Are your tyres past it?
Tyres are fantastically engineered products. They are the only thing keeping your car in contact with the road come rain or shine. However, like everything else, age can take its toll on tyres, so it could be time to get yours checked by an expert at any Kingsway Tyres centre.
To help identify their age, all tyres display a coded date of manufacture and these codes are usually located in a ‘window’ on the tyre sidewall. The first two digits represent the week and the second two the year of manufacture, but if you are in doubt visit any Kingsway Tyres depot / centre to have an expert verify how old your tyre is.
The NTDA (National Tyre Distributors Association) recommends that tyres fitted to vehicles over 10 years old are checked for damage, wear and other signs of old age. Kingsway Tyres recommend that you have your tyres checked if you believe they are over 6 years old.
Tyres – working hard for you
Just because your tyre is 6, or even 10, years old does not automatically make it unsafe, but it is still worth getting it checked, as tyres work very hard, day in, day out. Tyres should be checked regularly for signs of damage and tread wear.
Rubber compounds used in tyres contain anti-oxidising chemicals that help to slow down the natural ageing process of untreated rubber. However, tyres will always deteriorate with age, which increases the risk of tyre failure, and there are many ways in which this can be spotted:
- Cracking/crazing on the side wall of the tyre, caused by its flexing;
- Distortion of tyre tread;
- Deformation of the carcass of the tyre;
- There will also be a deterioration of the ride quality caused by vibrations through the tyre. This may signify the tyre’s performance has been affected by age and should be investigated as soon as possible;
- Excessive or irregular wear can indicate problems such as misalignment – your NTDA expert will recognise the warning signs and recommend corrective action.
Motorists should be aware that as well as wearing out in use, tyres are degrading naturally through exposure to heat, sunlight (Ultraviolet/UV) and rain, chemicals, salts and incorrect storage. The amount of damage can also depend on the level of exposure and the severity of the weather.
Kingsway Tyres recommend a minimum Tread Depth of 3mm for improved safety. Regular examinations by both a tyre expert and the motorist should be carried out taking particular notice of tread depth and the aforementioned damaged side walls. The legal limit for tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm.