How Long Do Tires Last If Not Used?

March 19, 2019
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The nature of car tires makes them liable to being rendered unusable after a period of time even when they are not being used. The materials used to manufacture tires are prone to degradation if exposed to certain conditions even if not in use. The deterioration can be caused by such factors as environmental conditions and the way the tires are stored. It is approximated that tires last for 6-10 years depending on storage and prevailing environmental conditions.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and official manufacturers, a tire is 100% in usable condition until it attains the storage age of 5-6 years. In cases where proper care is taken and the tire annually checked for issues after the 5th year of storage, it can last for up to 10 years.

Factors limiting durability of tires

The age that a tire can last is majorly affected by the environmental conditions and storage conditions of the tire.

  • Environmental conditions

Exposing the tire to environmental factors such as oxygen, heat, ozone and ultraviolet light greatly influences the period that it can last. Oxygen is responsible for breaking down the tire from both inside and outside hence its deterioration. Antioxidants that are special in nature are used in tires to slow down the process although with time wearing out due to oxidation becomes inevitable. Exposure to sunlight makes the tire to absorb UV radiation leading to photodegradation of the rubber compounds of the tire thus wearing out. Tires used in areas with too much sunlight, therefore, last less than those used in areas with limited sunlight. Ozone that results from manmade pollution is highly destructive to tires. In large cities with high levels of pollution, tires last less as compared to those used in rural areas. Manufacturers try to fight damage by ozone by adding special compounds to the product to counter degradation.

  • Storage conditions

Conditions in which the tire is stored greatly influence aging. Prolongedexposure to temperature and light accelerates degradation thus limiting the durability of the tire. Humidity also leads to corrosion thus exposing them to moisture also makes them last for fewer periods of time. Sources of humidity such as water bodies should be kept away from the storage room. Storage in places with ozone producing equipment such as fluorescent lamps, electric motors, generators and all those equipment with electric discharges will surely make your tire age faster.