Monday Accident and Lessons Learned – How Old Are Your Tires?
My son had a flat last weekend. I looked up the date on his spare. It was made in 1994. I told him that he could drive in town to get the flat fixed, but not to drive at highway speeds.
How can you tell how old a tire is?
See the pictures below.
For tires made from 2000 and beyond…
What can happen to old tires – even ones that look good like the ones on my son’s 4-Runner?
The problem comes from the aging of the compounds that make up the interior of the tire. These compounds age even if the tire is not being used.
As a rule of thumb, I’ve heard that tires older than six years old should be retired.
Now for the big problem … shelf life.
Retailers frequently sell tires that are more than a couple of years old. And today’s high-mileage tires may look fine on the outside for 80,000+ miles. But it may take a driver 5, 6, 7, or even 10 years to put this many miles on a car. So if you buy tires that are already 4 years old… you don’t have long to use them.
So learn from the accidents of others. Know and manage the age of your tires – especially your spare!