French tyre manufacturer Michelin has launched its 'Tyres Are Not Bananas' campaign. Its aim is to inform customers on how to determine the right time to replace their tyres. Contrary to what we're used to with expiry dates on for example food products, Michelin says that a tyre's aging process does not start from its date of its fabrication (DOT).
It actually starts once the tyre is inflated and mounted on the car. This is because tyres undergo the most stress when they are being used, not while they are sitting in storage.
According to Michelin's Philippine representative, three studies were conducted in Korea, Germany and Saudi Arabia which showed no difference in performance between newly manufactured tyres and ones that have been unused for three years. He explained: "The Saudi Arabia study showed that a tyre used on a vehicle for one year had equivalent aging to a tyre in storage for 10 years. In terms of the characteristics of the tread rubber, it took 20 years in storage at 40 degrees celsius to reach the same characteristics as the tyres used at 40,000km, showing that tyres do age more rapidly when used than when stored.”