Thunder Bay GMC Trucks ServiceOften times, we hear about the importance of tire maintenance.  It is no surprise to most people that poor tire pressure and low tire tread can greatly effect the performance and efficiency of your vehicle.  Something that you may not think about as often, is how the age of your tires can effect the performance, efficiency and even the safety of your automobile.  Consider this…have you ever grabbed a rubber band from your desk drawer and stretched it to wrap it around an object and it quickly breaks apart?  This is because the rubber band is likely old and has deteriorated.  It may not be immediately obvious that the rubber band has issues, but the minute you try to use it, you will quickly discover that it is of no use any more.

For most people, tires will be replaced because of normal wear and tear before the age of the tire becomes an issue…but this isn’t always the case.  If you have a vehicle that you don’t drive very often, or if you keep an extra set of tires in storage and rotate your set with the seasons, then it may be a good idea to check the age of your tire, regardless of how great the tread may appear to be.  So…how old is too old?  Experts from safecar.gov say the following:

While tire life will ultimately depend on the tires’ service conditions and the environment in which they operate, there are some general guidelines. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend that tires be replaced every six years regardless of use.  In addition, a number of tire manufacturers cite 10 years as the maximum service life for tires.  Check the owner’s manual for specific recommendations for your vehicle. Remember, it is always wise to err on the side of caution if you suspect your vehicle has tires that are over six years of age.

How old are your tires?  On the sidewall of your tires, you will find a number beginning with the letters, DOT.  The last four digits printed on the tire will tell you the week and the year that the tire was manufactured.  An example would be: 4312 (43rd week of the year 2012).  If you are unable to detect the year that your tires were manufactured, or if you are concerned about the age of your tire, don’t wait until you are stranded on the side of the road with a blow-out.  Contact your local Thunder Bay GMC truck service department today!