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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a new set of tires from the TireRack in December of 2007 and just recently discovered that two of the tires were actually more than 3 years old when I received them. The other two were nearly two years old when I got them. The date of manufacture code on the sidewalls of the two front tires show they were manufactured in September 2004 (date code 3604). The rears were manufactured in March 2006 (date code 1306). This is of course important because many people and industry organizations believe that tires are unsafe to use after they are more than six years old, regardless of tread depth. Which means that in situations where a car is driven only a few thousand miles per year, it may be a close call whether the tires must be replaced because they wear out or because they are simply too old to be safe.

If I recall correctly from a recent news report, the British Tire Manufacturer's Association and the industry trade group in Japan recommend that tires more than six years old are no longer safe to be on the road. The American tire industry trade group is against the six year rule and there is no regulation in the US regarding an expiration date for tires. I think the US industry claims that there is no evidence that old tires are unsafe, despite what the Brits and others have to say about it. All of this was the subject of a 20/20 ABC News segment a couple of weeks ago, although I'd heard of the six year rule in the past, and I hope that I'm recalling the names of the industry sources correctly. Perhaps others have a better recollection than I and can confirm this or post the correct names of the tire industry organizations that adhere to the six year rule.

Beyond any safety concerns, however, tire performance begins to fall off as tires age. That is especially important in the high performance context because maximum grip tends to be important when buying a high performance tire. My experience, which is consistent with what I've heard others say is also their experience, is that grip begins to fade in high performance tires (all tires?) about the 3 year mark.

The bottom line, assuming the tires aren't already old when I get them, is that since I drive my sports cars only a few thousand miles per year, I'll generally wear a set of tires out before they must be thrown out due to age. Also, barring tires that are old when received, I'll get somewhere around 3 years of maximum grip from the tires. But, getting tires that are years old when received means that I must throw them out before they wear out and I get the benefit of little, if any, of their maximum grip life.

Many LTers have the same concerns, I'd guess. So be forewarned. I'm not sure how one can verify the manufacture date of tires before they are shipped but I hope to figure it out before being taken advantage of again in the future. Any suggestions are welcome.

BTW, I contacted TireRack recently and requested that the tires be replaced, that they pay for installation of the new rubber, and that they discount my upcoming purchase of tires for another of my cars to compensate for the inconvenience. I was told to go scratch. In very polite terms, of course. But go scratch nonetheless. I actually found this surprising, as I've purchased numerous sets of tires from them over the last 10 or 15 years. Wheels, too. And I've always trusted them and been very happy with them. Not any longer, of course. My trust was misplaced.
 

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Always ask what the date stamped on the tyres is (WWYY) or the other way around (YYWW). Y= Year W= Week (1-52). It's stamped into every tyre. If they tell you they don't know, tell them to find out and call you back when they do know.
 

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I don't think your concerns apply as much to new tires stored in a climate-controlled warehouse. It's exposure to ultraviolet light, heat, cold, and the elements that ages tires. The 6-year guideline is an average estimate for tires in service. I would predict that 3 years in a proper storage facility would equate to about 1 year or less in tires exposed to the elements

Bottom line is, I'd stop worrying about it, and make sure you wear them out in 3 years.;)
 

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I don't think your concerns apply as much to new tires stored in a climate-controlled warehouse. It's exposure to ultraviolet light, heat, cold, and the elements that ages tires. The 6-year guideline is an average estimate for tires in service. I would predict that 3 years in a proper storage facility would equate to about 1 year or less in tires exposed to the elements

Bottom line is, I'd stop worrying about it, and make sure you wear them out in 3 years.;)
I would agree. It isn't like the tires are sitting out in the South Florida sun or in Arizona in some giant parking lot. Tires will age even indoors, somewhat protected, but not that badly.

I just drove a '91 Caterham with original tires on it the other day. Was I confident about them? No. Would I replace them immediately if it was my car? Yes. The guy who ended up buying it drove it all the way from Seattle to the Bay area without issue.

