The Dangers Of Driving On Old Tires: Just as a car’s engine should be replaced with a rebuilt engine (or a new one) when it dies, and when a tire’s treads come off, it too should be replaced with a new tire. Some people buy used tires after their tire has worn out, and end up endangering lives. According to a documented case on Edmunds.com, an owner of a Ford Explorer installed a used tire, perhaps to save money. After 2 weeks, when he was driving, the tread separated from the tire and he ended up smashing into a motorcycle and killing its rider.
A Tire’s Life
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) says that user must follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ascertain the age of tires. Some manufacturers claim that their tires will last for up to 6 years irrespective of the treads’ condition; some claim their tires will last up to 10 years, so long they are checked after the 5th year. Users get confused by these claims and therefore do not know how to calculate a tire’s age.
The factors that determine a tire’s life are:
- Heat plays a big role and tires age faster in hotter regions such as coastal states. Tires live a longer life in cold climates.
- Storage too plays a part, and if spare tires, especially on trucks, are exposed to the elements, then their life gets reduced. The spare tire in the trunk also ages because it gets exposed to heat.
- Improper tire inflation, rash driving or driving on rough terrain or on highways, etc., make the tires age faster.
Car owners must ensure that the tire air pressure is correct at all times and that the tires are inspected regularly.
According to the same report on Edmunds.com, an aging tire is like an aged rubber band. If you stretched an aged rubber band, you can see the fissures in the rubber. The same thing happens to aged car tires. They develop cracks (inside and on the surface) over time. These cracks can make the steel belts in the tread to split from the tire. Non-maintenance of tires hastens this process, and even heat plays a big role in aging the tire.
Car owners must also know that tires, which are rated for higher mileage, contain chemicals that slow down the tire aging process. However, the improved rubber can merely prolong the tire’s life by a few months.
The Dangers Of Driving On Old Tires
There are three dangers here – one, you are violating the manufacturer’s and the RMA’s (Rubber Manufacturers Association) suggestions; two, you are compromising your driving experience; and three, the bigger danger is that worn out tires can cause a fatal car crash, endangering lives in the process, including your own.
To Sum Up
You should consider trashing your old and worn out tires and buy new tires. Buying used tires is not recommended because dealers typically pick up old tires from landfills, paint them black, and make them appear slightly-used.
When your engine dies, what do you do? You either rebuild your engine or buy a new one. Likewise, you should not work with worn out tires, because if you do, you are playing around with your own life for the sake of a few dollars. So, go ahead, retire your tired tires and buy new ones.
Blogger and Automotive enthusiast David H. Medina rebuilds cars and trucks with engines and transmissions from Powertrain Products. Share your view on “The Dangers Of Driving On Old Tires” in the comment section below.