Tires come with a lifespan, usually provided in miles. This can give one the false confidence in their tires if they are a low mileage driver. It may seem like good thrift to put off replacing old tires if they are nowhere near the recommended replacement mileage, but other things can cause tires to fail. Rubber can harden when it ages, and conditions during parking can lead to issues like rot. The following guide can help you prevent issues with old tires.
Store your car correctly
Sun and heat damage are the two biggest concerns when it comes to tire health on a minimally driven vehicle. These cause tires to develop dry rot, which puts you at the very real risk of having a blowout.
Blowouts, especially at highway speeds, can result in a major accident. When not driving the vehicle, park it in a garage or carport, if possible, so that the tires are protected from the sun. If this isn't an option, then invest in tire covers so the rubber isn't exposed to direct sunlight when it is parked.
Keep up with maintenance
It can be easy to forego regular tire maintenance if you rarely drive the car, especially since things like rotation and balancing are recommended only when you hit specific mileage points. The truth is uneven wear can occur even if you aren't driving often.
Tires that sit in the same position for weeks at a time can develop flat spots. This can be exacerbated if the parking location is uneven since the tires on the lower side of the car will take more weight and stress.
Plan to get the tires rotated at least once a year, and preferably twice yearly. Also, move the vehicle at least once a week to cut down on tire flattening.
Learn the danger signs
When inspecting tires that aren't driven on often, your concern isn't with the tread. The real zone of concern is the side wall. This is because the tread is likely to still be in good condition even if the tires need replacing on a low mileage vehicle.
Look for cracks, flaking, or discoloration of the rubber. These all indicate dry rot and a weakened sidewall. It's also a good idea to have the tires professionally inspected annually if they are more than four years old, especially if you park in an exposed area.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact a tire shop like East Bay Tire Co. for more help.