Do Tires Degrade Over Time

Vehicle tires are the last thing we think about. If you notice any issues with your tires, you should check their life expectancy. 

Yes, tires do degrade over time. Original tires typically last six to ten years or 50,000 miles. They need to be replaced after this period. The tire will still begin to develop cracks even if it isn’t used!

A penny test is used to determine whether a tire is flat by placing a coin inside the tread. Tires should hold a coin if there is enough air pressure. The coin will fall out if the tire loses air pressure. Here’s what causes a flat tire.

How Long Can Tires Sit Unused?

Tires can sit unused for up to 10 years. However, after the six-year mark, an annual inspection is required.

It’s important to note that the tire needs to be inspected even if it was used correctly.

Is Aging a Problem

Rubber ages as time passes. How quickly it degrades depends upon several factors. One of them is oxygen. Compressed air is made up of oxygen. Therefore, the rubber begins to degrade faster.

Even if the tire isn’t being used, it will still be exposed to air. The air causes the rubber inside the tire to harden, making them less flexible. This means that you may start noticing cracks on your tires after a few years of nonuse.

Can Other Factors affect Tires

Rubber is made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These elements work together to create molecules called polymers. Each polymer molecule consists of repeating units of monomers. Tires contain a layer of rubber that holds the treads in place.

The rubber contains carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur. All of these elements combine to make molecules called polymers. Polymers consist of repeating units of monomers. In tires, the rubber is made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.

Carbon and hydrogen form bonds to each other, while oxygen and nitrogen bond to each other. Sulfur forms chemical bonds within the rubber.

Ozone is a gas that is harmful to cars. It is produced by natural processes, but man-made sources produce more than enough to cause damage. Manufacturers also use a line of defense to counter the effects of ozone.

In order to be effective, the product needs to be used. Otherwise, it won’t provide much assistance in slowing down the aging process.

What is the best Storage Method

Keeping your car tires in a climate-controlled environment is essential. You want to ensure that the temperature stays around 32 degrees F. Tires shouldn’t be stored near lights or ozone-producing devices.

The tire industry gives us guidelines as to how old tires can be and still be safe. But, there is no official life expectancy for the tire. Manufacturers will often give you a guideline as to how long the tire may last.

Winter tires should be replaced every 4-5 years, depending on the climate and driving conditions. They may need to be replaced sooner if there are any cracks or chips present. Always check your owner’s manual before making changes to your vehicle.

What Is the Lifespan of Car Tires?

Tires can last anywhere from years to decades, depending on how often you use them. But, if you’re often driving, expect your tires to last about three or five years. There are other factors that determine lifespan.

If you’re careful, you should be able to get 10-15 years out of your tires, all depending on the mileage you do in your car.

Tire Aging

Although you may already know about tire wear, you probably didn’t realize that there was such a thing as tire aging. Tire aging occurs when the rubber inside your tires loses its effectiveness.

This means that the treads won’t grip the road properly. As a result, you’ll need to replace your tires sooner than if they were still in great shape.

Is The Penny Test For Tires Accurate?

The penny test may be used as a quick way to check tire wear. However, the accuracy of the test is questionable since only part of Lincoln’s face is covered.

Lincoln’s head isn’t visible. Your tire is still serviceable. You’ll need to replace your tire when you can see the top of Lincoln’s head.

How Can You Tell if Tires Need To Be Replaced?

You should always make sure to check the tread bar of your tires before replacing them. Tread bars will generally sit at a lower depth compared to the treads themselves, indicating that it’s time to replace your tires.

To determine how much tread remains on your tires, you should be able to see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head or the reading on the indicator will be less than 2/32″ of an inch.

If you can see the top part of Lincoln’s head or you read an indicator that shows less than 2/32″, then you will need to replace your tires.

Your vehicle’s wheels may appear to be in perfect condition. But if there are irregularities in the tread, it might mean something is wrong. You should check your tire alignment and make sure your tires are properly inflated.

Bulges or bubbles in the sidewalls of the tire indicate that the structural integrity of the tire is significantly reduced. Driving a vehicle on a tire with bulged or bubble in the sidewall presents a danger of a blowout or a sudden failure.

Finally, read the four-digit number on the wall of the tires. It shows the week, and year the tire was manufactured. If your tires have served for more than six years, then you should replace them with new ones as soon as possible.

Things that affect tires


Rubber deteriorates faster if exposed to oxygen than other materials. Antioxidant compounds do not stop the process, and there is no known cure.

UV Light

Carbon Black is a compound that helps tires absorb more sunlight. But, it does so by converting energy into heat. Once the sun’s rays start hitting the compound, the temperature rises quickly. Eventually, the rubber begins to break down, and the life of the tire decreases.


Ozone is a gas that is harmful to rubber. It is produced by man-made pollution. The effect of this gas on tires was discovered in the 1950s. Rubber deteriorates more quickly in big cities than in smaller ones.

Ozone cracks can be prevented by keeping tires away from sources of ozone.

Tire companies try to combat ozone damage by using special compounds in their products.

These waxes and oil can help if the tire’s being used, meaning that they’re brought closer to the surface of the tire. But as there’s no circulation while tires are simply stored, these compounds become useless, and tires won’t last as long.


The same heat and oxygen accelerate tire aging. As a result, tires last less time when it’s hot, and consequently, they fail sooner, regardless of whether they’re being used or stored.

Temperature and Light

It’s recommended to keep your tires in a cool place and avoid direct sunlight and strong artificial light. Tires should be stored away from heat and cold and should be kept out of direct sunlight or strong artificial lighting.


In order to ensure that there is no moisture in the storage room, you must remove all moisture sources such as water tanks, humidifiers, fountains, etc. You should also make sure that the building has adequate ventilation.


Tire storage must be done carefully. Make sure the tires are not mounted or inflated but placed vertically on a slightly elevated platform.

How to Store Tires to Make Them Last Longer

After cleaning the tires, use a brush and water, and soap to remove dirt. Don’t apply any tire dressers to the tires. All needed compounds are already in them.

Don’t store them mounted on a vehicle. If you plan to store a car, make sure to remove the tires. Putting tires into airtight plastic bags will help prevent the rubber from stretching and deforming. Make sure to take as much air out of the bags as possible and seal them tightly.

Tire totes are convenient ways to carry your tires around. They’re also useful if you want to store your tires. You can avoid some of the environmental hazards by putting the tires inside bags first and using tire totes after.

Put your tires in a cool, dry place without potential sources such as ozone or strong, direct sunlight.

This will help keep the main environmental hazards out. Your best bet is to store your tires in a climate-controlled room, but you can also do this in a garage or basement.

White parts should be stacked against the white parts, and the black parts should be stacked against each other. Tires should be stored away from light. Stacking tires by color makes sure the compound of the black part does not migrate into the white part.

You should always mount your tires before hanging them up. Otherwise, you may damage them. In addition, you should never stack your tires because they could get damaged.

Final Takeaway

Tires play a vital part in how your vehicle performs on the road. Not only does having safe tires help you avoid accidents, but it also helps reduce wear and tear on your engine. It’s important to know what causes tires to degrade over time so you can take steps to protect them.

Hopefully, reading the article above will help you understand more about the factors that affect tire life span. We hope this information was helpful.