Do Tires Expire

Do Tires Expire? (and if so, how to tell if they’re too old)

Taking good care of your tires is an imperative part of safe driving. But what you might not realize is that even if you keep a tire as a spare and it’s never used, it will eventually expire. That means it will end up too old to use safely. So, do tires expire? Keep reading to find out that and much more.

Yes, tires do expire. But how do you find out when a tire will expire? That’s exactly what you’ll learn here.

When Do Tires Expire?

While each tire model has its own unique specifications, most drivers can expect that tires will expire between five and ten years after it was manufactured. Most manufacturers will state that the tire will expire within six years after the date of manufacture.

When Do Tires Expire?

But how do you find a tire’s date of manufacture? Well, you can find it using the DOT TIN that is stamped on the tire.

While a tire may last up to six years in most cases, there are conditions that can make the tire expire earlier than normal.

If you drive your vehicle all the time and for long distances, your tires are likely to wear out much sooner than they would if they were sitting in storage.

The weather is another big factor. Tires can wear out faster if you frequently drive through bad weather conditions like snow and ice.

Other conditions that tend to wear out tires more quickly are driving over mountains and driving over uneven surfaces on the road.

If you’re keeping a tire as a spare or don’t drive on it very often, you’ll have to be especially careful to keep track of the date of manufacture and expiration date.

That is because it’ll probably still have good tread depth but will be dangerous to drive because the rubber compounds have broken down and other problems that occur with age. Those 10 year old tires or 14 year old tires probably aren’t safe.

Damaged Tire

Most drivers will pay more attention to the number of miles they drive the vehicle to help them know when the tire is wearing out. It is possible to hit the mile limit long before the tire expiration date, so keep that in mind.

How Many Miles Can My Tires Go?

Many drivers will focus their attention on how many miles they drive on the tires. This is often a better indicator that it’s time to replace the tires than the expiration date.

If you drive the vehicle often, you’ll reach this mileage limit much faster than you would with keeping it at home.

How Many Miles Can My Tires Go?

A good way to tell whether the tire is getting old or not is to look at the tread depth. The deeper the tread, the more time you have left on the tire before replacing it.

The lower the tread, the sooner it will be for you to replace the tires.

But remember, as I mentioned earlier, tread depth alone isn’t enough. A tire that you’ve kept in storage will still have good tread depth even if it’s expired, but it won’t be safe to drive.

When you purchase a new tire from a tire shop, it is common to see them sold based on durability measured in miles. The most common will be 30,000 to 50,000 miles on the tire.

You will then monitor how far you go on the tire to help you know when it’s getting to the end of its life, as long as that happens within six years of manufacture.

Factors that Influence How Long Tires Will Last

There are several different conditions that will influence how long a set of tires is going to last.

Factors That Influence How Long Tires Will Last

Hot Environments

Hot temperatures tend to make tires wear out faster.

Friction and heat from the sun will reduce the tire’s elasticity and oil. This can cause them to wear out faster than before.

Wet Environments

Water alone isn’t going to impact the tire’s rubber, but if there are cuts or cracks in the tire, the moisture can make the steel belts start to rust. This can lead to tire failure.

Cold Environment

Cold temperatures are often enough to make the rubber in your tires brittle. This can make them more susceptible to cracking or breaking, which can ruin them.

Proper maintenance of the tires is one of the best ways to ensure that the tire will maintain its durability.

Have a professional take a look at the tire pressure and alignment and rotate the tires often to help them stay safe for longer.

Are There Numbers to Tell the Age of the Tire?

Manufacturers will mold numbers onto the tire to help the customer know the age or the expiration date of the tire.

Are There Numbers to Tell the Age of the Tire?

These are known as the DOT TIN and will be 10 to 11 characters long. This long number is meant to tell us where the tire was made, who made it, and the year and week it was manufactured.

The first two numbers on the TIN will be the week of manufacture, while the last two will be the year.

Keep in mind that only tires manufactured after 2000 will have that TIN in place. If you don’t have a TIN on your tire, it is older than 2000 and has already expired.

If you’re uncertain how to read the TIN, you can take the tire to a professional tire shop.

They will be able to take a look at the number and determine how old the tire is for you.

When are Tires Dangerous to Drive On?

Over time, tires age and will no longer perform the way that you want. Even if they still hold air, they’ll be dangerous to drive on.

Old tires will end up with cracks and will start to rupture as the rubber degrades. Choosing to drive on worn-out tires is unsafe for you as a driver, as well as other road users.

When are Tires Dangerous to Drive On?

Even if the tire has low miles on it, it’ll still naturally wear out with age and will eventually pose a safety hazard.

Even if the treads look fine, old tires will have gone through a chemical process that breaks down the components, making them unreliable and dangerous.

Signs I Should Replace My Tires

There are several signs that it is time to replace your tires.

These include:

They’ve Passed Their Expiration Date

If six or more years have passed since the date of manufacture, you should replace your tires.

You See a Tire Warning Light Come Up In Your Vehicle

If you see a tire warning light activate in your car, you need to replace your tires.

You Notice that the Tires Are Cracking and Tearing with Age

If you see any cracking or tearing in your tires, this is an extremely dangerous situation. Don’t drive on them.

You Feel Vibration While Driving

Vibrations due to the tires wearing out in an uneven manner. This can also be a sign of bad alignment so you should check that out.

There are Bulges

Bulges show that the outer walls are no longer firm and the tire is not doing well.

Tire Bulges

Worn Down Treads

Treadwear is worse than what is considered safe. New tires will have treads at 10/32.”

A tire becomes unsafe if the tread goes below 2/32”. You can use the penny test to check your treads.

Final Thoughts: Do Tires Expire?

The tires are an important component of your vehicle. When they’re in good working order, you have the benefit of staying safe on the road and having the necessary control over your vehicle.

If tires are too old, they become a hazard. By knowing the expiration date, you can avoid problems with your safety while driving on the road.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top