way to ensure safety is proper maintenance and timely replacement.