Should Original Tires be replaced after 5 years even though tread is still good (7/32)?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Warren, May 31, 2005.

  1. Warren

    Warren Guest

    My 2000 Outback still has very good tread on the original Firestone
    Wilderness tires, with some outerside tire wear, but is coming up to 6
    years of use (42,000 miles). I had 7/32 tread last year at inspection
    and the same this year.

    The service advisor recommended that I get new tires before winter
    because the outer edges show some extra wear compared to the center
    tread on the tires. I am retired so I do not drive much in snow
    unless I am caught in a storm or need to go out to get groceries.

    The only concern that I have is the age of the tires, otherwise I
    would wait at least another year to get new tires.

    What is the group consensus on using tires that are over 5 years old?
    Anyone have any thoughts or experience with older tires on their

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    Warren Jr.
    Warren, May 31, 2005
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  2. I cannot answer specific question but as a retired chemist, it is a very
    important one.
    Antioxidants are added to rubber to retard degradation and when they are
    consumned oxidation and subsequent degradation (dry rot) can be very rapid.
    Few years ago, I replaced a set of tires on a bike in the garage with cheap
    Sears Japanese tires.
    The bike sat for one year completely unused and tires dry rotted. I
    strongly suspect that rubber life varies from company to company.
    Temperature is also important so tires in cold climates should last longer.
    Frank Logullo, May 31, 2005
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  3. Hi,

    Anything I can offer is anecdotal, since I can't remember the last time
    I had a set of tires last five years, due to the mileage I put on. Two
    years is good for me, one year not unheard of.

    Anyway, I guess my "story" started w/ a client who'd blown a tire on his
    motorhome out in Nowhere, Kansas. Nearly crashed the thing, but being a
    retired truck driver, he had some skills handling a large vehicle and
    managed to get it to the (wrong) side of the road with no greater damage
    than some fiberglass that didn't survive the impact of a chunk of tread.
    When he had the vehicle towed in to a shop, the fellow taking care of
    things asked how old the tires were, and said the State of Kansas
    requires new tires every five years because of the problems w/ tread
    separations. I didn't get it clearly if this was just RVs, or it
    included cars. I filed that part of the story under "you were lucky!"

    Sometime after hearing this story, I saw a story on the news about this
    "replace every five years" thing. They said even a spare that's never
    been on the road could fail when pressed into service. I filed that part
    of the story under "we all know how accurate the news can be!"

    A month or so after seeing that story, my g/f took off to visit her son
    in Phoenix. We both live in SoCal, about a half hour from Palm Springs,
    so it's "warm to hot" quite often. Her car lives "outside" in a car
    port, and she hardly drives it (<25k miles in just a few months short of
    five years.) She asked about her tires before she left--I took a look
    and they seemed ok, about half worn, a little weather checking, but not
    apparently serious. She took off w/ the car fully loaded (two other
    people and all the junk they could stuff in there) and made it about an
    hour before hearing a "thump-thump." She pulled over in a rest area to
    see a BIG part of her tread had separated from the casing. Fortunately,
    there was no crash or damage to the car. I filed this one under "maybe
    there IS something to this!"

    Further "research" indicates some of the manufacturers are recommending
    the five year replacement schedule for the reasons Frank posted. I don't
    know how tires hold up in colder climates, but here where it's warm, I
    think there's merit in watching time as well as miles. Frank's
    experience w/ bike tires is mirrored at my house: like many cyclists, I
    keep several spare tires "in stock." Stored in the house, they last
    several years, but once they're installed on bikes in the garage they'll
    go from less than a year to maybe two years before they're all dried
    out, so there's no reason to think car tires are immune to the elements.

    Rick Courtright, May 31, 2005
  4. Warren

    Cam Penner Guest

    Motorcycle tires lose traction rapidly as they age too.
    They look fine, but they get harder and really really
    slippery. By the time they start to crack and visibly dry
    rot, their performance is extremely poor.

    I've never thought about it with cars though.
    Cam Penner, May 31, 2005
  5. Warren

    lkreh Guest

    I think Ford just made a 6-year replacement advisory based on research
    in connection with the Explorer rollover lawsuits. I wouldn't say
    7/32" is 'very good tread,' but if you don't drive often, I'd feel
    comfortable using the tires until they were six years old.

    lkreh, May 31, 2005
  6. Hi,

    Most of the car tires I've bought over the last however many years had
    either 10/32" or 11/32" when new, and the tread wear bars are generally
    2/32" (or 1/16"), so it appears our OP's still got well over half the
    usable tread remaining. I wouldn't think tread wear would be the major
    worry here.

    Rick Courtright, May 31, 2005
  7. Hi,

    Bicycle tires do the same. Don't ask me (OUCH!) how I know... but since
    car tires are made of the same stuff for all practical purposes, I'd
    think the problem would be seen there, too. Ever look at how hard and
    shiny a bald tire is that's been sitting out in the sun for a long time?
    That's an extreme, of course, for purposes of our conversation here, but
    might give some insight.

