Dangers of Driving on Old Car Tires in Escondido

New tires in Escondido at Audiosport.

In Southern California, we have the best of everything. The best people. The best beaches. And with 266 sunny days per year, definitely the best weather. We’re lucky, and most of us know it.

But while that San Diego sun may be great for our minds, bodies, and spirits, it’s not so great for our car tires. Heat and hot roadways contribute to the breakdown of tires and a higher likelihood for tire failure. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tire failure causes approximately 11,000 crashes per year.

Most safety-conscious drivers know that under-inflated tires and worn-down treads put them at risk of accidents. But what they may not be aware of is that the age of the tires matter too. And even if they are aware of this, most people will try to gauge the age of their tires by looking at the depth of the tread.

This is a mistake.

You cannot rely on tread depth to determine the condition of your tires.

The rubber compounds in tires deteriorate over time regardless of how deep the tread or how many miles the tires have driven on the road. Improper maintenance and excessive heat can accelerate the aging process. As tires age, cracks develop in the rubber, causing the steel belts in the tread to separate from the rest of the tire. Even if they look brand new, tires may not be safe enough for the road.  

So how can you ensure that your tires are safe?

tips on tire safety & when to replace Car tires

Follow industry recommendations on when to replace car tires

Ford, GM, and Chrysler all recommend that drivers replace tires over six years old, regardless of how much they’ve been used. Some tire manufacturers say it’s ok to drive on tires for up to ten years, but they also suggest annual inspections after five years to ensure that the tires are still safe.

Check the manufacture date on your car tires

Every tire has a Department of Transportation (DOT) number imprinted on its sidewall.  Tires made after 2000 have a four-digit code. The first two digits tell the week the tire was made, and the second two tell the year. So, if the code reads, 2414, the tires were made in the 24th week of the year 2014. Tires with a three-digit code were made before 2000, and should not be used to drive on.

Consider your mileage on your car tires in Escondido

If you are a typical driver who drives approximately 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year, you will wear down the tread of your tires in about three or four years. If you’re driving on brand new tires, this will happen significantly before the rubber begins to break down. But if you drive, say, half that, maybe only on weekends or on occasional long road trips, it’s likely that the rubber on your tires will break down before you wear out the tread.  

Buy only brand new Car tires, not used car tires

Currently, there is no law preventing the sale of aged tires. Nor is there a tire-aging standard that must be upheld by those selling used tires. How tires are maintained and where they are stored have an impact on the elasticity of the rubber. Even if you do find used tires with a DOT number showing that they are only a few years old, you cannot verify how the tires were previously used, maintained, or stored.  It’s best to buy your tires new from a reputable retailer. 

Buy your car tires at Audiosport escondido 

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At Audiosport in Escondido, your safety is at the very top of our list of priorities. You can count on us to provide you with not only the very best selection of tires, but also with expert technicians who will install them properly for optimum safety and performance. We also have amazing specials and deals on tires and wheels.

Come on by and see us. We want your car to have the best tires in the best condition so you can get out there, hit the road, and enjoy that Southern California sunshine the way it was meant to be enjoyed – freely and without worry.

Give us a call at (760) 743-2333.