consumer warning / doomsaying about tire shelf life [NAC]

Fred Munro munrof at
Wed Aug 13 05:12:43 PDT 2008

Interesting piece all right. I have read somewhere that the flexing of a
tire in use keeps the oils in the rubber distributed throughout the rubber,
but if a tire isn't used for a long time the oils separate, reducing the
flexibility of the rubber. This would be my guess as the reason behind the
British warning which stated "unused" tires more than 6 years old should not
be put into service.

A couple things I noticed in the documentary - most of the vehicles in the
"warehouse of death" were SUVs, pickups, or vans and the tires they showed
with tread separations were light truck tires. A tire failure on a vehicle
with a high centre of gravity is inherently more dangerous. A large SUV
gives the illusion of safety, but I have seen data showing the fatality rate
for SUVs is higher than for cars due to the higher frequency of rollover.
The shot of the highway tread debris was misleading - that was a transport
tire tread and most transports run on re-treaded tires, which have a high
frequency of tread separation.

Another reason for tread separation is under-inflation of a tire; the heat
build-up can cause the tread to fail. How many people routinely check tire
pressure? I see a lot of vehicles driving around with at least one soft

Fred Munro
'97 S6

-----Original Message-----
From: quattro-bounces at
[mailto:quattro-bounces at]On Behalf Of Grant Lenahan
Sent: August 13, 2008 12:43 AM
To: thejimrose
Cc: Audifans
Subject: Re: consumer warning / doomsaying about tire shelf life [NAC]

Dry rot can occur. It does nto always.  I have 9 year old snows that I
store carefully, and still use.

OTOH, I've seen 4-5 year old tires with micro-cracks that i would not
trust under tough conditions.

Test with UV light

thejimrose wrote:
> Oops. forgot the link. sheesh..
> On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 2:47 PM, thejimrose <thejimrose at> wrote:
>> this is an interesting [albeit sensational] piece. scary that they were
>> to buy tires as new that were in fact many years old.
>> it piqued my curiosity and i thought i'd bounce it off the collective.
>> anyone seen any data backing up the claims to 'replace tires after 6
>> no matter the condition' ? is that common sense or 'please buy more
tires' ?
>> --
>> "and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and
>> know the place for the first time." - t.s. eliot
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