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Sittin' here waiting for AAA -- blow out..


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While heading for the beach late Saturday afternoon I started picking up a vibration in what I thought was the left front.. I was close -- it was the left rear, as I found out a couple miles later when that tire went ka-blooie..! Blow out, big dawg..!

Naturally the long un-checked spare was flat too, so hadda call AAA.. While waiting for them to show up, and since I don't have a smart phone, I got the g/f on the line n had her give me the #s of a couple near by tire stores.. Turns out 15s with a 3/4T rating aren't all that common these days, so I ended up having the driver tow me to the home-20..

As the van was rolling off the flat bed into my driveway, my neighbor comes strolling over to check things out.. As I finish signing off with the driver, my neighbor sez hey, come here n check this out.. He points into the tread area of the other tires and be dammed if all of them don't have about a gazillion cracks.. They're all dry rotting where the rubber meets the road.. Holy chit..! Michelin's too, no less..

JR, the neighbor, happens to own a vehicle biz that caters to 'kids' who like to trick out their rides with among other things thousand dollar each rims and that sort of stuff.. He starts explaining to me about how over recent years tire mfg's have begun skimping on petrolium additives used in the process.. He began noticing a few years back tires that don't get a lot of mileage rolled onto them weren't lasting nearly as long as they once did -- all of them the victim of dry rot.. He's noticed this across-the-board with all mfg's on everything except the most expensive highest rated high speed brands.. He said he figures they're able to get away with doing this because most people will wear out a set of tires before the dry rotting becomes an issue.. Right now my van has six year old 70K mi rated tires with 29K on 'em..

Are you kidding me..? They can get away with doing that..? I haven't researched this at all, yet -- but you durn sure better believe I'll be looking into it..

Anyone else have a similar problem recently..?

Swamp

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Al ... My mechanic and good friend Don told me that he won't even service tires on a vehicle if the mfg date code is 5 years or more old. I don't have too much of a problem with that as I drive about 30K per year ... about half of that is driving back and forth to NH from AZ twice each year and the travel around New England once I get there. The only vehicle it affects is my camper. I get about maybe 2000 miles on it per year and will probably have to replace them in 2017. They were manufactured in June 2013. This year is the 3rd year I have owned the trailer ... tires were two years old when I got it from the previous owner. It seems the intensity of the AZ sun even with covers on the tires when not in use just beats them up. Your friend stating that the petro product additives in the 'rubber' make sense ... like anything including us humans ... we all need a little lubrication to keep from cracking! :brows: So bite the bullet and get some good tires on all four and ask your tire dealer to give you a used two year old tire for a spare ... don't pay heed to the miles the tire is rated for unless you drive the kind of miles I do. And when you do get the new tires don't pay the top dollar for the newest and greatest tire that the dealer wants to sell you ... base it on your miles... based on the miles you drive I would get an upper middle line tire. I will go about a year and a half between new skins and I'm not particularly hard on tires ... I try not to spin them ... I just sometimes drive them faster than speed limits especially going cross country ... so my E rated truck tires heat up a bit and don't last as long as maybe they could.

Hope this helps you a bit ... and saves you some money in the long run!

 

Mike F

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Al,

  I don't doubt one bit that the manufacturers are cutting back on additives that prolongs the tire's life.

 Also be sure to learn how to read the manufacture date codes on any "new" tires when purchasing a new tire or set, it's very common to buy a new tire/s that are actually a year or more old, many tires are stored until they can sell them and that can be a year or more sometimes, when i went to buy the last set of tires I purchased they brought the tires out of the storage room and I told the tech that I wanted to see the  date codes, he said he couldn't let me into the garage area to read them because of the business' rules, I told him to call the manager over to whom I ask the same thing but added I'm not going to buy the tires until I saw the dates code and was satisfied that the tires were of recent manufacture, he complied and let me come into the garage area to read the codes, according to the date codes all of the tires were manufactured well over 2 years prior, I told him I won't be buying the tires because of that fact, he asked before I went somewhere else if I could come back in 2 days and he would have a new set shipped in, 2 days later I returned and he had me a set that the date was 2 months prior!! 

 The manufacturers send out the oldest tires first out of their storage facilities no matter how "new" they aren't knowing that most buyers will not know that they have  already lost some of the tire's lifespan.

 Do a search for reading tire date codes to learn how to decipher the codes and don't buy a tire/s that was manufactured more than 6 months prior. 

  

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Thanks for your input, Mike.. Interesting about your mechanic not touching tires over 5 yo, but considering what I just saw on my van, on top of what happened to the E rated Michelin's on the F-250, I can't say as I blame him..

I'd bought the truck from another neighbor, about a year prior to picking up the van, with the intent of putting on a truck bed camper.. It needed tires like yesterday, so believing I was going to be hauling an in-bed camper I bought the Michelin @ $200++ each.. The truck ran like a raped ape, but my 'buddy' wasn't exactly spot on with the kind of mileage he said he was getting.. I figured I could live with 13 mpg X-country, seeing as how I'd be hauling a bedroom along.. 9 - 10 mpg..? Not so much.. Which is why I bought the van.. As it's turned out with the van, even though the previous owner had set it up for 'camping', welll, I'm still not quite sure what his idea of camping is, since the only way you can change clothes in it is while lying down, and the onboard appliances aren't propane capable.. It doesn't have any sort of raised top.. I knew going in it was going to be a tough task, just didn't foresee it being impossible.. Super low miles, super clean everything and a really right price blinded me to downsides.. Drove it to Wickenburg shortly after purchase and we ended up needing to stay at the Best Western..

