Do car tires have an expiry date? The truth is that tires wear out and need to be periodically replaced. It’s essential to know how your car tires are supposed to last. Over time, these rubber materials will be subjected to their level of wear and tear, which can cause permanent damage to your tire.
On average, there are nearly 11,000 tire-related motor vehicle crashes. Don’t let an expired tire increase your risk of a crash. By knowing how to monitor your car’s tires, you can ensure that they’re in top working condition and ready at a moment’s notice.
Do Car Tires Have an Expiry Date?
Yes, all car tires have an expiration date. Along with other important tire codes, it’s etched into the sidewall of each tire, but most people don’t know what it means.
Every tire has a date of production engraved in two places: on the side wall and in the center of the tread (called DOT code). The date is usually four digits long, such as “0312” or “1208.” There are likely no date codes if you don’t see any numbers.
The first two digits represent the week of manufacture. The last two digits represent the year (so 1215 is a March 2015 tire). This code can help you determine when your tires were made and whether they’re still safe to drive on today.
Drivers must know how to read tire codes to determine whether their tires are past their prime or due for replacement soon.
How many years does a tire expire?
There is no exact number of years when car tires expire. It all depends on several factors, such as the type of tire, its use and maintenance, driving habits, and many more. However, there is a consensus that tires are only 100% safe until six (6) years. After this period, replacing them with new ones is best because they may not perform safely anymore.
Average tire lifespan of top tire brands
Many factors affect the lifespan of a tire. The most important is the driving style of the owner. If you drive aggressively, your tires wear out faster. Softer rubber compounds and wider treads also contribute to shorter life spans. In general, all-season tires have the highest longevity.
The average lifespan for a set of tires varies by brand and model, but most tires can be expected to last between 30,000 and 50,000 miles. Consumer Reports’ treadwear testing has shown that family-car tires can readily last 70,000 miles or more. Here are some top brands and their average tread life:
- Bridgestone: 45k-50k miles
- Firestone: 40-70k miles
- Goodyear: 50-80k miles
- Hankook: 59k miles
- Dunlop: 50k+ miles
The longest-lasting tires in Consumer Reports’ tests are the Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus. They claim 90,000 miles, and Consumer Reports estimates they’ll go 100,000.
Are tires still good after six years?
This does not mean that tires will wear out after six years, but they may become unsafe to use as they age. If you drive carefully and regularly maintain your tires (rotate them regularly), they may last longer than expected.
On the other hand, driving aggressively and neglecting your car’s maintenance will also affect the tire’s lifespan.
Factors influencing tire mileage
As mentioned above, there are a lot of factors that influence the tire’s lifespan. The most important ones are:
- Driving style – If you drive aggressively and regularly, do a burnout. Your tires will not last as long as those of a careful driver. Aggressive driving causes excessive heat build-up in the tread, leading to premature wear.
- Road conditions – If you drive in harsh conditions such as mud, snow, and gravel, your tires will wear out much faster than those of a careful driver who usually drives on paved roads. This is because harsh road surfaces cause excessive heat build-up in the tread, leading to premature wear.
- Tire maintenance – If you don’t take good care of your tires and infrequently rotate them, they will wear out faster than those of a careful driver who regularly rotates and maintains their tires. Regular tire maintenance, such as tire rotation and correct tire pressure, helps maintain proper alignment, improving fuel efficiency, handling, safety, and longevity.
- Tire tread depth – Tire tread depth is the most critical factor in determining how long your tires will last. When the tread becomes worn down, it’s time for new tires. Worn-out tires tend to be noisy, unstable, and unsafe at high speeds and cause excessive fuel consumption due to increased rolling resistance.
- Weather conditions – Weather conditions can affect your tire pressure. During summer, tires tend to expand and need more air. Whereas in winter, tires tend to contract and require less air. Temperature changes also affect the weight of your vehicle as well as its aerodynamics. These factors can also cause an increase or decrease in fuel consumption.
Do tires expire if not used?
It would be best if you were careful when buying old new tires. When tires reach a certain age, the rubber begins to dry out and crack. This means that even if you don’t use them, they will eventually deteriorate to a point where they are unusable.
The rubber can also begin to break down because of old age, making it less resistant to punctures and other types of damage.
It is still better to be guided by the date of manufacture rather than the date of purchase. The date of manufacture is usually printed on one side of the tire near its sidewall.
If there isn’t a date printed on your tires yet, and you want to know how old they are, then you can check the tire’s DOT number on its sidewall.
Tires are probably one of the most overlooked aspects of car safety. As with any other consumable parts, they are prone to wear and tear and chances of getting damaged.
Though tires should last up to 6 years from the manufacturing date, these should be driven with caution as tires may fall apart as early as three years after the manufacture date.
To prolong the life span of your tires and avoid accidents that may cause severe damage or casualties. We recommend proper preventative measures such as checking your tire pressure once a month and rotating your tires once every 7500 miles.