Tires Can Get Old, Too

I have been to a lot of car shows over the years, both as a spectator and a participant. I love the cars that have been fastidiously restored as well as the ones in original, unrestored condition. The one thing that amazes me is that an owner can spend so much time keeping a car in top condition and yet, ignore the tires completely. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a pristine example of a classic car only to find ragged, worn out tires supporting it.

Not only can a tire wear out, but it can also age. Even if your tire has plenty of tread depth left it can show signs of age and need replacement.  The most notable indicator that a tire is old is the presence of numerous, tiny cracks in the sidewall.



The tires used on vehicles that are driven infrequently or accumulate low annual mileage are more likely to experience cracking because long periods of parking or storage interrupt "working" the rubber. In addition to being an annoyance to show car owners, this condition often frustrates motor home and recreational vehicle owners who only take occasional trips and cannot even park their vehicle in a garage or shaded area. Using tire covers at least minimizes direct exposure to sunlight.


Friday, November 18, 2011 by Mike

Just curious as to the shelf life of a new tire. If the tire was manufactured over a year ago, is that too old? What's acceptable? Thanks
Thursday, October 11, 2012 by isaac echevarria

do manufactures actually sell tires which are approaching the 6 year storage limit. do i have the right not to accept tires near experation date
Thursday, October 11, 2012 by Porter

When you buy tires from the Tire Rack, you are getting new tires purchased by us directly from the manufacturer. When you consider the time that elapses before the tires ship from the manufacturer and the additional time before you place your order, it not unreasonable to receive tires with a production date from this year, last year or occasionally the prior year. Unusual sizes or low volume performance tires are manufactured less frequently and tend to be slightly older than high volume passenger tires. Regardless, the tires are fully covered by the manufacturers warranty which begins on the purchase date rather than the production date.

Although there is not currently an industry standard on tire life and tires do not expire like milk at the grocery store, it is generally accepted that tires properly stored will retain their new properties up to ten years after production. Tires in service can be expected approximately six years before beginning to show signs of age.

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