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Old 05-31-2014, 08:40 AM   #1
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What causes tires to crack

and is 6 years about the safe limit?
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:47 AM   #2
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[QUOTE=HUGHP;2075080]and is 6 years about the safe limit?[/QUOTE

There is a thread called "replace tires - age vs miles" that will give you lots of information on the topic.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:47 AM   #3
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Just replaced our tires. On the rear: The 9 year old outside tires still looked great. The inside tires, same age, looked beat-to-death, loaded with cracks and splits. "Why the difference?, I asked. He said they had been exposed to too much HEAT. I don't know enough to argue with him, but makes sense back there next to the engine and tranny. \ken
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:09 AM   #4
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What causes them to wear.. USE of course. takes a lot of miles to wear them out.

What causes cracking: Sunlight and ozone in the air.. What prevents it,,, USE of course, which flexes the rubber and brings essential oils to the surface.. What Accelerates it... Most tire treatments.

And many tire covers do not do that good a job of blocking the Ultra Violet light that does the damage I might add.
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:52 AM   #5
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Depends on the crack. Surface cracks on the exterior sidewalls are generally a result of deterioration caused by ultraviolet light and ozone. Lack of regular use (mileage) is also a factor, since tires contain chemicals to counteract the deterioration but they are much less effective when the tire sidewall is not flexing all the time.

Other, deeper cracks can occur from under-inflation, hitting objects (curbs, potholes, etc), or simply sitting in one position for a very long time (stress cracks). They may not even be visible on the outside.

Is 6 years a safe limit? Very hard to say given the variety of individual factors involved. 6 is safer than 7 but not as safe as 5, but it's not clear any of those should be considered unsafe. If the idea of having a flat tire on the highway terrifies you, then 5 or 6 years may be appropriate. Many of us feel that around 7 years is tolerable risk, and some people simply run their tires until one of them fails, maybe getting 10 years or so. 10 years is not very risky if the tires are used regularly, inflation is always kept in the optimum range, and you pay attention to signs of potential failure, i.e. depth of cracking, unusual noises, or bulges in the sidewall.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:44 PM   #6
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Check the tire manufacturers websites. They will say that tires should be inspected after 5 years and normally replaced by 10.

To establish the aging of the tire they are fast tracked in an oven at 70C for 5 weeks to simulate age. Heat is one of the biggest tire deteriorators. Not sure how they simulate UV and do not have the time to read all of the published information.

Tire companies are very reluctant to definitively give an age for tires - probably due to litigation. They are also reluctant to give a visual description to determine tire life. At least I could not find anything about it.

IMO - if the tire kept at the recommended inflation, driven regularly, not abused on curbs, is kept covered, etc and does not show external cracking it should be good for 10 years.

A big concern is tire separation and blow outs. Besides the danger of a flat tire at speed the tire separation generally does damage to the coach - expensive.

Maintain your tires religously, monitor regularly, invest in a TPMS and you should be good for a long while. You will likely have lots of tread left when the tires should be replaced.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumps View Post
Just replaced our tires. On the rear: The 9 year old outside tires still looked great. The inside tires, same age, looked beat-to-death, loaded with cracks and splits. "Why the difference?, I asked. He said they had been exposed to too much HEAT. I don't know enough to argue with him, but makes sense back there next to the engine and tranny. \ken
FWIW, according to my TPMS my inside duals run hotter than the outside. A friend runs his inside dual 5psi lower than the outside because it does run hotter, and to compensate for road crowning, which makes the inside dual carry more weight than the outside.
I cannot dispute either reasoning.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:28 AM   #8
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FWIW, according to my TPMS my inside duals run hotter than the outside. A friend runs his inside dual 5psi lower than the outside because it does run hotter, and to compensate for road crowning, which makes the inside dual carry more weight than the outside.
I cannot dispute either reasoning.
I have heard of that as well. I have talked with truckers who say they rotate tires from the tractor to the outside duals on the trailer, then to the inside duals until the inside tire is worn out. The higher wear tire always to the inside to account for road crown.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:55 AM   #9
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And, without getting into any arguments, or stepping on any toes, ...some tire brands are more prone to cracking than others. The locale where the owner resides, is also a factor in sidewall cracking. Cooler northern temperatures seems to extend time before tire sidewall cracking becomes a problem. I moved from central California to Northwestern Montana several years ago, my motorhome tires are still looking good. In CA, about 5 to 6 years was the life of the sidewalls before they concerned me enough that I replaced them.
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