imagesDOT/ Age Of A Tyre

How long can an unused product be sold as new? That’s an interesting question which can easily be answered on some products like let’s say yoghurt. The expiration date clearly shows when a products has reached its maximal freshness.
But how can you tell what the expiration date is of tyres.

The Business  Association of the German Rubber Industry brought forth guidelines for car tyres. Tyres age due to physical and chemical processes. This is also applicable to unused or little used tyres.
In order to counteract this process the industry adds substances to the mixture which diminish the chemical reaction with oxygen and ozone because in the past this was responsible for the loss of performance of the tyres. This way it is guaranteed that tyres which have been properly stored for several years qualify as new tyres and the usability is not impaired.

In September 2001 the Federal Association and Vulcanization Trade issued a joint statement with the Tyre Industry pertaining to in the past often discussed interpretation of what is meant by the time span “several” years and what the maximal guideline should be.
The companies Bridgestone/Firestone, Continental, Dunlop, Goodyear, Michelin and Pirelli gave a unanimous recommendation to the Tyre companies as well as the car owners: be sure that when you purchase or sell tyres that the date of production is no longer than five years ago. This also means that a properly stored tyre up to five years since production can still be considered as new and can be sold as such.

This also means that tyres which are older than five years can be put on if knowledge of proper storage is known. This way tire dealers as well as buyers have a far greater legal certainty.

The legal guarantee for a tyre begins with the purchase of the tyre. The date of production plays a minor role.

It is recommended to check the production year not only when purchasing new tyres but also to check your used tyres from time to time. The tire industry recommends that after ten years tyres need to be replaced. Car tyres that are older should only be used if they had been used under normal conditions and they should not be switched from front to back.

The ten year rule applies only to cars. Tyres on motor homes, trailers and other types of vehicles that stand under constant pressure in other words vehicles that are not moved regularly.
If vehicles have been standing for a longer period of time the tyres must be checked before going on a trip and also the spare tyre.
However, the law dictates that cars with a trailer or other types of cars with a total weight up to 3,5 tons (with a trailer) which have according to § 18 STVO a 100 km/h and has a license for a 100 km/h , the law states that the maximum age for trailer tyres is six years.
The BRV recommends that tyres of standard cars as well as spare tyres should be replaced after six years and eight years at the latest.

Drivers who are not sure in what the condition of their tyres is  should check regularly with a tyre specialist. It is also recommended to take advantage of the store which stores the winter/summer tyres for a minimal fee. The storage service also checks the tyres to insure that only impeccable tyres are mounted.