How old are your tyres?
Published: Tuesday 19th of June 2018 |
Author: Holly |
In February 2008, the owner of a 1998 Ford Explorer in Georgia needed a new tyre for his SUV and ended up buying a used one. When he was driving two weeks later, the tread suddenly separated from the tyre. The Explorer went out of control and hit a motorcycle, killing its rider. An analysis of the used tyre revealed that it was nearly 10 years old.
More recently, an investigation into the cause of the accident that killed the actor Paul Walker revealed that the Porsche Carrera GT in which he was riding had nine-year-old tyres. The California Highway Patrol noted that the tyres' age might have compromised their drivability and handling characteristics, according to the Los Angeles Times.
These incidents illustrate not only the potential danger of buying used tyres but also the perils of driving on aging tyres — including those that have never spent a day on the road.
For years, people have relied on a tyre's tread depth to determine its condition. But the rubber compounds in a tyre deteriorate with time, regardless of the condition of the tread. An old tyre poses a safety hazard.
What Happens to a Tyre as It Ages?
Every tyre that's on the road long enough will succumb to age. Tyres that are rated for higher mileage have "anti-ozinant" chemical compounds built into the rubber that will slow the aging process, but nothing stops the effects of time on rubber.
How Long Does a Tyre Last?
Carmakers such as Nissan and Mercedes-Benz tell consumers to replace tyres six years after their production date, regardless of tread life. Tyre manufacturers such as Continental and Michelin say a tyre can last up to 10 years, provided you get annual tyre inspections after the fifth year.
How To Determine the Age of a Tyre
The sidewall of a tyre is full of numbers and letters. They all mean something, but deciphering them can be a challenge.
Tyres made after 2000 have a four-digit DOT code. The first two numbers represent the week in which the tyre was made. The second two represent the year. A tyre with a DOT code of 1109 was made in the 11th week of 2009. Tyres with a three-digit code were made prior to 2000 and are trickier to decode. The first two digits still tell you the week, but the third digit tells you the year in the decade that it was created.
To get the latest best deals and availability for tyres on your car, van, caravan or trailer, please go to www.concordeautocentre.com/car-tyres
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