Don’t Wait For The Crack: Expert Advice On When To Replace Your Tires

Dear Mike,

I’ve been hearing rumors that tires have an expiration date. Is this true? I’ve been using the same tires for a while and I’m starting to get worried. How do I know when it’s time to replace them? I’m not a car expert, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Dear Rhiannon,

Thanks for your question about tires. Yes, it’s true that tires have an expiration date. And no, it’s not like a carton of milk where you can just sniff it to know if it’s gone bad. Imagine driving down the highway and suddenly your tire just decides to disintegrate like confetti. I mean, sure, it would make for a good parade, but not a safe one.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “But Mike, I’ve been using the same tires for a while and they still look pretty good.” Let me tell you a little story. One time, a friend of mine was driving down the highway and her tire blew out. She had only been using it for two years, but the rubber had deteriorated due to the heat and constant motion of driving. Long story short, she ended up having to buy new tires and she learned her lesson the hard way.

So, how do you know when it’s time to replace your tires? Well, every tire sold in North America has a date of manufacture on its side wall. The industry-standard recommended replacement age is seven years. That’s because rubber does disintegrate over time, especially under the stress of highway speeds and heavy loads.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. “But Mike, I don’t drive that much. Can’t I keep my tires for longer?” Let me stop you right there. It’s not just about mileage. Even if you only drive a few kilometers a week, your tires can still deteriorate due to the heat and humidity in the air. And if you’re driving in areas with extreme weather conditions, like here in Canada where we go from -40 to +40 in a matter of months, then it’s even more important to keep track of your tires’ expiration dates.

You might also be wondering if there’s a way to check if your tires are still safe to use. Well, usually you can see “cracking” of the outer shell on the side wall of the tire. In some cases, you might also see cracking within the tread area. These are obvious signs that your tires need to be replaced immediately. But don’t wait for the cracks to appear before checking the date of manufacture. Prevention is always better than cure.

Now, I can hear you thinking to yourself, “But Mike, I’m not an auto expert. How am I supposed to keep track of all this?” Don’t worry, Rhiannon. That’s what we’re here for at Urban Automotive. As the top Google-rated auto repair shop in Oakville, Ontario, we can help you keep track of your tires’ expiration dates and give you expert advice on when to replace them.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for any cracks or signs of wear on your tires. And if you’re still not sure if your tires are safe to use, bring your vehicle in for a checkup and we’ll let you know if it’s time for some new rubber.

Thanks for your question, Rhiannon. Stay safe on the road!


Mike Urban