While in service, car tires are exposed to heavy loads of various nature, so of course have their own service life, which is influenced by a number of factors. So even if the tread has still acceptable wear (not less than 3 mm), it is necessary to monitor the condition of the rubber and its shelf life.
How Long Should Tires Last?
The shelf life is the period during which the company guarantees the ability to use the product for its intended purpose and is fully responsible for defects that are due to its fault. This period includes the time of use and off-season storage time. During this time, the tire must not lose its performance characteristics.
Date of tire production
To calculate how long do tires last, it is worth considering that the period of storage by manufacturers does not exceed 15 years, but in most cases, it is even less — 10. Only this time presupposes lying in ideal conditions. If we consider that in the course of exploitation rubber contacted to ultraviolet, different reagents, is exposed to mechanical influence, this period is reduced.
When buying tires you should keep in mind that not more than three years have passed since the date of manufacture. The date of manufacture and any other information is very easy to find out, it is written on the tire label among general information about dimensions, construction, speed and load indices.
See the last four digits of the DOT (Department of Transportation) code on the tire's sidewall for when the tire was manufactured.
Tire experts recommend changing tires when they are 6 to 8 years old because they could let you down at a critical moment.
What is the shelf life of a tire?
The shelf life is a certain period, during which the product must retain all its properties if the established rules of storage and use are observed. If the storage period has expired, it does not mean that the product is unusable at all, but its technical characteristics may decrease.
Tires can age through physical and chemical processes, this hypothesis applies to tires that are not used or are little used. To prevent the aging process itself, special substances are added to the rubber compound to help counteract chemicals with oxygen and ozone that are harmful to use. Such actions ensure that when a tire is properly stored, it will meet the definition of a new tire.
It should be noted that the warranty storage period is not the life of the tire. The five-year shelf life is set, not because the tire will go bad after that, but because the law does not allow the manufacturer to set a shorter warranty period, which is a protection for the end consumer.
In recent years, many American experts believe that the period of storage and operation of car tires should be limited to 10 years. In turn, German experts believe that the shelf life of car tires should be limited to 6 years, this also applies to new tires.
Well-known brands of imported tires such as Bridgestone, Michelin, Goodyear and Dunlop serve up to 10 years and more from the date of manufacture, this term is generally accepted throughout the world. And the total shelf life and storage, from the date of manufacture, tires Continental is no more than 5 years.
Although, as we have already figured out, the storage conditions of tires, not only new but also those that were removed from the car until the next season, mean a lot. For example, the shelf life of Nokian tires is 3-5 years, if checked at least once a year, after 5 years of use.
How long should your tires last?
The period of use is the length of time during which the manufacturer guarantees the tires and bears full responsibility for any defects discovered during their use. According to the manufacturers, the tires should last at least ten years, although in practice you have to replace them every 5-7 years. If you translate that time into mileage, it comes out to an average of about 50,000 miles. You can get an approximate idea of how long a tire will last by using the Treadwear Index.
Factors that affect the life of a tire
There are many different factors that affect tire wear, the main ones are listed below:
- Your vehicle and its capacity: the maximum load the vehicle can carry and whether your tires can support it (this is the load capacity index indicated by the number on the tire sidewall after the size label). Note that depending on this index there are specific tire standards for mileage on the road:
- For passenger cars: load capacity up to 2 tons, mileage of 50 thousand miles.
- For trucks: payloads from 2 to 4 tons, mileage of 70 thousand miles.
- Trucks with payloads over 4 tonnes — up to 90 thousand miles.
- Depending on tire size. Low-profile tires are more likely to bang on the disk on the rocks, so they last less. If the rubber is wide, the friction increases on the turns, especially in winter.
- Driver's Driving Manner. The tire wears out quickly if the motorist often uses a sharp brake or, on the contrary, accelerates quickly.
- The condition of the roads on which you drive every day.
- From the distance you drive and the frequency of use.
- The quality of the tires plays a very important role, for example, rubber made in China is short-lived, while rubber from well-known brands will serve much longer. Chinese rubber lasts about two seasons, while branded rubber can last about seven years.
- Various mechanical damages such as cuts, bumps after impact, deformation after emergency braking, accidents, etc.
How to know if your car tires have reached the end of their useful life
When diagnosing tires, in addition to the fact that it is necessary to pay attention to the degree of wear, there are also other, no less important factors indicating the end of life. In order to determine when the service life of car tires is coming to an end during a detailed inspection, you need to pay attention to the following points:
- If you notice that the tire's tread is worn down to the level of the tread bridges, it means that the tires have reached the end of their useful life. You can tell how worn they are by eye or by using a tool. There are numbers on the outside of the tire's surface with different depths, so you can easily determine the degree of wear. To measure the tread depth, you can use a ruler with a special depth gauge. For summer tires, this parameter should be more than 1.6 mm, while for winter tires it should be more than 4 mm. If these parameters are lower, it is necessary to replace the tires. When the wear is uneven, measurement should be made in the area where the wear is most visible. Otherwise, if the tread edge is worn on one side only, it means that the camber angle has been disturbed.
- Small cracks on the side of the tire are an indication that the tire is aging and a warning to replace it, whereas deep cuts require immediate replacement.
- If a tire has a hernia on the side, it means that the fibres have broken and should be changed immediately. Also, such «lumps» can appear on the inside of the wheel, so you need to be extremely attentive, in time to inspect.
- If the wear of the tire on the outer side is much more than in the central part, it could mean that there was not enough pressure in the tires, if everything is the opposite, in the center more worn, and on the outer edges less, then the pressure was in excess.
When any defects in the tires have been noticed, it is recommended that they be replaced.
How to prolong the life of your tires
In order for your tires to be more durable and to last the life of your tires, you need to follow certain rules of use:
- You need to check your tire pressure every 2-3 weeks of use (even if there is no obvious air leak). This should be done because uneven tire pressure leads to uneven tread wear. If the internal pressure is reduced by 10%, this can result in a 10-15% reduction in the lifetime of car tires. If the pressure is increased, there is also increased wear, but half as much as if the pressure was decreased.
- Every 10-15. thousand. or during the seasonal change of rubber, it is advisable to change places (because there will always be more wear on the front axle).Pay attention that even though there are tires with a directional and non-directional pattern, it is impossible to change the direction of rotation of the wheel. And the second option, the front wheels, before installing back, must be re-boarded.
- If you bought new studded tires, you should run them in for the first 300 miles, avoiding sudden turns, braking and acceleration, then the tires will serve much longer, and will have a proper fit.
- It is best to buy and put tires on all wheels from the same manufacturer and with the same pattern.
- It is important to regularly wash dirt from the tires with special care products, and care should be taken to ensure that they do not remain in the tread grooves after the products have been washed off.
- Follow all the rules for storing removed tires.
- If you are going on a long trip, it is better to increase the internal pressure in the tires, this will save fuel and reduce their heating.
- Try to maintain a moderate driving style.
- There is no need to overload the car, at 20% overloading the service life is reduced by 30%.
- Once a year do a check of wheel angles. Also, this operation should be performed after repairing the steering gear, replacement of joints, as well as after hard knocks, which can deform elements in the chassis.
- Watch for wheel balancing, it should be done after about 6000-9500 miles or after each repair with the removal of tires.
How long do tires last on average?
On average, tires can last for 10 years. Its useful time depends on storage and operating conditions.
How often should tires be replaced?
Specialists recommend replacing tires every 6 or 8 years.
Can I use tires that are 8 years old?
It's dangerous to use 8 years old tires because they can lead to fatal accidents! During storage, and even more so during operation, tires are exposed to mechanical and chemical stresses.