As far back as we can remember, we’ve always been led to believe that tires, whether used or unused, have an expiry date. It’s about 6 years after the tire’s manufacture date where it then needs to be discarded regardless of condition. Michelin, however, is telling us otherwise.
Through their new “Tyres Are Not Bananas” campaign, Michelin wants us to understand that unlike the fruit, tires stay fresh over time.
Newer Doesn’t Mean Safer
When buying a set of tires, it means that you don’t have to ask for the newest stock (with the latest manufacture date). That’s because, when tires are un-inflated, do not carry any load, and exposed to minor temperature fluctuations in storage, they do not deteriorate as explained by Michelin.
The Department of Customer Protection in South Korea and ADAC in Germany even did a test to compare a set of new vs un-used 3-year-old tires. And lo and behold, there was no performance difference between the 2.
Retire After 10 Years in Service
Instead of the tire’s manufacture date, what you should really remember is when it was installed in your vehicle. That’s when the real ageing process starts, when it’s exposed to high speeds, sudden braking, difference surfaces, extreme temperatures, and heavy loads. And mind you, tires also degrade even when the vehicle is not used.
So, what does Michelin recommend? Purely as a precaution and not technical based, Michelin tires that have been in service for 10 years should be retired.
“It is not on tire age, but on correct tire maintenance that vehicle owners should be meticulous about,” said Michael Nunag, Michelin’s Chief Representative to the Philippines. “Maintaining correct tire pressure, proper alignment, inspection for damages, and tread depth measurements is important.”
Common sense, however, dictates that when a tire fails inspection it must be replaced even before it celebrates its 10th birthday.
Technically, Michelin never used the word ‘expire’ in their new campaign. But that’s pretty much what they’re trying to say, that their tires in particular are designed to provide good, reliable service for many years regardless of manufacture date.
Michelin tires also come with a 6-year replacement warranty for passenger and light truck tires. And it only begins counting on the date of installation.