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Rubber Life - How Long?


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Does anyone know at what age rubber belts become too old to use?

Whilst I was making room for even more things to add to Focus (when I get the time to put them on), in my spare part cupboard.  I came across a couple of Unipart timing belt kits for previous cars. 

The obvious thing would be to stick them on eBay, but they are quite old.  Rubber of course degrades.  It's hard to discern from the box or the belt, when they might have been made; but I did look up in my accounts when I actually bought them - 2004 and 2005.  Assuming they were made close to when I bought them: they older than the cambelt service interval on most cars!

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That's a hard one.  Even if it has degraded slightly, not having been under tension could mean they are still fine - but I don't know if it is a risk I'd take with my car when a brand new one is rather inexpensive as it is.

Maybe put them on eBay for bidding and clearly state the age?  I'm sure somebody will buy them.  Or, if you'd rather have a clear conscience the best idea would be just to bin them.

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My spare part cupboard is in the house.  Thus preventing corrosion forming on the steel parts.

I've now filled a quite a large box of old new parts, some of which I'm not even sure which car they belong too! 

A search on one fuel Delphi filter reveal all manner of Fiats! yet not the Spider. That must have come a job lot I once bought from factors clearance sale.  Apart from the Spider, my car life has been Fiat-less.

Having thought about it, I think people like us (car enthusiasts who do their own maintenance) would prefer to buy a new cambelt than chance an old new one.  An eBay search, on the part numbers, for sales "sold in the last month", reveal two were sold for 99p and one was managed to get to £1.76.  All from traders. All had free postage! 

I think the bin, is the better option.  I'd be out of pocket if I did free postage for 99p!  Unless I can turn them into binders in the garden for wobbly trees



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1 hour ago, SeanW said:

Not sure...but I do know that some rubber marine engine components have a service life of 5 years and a shelf life of 10

Personally, I'd rather not take the risk

That's interesting to know:smile:

Tyres of course, have a recommended life of 10 years from manufacturing, and they're composed of rubber compound and braiding, like belts


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18 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

Tyres don't last that long unless that's shelf life?  They deteriorate quite quickly if left in sun unfortunately.  For those that don't know, all tyres are date stamped. :)

That's shelf life, and assuming they're stored correctly too

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