Tire shelf life

Do tires currently being manufactured have only a 4 year life?
Is it possible to repair tires that show signs of dry rot?

If your tire or tires have ( dry rot ) then they do need to be replaced , period.
As for time it could be longer then 4 years , depending on your climate and the tires their selves .

No and no. Service life is more like ten years depending on exposure to the sun etc. Once tires dry rot, they must be replaced.

It appears we actually have 3 questions:

What is a tire’s shelf life? - Tire manufacturers have been using up to 6 years shelf life when properly stored.

What is a tire’s life - meaning the time before tires have to be removed before they are too old? Depends on where you live and how hot it is. Tires in Phoenix only last 6 years, while tires in Minneapolis last 10 years - and places in between are …… ah …… in between.

And lastly: Can you repair tires that have dry rotted? First, some cracking is to be expected, and it is a matter of degree as to when to remove them due to cracking. You need to have an expert look at them - and the guys at a tire shop usually have a vested interest in selling you tires, so you can’t trust their answer.

Try posting a few photos on the internet. Not everyone with an opinion is an expert - and you will get a variety of opinions - but some of us are experts.

And - No! You have to replace tires with excessive cracking.


I’ll add a fourth question.

Do any of the tire dressings help against dry rot? Not for my car, but my lawnmower!

While I haven’t actually done the research, I am of the opinion that most tire dressings are harmful as they remove the non-shiny wax coating that serves as a barrier to oxygen degradation.

But there are some that have Antioxidants in them that might actually help in preservation.

And a word of warning: Do not use anything with silicone in it near tires. Every rim slippage problem I investigated eventually lead to the use of silicone somewhere in the mix.

@CapriRacer is our resident tire expert so I defer to him. As far as lawn mower tires go, I did replace the tires on my old mower but it was a mistake. By the time the tires are shot, so is the mower and time to replace the whole thing. I have had a couple punctures that needed repair though. If you really gotta make those mower tires last, see youtube on filling them with foam. Not something I’d do though.

Dry rot means they’re done for.

I have seen antique motorcycle tires that were 40 years old that were as new and put into service with never an issue. These tires were stored in a dark warehouse, covered in talcum powder, and then paper wrapped.
Those tires are rare and expensive to find so use them when you can.

The make of tire can also determine when dry rot sets in. It’s brutally hot here in OK and I’ve seen some tires that were only a few years old suffering from dry rot. Those were generally on the side facing the sun.

I bought a new mower at a very good price but will keep the old one, sans mower deck, because the B & S motor just will not die! It has a ball hitch on it to move my boat and my utility trailers around. Considered the expanding foam method but decided to go with new tires.