Aging/aged tires

Car is a 2001 Corvette. 35,000 actual miles. Car has been garaged and covered except when on the road, lessening exposure to UV and IR rays of the sun. Front tires were manufactured in June 2000. Rear tires were manufactured in August 2006. Tires have no cracks in sidewalls and much tread left. Question: Is it safe to take a road trip with this age tires where speeds will reach 70mph?

I think ten years is about the limit. You’re going to have to replace them sometime anyway and they probably will never be worn out unless you drive it quite a bit. I guess I’d be changing them out.

There are no guarantees, Sure you can take it somewhere and have them checked, but age is a factor, and $500 for a new set of front tires would be a wise investment to me.

Not a chance. I might drive it around the block or a short distance in the neighborhood but that’s it. Cruising at 70mph on 13 year old tires on the front…no way.

2001 Vett w/only 35K? I’d have a tough time myself leaving it in the garage, especially on nice summer days made for informal out-and-abouts. You must have an iron will! … lol …

Seriously, I’ve heard say (from a BMW repair shop owner no less) that 5 years is about the age limit for tires, especially for the performance tires his BMW owning clients use. So no, I don’t think it is safe to drive your Vett at high speeds with your 10 year old tires.

Do a search for “tire age” on this site. And then pay close attention to the replies from CapriRacer - our resident tire industry contributor.

One reply of his I remember most is at:

I would be a bit antsy over tires that old on an extended road trip with sustained high speeds so my vote would be to replace them.

Many years ago I owned and wrecked a Corvette. The collision effect on fiberglass is pretty catastrophic and it would be a shame to subject a low miles, garaged Corvette to the risk…

I wouldn’t drive over 20 on those tires, esp the front. Replace them.

What happened to the rear tires that they need replaced sooner :wink: A little wheelspin?

Also even if the old ones don’t blow the rubber has hardened over the years. Why have a sports car with slippery tires?

I guess I am the only one that would drive them the wat they are. As long as the sidewalls are not cracked I don’t see much danger. You are going to be the one in the seat, you decide.

My experience with old but good looking tires is that thy are hard as rocks and will skid under almost any stress or in the rain. Even morning dew on the white lines will be enough to get them sliding. I buy old neglected motor scooters and return them to life, and often test drive on old tires. Watch out! I’ve had them slide on gentle braking. I agree with @Bing. You are going to replace them anyway; do it now.

Fast and powerful car + marginal tires = risky combination

There is no clear answer to your question. If the car was used in a cool northern climate and stored out of the sunshine, the tires might be good. If the car was and is located in a hot southern location, it would be right to get new tires. What you need is more information that is not available regarding mechanical and heat aging of tire materials and the mutual adhesion of these materials. Lacking that, the safe answer is around 10 years. I recently traded a northern car that had three 12 year old tires that came on the car and seemingly were ok. The 4th tire was lost to a puncture too close to the sidewall. We ran the original tires that came on our new motorhome back in 1986 to 12 years of age with no problem.

I agree with most posters here. If it rains on your trip, you will be very lucky if you don’t wreck the car. Tires continue to cure from the moment they leave the molds until they are shredded into playground crumbles. This means that they get harder as they get older. Harder tires will not grip the road as well as when they are soft (new). The fronts are probably harder than the road by now and the rears are close behind. Neither will grip the road well when wet, tread or not. These 4 lumps of string and rubber are the only things between you and death. They’ll cost more than $500 to replace (it is a 'Vette after all) but your coffin will cost more.

I can’t be any more serious about this. Replace them, ALL of them. Tires are the single most important component on your car.

And the OP will get the benefit of 10+ years of tire tech development. I’d take this opportunity to get just the right tire for my combination of driving needs and budget. Hello, along with all the tire discussions on various 'Vette forums…

A guy that worked for me had a Vette and he claimed he paid $1500 just for the rear tires, but what the hey, its a Vette and supposed to go fast and squeel tires.

Tire rack list a set of 4 tires for an '01 Vette anywhere from $404 (honest!) to $1448. 13 of the sets were under $1000. 20 different ones to choose from.

I might keep th rear (2006) tires, but I’d definitely replace the front tires. The risk if one should fail is high, and tires are really a pretty cheap way of substantially reducing risk. Actual shelf life has been a long-debated subject, but to me 10 years is about max.

I was going to chime in here about old tires, but then I got to the part about ‘‘garaged’’.
My79 Chevy has merely 71,000 grand total miles , so I know that part of the scenario. It is on its third set of tires. But it has not been garaged…ever.
Once upon a time I heard a bang from the back yard parking area where the three trucks live. I was thinking someone threw a brick on one of the trucks. When I went to investigate , there was a flat on the 79…just sitting there.
After that I bought RV tire covers for the 79.

Here in the tire inventory , you can clearly FEEL the difference in the rubber of new tires -vs- old.
Old rubber just does not have its ‘‘flex-appeal’’ anymore.
Your 13 year old tires would be a real crap shoot.
I would replace them.