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Car tires last too long

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Car tires last too long

Old 06-15-19, 11:45 AM
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RubeRad
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Car tires last too long

So I just had to buy new tires for 'my' car (our 2nd car), turns out last time I bought tires for that car was late 2010, so they lasted almost 9 years. 7 of those years I have been 90+% bike-commuting, so total miles was only around 50,000. There was plenty of tread left though, they died of old age (drying, cracking, splitting).

So for these new tires, since they will include 0 years of car-commuting, 50,000 miles would be like 20 years. Is it possible to care for the rubber to make the tires last as long as absolutely possible?

Note this is SoCal, so the biggest hazard is probably sunlight. I can't imagine 100-degree heat does much to car tires, compared to how the temps they reach while driving. The car's parking spot (when I have it at home and not in the parking deck at work) has the car facing east, so the passenger-side tires get all the sun. Maybe I should saw up some plywood light shields for those two tires?

Would any of those tire beautification sprays do any useful conditioning? Or is that just for cleaning and shine?
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Old 06-15-19, 12:09 PM
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Try the 303 Aerospace Protectant product.

I've had good results with it in a high-UV environment. Following regular cleaning of the tires, it's a good final step. Lasts about a month. Comes in 16oz spray bottles, and there's a 1gal refill option as well. 1gal would probably last you five years of twice a month usage, on a car's tires. Probably longer. Can be used on all rubber and synthetic rubber tires (cars, bikes), on vinyl, plastic, dashboards in cars, etc. Does make things a little slick, so you don't want to use it on the tread surface, but otherwise IMO it's an excellent product.
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Old 06-15-19, 12:19 PM
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Tires last a really long time on my vehicles, too. I switch between summer and snow tires, so each set lasts about twice as long as if I were running one set continuously. (And obviously, I try to bike whenever feasible. )

I like the idea of covering them up long-term. There are tire covers that people get for their RVs, since those also spend a lot of their time sitting outside and not moving:

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Old 06-15-19, 12:28 PM
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Thx those are good tips.

For my reference, here's 303 at Amazon, $20/32oz or $60/gal.

Tire covers are cheaper than I thought. Do you think I could get away with a 2-pack, since the driver's side would always be north and out of the sun?
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Old 06-15-19, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Thx those are good tips.

For my reference, here's 303 at Amazon, $20/32oz or $60/gal.

Tire covers are cheaper than I thought. Do you think I could get away with a 2-pack, since the driver's side would always be north and out of the sun?
I certainly do. And it'll be cheaper and greener over the long run than using a bunch of spray cans.
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Old 06-15-19, 01:36 PM
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You can jigsaw covers from half inch plywood that fit in the wheel wells. Then screw some handles onto them. Paint them white so they don’t look so... you know.

But honestly I think nine years is pretty good and I wouldn’t bother.
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Old 06-15-19, 01:58 PM
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Well, the past 3 years at least they've been cracking and I've been putting off replacing them. Probably I pushed it way past where I should for the sake of my family's safety (and I'm grateful there was never a tire failure at speed)
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Old 06-15-19, 06:24 PM
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I noted that my dad's 2008 Civic manual stated that under no circumstances should you run tires more than 10 years old. I think this was about the time a few rollover crashes were attributed to old Firestones, and tire manufacturers (yes, who have an interest in selling more tires and not getting sued) were recommending new tires every 5-7 years regardless of tread depth.

I'm sure there are plenty of people driving around on ancient tires and are still alive. But I feel that rubber products all seem to rot away no matter how nice their environment, and car tires can take a beating. Being a belt & suspenders type of person, I would like the reassurance of "safe" car tires, so I've been changing tires about 7-8 years, even if they otherwise look OK and they have plenty of tread. The new tires always seem to grip and perform better anyway. 25 y.o. car, averaging 4k miles year.
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Old 06-15-19, 07:10 PM
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10yrs ain't old. Aged rubber don't necessarily immediately blowout or delaminate just because it's old.

Tyre rubber hardens as it ages... IMHO there's bigger risk from less traction/grip than from blowout.

After about 3-5yrs from manufacture (tyres have datecodes) they start slipping; hence I like to have freshest pair on the driven end.
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