2002 Avalon OEM tires

My 98 year old mother-in-law has just decided to stop driving and has given me her one-owner 2002 Toyota Avalon with 30,200 miles on it. The car has been well cared for and has been parked in a garage when not in use. Three of the four tires are original equipment. The tires hold pressure, ride and handle well. They have no visible signs of unusual wear, damage or deterioration. My question is, how will I know that I can no longer trust these 11year old tires for normal driving of about 7,000 miles a year?

I would not trust them at highway speeds. Get some new tires and you will feel alot safer. Check the mtc records and make sure the fluids were changed on time not miles. I got my uncles truck and the antifreeze was never changed. He never reached the proper mileage according to the book. The radiator was leaking and I replaced it and the hoses. Then the increased pressure caused the heater core to blow. I replaced it and all was fine. Make sure the Timing belt was changed.

Because the car was garaged, the tires have not had as much UV radiation on them as tires that are outdoors all the time, but they are still subject to oxidation. I think you can trust them to get you to the tire store though.

See these articles:


As long as there is no visible cracking, and since the car was parked in a garage and not exposed to sunlight, I expect they are still good to go. Do a routine visible check on them starting once a week, then once a month at least though to make sure some hidden damage such as delamination isn’t emerging.

You just got a free car. Spend a few bucks on a new set of tires.

I think you’ll find that every tire and vehicle manufacturer either says to replace your tires before the 10 year mark (or less) or they say nothing at all.

So replace them and ease your mind.

My belief (and I would like CapriRacer to correct me if I am wrong) is that by this time, the rubber compound has become hard and less pliable than it was originally. That would lead to traction problems on a rainy road. So…if my belief is correct, those tires would be unsafe even if there is no visible cracking on the side walls.

So…what say you, CapriRacer?
Is this theory correct about rubber compounds becoming hard and less pliable over time?

@VDCdriver - I agree with you, old tires harden up, lose some traction, especially in wet whether. Another good reason to replace them.

And that happens even if the tire’s out of the sun. Ozone also has damages tires.

Thank you all for responding to my question. I will buy new tires for my 2002 Avalon. The TireRack website is excellent. It led me to Michelin Primacies.

Excellent tires. A little pricey, but well worth it.

It’s not UV light that decays tires it’s ozone.



You are correct, but that is NOT the reason time limits are placed on tires. It has to do with the fatigue resistance of the internal rubber compounds - which deteriorates with age. An old tire is much more prone to failure - very dangerous.