The average passenger tire will expire after 6 years, but this can vary depending on a number of different factors.
“When do tires expire” is a common question that many drivers have, or even something drivers may not be aware about. There are a number of reasons tires expire, but the most common reason is age. In this blog post, we’ll discuss when tires expire and what to do if your tires are about to go bad.
Reasons why tires expire
Age is the most common reason that tires expire. Tires have a lifespan of around six years, but this can vary depending on the type of tire, how often it’s used, and the climate. If you’re unsure of how old your tires are, there are a few ways to check.
The date of manufacture is printed on the sidewall of the tire. This can be found by looking for the numbers that follow the symbol “DOT”.
This is an 11 character number, however we will only be interested in the the last four numbers. This will identify the date of manufacture of the tire to the nearest week. The first two of these four numbers will show in which week of the year the tire was manufactured. The last 2 numbers will show the year.
For eg, 2520, means that the tires were produced in the 25th week of the year 2020, approximately between June 15th to June 21st 2020.
If the tire only has 10 characters, this means that the tire was manufactured before the year 2000 and we would strongly recommend not using the tire on the public highway.
Once a tire is 6 years old, it is imperative that you keep a close eye on its condition and ask your local tire shops opinion on its roadworthiness. Always take your local mechanics opinion on your tires and replace them if required.
Tires are only effective as long as they are able to grip the road and age causes the rubber to harden as time goes by.
The constant heat cycles are another major factor in determining the speed at which a tire ages and the material will deteriorate. This will determine whether a tire will expire at 6 years or whether it will last longer or shorter.
Heat cycles are defined by when a tire warms up due to friction while being driven and then cools down when the vehicle is parked. Cold and hot weather also contributes to a tires resistance to hardening through heat cycles, as the different types of weather conditions will expose the tire to varying temperatures.
Another way to stop your tires expiring rematurely is to regularly use a tire dressing. This will help to stop the rubber compound of your tires from drying out prematurely and keep the rubber compound soft and malleable.
Tires drying out is the second most common reason that determines when a tire expires, the first being when a tires tread has been worn down.
Another common reason tires expire is due to damage. If a tire is damaged and is not repairable, the tire will be rendered useless and therefore is considered expired.
Make sure to check with your local shop whether the damage your tire has sustained is repairable or not. Certain punctures are repairable as long as they are not in the sidewall of the tire, as damage to the sidewall of a tire is not repairable.
Incorrect Tire Pressure
Tire pressure is also important for how long tires last. If tires are not inflated to the correct specification, they will wear out more quickly. This is because depending on whether the tire is over or under inflated, the tire will wear faster than it should as the tire will be making improper contact with the road.
Under inflated tires will wear faster on the edges and shoulders, while over inflated tires will wear faster in the center.
Poor storage conditions
Finally, tires can expire due to storage. If tires are stored in a hot or humid environment, the rubber can start to break down prematurely and will affect how long a tire is usable for before it will need replacing. Always store tires in a cool, dry place to help them last as long as possible.
Maintaining your tires
While the average life span of a tire is 6 years, some may last longer if they are not worn down by excessive mileage and if they are regularly maintained. Maintaining your tires including making sure to not leave your vehicle parked for extended periods of time in the sun, as this can accelerate the progress of cracking and dry rot in your tires.
As well as making sure not to leave your tires in the sun for extended periods, keeping your tires clean and applying a tire dressing once a month will extend the life of your tires.
There are both water based and solvent based dressings available on the market which contain UVR blocking agents which will help keep your tires from cracking, fading and hardening prematurely.
What to do if your tires are about to go bad
If you’re unsure of whether your tires are still good or not, there are a few things you can do. The easiest way to tell if a tires tread is low or balding is to perform the penny test.
Place a penny into the tread of the tire with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see all of his head, then the tires are bald and need to be replaced. You can also use a tread depth gauge to measure how much tread is left on your tires.
If you are unsure about the condition of your tires, or you notice something looks wrong such as a cracking or tire deteriorating, take your car to a local tire specialist to get it checked out.
Is it important to make sure you take your vehicle for its yearly service, as doing so the mechanic will ensure your vehicle is safe and roadworthy and will also assess when will your tires expire.
This will ensure that once your tires start to show signs of deterioration, this can be remedied and help to prevent a potential accident happening before it’s too late.
If your tires are not longer road worthy and you are shopping for tires, make sure to get the same size and if possible brand of tire that is currently on your vehicle. This will ensure that your tires are safe and that your vehicle performs predictably and at its best.
If you are unsure which tires to buy, you can check with your car’s manufacturer’s recommendations in your vehicles handbook.
Tires expire after 6 years and for a variety of reasons: age, damage, incorrect pressure, poor storage conditions. This can be remedied and prolonged with regular maintenance.
By knowing when your tires expire, you can be proactive in getting them replaced before they cause any damage to your car or become a safety hazard while driving.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!