Automotive

Can tires be used more than 5 years

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Jan 16, 2008
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Can tires be used more than 5 years

I've been using my winter tires for 5 winters now but I only have around, 30,000km on them. Should tires generally be changed after this number of years?
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Aug 22, 2011
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Generally after a long period of time, the tires can deteriorate as a result of dry rot.
Just keep an eye on them, as I'm also in a similar situation with my summer car, except I've put less than 10k on them since installing a new set back in 2010.
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Nov 20, 2009
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Minutes ago I was looking into this subject because I had bought "new" Michelins from Crappy Tire that were mfd in 2009. There is a huge issue with aging tires that look good but are actually dangerous just from sitting on the shelf or in your car trunk.

Check out the Frontline episode that illustrates the dangers of old tires.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/livingold/view/
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A tire that is not being used is not flexed and the internal oils are not redistributed, allowing drying/cracking and ply separation internally that is not visible from the outside. Inflated tires age faster because of higher oxygen concentrations than stored uninflated tires.
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Also check the date of manufacture which is in an oval beside the "DOT" marking with 3 or 4 digits showing the week of the year and the year of mfr. If it's three digits only that means it was made before 2000. For 4 digits "1912" means made in the 19th week of 2012.
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Falcon-x wrote: I've been using my winter tires for 5 winters now but I only have around, 30,000km on them. Should tires generally be changed after this number of years?
A few questions to consider:

Is the tread still flexible to handle winter conditions? ( I just replaced my winter tires, after 5 winter seasons, because the tread wasn't flexible anymore. The tread rubber hardened up and was similar to driving on all-season tires)
Do you have enough tread depth?
Are there any visible cracks on the tire?
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[OP]
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RSole wrote: Also check the date of manufacture which is in an oval beside the "DOT" marking with 3 or 4 digits showing the week of the year and the year of mfr. If it's three digits only that means it was made before 2000. For 4 digits "1912" means made in the 19th week of 2012.
Thanks I will check. I bought them at Costco so I assumed that they were fairly new at that time since they probably rotate their stock quite quickly.
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Webhead wrote: A few questions to consider:

Is the tread still flexible to handle winter conditions? ( I just replaced my winter tires, after 5 winter seasons, because the tread wasn't flexible anymore. The tread rubber hardened up and was similar to driving on all-season tires)
Do you have enough tread depth?
Are there any visible cracks on the tire?
It looks like there is enough tread depth but I will check for cracks. How do you check whether the tread is flexible?
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Falcon-x wrote: It looks like there is enough tread depth but I will check for cracks. How do you check whether the tread is flexible?
check in between treads..if you see cracking..rubber is not flexable any more
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RSole wrote: A tire that is not being used is not flexed and the internal oils are not redistributed, allowing drying/cracking and ply separation internally that is not visible from the outside. Inflated tires age faster because of higher oxygen concentrations than stored uninflated tires.
link?
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RSole wrote: A tire that is not being used is not flexed and the internal oils are not redistributed, allowing drying/cracking and ply separation internally that is not visible from the outside. Inflated tires age faster because of higher oxygen concentrations than stored uninflated tires.
DJ_Peanuts22 wrote: link?
Yeah, I'm curious too. The science just doesn't check out on this claim.
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RSole wrote: A tire that is not being used is not flexed and the internal oils are not redistributed, allowing drying/cracking and ply separation internally that is not visible from the outside. Inflated tires age faster because of higher oxygen concentrations than stored uninflated tires.
This is exactly why it's important to change your tire fluid every 3 years like the manual says.
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Many variables involved in tire aging so you can't generalize. As is often the case, the British take a well-reasoned approach to this contentious subject:

The British Rubber Manufacturers Association (BRMA) recommended practice issued June, 2001, states "BRMA members strongly recommend that unused tyres should not be put into service if they are over six years old and that all tyres should be replaced ten years from the date of their manufacture."

"Environmental conditions like exposure to sunlight and coastal climates, as well as poor storage and infrequent use, accelerate the aging process. In ideal conditions, a tyre may have a life expectancy that exceeds ten years from its date of manufacture. However, such conditions are rare. Aging may not exhibit any external indications and, since there is no non-destructive test to assess the serviceability of a tyre, even an inspection carried out by a tyre expert may not reveal the extent of any deterioration."

More recently, The Japan Automobile Tire Manufacturers Association (JATMA) recommended practice issued May, 2005, states "customers are encouraged to have their vehicle tires promptly inspected after five years of use to determine if the tires can continue to be used (recommends spare tires be inspected as well). Furthermore, even when the tires look usable, it is recommended that all tires (including spare tires) that were made more than ten years ago be replaced with new tires. Additionally, because in some cases automobile makers--based on the characteristics of the relevant vehicle--stipulate in the owner's manual the timing of tire inspection and replacement. Please read and confirm the content of the owner's manual."

Several European vehicle manufacturers of high performance sports cars, coupes and sedans identify that "under no circumstances should tires older than 6 years be used" in their vehicle owner's manual. However, it should be noted that European recommendations must include driving conditions that include roads like the German Autobahn, which allows vehicles to be legally driven at their top speeds for extended periods of time.

While American driving conditions don't include the high-speed challenges of the German Autobahn, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company and General Motors have joined their European colleagues by recommending that tires installed as Original Equipment be replaced after six years of service.

It is important to take into account Original Equipment tires are mounted on wheels and put into service right after being received by vehicle manufacturers, so their calendar age begins immediately. However the same cannot be said of tires properly stored in a tire manufacturers' warehouse or in Tire Rack distribution centers before they go into service. Properly stored tires that are protected from the elements and not mounted on a wheel age very slowly before they are mounted and put into service.

Our experience has been that when properly stored and cared for, most street tires have a useful life in service of between six to ten years. And while part of that time is spent as the tire travels from the manufacturing plant to the manufacturer's distribution center, to the retailer and to you, the remainder is the time it spends on your vehicle.
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As long as they aren't cracked you're good to go. Five years, I would say you are good.
Though a lot of cars with "good" tread life coming from Japan for example, may have decreased wet traction ability but those cars may have been sitting for years in a yard.
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After 8 years my last tires started flaking on the sidewalls even though there was a couple of years left on the tread. So I bought a new truck. The sidewalls had spiderweb cracking and in the cracks you could see the layer under the rubber.
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The tire itself is probably still useable. However, most brands of winter tires, are not 100% winter tread - maybe only the first 50% is winter tread? So even if the tire is still technically useable, from a winter efficacy standpoint, it may be ineffective for winter - which I presume, is really your intended purpose.
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Sep 18, 2004
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macnut wrote: Many variables involved in tire aging so you can't generalize. As is often the case, the British take a well-reasoned approach to this contentious subject:

The British Rubber Manufacturers Association (BRMA) recommended...

This. Excellent reply all around.
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What kills tires is heat. This is not Arizona or Texas. Generally there are no problems with using 5 year old tires, but you need to learn how to inspect them visually.
I can help you delete your unwanted RFD posts. PM me.
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When I bought tires from TireRack.com, they were already 3 years old.
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Should I change mine in this condition? They were manufactured in 2009. Tires are still very soft to touch. I can't even find any crack on them.

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