How Old - and Dangerous - Are Your Tires? | Edmunds

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited April 2019 in General

imageHow Old - and Dangerous - Are Your Tires? | Edmunds

People usually rely on a tire's tread depth to determine when to replace it. But tire age is critical, too. A tire that's 6 years old or older isn't safe and should be replaced, regardless of wear.

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Comments

  • Bill271Bill271 Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2019
    2 examples that are nothing but anecdotes. Just because the tires were old (only 10 years!) does not mean that's why they failed. The internet is covered in opinions about this, virtually no fact.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,058
    "Only 10 years!" ???

    These are examples, not anecdotes. While you might doubt their motivation, anyone with actual tire expertise strongly recommends replacing any 10 year old tire. In hot climates, or when exposed to sunlight (UV rays) even earlier. No reason to push it with the key safety item on your car.
  • andreiuandreiu Member Posts: 1
    How many tires failed and weren't so old ?
    Don't hide this info because is very important to compare them.
    I think that there are more chances for a new tire to have manufacture fault and fail than an old tire that proved to be well build .....
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,058
    As far as I can tell, new tire failure is quite rare. Sure, some 'pull', but that's different than a blowout.

    Old tires have three things going against them:
    - They have been through many potentially damaging hits, from curbs and potholes. Any damage can worsen over the years and lead to a blowout
    - They have been exposed to ozone and UV, which deteriorates the rubber
    - And even if neither of the above have happened, rubber ages, dries out, and hardens over the years, making for poorer handling and stopping.

    A lose/lose/lose situation
  • HookabigunHookabigun Ocala, FloridaMember Posts: 1
    I have had a set of Michelin truck tires on my truck for a little over 10 years & still have good tread on them. I am seeing small cracks in the sidewall's. They have had nothing but nitrogen in then & they have been rotated regularly. Any ideas on the safety of these tires??
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well they are definitely too old and should be replaced. Having said that, if I were in your shoes....actually...I *AM* in your shoes---I have an older truck with some slight cracks in the sidewalls, and they are also quite old tires.

    My rule of thumb is that these are okay for putting around, but if I intend to haul max payload, or do high speed driving in very hot weather---then, no, I will either use another vehicle or I will spring for new tires.

    But I have no intention of doing heavy hauling or trekking across the burning sands--so I'm good.

    But I do keep up tire pressure (low pressure = heat buildup!) and inspect the sidewalls very closely every oil change, when I rotate them. They have lots of tread left on them.

  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,058

    I have had a set of Michelin truck tires on my truck for a little over 10 years & still have good tread on them. I am seeing small cracks in the sidewall's. They have had nothing but nitrogen in then & they have been rotated regularly. Any ideas on the safety of these tires??

    It's up to you. I'd replace them. Using nitrogen doesn't add life - the deterioration comes from the outside (ozone and sunlight), not the inside.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 900
    texases said:

    I have had a set of Michelin truck tires on my truck for a little over 10 years & still have good tread on them. I am seeing small cracks in the sidewall's. They have had nothing but nitrogen in then & they have been rotated regularly. Any ideas on the safety of these tires??

    It's up to you. I'd replace them. Using nitrogen doesn't add life - the deterioration comes from the outside (ozone and sunlight), not the inside.
    X2
  • JahamesJahames Member Posts: 5
    It seems like tires are like getting new glasses. You don't realize how much you needed them until you get them. I'm definitely more attentive to tread wear now.
  • PostmandougiePostmandougie AlbertaMember Posts: 1
    Got a buddy who put some brand new (never mounted) bias tires on his Kaiser. Gulf brand, so you can figure 40 years old if they're a day. He does about 3k miles a year and has done so for 5 years without so much as a flat, and nary a crack. I think proper storage and maintenance has as much to do with it as anything. That includes jacking it up onto stands over winter, and annual rotation.
  • GeorgeAFGeorgeAF Florida Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2019
    Does the fact that a modern tire has steel belts in it amplify the problem over tires without the steel belts? I remember an old family friend with a car dating back to the fifties that had tires that were easily twenty-five or more years old because he barely drove the car, and I never heard of him having issues. Yet I remember when steel belted tires were still rather new that highway patrol cars were getting into accidents and having tire blowouts in high speed chases that lasted a while due to overheated tires caused by the steel belts. For a while many went back, away from steel belted tires. Could this be a cause or accelerant to what is now being called age failure? Could the added heat and stress caused by steel belts be causing the failures and not age? In places like Cuba, where older American cars can be found driving on very old, non steel belted tires, I’ve not heard of these stories of age related failures.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 207,910
    GeorgeAF said:

