Posted by Jeff Sheridan
A recent letter from Her Majesty�s Coroner for the County of Greater Manchester, addressed to FBHVC ( Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs ), reported on a fatal accident in June 2006 and drew attention to the danger of using old tyres.
The engineering driver/owner of a well maintained MGB was killed when his car spun, clipped a kerb and overturned on the M56. The subsequent enquiry found that the skid was caused by sudden failure of the nearside rear cover, one of a set of �as new� wheels and tyres bought from an autojumble the previous year and which the owner kept for shows. The tyre, although virtually unused was found to be more than 25 years old.
Many of you already know that tyres need to be stored carefully to avoid flat spots etc. but perhaps not as many realise that tyres not used regularly and maybe stored in less than ideal conditions lose their flexibility. This could be especially true if your classic is stored in the open in Spain. When they are used they can overheat and there is a high risk that the structure will break down and result in a potentially catastrophic failure.
Naturally the BRMA ( British Rubber Manufacturers� Association) have suggested that if a tyre is six years old and unused it should not be used again on a car for road use. In ideal conditions they suggest a tyre life is about 10 years.
So the warning is clear. If you are not keeping your tyres supple by regular use beware. If you have a vehicle undergoing a major restoration which has not been on the road for several years it might be better ( although more expensive) to treat yourself to a new set of covers. Better safe than sorry..
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