Factors That Shorten Lifespan
Besides following the above practices, avoid these other situations that can damage your tires or reduce their lifespan:
- Improper storage.Storing your car with weight on the tires can weaken the sidewalls or cause flat spots. Either can affect the safety and performance of your tires in addition to shortening their lifespan. The material comprising the tire surface also responds to environmental factors such as strong sunlight, ozone and humidity. Improper storage exposing the tires to these destructive forces can cause damage through cracking and dry rot.
- Improper rating. Manufacturers rate each tire model for load and speed rating . Installing a tire not rated for your specific needs will likely damage the tire and cause it to fail a risk no one should take.
- Mixing tires. Ideally, you should install the same tire all the way around your vehicle. Mixing styles or old and new ones puts uneven stress on the tires and accelerates wear, often resulting in damage. And mixing tires will compromise your safety. If you must change out a damaged tire on your vehicle, at least do it in pairs and keep them on the same axle. Consult your mechanic or tire installer, as specific practices must be used for installation and rotation.
Three Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Tires
From the day you get your car, get the most use out of your new tires using the following practices:
- Check your tire pressure regularly.Under or overinflation is one of the leading causes of premature tire wear. Most modern cars have a warning light on the dashboard that goes on when your tire pressure is low, or you can buy a digital gauge or take it to the mechanic regularly to get checked.
- Rotate your tires. Rotating your tires is like flipping a mattress if youve been sleeping in the same spot for months, youll notice an indent. This is similar to what happens to your tires on the road. If you rotate your tires based on the manufacturers recommendation, you can distribute the wear evenly across all four tires, so the complete set will last longer.
- Get the wheels aligned.If you notice your car drifting to one side of a straight road, this may mean your wheels are out of alignment. This condition can cause uneven wear and affect their life.
Some Points To Note About Older Tires
Be aware of the following when you inspect your sidewall markings:
- Tires produced before the year 2000 have three numbers instead of four to indicate the production date of the tire.
- In the 1990s, Continental added a triangle to the end of the character string. The reason for this is to distinguish a tire built in the 1990s from one fabricated in previous decades.
As an example, a tire with the information DOT XXXXXXX274 was manufactured in the 27th week of 1994.
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What Are Tires Made Of
Michelin states that a tires ingredient list features more than 200 raw materials. The main components include elastomers such as synthetic and natural rubber, reinforcing fillers such as carbon black and silica, plasticizers such as oils and resins, chemicals such as sulfur, and reinforcements such as steel and textile fabrics. Heres the breakdown of the major parts of an average radial tire:
Inner liner: An innertube made of synthetic rubber that maintains the air pressure
Carcass ply: Thin textile cords affixed to rubber that provide structure and support
Lower bead area: Located at the exterior edges, this is where the tire holds onto the wheel when rolling over the ground
Beads: Each wheel features two beads, or circular metal wires, that maintain an airtight fit with the rim of the wheel and keep the tire seated
Sidewall: The outside-facing section of tire that protects it from curbs and other damaging exterior forces
Casing ply: Providing a majority of the strength of the tire, the casing ply is made of up a bunch of tiny metal cords
Cap ply: What Michelin also calls the zero degree belt, the cap ply is made of rubber-covered reinforced nylon cords and maintains the tires shape while reducing heat
Crown plies: The structural base of the tread
How Long Should Car Tires Last
Most vehicle owners dont think about their vehicles tires until they are stranded on the side of the road with a flat. If youre wondering, How long should car tires last, the automotive experts at Third Coast Auto Group have some answers for you. Like any other automotive component, a set of tires will take care of a vehicle owner as well as they take care of their tires. That means keeping up with regularly scheduled maintenance procedures, like having the tires rotated on time as well as demonstrating good driving habits. Our team wants to be a total automotive resource for current and future Third Coast Auto Group customers. Lets take a closer at a few things you might be interested in knowing.
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Tire Date Code: Find Your Tires Age
On each tire is a Tire Identification Number, which is a code provided by the Department of Transportation and may be used in helping to determine your tires manufacture date. The code will be included on the tires sidewall and will begin with the letters DOT which will proceed either a 7-13 character code, depending on the manufacturing year.
When checking your tires DOT Codes, check all four tires as they may not have been replaced all at once. If you have a question about the age of your tires, contact a local store near you.
To learn more about how to read each number of your DOT Code, read our article on the Tire Date Code.
