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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of our vehicles has Michelin Defender tires with close to 50K miles on them. The tires are 6 years and 3 months old. Tread is 5 - 6 32nds. Since the car will be around longer than the useful life of the current tires I figured I would just replace them now. I'm also curious if any of the photos show dry rot. Dry rot photos online typically show tires with far worse but figured I would share here for some feedback.

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That does look like the beginning of it.

As expensive as tires are, as long as you're not near the wear bars yet, and the entire profile looks goodt; with 5-6/32 nds I'd keep using them for another while. Especially if you don't drive a lot and don't need to go out in inclement weather with high frequency.

Is the vehicle parked outside and in the sun all the time?
 

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Couldn't see any obvious dry rot.

You have a green valve stem caps, which usually means you have Nitrogen gas in the tire - please don't bother putting any in your next set as it really is a waste of time, money, effort.

Many people believe some of the stories - just Google and you'll find many non-technical sites that expound the loose benefits - while most technical sites and tire manufacturers (such as Goodrich for one) don't prefer air or Nitrogen.

Here's a good read from AAA to help save you money and steer clear of the latest hype...
--->> Click It! <<---
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Couldn't see any obvious dry rot.

You have a green valve stem caps, which usually means you have Nitrogen gas in the tire - please don't bother putting any in your next set as it really is a waste of time, money, effort.

Many people believe some of the stories - just Google and you'll find many non-technical sites that expound the loose benefits - while most technical sites and tire manufacturers (such as Goodrich for one) don't prefer air or Nitrogen.

Here's a good read from AAA to help save you money and steer clear of the latest hype...
--->> Click It! <<---
We get tires from Costco and nitrogen is what they use. I'm not a stickler for the nitrogen if I need air however.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That does look like the beginning of it.

As expensive as tires are, as long as you're not near the wear bars yet, and the entire profile looks goodt; with 5-6/32 nds I'd keep using them for another while. Especially if you don't drive a lot and don't need to go out in inclement weather with high frequency.

Is the vehicle parked outside and in the sun all the time?
You've touched on some other points I didn't mention and yes, parked outside rain or shine.

1 - Daughters vehicle so a little more concerned.
2 - Drives 70 miles per day round trip for work which I would consider substantial.
3 - In NJ so weather can be an issue during winter months.

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NJ weather and road conditions ?

At 5/32 change the tires.
Maintenance Is keeping something properly and safely functioning...
NOT waiting until something breaks and creates an emergency.

A life is riding on tires AND brakes.... do not dally take care of them.

What if the vehicle was "written off" due to a tire related accident?
 

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Neal: I would say that the tires you have pictured, with all those cracks in the surface rubber, need to be replaced regardless of age or mileage or tread.

When water gets into the steel belts the latter will rust. Not long after the steel will rust through and the tire is now liable to have a blowout.
 

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Two things effect the life of a tire, wear and age.
you forgot the most important factor, UV rays

Direct sunlight deteriorates rubber, a car that is always parked in a garage, tires will last longer, than a car always parked in direct sunlight,

Tire companies don't know where people will be parking, so they just give a general estimate of 6-8 years,

If your parking in a garage all the time, your tires can, and will last longer,
 

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You've touched on some other points I didn't mention and yes, parked outside rain or shine.

1 - Daughters vehicle so a little more concerned.
2 - Drives 70 miles per day round trip for work which I would consider substantial.
3 - In NJ so weather can be an issue during winter months.

Thanks
I don't see anything that looks like dry rot or a structural issue, but based on what you've said here, I would replace them. I had a set of those that were on our minivan when we bought it. We got stuck in a couple inches of slush turning around on the test drive. I replaced them as soon as I got it home. Those tires, like many othre Michelin and Continental tires are made with 2 different rubber compounds in the tread. The outer half of the tread is a soft compound with good traction on ice and snow. The bottom half of the tread, where those are now, is a harder compound with better wear characteristics, but lousy ice & snow traction. Pretty much anytime you see tires that get good ratings for ice &snow traction and treadwear warranty over 60k, that's how they managed it. Rubber compounds soft enough to grip on ice in cold temperatures are just too soft to hold up for 80k miles in the summer heat.
 

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Neal: I would say that the tires you have pictured, with all those cracks in the surface rubber, need to be replaced regardless of age or mileage or tread.

When water gets into the steel belts the latter will rust. Not long after the steel will rust through and the tire is now liable to have a blowout.
I am not sure what dry rot is but I posted those pictures just to show what old tires look like and the kind of stuff you would look for when examining tires.
 

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Internal deterioration is not visible, and that is what the X number of years recommendations are based on. Don't dwell on how it looks. It is literally only skin deep and not the critical structures. They look at those after a tire blows and causes an accident, or not.
All that said here is my recommendation, as a former tire tech, commercial driver and mechanic.
If you have snow in winter or heavy rains, I would run those tires all the way to next fall.
There is nothing as nice as having fresh skins when the weather turns sour, and you are likely past the worst of it. The 5/32 is kinda my bare minimum these days for weather driving. I would not worry about rot or internal condition at all. The extra tread is priceless when it gets snotty.
 

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If you have snow in winter or heavy rains, I would run those tires all the way to next fall.
There is nothing as nice as having fresh skins when the weather turns sour, and you are likely past the worst of it.
That makes sense, if the worst of this winter in NJ is past. Out here in the Rockies, the worst snow and ice usually comes in March and April.
 

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I have dedicated snows that did not get put on this year, but I would be wearing them now if I lived in your area (y)
I have some slightly smaller studded tire for my 3500 SRW 4X4, on steel rims.
stock sized studded snows on alloys for my diesel Beetle.
Some 18" 3 peaks for my wife's tiguan on some stock alloys. These are all Craigslist sets I get cheap.
I like lots of good tires. Since my wife works from home and I have a company truck, and all my family moved to this side of the Cascades I did not need to put any on.
 

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At 5/32" I would not be doing any long distance high speed hot weather driving. 70 miles on the interstate in the summer, it would be time to change them Then put the old ones on CL and ask $125 for the 4 of them. I run the LXT MS Defenders on my truck. I used to drive back and forth on the interstate from Tucson to Silver City, about 4 hours @80.
Run into any wet weather at all the low tread tires would slip just a bit. Time to change them. The Defenders I buy are rated for 70K miles, @ 60K I am changing them. Hot weather and a blow out is not fun, from experience.
 
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