The age of tires and their expiration: myths and facts

Tires are the footwear of our car, and many times we pay too little attention to them, something that can cost us dearly in terms of our personal safety, but which is easily avoided if we know how to interpret the health of our tires correctly. Many factors influence the tires, such as inflation pressures or slipping on the asphalt (for example when accelerating very strongly, or when braking and blocking a wheel) that are easily detectable. But the passage of time is also decisive for the health of the tire.

Tires have a manufacturing date, and also a time limit after which the quality of the material is not guaranteed. To put it another way, the material degrades over time, and after a certain age, they do not serve to circulate safely due to the loss of properties suffered by the tire.

Loss of elasticity and rubber properties

Over time, tires lose the properties that made them good. When we buy a new tire, we must know that from its mounting it will last X years. It probably won’t last that long, but after 5 years of mounting it is considered that the tire is no longer useful, and that is when it is said that the tire has expired. It no longer has the elasticity of before, and that will translate into less security.

The tire can crack, it can break easily, we can have a blowout and it will not hold us the same in the lateral movements. In short, it becomes a danger for everyone: driver, occupants, third parties who passed by … It is time to change the tires and continue driving safely.

Storage and conservation conditions are key!

new tire, when we mount it on the wheels, gradually begins to lose properties (inadvertently, of course, unless it is defective): over the months, to withstand inclement weather such as sun, rain, cold … On the other hand, with the passage of kilometers, it wears out and loses thickness in the tread, until we reach the legal limit of 1.6 mm deep in the groove, at which time we must change them.

Not the best way to conserve a tire

We have to change the tires motivated by what happens before: wear the tires until the measurement witnesses, or that they are 5 years old from the mount. The normal thing is that the tires wear out sooner, unless we do not reach 3,000 km a year: in that case they will expire before they wear out. A tire that is more than five years old since mounting is not safe , take note.

What about the date of manufacture?

Many of you may be thinking that the five years we are talking about must be from the date of manufacture , because if we could not be buying today, in 2014, some tires from 2011, 2010 or 2009 that would only have two, one or … zero years of “life”! False, it is a myth . The manufacturing date tells us when the tire was manufactured (thanks to Captain Obvious for his help), but if its conservation is correct in terms of temperature, humidity, and many other factors, the tire is in perfect condition .A tire that is more than 5 years old from the date of manufacture does not have to expire! They are 5 years from the mount, 10 years from its manufacture.

However, when mounting the tire we take it out of its ideal conservation environment, so the degradation begins more “seriously”. However, tires will always expire, are very well preserved, or very poorly preserved. It is recommended that a tire with a manufacturing date of ten years or more is not fit to be mounted for safe driving.

It goes without saying that a second-hand tire is even less safe (and we strongly recommend not buying a second-hand tire) because: 1) we will only know for sure the date of manufacture; 2) we do not know the history of the tire; 3) we do not know how it was preserved in use, nor how it was preserved while waiting to be sold.

So we got together with various things. If the manufacturing date is more than ten years, we excuse to buy it; If we ride it and it is its fifth anniversary since that ride, we can discard them, and we must change to other new tires; and if the tire leaves the witnesses in the air, we must change them because we have exceeded the legal minimum depth limit for the furrow.

Photos | sravan nunna , Jason Constance