Always check the date stamp when buying used tyres
How long do tyres last?
Typically tyres should last 5 years from manufacture. Even an unused tyre that is 5 years old has a risk of developing cracks or seperations, this is due to the rubber compound changing over time. Sunlight accelerates the degredation which is why it's a good idea to store spare tyres inside, keep your spare tyre (4x4) inside a cover and if you're lucky enough to have a matching set of 5 wheels and tyres- add your spare into the rotation every 10,000kms.
How can I tell if my tyres are too old?
Visual inspection is the best way to check if your tyres are still safe for use.
- Cracks: will appear between tread blocks and around the side-wall of unsafe tyres
- Separations: Run your hand around the circumference of a tyre, checking for uniformity. If a tyre has a seperation you will be able to feel it.
- Date stamp: Located on one side of the tyre, a date stamp consists of 4 digits (e.g. 0413) signifying which week and which year the tyre was produced (e.g. 4th week 2013)