Originally Posted by andycarey
One person has more or less suggested tire replacement after 5 years ... anyone have a more definitive or specific recommendation? I have a 99 safari with original tires; I haven't gone on a trip in a couple of years, tread is in good shape, but as the previous post noted tires degrade even without use or wear. Motorcycle safety experts say don't use any tire more than 3 years old. But Les Schwab dealership told me not to worry about it. Anyone with more specific info? abc
I have read everything there is to read, 3 times over, and then I find something new. In a nut shell, Goodyear as well as Michelin have quite a bit to say about tires, age, etc. Goodyear says 5 years on age as most trailer tires get used very few times a year, and the rest of the time they are degrading. Why? 2 reasons. UV rays are focused many times, at the same section of tire day after day, after day. Very hard on tires. The other reason is that the polymers used in tires to prolong life require heat and flexing to help them migrate through the rubber. Since they are sedintary so much of the time, the outer portion of the tires degrade from exposure. Of smaller consequence, yet still effecting the situation is the flat spot on the tire, as well as the material the tire is sitting on could hold moisture, oil, etc against that part of tire, or could promote leaching of the same polymers mentioned earlier.
5 years seems to be the safe age. Truck, auto, and other frequently used tires can last much longer as age goes, if the tread holds out.
The dates can be found on the sidewall. Locate the DOT symbol, then go to the last oval after it that contains 3 or 4 numbers. The first two are the week of the year, and the last 1 or 2 incicate the year.
2299 would be 22 week of year 1999.
223 would be the 22 week of 2003
Now, personal experience. I have seen used as well as used myself old tires. But after buying a 1996 Excella that sat unsold in one spot until 1999, and then having a blowout about 2000 miles later, I decided that a long side peice of aluminum costs a WHOLE LOT more than a couple of Goodyear Marathons.
Oh, the very best thing you can do to make your tires last is to keep them inflated properly. Check them everyday before you pull. It costs absolutely nothing.