But I digress.. Since the van gets over twice the mileage of the truck, the F-250 ended up doing a lot of sitting, all of it on grass / sand and most of it in dank shade -- pretty much only getting driven when something big or a lot of needed to go to / from storage.. One day about a year after parking it I'm checking tire pressures.. Get to the left front, which was always the one the most in the shade with driver's side facing north into the mostly overgrown empty lot next door, and the sidewall is totally riddled with cracks.. Large ones too, nothing subtle about them.. This is a just over 2 yo E rated Michelin sporting under 10K miles.. To say I was bummed & disappointed doesn't even begin to cover it.. I'd never seen a tire deteriorate like that, nor that rapidly.. Still haven't.. This was 4 1/2 years ago, and even though the other tires have now dry rotted as well, none of them are even close to the condition of that one.. I'm totally fascinated by the fact it's still holding air.. I keep the truck fired up & running, but needless to say it hasn't been moved in a while..

The huge drop in my yearly driving mileage is a direct result of the previous several years worth of nuts-o guzzelene prices.. We've gone from a proposed 2x/yr trips out west and 6 or more runs a summer into NC and N GA down to zero trips west and two maybeee three a summer north.. The last trip west was Mar - Apr '11, and at that time the cheapest fuel the entire way across & back was $3.99/gal for the grade the van would barely run on.. I can't even begin to understand how anything runs at all, much less well, on 86 octane.. Fuel for that trip was about $800 more than everything else combined -- somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,500.. Now, I realize I've gotten a bit older and tend to be somewhat Olde Skool, but when I think about driving to the coast I still want to think in terms of it being a hunderd dollar bill plus pocket change from Cleveland or Detroit to LA or SF, not it being two years worth of my electricity, water and land line bills added together.. Oh, wait -- at today's price for fuel it's probably only 16 or 17 months worth.. Lawd save me from exaggeration, thank ya..!

I guess what I'm trying to say is I never thought I'd see the day when tires would be shot due to dry rot before being worn out due to use.. Hopefully that trend has reversed for good this time.. I think we'll be ok, or we should be, at least as long as the Big Box stores that purchase last year's tire press mold designs from the Real Deal guys in order to mfg Name Brand knock-offs insist the Chinese rubber they purchase still contain a modicum of petrochemical, that is..

Swamp
 

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Skip,

Great advice, not just for me but for everyone..! Never even thought about that, and it's definitely something we should know when making this type of purchase -- especially these days..

I knowingly purchased a set of 'last year's' tires.. Did so for a decent discount and rebate, almost $300 less before rebate than the new design they just came out with.. But as you say, I really don't know just exactly what's meant by 'last year's'..

I'll get that info here in a bit, and if I don't like what I see they'll be going back -- as I'm not the least bit interested in going through what just transpired again..

Thanks,

Swamp

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14 hours ago, homefire said:

Mike, you need a new Mechanic.

Homie ... My mechanic has the biggest business in town and all his mechanics are either GM certified or ASE certified. I trust his judgment and advise ... so why change? He also treats Vets like me with a discount ... he is a Vet as well. Most of his mechanics are also Vets. As for not servicing tires older than 5 years old which is what I think you are calling him out on ... well the dry AZ air and the intense sun just wears the tires out. I'm in the desert a lot and not wanting a flat 10 miles from nowhere for lack of good rubber under my truck. if you are ever in Prescott Valley AZ and need a mechanic going to Sun Valley Tire and Auto is the place for high quality guaranteed work! i'm not even considering going to another shop!

Mike F

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  Age, oxidation and ozone take a toll

  I think products  designed to shine up the tire do damage.  Supposedly, they strip waxes out of the rubber that shield it from UV and oxidation.

 The one below is supposed to protect.

http://www.goldeagle.com/product/303-automotive-protectant  ( rates 4.5 stars on amAzon)

http://car-storage.com/article/tire-dry-rot/

Edited by weaver hillbille
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Tires are like dredge hose-they hate UV degredation and exposure adds up. I know it sounds off but your cracks are proof of the quality decline. My son hi falutn' mustang tires same same as he parks in a asphalt parking lot at work and viola them 50,000++ rated tires dying after less than 25k. RV folks have always covered the tires during storage to protect and extend life. John

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Called Michelin Thur AM and found out they do indeed warranty against dry rot in most situations.. Went to the tire dealer in the afternoon to get the tires' ID info for tread depth pro rated cost adjustments and dog gone if their holding pen doesn't have a hole in the fence where scavengers can get in n take the "good" tires.. The only one still there was the blow out..

Lesson learned by me, one I can at least apply to tires for the F-250..

What bothers me though is because of the unrepaired fence someones am soon going to have what appear to be a good tire on their ride that's gonna go pop soon.. Not a cool move at all by store management, who if you asked them probably would tell you they bear no responsibility should anyone be injured in the future due to those tires ending up back on the road even though the reason they're there is their fault..

Swamp

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ON our RVs we figure 5yrs and time to replace after that they start cracking. The interesting part is that my motorcycle sits wherever we park and its an "09" and the tires are just fine, which means they still build them good cuz a cycle crash due to a blown tire would probably end up in lawsuit from a rider getting hurt where as on a vehicle you just call AAA and dig out your wallet !

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