Car owners are used to car parts getting old and needing replacement. However, tire aging is not necessarily a well understood auto condition. That’s because people either replace their tires when they go flat or when the tread life expires. However, what happens when a car owner buys tires and ends up with “new” tires that actually have been on the shelf for quite a while? A number of risks can occur with aging tires that tire shops don’t necessarily advertise with their product.
Tire aging is a process of structural degradation in a tire over time. Tires are made of steel radial and rubber molded together. However, time can cause separation of rubber layers as the rubber starts to dry out. Cracking and layer separation begin, even a miniscule level. Add in heat, road wear, sunlight and time when the tires are on the car, and the process accelerates. Warmer climate areas will see this process happen faster than colder climates. Ironically, keeping a car in the garage and not using it often can also contribute to faster tire breakdown as well. So, bottom line, an aging tire is a bad thing both ways.