Tire Age, how old is too old? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum



Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Suspension - Brakes - Steering
User Name
Password
lost password?   |   register now

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-21-2010, 03:00 AM
Gladis's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: OR
Age: 28
Posts: 177
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Tire Age, how old is too old?

I've just bought a 69 Firebird that's been off the road for a number of years.
It's riding on Firestone Firehawks that have about 400 miles on them. They look great, ride great, and have spent their life on the car and out of the sun. Problem is they may be about 8 years old or more. I haven't checked the date on them yet, but how old is too old? I've heard ten years. What do I check for to make sure the tire isn't about to explode five miles down the road?

    Advertisement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-21-2010, 03:30 AM
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 67
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Main two things I check:

Cracking/hardness. How many and how deep are the cracks on the tread? This is sort of a judgement call. How hard does the tread feel? Michelins especially get rock hard after 3-4 years. As any drag racer knows, that seriously affects dry-weather traction. To give you an idea, switching from michelins I'd rather not have driven on to cheapy 2-season old snowtrakkers (215/70/15s on an 85 crown vic, if you care) took me from being able to lay rubber from a stop with 3/4 throttle, 1/2 with the tires warm to literally not being able to get a chirp in a straight line.

To me, the hardness is as big a concern as the cracking. Cracking might indicate inpending tread separation, but hardened tires are a guarantee that your stopping distances are far beyond factory specs.


Buldges and cuts in the sidewall. Make sure you're at or near max PSI as posted on the sidewall and check for bulges, cuts, or any other severe irregularities. This is a stronger indicator of impending blowout as it means that there is definetely some belt-tread separation or something delaminating under there.

As I touched on with the Micheling comment, tire age is not a direct indicator, especially in a car that's been babied and stored indoors. Check for obvious damage, severe/deep cracking in the tread, bulges, and cuts. If you see no bulges or cuts in the sidewall, minimal cracking of the tread area (inbetween the treads, none should be on the part that touches the road), and the tires are about as hard to the touch/fingernail as newer tires, you should be OK.

With 10 year old tires though, even if the above is satisfied I'd check regularly. If you feel any weird vibrations or noises, anything that makes you uneasy, replace them. You can probably get safer tires used for under 100 bucks for all 4.

My verdict: I'd replace 10 year old tires, even if I'm replacing them with 4 year old ones, but there is a CHANCE that they're still good.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-21-2010, 07:51 AM
302 Z28's Avatar  
Last photo:
Join Date: May 2003
Location: North Texas
Posts: 10,840
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 1
Thanked 86 Times in 73 Posts
You should not be riding on tires older than six years old. There is a date code on the sidewall of tires that tells you the month and year they were made. There was an article not long ago that talked about tires in tire shops being that old before they are even put on a car. Rubber degrades and over time is affected by many environmental conditions. I would not be riding on tires that old no matter how good they looked.

Vince

Last edited by 302 Z28; 04-21-2010 at 08:55 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 04-21-2010, 08:45 AM
sbchevfreak's Avatar
Licenced Automotive Technician
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Land of big Easter eggs, Alberta
Age: 34
Posts: 1,604
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 8
Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
6 years, no more.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2010, 05:41 AM
budthespud's Avatar
Diehard Chevy Guy
 

Last journal entry: Getting rid of the old and Adding the New
Last photo:
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Madoc, Ontario Canada
Age: 55
Posts: 200
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Here's one for ya, I just got rid of a set of TA's off my 74 firebird. They were used when I bought them in 1995 and they were at least 4 yrs old then. I think I went to the extreme on old tires there wouldn't ya say? I heard that if you put your car on blocks and deflate the tires, 8 to 10 years they are good for. Hey what do I know my tires were minimum 19 yrs old when I changed them!! Have a good one!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2010, 05:58 AM
Irelands child's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last wiki edit: Ford engine specifications Last photo:
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 4,914
Wiki Edits: 8

Thanks: 14
Thanked 205 Times in 186 Posts
Once a tire has gone through a (one) heat/cool cycle, they are beginning to age. At that point, 5-6 years will be the limit of wear/life especially if mounted, aired up and on a car exposed to the weather. As far as actual life of a tire that hasn't gone through that cycle, i.e., stored in a cool reasonably dry area, probably a while longer. Myself, I would in the interest of safety and well being of the car, you and surrounding folks, begin to look for new tires - NOW. OEM sized Firehawks at Tire Rack are only ~$79/each plus shipping and mounting (which reminds me.....my camper and my truck..... )
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/TireSe...ting=S&tab=All
Dave W
__________________
Irelands child
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2010, 07:52 PM
Cape Cod Bob's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last wiki edit: How to title a hot rod Last photo:
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: MA
Posts: 1,126
Wiki Edits: 1

Thanks: 0
Thanked 29 Times in 19 Posts
Get yourself some new tires and then don't worry about it.If you are not ready to run it then wait.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2010, 09:03 PM
001mustang's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: TN
Posts: 792
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I replace tires when signs of dry rot are visible. Would replace sooner if my pockets were deeper.

