Rubber stamp: what the new tire labels mean for your engine Car News

The lockdown was too short to cause an outbreak of perished rubber, but Smeeth believes that could become a problem in the future as people drive less. The weight of a car left standing for long periods of time can cause punctures, while ultraviolet light can dry out and weaken rubber, causing cracks to appear. Incidentally, tire black can have the same effect if used repeatedly.

Smeeth reminds me that each tire has a code called DOT (for Department of Transportation) which, among other things, identifies the location of the tire and, above all, the date of manufacture by week and year. An example date would be 2310, which means the tire was manufactured in the 23rd week of 2010. A three-digit date code means the tire was manufactured before 2000. The industry recommends that although it’s still legal, a tire should be replaced when it’s between seven and 10 years old – something to remember if you’re buying a 30-year-old modern classic.

Remarkably, Smeeth tells me that car tires are still considered new even when they are five years old. This is why Protyre and others sell them until that age but not beyond (beware: beware of less scrupulous fitters who might buy these older tires). This means that the tire you fitted three years ago could actually be eight years old now.

Fortunately, as I find out while exploring the upstairs reserve, many new Protyre Portsmouth tires have only recently been produced.

“The Brexit-related import issues we encountered a few months ago are largely resolved now,” says Ansell, pointing to a new tire made just a week ago in Turkey. Looking around, I notice a tire with blocks of foam stuck at intervals on its inside face. It is a Pirelli PNCS, specified for a Land Rover. The letters stand for Noise-Canceling System, and Pirelli claims that the foam contributes to a 3dB noise reduction inside the car. Continental offers a similar solution, which it calls Conti Silent, although it claims more daring noise reduction of up to 9dB.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-27 05:01:23

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