What do you know about the lifespan of your tyres

By Majemite Okome


The question that most motorists are asking is  when does the car tyre expire? Car Tyres are manufactured by bonding rubber to fabric plies and steel cords. And despite the anti-aging ingredients mixed into the rubber compounds, there is a realization that tyres are perishable, as well as a growing awareness that some tyres will actually age out before their treads will wear out. It is clear, tyres should have expiration date. Older tyres are substantially more likely to fail than newer ones. This is because tyres are made mostly of rubber, and rubber degrades with age. Sunlight, heat, ice, and general wear and tear can accelerate the breakdown of a tyre. Once a tyre begins to break down, it becomes more likely to fail in the form of a tread separation–often at highway speeds, when the failure is most likely to cause catastrophic injuries or death. Tyres age because of a chemical process commonly referred to as oxidation, which simply means that as the tyre components are exposed to oxygen, the oxygen particles cause the flexible components of a tyre to harden and become brittle.


Over time, the tyre will simply fall apart under normal stress, just like an old rubber band. Because this process occurs naturally, it does not matter if a tyre is being used, stored as a spare, or simply waiting on a store shelf for an unsuspecting consumer.  For the most part, today’s tyres deliver more miles and years of service than ever before. In the 1970s, typical bias ply tyre lasted less than 20,000 miles and were only expected to be in service for about two years.


In the 1980s, early radial ply tyres offered a treadwear expectancy of about 40,000 miles during four years of service. And by the turn of the century, many long-life radial tyres extended treadwear to about 60,000 miles during four or more years of service. While passenger car and light truck tyre technology and  driving conditions in the past resulted in tyre treads wearing out before the rest of the tyre aged, it may not always be true of today’s even longer lasting tyres that are approaching 80,000 miles of treadwear. How many years will tyres last before aging out? Unfortunately it’s impossible to predict when tyres should be replaced based on their calendar age alone. Exposure to the elements (sun and atmospheric), regularity of use (frequent or only occasional) and the quality of care (maintaining proper inflation pressure, wheel alignment, etc.) will all influence the answer.


So while tyre life depends on the service conditions and the environment in which they operate, the difficult task remains how to identify all of the variables that influence a tyre’s calendar age and attempt to quantify their influence. The British Rubber Manufacturers Association (BRMA) 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.”


Source: Vanguard