The tyre is a major part of an auto-mobile as it's the part that has constant contact with the road. So it should be handled with care, but besides gauging the air pressure, many people do not know how long it takes before a tyre is unfit for the road. A 2006 survey in Britain showed that only 4% of consumers are aware that tyres become more dangerous as they age. Tyres are made from rubber and as they age, they undergo a chemical process called oxidation caused by exposure to oxygen. This constant exposure to oxygen on the long run hardens the rubber, reducing its flexibility which could lead to eventual breakdown of the tyre under normal stress.
Other factors that can cause tyre wear, thereby reducing its quality are:
Driving Style –Aggressive cornering and brakes could affect the tyre. So drivers are advised to drive with care to get optimum experience from the tyres.
Position –The position of the tyre also influences it. Front tyres wear faster than the rear tyres due to Steering.
Speed – high speed driving involves more friction between the tyre and the road, thereby increasing the temperature and on the long run wearing the tyre out.
Load- Cars have a stipulated amount of load they can contain at a particular time. If this partulcar load is exceeded it could lead to wear of the tyre.
Pressure – Both under-inflation and over-inflation of a tyre could lead to wear.
Alignment – an uneven alignment and bad shock absorbers have negative influences on the tyre, leading to wear.
Producers always boast that you can get a minimum of 20,000 miles on newly purchased tyres so many people always keep a track of their mileage. Although there is some truth to this, tyres can still become bad without hitting the 20,000miles benchmark. Many people are unaware of the 4-year expiry date on tyres or the Date of Manufacture(DOM) that appears on them.
How then do you find out if a tyre has expired?
1. Check the tyre identification number for four numbers which appear like this (*0204*). There is an asterisk at the beginning and end of this serial number (some tyres don't have asterisk).
2. The first two digits are the week of production, while the last two represent the year. Meaning the tyre was produced in the second week of 2004.
3. This means the tyre will expire in the second week of 2008.
Check all your tyres for safety purpose. Do not use expired tyres as they are likely to burst (especially during this hot weather) because they may have hardened and cracked.