6 car things that have an “expiry date” you may not know about

There are bunch of car things that have an expiry date, and these are things you may not even know about. Knowing about these car things and their expiry dates is vital. It could even save your life.

Tyres

Car Tyre

You may have not used your car for five full years and the tyres may look brand new, but are they road worthy? Well, if they’re older than 6 years, it’s best that you dump the tyres and buy new ones, irrespective of the tyres’ condition. Rubber degrades with time, and this is particularly applicable to tyres, which have next to no weather protection. Running tyres that are past their expiry date is dangerous, and could result in a tyre burst. You know what can happen when a tyre bursts, don’t you.

First two digits indicate week of manufacture, and last two digits indicate year of manufacture.
First two digits indicate week of manufacture, and last two digits indicate year of manufacture.

Meanwhile, even when you’re buying new tyres, make sure that you check the manufacturing month of the tyres. Buying the freshest available set of tyres is important, for the manufacturer’s warranty against defects and workmanship of the tyre runs only for 5 years, in most cases.

Engine oil and transmission oil

Engine Oil

Your car may be sitting in the garage for a full year but this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to change the engine oil. If the automaker recommends an oil change at 10,000 Kms/1 year, it means that the oil needs to be changed after running the car for 10,000 Kms OR when it gets a year old.

Oil has chemicals that degrade with time, and this causes the oil to breakdown and lose its lubricating and heat exchanging properties. So, old engine oil is like used engine oil, even if never used. Likewise, while buying engine oil from a store, make sure that you check the expiry date. A similar approach holds good even for transmission and differential oil.

Airbags

Airbags

Airbags have explosives embedded, and it’s these explosives that cause the airbag to deploy in case of a collision. Now, these explosives, like most chemicals, have a fixed life, and an expiry date. And when they expire, they lose their explosive properties.

It’s recommended that airbags be replaced once in every 10-12 years. While this may not be applicable to most car owners who sell their rides much before 10 years, it’s still something you need to know in case you’re driving an old, airbags equipped car.

Child seats

Child Seats

Child seats also have a limited service life. 10 years from the date of manufacture is for long you can use child seats safely. While your child would’ve obviously grown up by then, using this seat for multiple kids is not a good idea if/when it’s older than 10 years.

Lifetime tax

Road Tax

Lifetime tax does NOT mean road tax for the lifetime of a vehicle. It’s a misleading term. Road tax also has an expiry date, which is 15 years from the date of registration. 15 years is what the Indian government considers as the working life of an average car.

If your vehicle is older than 15 years, you need to re-register it by paying the lifetime road tax again, and then get a fitness certificate. In Delhi though, things operate differently as diesel cars over 10 years of age, and petrol cars over 15 years of age, are banned.

Wipers

Wipers

Like tyres,wipers are made of rubber, and rubber degrades over time. Even if you use the wiper rarely, it MUST be replaced once in every three years. In other words, wipers expire 3 years from the date of manufacture. While buying new wipers, it’s advisable to buy the freshest ones as this expiry date is applicable even to wipers sitting on shop shelves.