How long do tires last (age) and how?

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Apr 27, 2022
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The consensus in the auto industry ranges from 6 to 10 years. IMHO decent fresh tires are cheap insurance relative to the costs/consequences of a blow out.
 
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My 83 300D has it's original factory Michelin 39 year old full size spare in the trunk and it is absolutely in great shape and I would not hesitate to use it. The car also spends a lot of time in the garage and it's circa 2006 tires are in great shape and I don't lose any sleep over their safety.
using a 39 yr old spare tire is madness!
 
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Jul 14, 2020
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What I don't quite understand is what is different about tires now than say 30 years ago? Until the last few years, I never heard of tires "aging" out. Since I started driving in 1958 with Many different cars, I never worried about how old a tire was, only the tread depth, and if it had MAJOR weather cracking. I usually had old used tires, and never in all those years have I had a "blowout" on the road. Oh, I take that back I did have one, and it was a 2 year old tire. Old tires good- new tires bad. LOL. So are the tires made today just not as good as the old days??
 
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What I don't quite understand is what is different about tires now than say 30 years ago? Until the last few years, I never heard of tires "aging" out....
Tires and the understanding of the science on how to make good tires have gotten BETTER, but profit margins have gone down with competition, so marketing departments need to find ways to increase sales. Alot of this 6 year rule thing is marketing BS, under the guise of safety IMO.

No tire <10 years old will have significant enough deterioration through age alone (unless it was abused) to risk blowing out and there's obvious signs a simple visual inspection can tell. It could be argued the rubber will harden, but unless it's a winter tire, it's not *that* bad. I've ran 10 year old winter tires and although the performance was deteriorated, it was still very controllable. Marketing departments love to use the safety card because technically you can't argue with that.
 
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What I don't quite understand is what is different about tires now than say 30 years ago?
First, you mentioned 1958 and that's over 50 years ago. Back then, tires were bias ply tires. They didn't get the type of mileage we see today, so tires were changed out more often. Plus they were crudely built (by today's standards.)

But radial tires - which became mainstream in the late 1970's - have a peculiar failure pattern - a belt leaving belt separation, also known as a tread separation. These separations have been known since the beginning and even 20 years ago, there was a problem (Firestone/Explorer).

What's changed is that the Firestone/Explorer situation brought out the fact that age was a contributing factor. Since our ability to communicate is soooo much better, we now know about these things.
 
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Jul 10, 2022
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First, you mentioned 1958 and that's over 50 years ago. Back then, tires were bias ply tires. They didn't get the type of mileage we see today, so tires were changed out more often. Plus they were crudely built (by today's standards.)

But radial tires - which became mainstream in the late 1970's - have a peculiar failure pattern - a belt leaving belt separation, also known as a tread separation. These separations have been known since the beginning and even 20 years ago, there was a problem (Firestone/Explorer).

What's changed is that the Firestone/Explorer situation brought out the fact that age was a contributing factor. Since our ability to communicate is soooo much better, we now know about these things.
With our ability to communicate comes the ability to recognize inconsistency as well. Again, car mfg 6 years, tire mfg 10 years, that's not even close.

My wife's GM SUV came with Michelin Latitude tires, which showed dry rot when the car was about 18 mos old. Since the car was under a full factory warranty, off to the dealer we went. We were told there is a factory recall for this issue, great, visions of 4 free tires danced in my head. Go to pick up the car, this lot isn't covered by the recall. I went online and sure enough, tires made before, and tires made after ours, were covered, but not ours. That seemed fishy but again, my financial position is not such that I can throw tires away at 8/32", so guess what? We used the tires until about 53k, where they still were 3/32", and we replaced them. Some say oh you love to risk the lives of yours and your families, but I don't. Isn't that a bit dramatic? lol

jmoymmv no matter how modern and profit driven our society becomes, we have to use common sense. Did anyone happen to notice many tires are 9/32 and 10/32 brand spanking new? this was a disaster with Michelin Premier LTX which were 8.5. They could not reach their warranted mileage and all of them got replaced under warranty. Michelin upped the tread to 10/32.

For me it's usually not an issue with cars driven daily and the 6 year thinking. But on my garage queen that's different.

Here's one perspective of the 6 year rule:


Also, I get that this doesn't apply to most on the forum. but did you ever go to Hunts Point or Willets Point or West Philly to get a tire that will just get you by, maybe for a state inspection, and have a budget of $20? Chances are they have whatever size you need. Will they be <=6 years old? Sometimes, mostly not. They may even be a Firestone from an Explorer. This is real life.
 
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using a 39 yr old spare tire is madness!

Well it's in the trunk and by the looks of it has never touched the pavement. Considering the fact that most cars now don't even come with a spare tire I'm not going to sweat it.
 
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Tires on my fathers 75 year old wood trailer (axle is from an even older 1 ton) have 30 year old tires.

Good enough to move brush and leaves a couple miles, I’ve had them up to 50mph (briefly)

On my cars I start taking procedures to burn off the tread before year 10, preferably around year 5/6.
 
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tires, just like cars, are seeing extended service. I see no reports of major issues.
B a scientist, take data, review, support your decisions.
 
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In wisconsin cars parked in my garage can go ten years with no problems. Motorcycle tires at times went 12 years and looked new but I still replaced them.
The cessna gets new tires at 5 years. Landing at 75 mph plus requires great tires you trust.
 
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This sounds a bit ridiculous, because well it is. The original Bridgestone SF radial tires on my dad's old 87 mazda pickup he bought brand new lasted 27 years and 47,000 miles. Still plenty of tread, but they were pretty rotten to the point one of them just started leaking air in the driveway one day. Truck always sat outside. Had a set of tires on our old dodge van last about 14 years and about 50,000 miles before they were bad enough to need replaced. I'm glad money isn't that tight anymore. I work in a large semi-trailer yard, and there are a lot of rail chassis, some still have bias ply tires, most are recaps. NO idea how old some of those tires really are, but most of them are extremely rotten and weather cracked looking, and I have second thoughts thumping them with an iron pipe doing a pre-trip standing next to them. Scary to see that, considering how much of that junk is on the road at any given time.
 
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