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Older tires with little use

My 87 year old dad has 10 year old tires on his car and only 38000 miles on them.

He has nitrogen installed in the tires.

would this car be safe to drive on a long trip (350 miles)

Personally, I would not drive locally with 10 year old tires. To go on an extended drive–especially with highway driving involved–is not a good idea with those old tires.

And, if you are in a part of the country where temperatures are very low currently, it is a particularly bad idea. Part of the aging process with tires is hardening of the rubber compound. Hard rubber compound=poor traction.

Dad could wind up in a really dangerous position in terms of traction on winter surfaces, over and above the possibility of the tires being structurally weaker as a result of the aging process.

If the tires look OK, I would drive it without a second thought…

“only” and “38,000 miles” don’t go together. They may have some tread, but rubber hardens over time, they may be poor in rain. Nitrogen makes no difference, tires age from the outside in, not the inside out. I would keep 6 or 7 year-old tire, but 10 years is too old for me.

In Texas, the powerful sunshine beats up on tires. Way up north, not so much; much less so in winter. I recently made a 1200 round trip; much of which was 70 mph speed limit freeway driving with two 12 year old tires on the car; no problem. I’d say too that they were original equipment Goodyear tires with 126,000 miles but I’m not sure anybody would believe that. It’s really true.

Who could say that the tire brand on your dad’s car is similarly resistant to time and mileage?

I agree; have never read anything substantial about nitrogen extending tire life.