Learning how long tires may last is dependent upon many factors. Mileage placed on the tires is one of the factors – but not the only factor. How the tires are used and maintained, including especially inflation maintenance – or not used and maintained if they are stored – can contribute to how often you should change your tires.
How Long Does A Tire Last
Carmakers, tiremakers and rubber manufacturers differ in their opinions about the lifespan of a tire. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has no specific guidelines on tire aging and defers to the recommendations of carmakers and tire manufacturers.
Many automakers, including Ford, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz, tell owners to replace tires six years after their production date, regardless of tread life. Tire manufacturers such as Continental and Michelin say a tire can last up to 10 years provided you get annual tire inspections after the fifth year.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association said there is no way to put a date on when a tire “expires” because such factors as heat, storage, underinflation and conditions of use can dramatically reduce the life of a tire. Here’s more on each of these factors:
Heat: NHTSA research has found that tires age more quickly in warmer climates. NHTSA also found that environmental conditions, such as exposure to sunlight and coastal climates, can hasten the aging process. People who live in coastal states and other areas with warm weather should keep this in mind when deciding whether they should retire a tire.
Storage: This applies to spare tires and tires that are sitting in a garage or shop. A tire that has not been mounted and is just sitting in a tire shop or your garage will age more slowly than one that has been put into service on a car. But it ages nonetheless.
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When Should You Replace The Tyres On Your Car
Aim to replace your car tyres when the tread depth gets below 3mm and before it gets below 2mm.
Tyres dont usually last long enough to be replaced due to old age. Usually, the tyre tread wears down quicker than that. For older tyres, you can:
- Check for signs of cracking on the sidewalls of tyres 4 or 5 years old if your car’s parked outside.
- Replace them if the crackings severe.
Any car tyre specialist will be able to give you advice if you’re not sure.
Basic legal requirements
Remember that your tyres must always meet these basic legal requirements:
- Be compatible with the others on the car.
- Be in a generally good physical condition.
- Be correctly inflated to the recommended pressure.
- Have sufficient tread and depth of tread at least 1.6mm in the centre ¾ of the tread in a continuous band around the tyre.
The more tread your tyres have, the better your grip on the road and the shorter your stopping distances.
Read more about replacing tyres:
How Long A Tire Lasts: Extending Tread Life
Tires are both one of the largest maintenance expenses a vehicle owner is likely to face, and one of the most critical in terms of driving safety and performance. For both reasons itâs important to care for them properly. Bottom line: good maintenance and driving habits help keep drivers safe, and it saves them money by extending tire life.
Easy Does It
Tire life can be reduced by as much as half when theyâre subjected to a lot of hard braking and aggressive acceleration from a standstill. Avoiding tailgating to reduce the need for frequent hard braking will increase tire life. Easing into the throttle when pulling away from a stop reduces strain on the tires and improves wear. Slowing before sharp corners also reduces stress on tires, as does avoiding potholes and broken pavement when possible. If youâre interested in spending less on tires, following these steps can help.
Another way to extend tire life is to keep up with the proper maintenance of a vehicle and its tires. A couple of things you can do yourself are to check the air pressure and tread depth. You should have a qualified technician periodically check their balance and alignment and be sure to have tires rotated at regular intervals. maintenance is essential for your tires to perform their best and last their longest.
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How Long Do Car Tires Last Knowing When To Change Them
Many different components are essential to your vehicle accelerating, handling, braking, and achieving good fuel economy.
The engine provides power for moving the car forward or backward, and the brakes help it come to a stop. The suspension absorbs bumps in the road, and the fuel injection system meters out a precise amount of gasoline, optimizing your miles per gallon.
But the tires are what interact with the highway surface and play a significant part in many aspects of road manners, like ride quality, traction, and fuel economy.
Like many parts of a vehicle, tires are subject to wear and tear and need replacement after a certain number of miles driven or passage of time since installation.
How many miles do tires last? When is it time for tire replacement?
Let’s look at the subject of when to replace tires and what to pay attention to as the miles add up.
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Using The Penny Test To Check Your Tread Depth
An easy way to check how much tread you have left, is using the penny test! Take a penny and hold President Lincolns head upside down. Stick the penny in one of the primary tread grooves. If you can see all of Lincolns head, you have less than two thirty-seconds of an inch of tread. Also, your tires have wear indicators – these wear indicators are located at several places around the circumference of your tires and rise 2/32 inch from the bottom of the groove. When the tread has worn down to the 2/32-inch level, these indicators become flush with the tread surface and appear as a smooth bridge connecting the two adjacent tread ribs. And remember you can always visit a Goodyear Authorized Service Center to have your tire treadwear and inflation pressure checked.
