Now, I looked at the spare tire this morning. This tire is the same age as the ones I took off the four wheels. The difference is the weathering cracks. The spare is not a safe tire to drive on. I will only use it for short term emergency use.
Don’t believe me? Here are three pictures that I took this morning of my spare tire:
If this doesn’t make my point of what happens to a tire after 6 or 7 years, I don’t know what will. This tire was never used and it will be 7 years old sometime this year.
The difference between this tire and the ones that I drove on was that the rubber got flexed while in use. This helped prevent the observable cracking, but the integrity of the tire would have been dropping off rather quickly.
I was lucky in one respect. The tire dealer told me that the tires on my Jeep where manufactured only a month before the Jeep. He said that is the exception rather than the rule. Depending on the popularity and the market, a lot of tires sit in warehouses for long periods of time after they are manufactured. The tire makers produce tires in batches. They can not afford to tool up to produce just a few tires of one kind, so when they need to make a certain tire size and model, they make a lot of them and then store them. Makes business sense.
So, check the manufacture date of your tires and try to replace them after they reach 7 years old or before if you see signs of failure. And, check the manufacture dates on any new tires that you purchase.
I want you to be safe out there.