Tires go through a lot. Heat is very hard on tires and aside from a hot, summer day, pavement is 10 to 15 degrees hotter than that. Our car’s tires sit on that heat all day long. Sunlight and coastal climates are also hard on tires. It takes time but there is a chemical reaction in the rubber components of tires and heat and sunlight speed up this deterioration. Phoenix is certainly considered a hot climate in the summer months so paying attention to our tires’ pressures is very important.
A car that just sits over a long period of time without being driven also accelerates the aging process. Spare tires have this problem as well. They look okay as they still have good tread…but the integrity of the rubber has been compromised. Looks can be deceiving when it comes to rubber components.
Tires that are not properly cared for also have a shortened life span. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Tires must be properly inflated.
- Don’t overload your vehicle as this excessive weight rests right on your tires.
- Look out for potholes, uneven payment and don’t “curb” your vehicle as again, the tires take the hit.
- Tires that are not properly installed age very fast.
- Have your tires rotated about every 6,000 miles to keep them from aging prematurely.
There really is no magic age in which to retire a tire. It depends on how well it has been maintained, driven and climate conditions. We do recommend that once a tire reaches five to six years of age that you have the tire thoroughly inspected by a professional.
If your tires are the original, check your owner’s manual for recommendation on replacement. If you bought your tires since then, check with the manufacturer of the tire.
To check the age of your tire, you can find it on the sidewall of the tire. It starts with DOT and then the last four digits represent the week and year the tire was made. Newer cars have this information on the outside wall and older ones have it on the inside.
When in doubt, always check with a professional.