Monday 3 July 2023

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Owning a new car (new or secondhand) comes with both excitement and responsibility. With over 90% of households reporting car ownership, it's crucial to understand your vehicle, particularly your tyres. Determining the age of your tyres can be challenging, but it's essential to maintain optimal performance and ensure your safety on the road. By learning how to check the age of your tyres, you can maximise your vehicle's longevity. Read on to discover a step-by-step guide to determining your tyres' age.

Do Tyres Have an Expiry Date?

When it comes to tyre lifespan, there are no universal standards. Some manufacturers recommend replacing tyres after six years of use, regardless of wear depth, while others suggest checking them after five years with a total lifespan of ten years. Factors such as regular use, storage conditions, and exposure to heat can influence the rate at which tyres wear out. For instance, a spare tyre stored in the trunk of your car may degrade faster due to heat and dirt compared to one stored under optimal conditions.

Understanding Tyre Aging

Tyres are composed of various materials, including rubber, steel, and textiles, each with its own characteristics. As rubber ages and becomes exposed to weather conditions, the binding strength between the rubber and steel belts weakens. Consequently, fractures start to appear when you load an old tyre. These cracks can manifest on the surface or within the tyre's structure, posing a safety risk. Cracking can also lead to the detachment of the metal belts from the rest of the tyre. It's important to note that even if your car has been sitting in the garage for extended periods and you drive less than 13,000 kilometres per year, tyres can still deteriorate. Exposure to UV radiation and rain accelerates the natural disintegration of tyres. Additionally, vehicles that are only used occasionally, like caravans and trailers, are more prone to damage.

Are There Age Limits for Tyres?

While it may be reasonable to replace your tyres every ten years, regardless of their appearance, mileage, or actual wear, it is often more practical to do so before reaching the ten-year mark. Therefore, monitoring the condition of your tyres is crucial. Regularly check their visual appearance and inflation pressure. If you notice any visible damage or experience changes in performance, such as cracking, increased air loss, or heightened noise and vibration, have your tyres inspected by a specialist. Many automotive experts recommend having all tyres older than five years evaluated by a competent professional annually. Following the replacement instructions provided by your car manufacturer is also advisable.

Determining Tyre Age

For tyres manufactured after the year 2000, you can determine their age using the final four digits of the serial number. For example, if the four-digit number on your tyre is 1500, the "15" represents the 15th week of the year, while the "00" indicates the year 2000. Thus, the tyre was produced in the 15th week of 2000.

For tyres made before the year 2000, determining the year of manufacture can be more complicated. However, you can still use the final three numbers of the serial number. For instance, if the serial number ends in 158, the "15" denotes the week the tyre was made, and the "8" represents the decade. Therefore, in this scenario, the tyre was manufactured in the 15th week of the 8th decade. During the 1990s and 2000s, manufacturers marked certain tyres with a triangle pointing to the final digit of the serial number to differentiate them from those produced in earlier decades.

What If You're Still Unsure?

Once your tyres reach the five-year mark, it's advisable to have them inspected annually by a specialist. If you need clarification on identifying the age of your tyres or if they appear worn, you can visit professionals like All Coast Tyres Solutions for a thorough inspection. These tyre experts, based in Australia, can help ensure that your vehicle remains securely grounded on the road. By seeking their expertise, you can enjoy your car, prioritise your safety, and extend the lifespan of your tyres.

Owning a car brings both enjoyment and responsibility. As car ownership continues to rise, it's crucial to be knowledgeable about various aspects of your vehicle, including your tyres. Understanding the age of your tyres is essential for maintaining optimal performance and ensuring your safety on the road. By following this comprehensive guide to determining your tyres' age, you can make informed decisions and maximise the longevity of your vehicle's tyres.