I must have missed this article back in September. Worth a read:
Sure, Matt is speculating on the cause of the crash as many others have done. However he’s making an excellent point regarding tire age, sharing his experience back in 2012 at a track day. On a daily car tires will usually wear out before they “age out”, but on a pleasure use vehicle that sits for a long time the opposite can happen. Go to a cruise night sometime and take a look at the date codes on some of the muscle cars. I’ll bet than many of them are due for replacement even though they look to be in great condition.
I’ve had some experiences similar to Matt’s myself:
Back in the mid-late 00's I had just finished doing a top end upgrade and I wanted to put the car through its paces to make sure the tune was in line. The back end of the car was all over the place and I kept blowing off the tires. The upgrade was not very aggressive so something seemed strange. I got the car in the air to inspect the rear suspension/adjust the shocks and while I was under there I checked the treadwear on the tires. Wasn’t too high, but I did notice the tires were dated from 1994, even though they looked to be in perfect shape. Got a new set on there (with no other changes) and the car was much more manageable.
Fast forward a few years later. Another project car, this one is getting a line lock. Plumbing done, wiring done, out to the pad to test. All goes well, but there’s a big pile of rubber on the ground from a relatively short burnout. Check the date code right away this time, and it turns out these tires are over 10 years old. Sigh, go to Tire Rack, break out the credit card, another new set. Again there was a noticeable increase in grip.
So suffice to say I’ve learned my lesson and I check codes on any used set of wheels/tires or car I buy now. I got off easy- I did not end up in a ditch, wrapped around a telephone pole, or worse.
How about you all? Any experiences? Did you check the codes on your part-time ride?