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So you’ve taken care of your tires, but are they really safe?

You’ve been diligent about taking care of every aspect of your vehicle, including the tires. You’ve been painstakingly measuring the tread depth, checking the air pressure, and you don’t mind getting a front-end alignment to keep those unsightly bald spots from appearing. Your tires are perfectly balanced and they look great! So what am I talking about? Tire aging. This occurs when the rubber and other components that make up a tire change over time, usually due to service, storage, and environmental conditions. So how old is your tire? That info is on the tire already, if you know where to look. Every tire is coded with it’s date of manufacture, and other information about who made it and where.

Truth be told, most drivers put enough miles on their tires to wear out the treads long before tire age becomes an issue, but there are always exceptions. How about the RV that only gets used a couple months out of the year? That passenger van that’s only driven on the weekends? How about that collector car in the driveway? Any vehicle that isn’t driven regularly, or anything with a low annual mileage could be at risk.

The environment plays a part here too. Tires that are exposed to lots of sunlight and are used in the warmer climates are more susceptible to aging problems. If you live in the sun belt states, I’m looking at you!

how to read a tires age

You can’t detect tire aging by simply looking at your tires, but a few easy precautions can extend the life of your tires.

  • Monthly inspections, focusing on proper inflation, tread depth, and checking for any damage like cuts, cracks, or bulges
  • Recurring tire rotation and balancing can greatly extend the working life of your tires
  • Pay attention to any unusual road noise or vibrations

You should stop using tires for several reasons, including signs of damage, worn tread, or the tire just won’t stay inflated. Have a question about your tires? Consult a tire service professional, like the pros in the service department at Woody’s!