Kwik-Fit Service Gauges Whether it is Time to Retire the Tyres
As Kwik-Fit points out, it’s not just bald tyres that cause danger – old ones are also problematic. New research commissioned by the company found that as many as 16.7 million motorists’ tyres could be suffering from premature ageing, a condition that tends to affect tyres more than five years old.
While tyres contain anti-oxidising chemicals to slow down the rate of ageing, factors such as infrequent use and poor storage can accelerate the ageing process and render them unroadworthy. This is why tyre manufacturers recommend that tyres over five years of age should be visually inspected for signs of premature ageing. To help identify their age all tyres display a coded date of manufacture, something that – no surprises here – three-quarters of British motorists are unaware of. But even so, Kwik-Fit notes that the average punter is unlikely to be able to translate the ‘tyroglyphics’ that appear on the side of the tyre.
To help motorists understand how old their tyres are, Kwik-Fit is now offering customers the option of a free, no appointment necessary ‘tyre age’ check at any of its centres. “Low mileage, older cars tend to be most at risk from premature ageing – as their owners assume there’s no problem if they can still see plenty of tread,” commented David White, customer services director at Kwik-Fit. “Tyre ageing is often identified by small cracks appearing in the tyre sidewall. But given the dangers, we urge all motorists that think they have a tyre older than six years or more to have it checked professionally, especially if it’s fitted to a spare wheel, caravan or trailers – which see less use.”