You asked for Tire Rack to do some pretty over the top customer service 'favors' for something that really isn't an issue for most people.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't think your concerns apply as much to new tires stored in a climate-controlled warehouse. It's exposure to ultraviolet light, heat, cold, and the elements that ages tires. The 6-year guideline is an average estimate for tires in service. I would predict that 3 years in a proper storage facility would equate to about 1 year or less in tires exposed to the elements

Bottom line is, I'd stop worrying about it, and make sure you wear them out in 3 years.;)
According to the 20/20 report and the British Tire folks cited therein, as well as others, it is time and 6 years is too much of it whether the tires were on the road or sitting in a warehouse.

I would agree. It isn't like the tires are sitting out in the South Florida sun or in Arizona in some giant parking lot. Tires will age even indoors, somewhat protected, but not that badly.

I just drove a '91 Caterham with original tires on it the other day. Was I confident about them? No. Would I replace them immediately if it was my car? Yes. The guy who ended up buying it drove it all the way from Seattle to the Bay area without issue.

You asked for Tire Rack to do some pretty over the top customer service 'favors' for something that really isn't an issue for most people.

Just because someone drove on old tires without incident is pretty meaningless. All tires don't explode at 6 years. No doubt some, or most, will go for many years without incident. The point is that the failure rate seems to increase substantially after the 6 year mark. And regardless of the safety issue, tires loose grip as they age and if I pay for high performance tires, I expect to get what I pay for. Not some aged leftovers that are nearing or past the point of offering the maximum grip I paid for.

I paid for fresh tires and I received tires that were more than three years old. I didn't ask for any favors. I asked for what I should have received in the first place, together with compensation for the inconvenience associated with having to deal with getting fresh tires mounted, not to mention the risk of damage to the wheels that is inherent in any tire change. And I note that the compensation I asked for, discounted tires, would cost TireRack little or nothing. They may not make a profit if they discounted a set of tires substantially, but they wouldn't lose much, if anything.
 

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I just bought Dunlop Sp maxx for my LegacyGt. Tires were heavily discounted at Tirerack so I knew they were gonna be old. When I got them I checked the born on date. 5004. So they are 3 1/2 years old. Because it is my daily driver I don't mind. If they were slick tires for a race car I wouldn't buy old tires as performance might decrease ever so slighty.

HOWEVER, the tires were as new. Perfectly black. No greyish area. No cracks no lines. They looked like fresh tires. Once installed I pushed them a bit to see if they'd squeal easily. Old tires have a tendency to squeal a lot. But they didn't.

Those tires, even if they're old, behave perfectly. Unless you buy slicks or tires where every inch of performance is important, old tires from tirerack is not a problem. They probably know their stuff and store them in a tire friendly environment.

My ,02$.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
HOWEVER, the tires were as new. Perfectly black. No greyish area. No cracks no lines. They looked like fresh tires. Once installed I pushed them a bit to see if they'd squeal easily. Old tires have a tendency to squeal a lot. But they didn't.
My ,02$.

The appearance of the tires isn't relevant.

Here are quotes from the 20/20 report, together with a link to the story.

"Members of the British Rubber Manufacturers Association, which include Goodyear, Firestone and Michelin, warned in 2001 that "unused tyres [sic] should not be put into service if they are over 6 years old." "The Ford Motor Company has urged the federal government to adopt a six-year expiration date, citing "comprehensive research" and "defendable data driven by analysis."

ABC News: Tire Danger: The Cryptic Code That Could Save Your Life

And the real point is not whether you, personally, believe the various tire manufacturers and associations. Feel free to think it's all BS made up by many in the tire industry. Many folks choose to believe it and we should not have to take old tires that are at least a performance issue and likely a safety issue when we pay for fresh rubber.
 

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To what report do you refer?
I saw bits and pieces of the 20/20 report, and I've also been a business where I deal with the media extensively. A TV news magazine is not going to deal with the nuances of a scientific or technical report. They deal at the topical and superficial level, otherwise they'd bore people to tears, and no one would be watching.

