You may have only heard of expiration in food, but some stuff in your car can expire as well, and when they do, they greatly affect your safety.
It is not difficult to tell when foods like flour or vegetables go bad, because they usually have an expiration date. Even when they do not have an expiration date, they give off funky smells that tell you to get rid of them as soon as possible. However, things like airbags or wipers often do not come with an expiration date, but their effectiveness does go down with time and use. And some stuff in cars can actually put you in danger if you do not replace them before they pass their usefulness date.
Tyres play an important part in your driving experience and your safety. In most cases, it is not possible to predict the longevity of a car tyre as it depends on a mix of elements such as the design of the tyre, the conditions of the roads, the driver’s habits, the weather, and the care that the owner puts into the tyres. Though there is no definite method to say for sure when your tyre should be replaced, a rule of thumb is that you should change your tyres when it is 5 years old counting from the manufacturing date, no matter how brand spanking new they look. You can check the manufacturing date on the sidewall of the tyre. There is a four-digit number on every car tyre that tells when the tyre was produced and it is called the manufacturing date code. The first two digits tell the manufacturing week and the last two digits the manufacturing year. For example, if your car tyre has the code “5115”, it means it was made in the 51st week of 2015, which is around the end of December 2015.
Driving on tyres that pass their expiration date may save you some cash but undoubtedly puts you, other passengers in the car, and other vehicles on the street at tremendous risk of serious accident. So, check your car tyres right now to see when they were manufactured and make plans to replace them accordingly.
The four-digit manufacture date code on the sidewall of a tyre can tell you when it was made
2. Car seats
Believe it or not, car seats are one of the factors that keep you safe during your ride, if, that is, your car seats have not expired. Most manufacturers do put the manufacturing date and expiration date on the bottom or the side of a car seat. Most car seats can be used for 6 to 10 years from the manufacturing date, depending on the model, but damages or accidents can considerably reduce the longevity of a car seat.
For those who ask “Why do I need to care whether my car seats expire or not? I can sit on them to drive my car just fine.”, here is the answer: The seats are made of plastic, some metal bits, and foam with fabric or leather covering the seating area. These materials disintegrate through wear and tear, time, and change in temperature, which eventually makes the car seats become brittle and unsafe. In this case, the seats do not have the capacity to protect the people sitting on it during collision.
These things are also applicable to child car seats. If you plan to have one child seat as a hand-me-down item for multiple kids in your family, remember to change it when it reaches the expiration date to keep your children safe, healthy, and happy.
A car seat can last for 6 - 10 years after the manufacturing date
Airbags are one of those things that you know are very important but rarely see their appearance (actually, you would not want to see them pop out). They lie hidden in their compartments until they break out of the shells, protect your life, fulfil its destiny, and leave. That is the “ideal” life cycle of an airbag, but many remain concealed from sunlight until the day it is thrown away. You may wonder why an airbag needs to be replaced if it is never used, but here is the problem: the airbag itself is pretty durable and can stand the test of time; however, to be able to deploy in time of accident, airbag has attached explosives that are basically chemicals. And now I bet you know where the expiration thing comes in; most chemicals have an expiration date just like your medicines. So to ensure that the airbags in your car are able to perform their duty in collision, protecting you and your family, you need to replace the airbags. It is recommended that you replace the airbags every 10 years. While this is not something that you are likely to be concerned over if you are driving a new car, in case you drive a used car, you would want to check out the airbags.
Airbags expire because of the explosives that enable them to deploy in case of an accident