Quiz: Should auto tires have a sell-by date?

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

True or False? Car part longevity is a new idea.

Car part longevity isn't a new idea; in fact, car manufacturers affix warranties on new cars and trucks that tell you how long certain parts are guaranteed for, but one important part of your car often goes unnoticed when it comes to auto part longevity: the tires.

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True or False? Tires can go bad before their tread wears down.

We all know that tires have to be replaced after the tread wears down, but some reports show that tires can actually go bad long before this happens.

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True or False? Some safety advocates want to pass an expiration date of two years onto each tire, regardless of how much tread is left on them.

Some safety advocates want to add an expiration date of six years onto each tire, regardless of how much tread is left on them. The reason for setting up this six-year standard is that some research has shown that after that amount of time passes, tire failures dramatically increase.

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True or False? You can tell how old a tire is by looking on the tire's sidewall.

You can tell how old a tire is by looking on the tire's sidewall.

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True or False? If there are four numbers after the DOT letters on your tires, they were made before the year 2000.

When looking at the Department of Transportation (DOT) letters on your tire(s), you'll see another list of numbers. If the tire was made before the year 2000, you'll see three numbers after the DOT letters; the last number indicates the year the tire was made. On newer tires, those manufactured in 2000 or later, you'll see four numbers. The first two numbers indicate the week it was built and the last two digits specify the year the tire was made.

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True or False? A tire is composed of many individual parts that are bonded together through a high-heat-curing process called vulcanization.

A tire is comprised of many individual parts that are bonded together through a high-heat-curing process called vulcanization.

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True or False? The process of heat and oxygen affecting a tire's material properties is called thermo-oxidative aging.

The process of heat and oxygen affecting a tire's material properties is called thermo-oxidative aging.

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Which of the following statements is true?

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a tire ages when there is a "loss in a tire's material properties, which over time leads to a reduction or performance capabilities" [source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration].

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True or False? A tire's longevity is solely affected by oxidation.

A tire's longevity is affected by more factors than just the oxidation issue we talked about on the last page. Other factors that cause tires to fail can be over- or under-inflation, overloading a vehicle beyond an acceptable weight, improper maintenance, structural defects and improper installation of the tire [source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration].

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True or False? Tread separation is when the tread section of a tire peels off from the rest of the tire during use.

Tread separation is when the tread section of a tire peels off from the rest of the tire during use. Oxidation causes the steel belts in the tire to lose their adhesion to the rest of the components. The combination of these factors can then cause the entire tread to separate from the tire, potentially causing a driver to lose at least some control over the vehicle.

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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

At grocery store, we are used to seeing many products with sell-by dates or even "good before" dates. Should a similar dating process be applied to auto tires? How knowledgeable are you on this topic? Take this quiz and find out!

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