    Does the fact that a modern tire has steel belts in it amplify the problem over tires without the steel belts? I remember an old family friend with a car dating back to the fifties that had tires that were easily twenty-five or more years old because he barely drove the car, and I never heard of him having issues. Yet I remember when steel belted tires were still rather new that highway patrol cars were getting into accidents and having tire blowouts in high speed chases that lasted a while due to overheated tires caused by the steel belts. For a while many went back, away from steel belted tires. Could this be a cause or accelerant to what is now being called age failure? Could the added heat and stress caused by steel belts be causing the failures and not age? In places like Cuba, where older American cars can be found driving on very old, non steel belted tires, I’ve not heard of these stories of age related failures.

    Do any tires still have steel belts? None that I know of.

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  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 900
    George,

    First, belted radials (there isn't another kind!) last a lot longer than the old bias tires - the ones you are referring to. Most tires in that era wore out long before the age of the tire became a problem. Plus speed was not as much of an issue in the 1950's - just as it is not an issue in Cuba.

    And it did take a while to find all the peculiarities of radial tires.

    Nowadays, cars are lasting longer, and vehicle maintenance is much more neglected, so old tires are more of an issue than - say - engines that burn so much oil they smoke or bodies that rust out.

    And, yes, steel belted radials have a particular failure mode that causes more damage than the old bias tires. But that failure mode can be largely avoided by purchasing H or higher speed rated tires, due to their cap plies (nylon belt overlays). Unfortunately, it is not illegal to buy, sell, or make tires without cap plies, so many people cheap out.
  • MikiZMikiZ ArizonaMember Posts: 1
    Ronald - are they're any laws regarding dealerships selling cars with 'old' tires?
    I discovered today that the car I bought in Jan 2019 (2009 Malibu) has tires on it that were manufactured in 2011 and 2015. The car had 41,000 miles.
    I'm ok with the 2015 tires, but pretty upset about the 2011s. I only discovered when one gotcpunctured and the tire shop I took it to for repair (20$) said they couldn't legally fix it due to its age, or even inflate any if the others...my only option was new tires (800$).
    I'm just curious.
    Thanks
  • WolgonAutoWolgonAuto MNMember Posts: 1
    Of course any tire expert will want you to replace them and not have full facts and spreadsheets showing data on even new failed tires. They want to sell you new tires. Tires are expensive and they want your money.
  • HaiHai KeralaMember Posts: 1
    My tires runned out 12000 kilometers but tire manufacturering was 2009 ..Tire condition is very good.my question is can I use it more over ... Continue...
  • HenryKHenryK GeorgiaMember Posts: 1
    How much overpressure should a new tire that is undamaged (such as when mounting) withstand before failure (blow-out, bursting, bead stretch)? Long ago I saw five times the maximum pressure molded on the sidewall – a 35 psi tire should withstand 175 psi; a 44 psi tire, 220 psi; an 80 psi LR "E" tire, 400 psi.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,058
    edited January 2021
    I gotta ask: why do you need to know? I wouldn't go double.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 207,910
    The maximum pressure on the sidewall is the maximum.

    Most cars have recommended pressures that are a fraction of that number (less than half).

    I can’t imagine any scenario where you would put even the maximum sidewall pressure in a tire, let alone a multiple of that amount.

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