My 10 year old garaged Michelin's still look good and are still soft (finger nail test today).

I have garaged Pirrelli's that are roughly 15 years old and are still soft (fingernail test today).

Garaged Michelin motorcycle tires are exactly 18 years old and still look good.

I experienced a tire failure with economy tires on the interstate. Don't remember tire age. Never bought a cheap tire since. The tread separated from the tire and beat up my car. Nearly crashed.

My Dad's co-op tires separated also. Don't know if they were old or not.

Last edited by 001mustang; 04-23-2010 at 09:14 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2010, 10:40 PM
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Springfield, MO
Age: 29
Posts: 1,108
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i've heard no more than 5 years, however i have driven on 15+ year old tires before, but it wasnt really a pleasant ride. They have a tendency to have flat spots in them after sitting in one spot so long.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2010, 01:04 AM
001mustang's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: TN
Posts: 792
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I can hear flat spots after tires sit through the winter but they work out after running awhile in warm weather.

Sometimes I sit the car frame on jack stands to avoid flat spots and take load off springs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2010, 03:21 PM
302 Z28's Avatar  
Last photo:
Join Date: May 2003
Location: North Texas
Posts: 10,840
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 1
Thanked 86 Times in 73 Posts
You cannot judge the condition of a tire by them still feeling soft. After a tire is older than about six years you should start thinking about replacing them, older than that the rubber starts to degrade regardless if it been outside or in a controlled environment. Rubber degrading is a natural process that happens to the most expensive tires. To ride around on tires 10 or 15 years old is IMHO a crap shoot that puts you and everyone around you in danger.

Vince
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2010, 04:14 PM
Member
 
Last wiki edit: Ford axle ratio codes
Last journal entry: Rear Suspension
Last photo:
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Prattsville
Posts: 6,387
Wiki Edits: 31

Thanks: 2
Thanked 57 Times in 53 Posts
long time ago, I went camping with my aunt and cousin.. the camper was pretty much fixed up/ restored from a pile of junk, and she had used tires put on it. they were pretty much brand new but several years old... on the way to the campground, 1 of the tires had the sidewall seperate completely from the tread. it didn't actully blow out, and for most of the trip ( 80 miles or so ) the tire was fine, but it was within the last 15 miles or so is when the tire went.. being a tandem axle tire, it was ok. but if it was a car or truck it could have gotten ugly
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2010, 10:22 AM
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ringgold, Ga.
Posts: 454
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 1
Thanked 17 Times in 16 Posts
There was a special on the TV show Dateline several years ago regarding a crash that was linked to the age of some "brand new" tires. A teenage guy and a friend were going on a trip for spring break, and the kids dad told him to go get some new tires put on the car before he left. So he did, and the tires at the garage he went were brand new, but had been sitting on the shelf for over 4 years, and according to the date on the tires, they were almost 3 years old when the garage recieved them from there supplier. No one really knew to be concerned or check the date of manufacture, until after the crash was linked to the tires failure. I think they only went about 200 miles before the crash, unfortunately both kids were killed, but it began to raise awareness of how safe are tires that are beyond a certain age. And just because you go to a tire store, don't assume the tires are brand spanking new, as was evident from this show, they can sit in a warehouse for years before your local tire supplier recieves them to put on your car. The next set of tires I bought, I looked at the date code on them, and they were already 2 years old. Its a real eye opener.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2010, 10:31 AM
Member
 
Last wiki edit: Ford axle ratio codes
Last journal entry: Rear Suspension
Last photo:
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Prattsville
Posts: 6,387
Wiki Edits: 31

Thanks: 2
Thanked 57 Times in 53 Posts
I remember watching that Dateline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2010, 07:52 AM
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: chillicothe oh
Age: 47
Posts: 1,445
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Somebody better tell the army about the age deal as they store and use tires over 40 years old.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Suspension - Brakes - Steering posts with photos

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Front face of tire dismounted from wheel while cruising !!!!!!!! Calderone Hotrodding Basics 7 06-05-2008 05:20 PM
A Tire Happenings Synopsis hobbytires General Rodding Tech 21 12-03-2007 05:18 PM
tire age?? upthcreek Hotrodding Basics 1 01-07-2006 06:40 PM
tire age?? upthcreek Hotrodding Basics 2 01-07-2006 04:01 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.