Friday, 28 August 2015

Tires Can Wear Out Even If They Haven’t Gone Very Far

I recently had a conversation with Johan Jooste – dealer principal of a prime motor dealership, Group 1 Hyundai in South Africa. South Africa is known for its potholes and dangerous roads. We started talking about his experiences with clients buying used tyres – hence me sharing this article with you. Great advice!
If you must buy used tires to outfit your vehicle, there are some important points to consider before you take the plunge.

A tire begins to diminish the moment it leaves the assembly line. Its first hundred miles is the best it will offer and it’s downhill from there. Between six and 10 years, its rubber and internal components will begin to get the tire equivalent of hardening of the arteries, often called dry rot. Tires are like humans that way: They can degrade and weaken even if they haven’t gone very far or done much. Prime example: your grandmother’s 9-year-old car may only have 10,000 miles on the odometer, but it needs new tires.

Tire Age

The tire industry argues that it’s nearly impossible to accurately determine age-related damage. That’s because a tire that waits for its first owner in a carefully climate-controlled tire-company storage warehouse is in something like suspended animation. However, one left in the sun on display may be almost worn out inside before it’s mounted on a vehicle. And the ones I put in the cool crawl space under my house in garbage bags are somewhere in between. Still, some tire companies recommend tires that have been in service for 10 years be replaced.

Testing with a match

You can measure safety by using a regular five-centimetre match, which has a 3 – 4-millimetre sulphur tip. The tip should disappear from sight when the match is placed into the groove. Test at several points around the tyre. If the sulphur remains visible, the tread is not safe for winter driving. We recommend a minimum groove depth of 4 millimetres.


While there is no way to track the history of a used tire, it’s safe to assume the used tires likely was driven under inflated. Also, a used tire could have suffered significant damage from a pothole, been repaired improperly, or permanently damaged when being dismounted. Make sure to have the used tire properly inspected by a tire professional before purchase and installation.

If you’ve just acquired a used car and face otherwise untraceable issues with tire wear, handling, excessive noise or the like, check to make sure all four tires were produced at the same plant at about the same time. It’s ideal if the reference numbers of the tyres are identical on all four tires and, if applicable, the spare.
Tire companies, like the manufacturers of just about every other product, often make changes during production runs and sometimes produce the same product in multiple plants. A tire made a couple of years after — or in a different plant than — its otherwise visually identical sibling may have subtle but important differences.

Remember to check your spare tire. (You may find you don’t have one!) It’s possible to have a spare that’s never touched the ground but is so old that it should be thrown away. And finally, to ensure your tires are properly inflated, we suggests you check the tire pressure of all your tires (even the spare) monthly.

Sources: Article :

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