I'm referring to the report cited by 20/20. Are you going to tell me with a straight face, that the 20/20 piece stated categorically that "it doesn't matter if they are on the car in the elements or sitting in a climate-controlled warehouse?" I hope not.

I've read numerous reports on tire aging, and the primary causes are ultraviolet light, cycling between very hot and very cold, humidity, etc. That doesn't happen in the warehouse. Yes, there is some aging, but it is nowhere near what they experience when exposed to the elements. The 6-year guideline refers to tires in service. The main point is that it doesn't matter if 6 year old tires have 2K miles or 30K miles, if they have been exposed to the elements, they are at risk due to aging.

Are you also going to tell me that tires in a climate controlled warehouse will age exactly at the same rate as tires exposed to sun, extremes of hot and cold, and humidity? I hope not.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I saw bits and pieces of the 20/20 report, and I've also been a business where I deal with the media extensively. A TV news magazine is not going to deal with the nuances of a scientific or technical report. They deal at the topical and superficial level, otherwise they'd bore people to tears, and no one would be watching.

I'm referring to the report cited by 20/20. Are you going to tell me with a straight face, that the 20/20 piece stated categorically that "it doesn't matter if they are on the car in the elements or sitting in a climate-controlled warehouse?" I hope not.

I've read numerous reports on tire aging, and the primary causes are ultraviolet light, cycling between very hot and very cold, humidity, etc. That doesn't happen in the warehouse. Yes, there is some aging, but it is nowhere near what they experience when exposed to the elements. The 6-year guideline refers to tires in service. The main point is that it doesn't matter if 6 year old tires have 2K miles or 30K miles, if they have been exposed to the elements, they are at risk due to aging.

Are you also going to tell me that tires in a climate controlled warehouse will age exactly at the same rate as tires exposed to sun, extremes of hot and cold, and humidity? I hope not.
Click the link and read it for yourself. Folks in the industry seem to be saying just that. Tires no doubt take a bigger beating sitting in the hot sun in the desert than in a climate controlled warehouse, but they are not road worthy after six years either way.
 

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By R888 then you know they're new!

xtn
 

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Click the link and read it for yourself. Folks in the industry seem to be saying just that. Tires no doubt take a bigger beating sitting in the hot sun in the desert than in a climate controlled warehouse, but they are not road worthy after six years either way.
I read your edited post with the link, and it confirmed exactly what I thought, including the other side of the story, which contradicts your categorical statement that 6-year old tires are not road-worthy either way. You still apparently have not read the actual sourced technical report.

This is really getting pretty silly. You didn't buy 6-year old tires, and if you don't wear them out in 3, then you should probably sell the car, and buy something else you'll get some use out of.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I read your edited post with the link, and it confirmed exactly what I thought, including the other side of the story, which contradicts your categorical statement that 6-year old tires are not road-worthy either way. You still apparently have not read the actual sourced technical report.

This is really getting pretty silly. You didn't buy 6-year old tires, and if you don't wear them out in 3, then you should probably sell the car, and buy something else you'll get some use out of.

Hey, buy old tires if you like. I don't want to and I bet most people want their rubber to be fresh when it shows up on their doorstep. I just posted my experience as a warning to those who want to get the product they pay for. Sheesh.
 

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Hey, buy old tires if you like. I don't want to and I bet most people want their rubber to be fresh when it shows up on their doorstep. I just posted my experience as a warning to those who want to get the product they pay for. Sheesh.
I think his point was that 3 year old tires were nothing to worry about. Has only ever checked the age of the tires on a brand new OEM car? I wouldn't be surprised if they were on average two years old.
 

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Don't put 6 yr old tires into service because if it takes the usual 2-4 yrs to wear them out they'll be 8-10yrs old. :panic:Now that's getting old. Your 3604 tires are fine. I dare say if you tested them v. fresh rubber say 1208 they'd have 99% of the performance in the worse case scenario. TireRack broke no laws, owes you no refund, etc. Next thing we know you'll be suing them like most other a--hole Americans on lame grounds of endangerment.:wallbang: This thread is pathetic, I read it because I was amused, but then felt this individual needed a good :thwack:
 
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