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Old 07-17-2008, 11:15 AM   #1
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Tires - know when to replace them!!!

We just got back from Bozeman, a round trip of almost 5,000 miles. On our way there, about 30 miles east of Miles City MT, driving at 60 mph, I had a blowout of the inside left rear tire. I know that the pressures were OK as I check them cold each day before we drive. I know that there was plenty of tread on all my tires - the '94 LY has only 85,000 miles on it.

What I did not know is that tires rot from the inside. The safe life of a tire is 5 years from the date of manufacture. The fact that they can sit unused in a warehouse doesn't make any difference - the life is still 5 years from the date of manufacture.

The tire that blew was a Michelin X manufactured in 2000 - so it was 8 years old. Then I got a real shock - there were tires on my rig that obviously were the original ones - the chassis was manufactured in 1993 by Spartan, and the tires were re-grooveable Sumitomos dated 1991 !!!!

I purchased 7 new 8R19.5 Bridgestone tires - they were manufactured in 2007.

So how can you tell? Simple! there is a D.O.T line on the tire and it ends with 4 digits. The first two are the week within the year of manufacture (from 01 to 52) and the last two are the last digits of the year (now 08).

At the same time, I invested in the PressurePro monitoring system. This has the added advantage of allowing me to check the pressures without having to fire up my compressor and it also monitors the pressure on an on-going basis and will sound an alarm if it drops or increases outside the parameters it is set for.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:54 AM   #2
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Funny you should post this today.

I got an e-mail from a friend two days ago with a link to an ABC story about this very thing.

ABC News
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:16 PM   #3
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Tires also can be older. I found tires on my B Van with 3 numbers. Meaning they are from 1999. 349 indicates the 34th week of 1999 for manufacture.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:27 PM   #4
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Are you sure that wasn't the 3rd week of 1949?
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:14 PM   #5
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I'm getting new Goodyear Marathons put on my Airstream right now. I'm glad to know the "Code" now, so I'll check them when I get the trailer back. The tire dealer told me they were new tires and that Goodyear redesigned their Marathons last year to improve reliability. We'll see!
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:28 PM   #6
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I know that when you get air put in your tires you should always make sure you put or they put it in from a source with an air drier on it because I found I was getting oxidation on the bead of the rim and they would seep in weather or climate change. This is more common on alluminum rims but steel will rust, maybe this info is connected to rotting from inside out???? I wonder anyways
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:12 PM   #7
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The tires are new to him

Quote:
Originally Posted by rseagle View Post
... The tire dealer told me they were new tires and ...
I think the local tire stores are getting caught in the middle on this issue. They sell whatever the supplier sends the shop. I have yet to see a tire shop big enough on-site to store tires for years on end.

Should you find ancient tires awaiting you at the tire shop, you should have a pre-rehearsed, calm statement as to why the tires are unacceptable.

I feel very fortunate that my Airstream's tires were only a year old when I bought them. Since they were special-ordered that time, I expect to have special-order them next time.

Next time I will caveat my special order that the delivered tires have to be no more than a year or so old.

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Old 07-18-2008, 04:50 PM   #8
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I checked my tires today. They were manufactured 3707 (Sept. 2007). I can live with that!
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:24 PM   #9
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Whow a blow out at 85K miles Id say that was great mileage. Especially if it has set any. UV rays take their toll on rubber also. Given the age Id say "YA DID GOOD"
I've had a few blow-outs myself being in the truckin industry for 45 yrs. I have seen new tires blow. U never know.
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:13 PM   #10
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Will the age of the tire be the same if the Airstream is sitting in a permanent site? I was told to rotate the tire 1/4 once a year. Does this make sense?
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:41 PM   #11
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The tire can age even in the spare rack, or at the tire store. They sit on the shelf, and their limited shelf life begins.
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:37 AM   #12
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Unused Marathon exploded

I saw a Marathon tire last week that had never been used that separated and looked like it exploded. It was on the back of a vintage Airstream. It had been used as the spare and never on the road. The tread looked perfect.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikethefixit View Post
Whow a blow out at 85K miles Id say that was great mileage. Especially if it has set any. UV rays take their toll on rubber also. Given the age Id say "YA DID GOOD"
Roger
The tire that blew did not have 75K miles on it - the rig is a '94 with 85K miles, but the tire that blew was manufactured in 2000. My guesstimate is that the tire had about 25K miles. It was an inside rear tire, so there was no UV issues.

It is typical that chassis manufacturers will stock up on tires that they get at a good price and use that stock for a couple of years. What that means is that the tire you get with your new vehicle can already be 3 years old - which means that you have 2 years left (wear is not an issue) and they have to be replaced.

From what I see, when you go to get tires from a tire shop, they are already almost 1 year old from their manufacture. Thus you only get 4 more years before they have to be replaced.

The Bridgestones I put on are regroovable, but I know that I'll never wear the tread down that far that this would have to be done in the next four years.
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:38 PM   #14
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We started checking tires a few years ago when a warranty issue came up and it turned out the tire was out of the manufacturers warranty period even though it was only 7 months from date of purchase. A friend found the DOT info on the net and from that point on we've been religious about checking them.

I'm sure not to anyones surprise as soon as the dealer knows you know about DOT date coding they make sure what goes on your vehicle is current. It sure did put a crimp into my buying neat old vintage tires for the hotrods at swap meets though - they were always SUCH a deal too. So much for being cheap. Now if they hit six years I pull them regardless of mileage which in the case of the Chevelle is REALLY GOING TO HURT - 4 brand spanking new radial TA's, almost period correct, the only mileage on them is rolling around the shop as we assemble it, and they are 1997 when the restoration started. Of COURSE there is someone in the background very willing to say I told you so - wait till the car is ready to go before you spend the bucks on the tires. Oh well......

Barry
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