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Tire Dry Rot or Not

1302 Views 50 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  RonArt
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.

Thanks

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a lot of people get in there car and drive, they assume it is all ok as there mechanic has told them so,
Safety is about dealing/planning for the lowest common denominator, i.e the nut behind the wheel.
That's why the auto makers and tire makers make the recommendations they do. There's also the financial incentive for the tire makers, and avoidance of liability for the auto makers (and the fact that most car makers put crappy tires on as OE).

As I said, most structural damage is visible upon close inspection, so for those of us who pay attention to our tires, going beyond 6 years isn't a significant risk. Not that my tires ever last that long before the tread is too low to suit me.
 

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To my eyes, the photos don't reveal dry rot. If the tires have spent more time exposed to the sun that not since they were installed, that would cause concern. If the tires were mine, I'd use them until they A) revealed dry rot, or b) wore out. How did I come to this opinion? I worked as a copywriter on Goodyear national advertising (newspaper/TV) from 1995 to 2002. Our ad agency team (J.Walter Thompson/Detroit) made multiple trips to Akron, OH to keep up with developments that would help us create ads that delivered tangible benefits and motivate people to shop Goodyear. So we spent a good amount of time picking the brains Goodyear engineers. And for those of you who believe advertising is dishonest, let me say that every ad I wrote had to have documented substantiation from said engineers, and go through TWO legal departments (JWT/Goodyear) before the public saw or heard a word.
 

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I was a bit sad last week when I opted to replace my deep treaded Bridgestones for new ones when upon close inspection I observed the beginnings of dry rot ... about the same stage as the ones in your photo. I carry loads and kids so I am more inclined to play it safe. The truck is parked outdoors most of the time so I'm more likely now to toss a cover on the sunny side tires when parked in the driveway now. I'll keep the old tires and apply a little dressing to perhaps prolong their remaining life and use during Winter/snow or something. Tires approx 8 yrs old and 25k miles
Tire Automotive tire Tread Synthetic rubber Wheel
Tire Automotive tire Black Tread Synthetic rubber
Tire Automotive tire Synthetic rubber Tread Black
 

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I just went through a similar exercise. Tires over 6 years old, good tread, no real sign of dry rot and then came to "and my son drives it". I replaced the tires and sleep well at night.
For me, the decision hinges not on who drives it, but whether I have the opportunity to regularly inspect the tires. So for my kids who don't live with me, I would 'encourage' them to change them at least every 6 years. For vehicles that are at my house, I'd let them go longer, and just keep an eye on them. As I said, I haven't had occasion to worry about that, since they all get enough miles to need replaced in about 4 years, anyway.
 

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I took Driver's Ed classes in Madrid, Spain in 2014. All signs, rules, and more are different in Europe (vs. USA). One of the rules is you MUST replace your tires every 5 years, and have the invoice to prove it. No guesswork required.
Smacks of BIG BROTHER, I'm guessing that they have a huge waste pile to be recycled too.

ED
 

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I took Driver's Ed classes in Madrid, Spain in 2014. All signs, rules, and more are different in Europe (vs. USA). One of the rules is you MUST replace your tires every 5 years, and have the invoice to prove it. No guesswork required.
Was that perhaps for something other than passenger vehicles? It didn’t seem logical, so I did quite a bit of searching on this subject and couldn’t find a single mention of a maximum tire age. I checked Spain and Germany, both of which have mandatory vehicle inspections every two years for passenger vehicles over 4 and 3 years old, respectively. Here’s an English language guide to the German TÜV inspection, which many of the vehicles around where I live would fail.

 

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I swap winter / Summer tires in season and inspect mine at that time.
The off-season set are stored indoors, and on rims.

It's a simple precaution taken seriously.

ED
I do the same thing with my wife’s vehicle. My son moved to BC back in 2020. He drove back for a visit in 2021 and he needed tires. He barely drives it so we just put on a set of winter tires which is a requirement in certain parts of BC.


Retired guy from Southern Manitoba, Canada.
 

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There is no mention online of Spain's 5 year tire (tyre) limit. There is mention of an 800 euro fine re: inspection violations. But, I did see the tire life question on the practice exam. Here's a link to such a test (scroll to the bottom of the webpage):
DGT Test in English Free | Spanish Driving Test in English | Official
Here's a link referencing the fine (per tyre?):
Up to €800 fine in Spain if you do not have these car parts in order
Oh, and now they are requiring that every vehicle carry a V16 beacon:
Carrying V16 Emergency Light Is Mandatory in Spain ?

BTW, Spanish police make Texas Rangers appear polite!
 
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