Popular convention states that you replace your tires every six years, because that’s roughly the amount of time it takes for your tires to be rendered unsafe to continue using.
Popular convention states that you replace your tires every six years, because that’s roughly the amount of time it takes for normal wear and tear on your treads to render a tire far too unsafe to continue using. Ignore anyone who claims 10 years, which used to be the standard. You can’t afford to put yourself at risk like that – your time and money are best spent on replacing your older tires with new ones (remember to always check the DOT number to make sure you’re not actually being sold an old tire) that have been stored under pristine conditions.
However, some individuals need to abandon the six-year rule entirely and have new tires installed on their wheels more often. Subjecting tires to certain factors may hasten their degradation, upping the risk of a serious roof crush, rollover or blowout accident involving injuries or death.
The six-year rule applies only to individuals and families who spend a relatively average amount of time on the road. If you commute long distances to work or school on a regular basis, for example, you’re going to wear out your treads far faster. Speak with a trusted automotive professional for a clearer idea of how your driving patterns may impact your tires. But don’t wait until your state inspection to have them looked at – any time you suspect there may be an issue, take your tires in to see if repairs, rotation or replacements are necessary. Otherwise, you may find yourself stranded during one of your extended drives.
It isn’t just new tires stored in exceptionally hot or cold auto repair shops or warehouses that can rapidly age chronologically “new” tires. Living in a less-than-mild climate (like Houston) with extreme heat, extreme cold or a vacillation between the two can have a similar effect. Both UV rays and ozone cause deterioration as well, so parking your car outside the garage increases exposure to other harmful factors.
Rubber dries out over time – even internally, so just because a tire looks fine on the outside, that doesn’t mean it’s inherently safe. When it loses cohesion and structure like that, the chances of a tread separation, blowout or other type of tire failure increase. Once again, an automotive professional will be able to provide insight from a regional perspective.
As soon as your tires start displaying symptoms of dry rot, replace them. And make sure the new ones haven’t been stored under poor conditions that may hasten the decomposition, of course.
Signs of dry rot can include:
Spare tires are also subjected to dry rot, especially if they’re stored outside the vehicle or above the engine. When you change out the four you’ve been driving on, make sure to replace the spare as well. You don’t want to experience a flat or blowout on the freeway, only to repeat the experience because the “new” tire already began dry rotting.
The Steven J. Sharp Award-winning Willis Law Firm has over 30 years of experience and Martindale-Hubble recognition for its comprehensive legal services. We represent individuals and surviving family members who have been affected by defective tires causing serious injury or death, and provide support at all stages of the process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.