The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — Supplied.

MOST peo­ple rely on a tyre’s tread depth to de­ter­mine its con­di­tion.

Les Mc Master, Chair­man of the Mo­tor In­dus­try Work­shop As­so­ci­a­tion (MIWA), points out that the rub­ber com­pounds in a tyre de­te­ri­o­rate over time, re­gard­less of the con­di­tion of the tread.

“An old tyre can be just as haz­ardous as a tyre with worn tread,” he said.

He warned all tyres — even spare tyres that have never been used — also age, es­pe­cially those stored un­der a ve­hi­cle.

He dis­missed some man­u­fac­tur­ers as­sur­ance that their tyres can last for 10 years.

“It’s im­pos­si­ble to judge how long a tyre will last since fac­tors such as heat, stor­age and con­di­tions of use re­duce the life of a tyre.”

Mc Master points out that sun­light, heat and es­pe­cially coastal con­di­tions are known for weath­er­ing rub­ber.

Mc Master en­cour­ages car own­ers to avoid buy­ing used tyres and to check the date on all new tyres pur­chased.

“Just be­cause a tyre looks new doesn’t mean it wasn’t man­u­fac­tured years ago and has been left stand­ing in a shop, ag­ing while it waits.”

“The safety haz­ards of driv­ing on an old tyre should not be un­der­es­ti­mated,” says Mc Master. “Speak to your lo­cal work­shop me­chanic about the age and con­di­tion of your tyres.

“Don’t leave it un­til an ac­ci­dent hap­pens,” he warns.

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