How long the tires of your car will last depend on several factors like design, driving habits, road conditions, climate, and the care you put on your tires. After 5 years of use, it makes sense to have the tires inspected by a professional. After 10 years of use from the date the tires have been manufactured, it is recommended to have them replaced with new ones regardless of whether they are still usable.
How dangerous are your old tires?
For years, car owners have always relied on the “penny test” to check tread depth. If the tread passes the test, it is assumed that the tire is still safe to use. Old tires are not safe to be used on the road because they can be dangerous regardless of their tread depth. The tire’s age can compromise its drivability and handling characteristics. The rubber components of the tire can deteriorate with age regardless of the tread’s condition.
Some people assume that old tires are not an issue because the car is only driven for about 12,000 to 15,000 miles annually. Treads start to wear after 3 to 4 years long before the rubber components. Even if you drive fewer miles, old tires will still be an issue. The age warning also applies to used tires that people buy because they are more affordable and spare tires that people believe to be safe because they are very rarely used although they have been manufactured years ago.
How climate affects your tire
According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, there is no way to put a date of expiration on tires because factors like heat, storage, underinflation, and conditions of use can dramatically affect their lifespan. Results from research made by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that tires age more quickly in warmer climates. There are also environmental conditions like exposure to sunlight and coastal climates that accelerate the aging process. It is crucial for car owners living in warmer climates to have their tires inspected because there is always the possibility that tires have already reached the end of their usable life.
The same thing applies to tires and spare tires that have been stored inside the garage. A tire that has not been mounted and left sitting in the garage will age more slowly than the one that has been placed into service. However, it still means that the unused tire is aging.
Spare tires are inflated even if they are rarely used. They degrade over time particularly if they are mounted underneath the vehicle and exposed to dirt, heat, and the elements. If the spare is underinflated, was it checked for punctures and cuts? It will age differently than the tires mounted on your car.
Of all the components of your vehicle, your tires have the greatest effect on how the car handles and brakes. There are lots of high-quality tires from trusted brands that you can buy to replace your old aging tires. There will always be a tire that will match your vehicle’s size, tread type, and rims.