    Rick Courtright, May 31, 2005
  8. Reminds me, I've seen this on boots too. Had to throw out 2 pair of hunting
    boots last year.
    One had rubber bottom that became so hard and slippery that I was afraid to
    Other was pair of Rocky Goretex boots with molded rubber heel/sole that just
    crumbled away.
    Frank Logullo, May 31, 2005
  9. Warren

    Guy Macon Guest

    Hmmm. I have a spare tire that was made in 1985.

    And it has spent all that time in the engine compartment.
    Guy Macon, May 31, 2005
  10. Warren

    Warren Guest

    Thanks everyone for your input. I bought the Outback at the end of
    July in 1999 when the 2000 models were just coming out to the dealers,
    so the tires will be (or maybe are already) six years old right now!

    I was looking at the Goodyear TripleTread tire as a replacement for
    the originals and they have a $40 rebate (for a set of 4) now until
    the end of the week. Maybe I should spring for them and save a few
    bucks. I looked at all of the owner comments on various tires at and the TripleTreads are very highly rated although they
    carry a lesser speed rating than the "H" Firestones that are on the
    OBW now. I understand that you can go with a slighyly lower rating as
    long as all 4 tires are the same, so I should be OK with using those.

    Thanks again for all of the comments and experiences, just what I was
    looking to get from the group.

    Warren Jr.
    Warren, Jun 1, 2005
  11. Warren

    Dom Guest

    I have the TTs on my Forester and they have been excellent. :)
    Dom, Jun 1, 2005
  12. Warren

    lkreh Guest

    I have GY Regatta II's on my OBW and am very happy. TripleTreads are
    better, but if you want to save a few bucks, go with the Regatta II.
    lkreh, Jun 1, 2005
  13. Warren

    Warren Guest

    I ordered Goodyear TripleTreads today for my Outback and am having
    them installed tomorrow afternoon.

    I got a quoted price of $116.99/each - includes mounting,
    installation, balancing, new rubber stems, old tire disposal fee and
    state tax. There is also a $40 mail-in rebate still in effect, so
    that will lower my final cost (in about two months) by $10.00 per tire
    to $106.99/per tire. I think that is a very good deal!

    I will give the group my impression of them after I have a few hundred
    miles on them.

    Warren Jr.
    Warren, Jun 1, 2005
  14. Warren

    Peter Black Guest

    I had Goodyear TripleThreads installed today at Sam's Club..all tallied it
    came to $104.88 per tire..for the full package including 7 years of free
    repairs (if needed) and rotation every 7000 miles....on my LONG ride home, I
    noticed that the car hugs the road better, but the tire noise on the highway
    is the same as the stock tires I had for 3 years..I had this set installed
    on my H6 VDC Outback Sedan and next month my wife will get them on her
    Forester...from what I've read, these tires really are great in snow...time
    will tell
    Peter Black, Jun 5, 2005
  15. Warren

    Warren Guest

    Got the TripleTreads on Thursday. Quote was for everything EXCEPT the
    state tax, so I paid about $24 more than expected, still a great deal!

    The Outback rolls easier (coasting without feeding gas) and has a more
    positive feel to the steering than witrh the old (Firestone Wilderness
    OEM) tires.

    I drove a little in the rain, but only showers - so couldn't tell much
    from that.

    I will post an update after more usage, so far they are great!

    Warren Jr.
    Warren, Jun 5, 2005
  16. Warren

    Warren Guest

    I have a little under 1,000 miles on my new TripleTreads (on my
    Outback SW) and love them!

    I went camping (Pa Grand Canyon) last week and they were great,
    especially on some back roads where our (Mapquest) directions sent us.
    Because of these "side" excursions, I got to see a fox crossing the
    road on one of the back roads!

    I am very happy with them on my 2000 Outback and they will probably
    last the life of the car, especially since I only have 43,000 miles
    on it in six years!

    My original (Firestone Wilderness) tires were 6 yrs old, and in some
    states (not mine), tires that old must be replaced, so I can drive
    anywhere now in the U.S. without a problem.

    BTW, I sat in a new Tribeca, at my dealer today - it seems like a boat
    compared to my outback - BIG! It had a combination CD/mp3 player in
    the console.

    The $36,000 sticker price on the Tribeca scared me away! I can get a
    portable CD/mp3 player for under $100 - much better deal for me.
    I love to listen to audiobooks and Old Time Radio programs on mp3

    Warren Jr.
    Warren, Jun 29, 2005
  17. Warren

    Kurt C. Hack Guest

    Thanks for the update, Warren. I will be looking pretty soon, as I am
    at 55k on my original Potenzas.

    Kurt C. Hack, Jul 5, 2005
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