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Are 5 yr old tires safe?

My 2005 Odyssey with 55,000 miles still has its original Michelin tires. My mechanic says they don't need to be replaced yet because they have at least 5,000 miles wear left on them. Should 5 year old tires be replaced even if they appear to be in good condition? Am I flirting with a blowout?


  • edited April 2011
    Probably not, unless they sit out in direct sunlight most of the time. Inspect them for signs of dry rot. If you don't find any, you're most likely good to go.
  • edited April 2011
    Answer to both your questions: Most likely.

    There's no real way to determine if 5 year old tires will fail before they reach the end of their usable tread life. There are many factors to consider, including temperatures, moisture and how hard you drive it. We cannot guess as to how long the internal making of the tires will last. I've had brand new tires slip belts, and old tires work just fine. It's a coin toss, really.

    If they appear to be in really good condition, and you still feel safe on them, and you have a current AAA membership (just in case), then consider keeping them.

    Having said all that, is 5000 miles worth the cost to your conscience? Replacing them now will ease your mind, and you most likely still have time to save some money and buy them in a few weeks.

    Was your mechanic willing to put that statement of his in writing? If so, he's guaranteeing you they're OK...but I doubt he did.

    Good luck!
  • edited April 2011
    First, figure out how old your tires are. If it's a 2005 Odyssey, they're at least 6 years old, could be older. Google 'tire age decoder', and decode their seriel numbers. Let us know what you find.
  • edited April 2011
    55K miles on OEM tires isn't bad - so you did get your money's worth. Another 5K worth it? Maybe take it through the summer, and put some good-tread tires on in fall for the winter.
  • edited April 2011
    I've had Michelin tires on both our cars for the last 15 years. They normally last about 65,000 miles or so before the treads wears down. I have had only one (1) puncture, which did not result in a blowout, in all these yaers.

    In all cases, when replacing the tires, there were NO CRACKS and the tires were pronounced SAFE by the vendor, usually a reputable firm. You are needlessly scaring the OP. If he had $40 tires from an unknown Chinese manufacturer I would agree with you.

    In this case the mechanic is right and I would comfortable drive another 5000+ miles on these tires, provided there was no mechanical damage for sharp objects.
  • edited April 2011

    Tire tread wear is not like an on/off switch, with things being totally safe one minute and totally unsafe the next. Instead, as the tread wears, you will be progressively subjected to more and more problems like hydroplaning while driving in the rain and less "grip" of the road on curves.

    As was already stated, the economic difference between replacing your tires now, vs replacing them in 5k miles is negligible--unless you wind up in an accident because of the inferior traction of those badly-worn tires. In the event of an accident due to diminished traction, you will wish that you had not been such a penny-pincher.

    Personally, I tend to replace my tires well before the wear bars appear on the tread.
    I would much rather increase my margin of safety, as opposed to supposedly saving money by deferring tire purchase for a few months.
  • edited April 2011
    You didn't tell us how much tread is left, which is one important factor.

    As for the age, your tires were most likely manufactured in 2004, which makes them seven years old, not five. There's a code on them that will tell you for sure. Tire Rack's web site has one or two articles about replacing tires due to age, so you should look for those.
  • edited April 2011
    If they do okay in wet weather purchase a new set just before next winter if it snows or gets icy in your parts.

  • edited April 2011
    If the tires are still on the car when 10 years old, then it might be time to replace them. You have another 5 years.
  • edited April 2011
    Five year old tires better be OK ... mine are 10 years old.
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