drivers are aware of the importance of maintaining proper tire inflation and
keeping an eye on tread wear. What many drivers don't know is that tire rubber
gets old and less elastic over time. This phenomenon is similar to what happens
to old rubber bands; they lose their elasticity and easily break. If the tire
gets too old, a blowout is very possible. Tires should be replaced after six
years, regardless of how much tread is left on them.
The Problem of Oxidation
reacts with many materials over time. A common form of this is the rust that
forms on metal because of oxidation. Oxidation also happens to rubber, which
causes it to stiffen and form cracks. An inflated tire oxidizes faster than an
uninflated tire sitting on a shelf. This is because there is a higher
concentration of oxygen in a pressurized tire.
temperature will also accelerate the oxidation process. Tires used in the
warmest states and tires that are chronically underinflated can see accelerated
oxidation because of the high temperatures at which they operate.
The False Sense of Security When a Car Isn't Driven Much
who do a lot of driving commonly replace their tires well before the rubber
gets too old. People who do very little driving may have tires older than
six years, yet still have good tread. If they aren't aware of the limited life
span of tire rubber, they may be fooled into believing that their tires are
The Problem When Tires Aren't Properly Rotated
of the tire wear on cars with front wheel drive occur on the front wheels. Some
car owners replace the front wheels rather than rotate them with the rear
wheels. If this practice continues beyond six years, then the rear wheels will
have aged beyond six years. This means that the tires are at risk of failing on
The Danger of the Forgotten Spare Tire
car owners rarely think about their spare tire until they need it. The trunk of
a car gets very hot in the summer, which means the spare tire is aging even
though it isn't seeing any use. Because of this, the six year rule of tire
replacement also applies to the spare tire.
your tires are six years old, or if the rubber has small cracks in the sidewall
or in the tire grooves, they should be replaced. You should also beware of
buying used tires. A good set of tires are important because they determine how
well your car handles and brakes.
Learn more about caring for your car. Call McFarlin
Insurance Agency at (410) 312-7800 for
more information on Baltimore auto insurance.