If you dont drive enough miles to wear the tread down, it might still be time to replace the tires. Remember, rubber used in many tires is a natural product, which can degrade over time simply through exposure to the elements.
What Happens To A Tire As It Ages
Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies Inc., compares an aging tire to an old rubber band. “If you take a rubber band that’s been sitting around a long time and stretch it, you will start to see cracks in the rubber,” said Kane, whose organization is involved in research, analysis and advocacy on safety matters for the public and clients including attorneys, engineering firms, supplier companies, media and government.
Cracks in a tire’s rubber begin to develop over time, appearing on the surface and inside the tire as well. This cracking can eventually cause the steel belts in the tread to separate from the rest of the tire. Improper maintenance and heat accelerate the process.
Kane and his organization have identified over 250 incidents in which tires older than six years have experienced tread and belt separations most resulting in loss-of-control and rollover crashes. These incidents were the cause of 233 fatalities and 300 injuries in 2012.
Every tire that’s on the road long enough will succumb to age. Tires that are rated for higher mileage have antiozonant chemical compounds built into the rubber that will slow the aging process, but nothing stops the effects of time on rubber.
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Is A 20 Year Old Spare Tire Still Good
A 20 year old spare tire or one that has never been used may still be good. The date code is embossed in the sidewall of a tire the last four digits are the week, and year the tire was manufactured.
So, you should check to know the condition of the tire. It is only safe to use if you can confirm that the tire is still good and can keep you safe on the road. Most spare tires cannot go through what normal tires can be subjected to.
Therefore, you should never consider them for a long miles journey. They are considered for emergencies, and you should never use them otherwise. If your spare tire is 20 years of age, it is unsafe to use.
Bad Tire Alignment Will Reduce Tire Lifespan
Tires need to be properly aligned in order to last longer. The more out of alignment they are, the worse the tire lifespan will be. Not only is alignment important for tire longevity, but it also will make a difference in other aspects of driving as well. Handling, fuel economy, braking, and traction are all affected by tire alignment so its in your best interest to ensure your tires are properly alignedespecially when putting new tires on.
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Are 20 Year Old Tires Safe
20 year old tires are just not something you generally want on your car. Sure, the tread may still look good, and they may even pass the pinch test. But a quick investigation will make it reveal that those tires are, in fact, NOT safe.
Tires which were manufactured 20 years ago may still be safe. But the rubber in tires, the main component that provides traction and helps the tire grip the road surface, do deteriorate with age.
Therefore, Twenty year old tires are dangerous because they age, dry out and deteriorate. Plus, a tire that has been on your vehicle for twenty years is most likely very degraded by higher mileage and exposure to the sun.
This can lead to blowouts or premature tread wear. However, taking proper care of your vehicles tires can prolong their life and significantly reduce the risk of a blowout or other tire-related accidents.
Perform Regular Tire Rotations
Tire maintenance is critical to their longevity, and regular rotations are one of the most common maintenance items. A tire rotation is when you lift the vehicle and remove all four wheels, then move each wheel to a new position on the vehicle.
There are five types of rotation patterns. Some patterns are for specific tire types, while others are to counter uneven tire wear. These tire rotation patterns and their rationale are as follows:
Plan to perform a tire rotation at least every six months or 12,000 km, whichever comes first. Some cars require more frequent rotations, so check the maintenance schedule in your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s official recommendation.
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Visit United Tire & Service For Quality Tires And Auto Repair Near You
AtUnited Tire & Service, our staff is here to serve customers throughout Pennsylvania. We offertop-quality auto repair services done by expert technicians. From an oil change or brake repair to auto air conditioning repair, muffler repair, engine diagnostics, wheel alignment, car batteries, fleet repair, tire repair, suspension repair and Pennsylvania state vehicle inspections, we do it all. We also stock a wide selection oftires from all the top brands in the industry including Goodyear Tires, Dunlop Tires, Kelly Tires, and many more.Schedule an appointmentwith us today at one of our locations inAmbler, Bethlehem, Concordville, Downingtown, Emmaus, Feasterville, Phoenixville, Southampton, Paoli, West Chester or Willow Grove, PA. We are your number one source for top quality, affordable auto repair and tires!