Sidewall damage - Safe to drive?

Hit a curb and have some sidewall damage. Does this look like something I should worry about?

How old are the tires?

Because it looks like you’ve exposed dry rot.




Yes. Don’t even think about highway speeds on that tire. Very little driving and drive slow until replaced.

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If all of your tires are the same age then you need 4 new ones now .


That is what I thought. Tires are all about 4 years old, 38,000 miles on 40,000 mile tires.

Tires shouldn’t dry rot in 4 years.

Drive to a tire shop and ask that they inspect all the tires.


I agree. It’s not the curb rash that is that bad but the crack above it indicates dry rot. Four years is premature but we don’t know where the car is located or the conditions that the tires have been exposed to.

Looks like a common curb scuff, no big deal.

Dry rot looks typical for a 4 year old Bridgestone tire, you should be able to get another year out of them. I see worse every day.

Ask a tire store if you need new tires, the answer is always yes.

Or where the tires were manufactured, or how long the tires sat on the shelf before they were mounted. :wink:


I’m not one to try and get the last drop out of something, so I’ll just try and calculate the option. Let’s say $800 for a new set of tires. You drive 10K a year and could get maybe another year out of them. So you have used up $640 worth of the tires with $160 worth for another year. So if you replace now, you wasted $160 or .016 per mile. Well you didn’t really waste it, you just spent it a year ahead of time so interest on the lost $160 for a year is around $10 depending on what you are getting on your money. So when I look at it, it’s a $10 or 20 decision, not an $800 decision since I’d have to spend the $800 in a year anyway. If you buy now and die, you win and had the benefit of new tires. If not it cost you less than a tank of gas.

Change my mind. The thing is, delaying an expense is not the same as avoiding the expense forever. Just like keeping a car longer-It delays the expense but does not avoid it. You probably know what I would do, but it’s up to you.

40000 mile tire have 38000 on them . Hit curb with one that could have internal damage . Photo seems to show dryrot.

Forget trying to get more out of them and get 4 new ones now . Depending on the persons driving they may not need high dollar tires .


I took a picture of a picture of another one of the tires. Is this what you mean by rot? Pardon my ignorance.

dry rot is the cracking you see.

If you were to come into my shop and I saw that?

You need new tires.


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How to Measure Tire Tread Depth - YouTube

@weekend-warrior did you not see the dry rot in his second picture, who cares how much tread he has left, those tires are not safe to use.

In the past, when I was really poor, I used to drive on tires until they were completely bald, and/or had cracks galore on the sidewalls. I wouldn’t do that today, and I can’t recommend that anyone else do such a thing, but I never had a tire blow out or come apart. I think most tires come apart due to improper inflation, and that keeping the air pressure within a few PSI of the recommended pressure for your vehicle will go a long way to preventing tire failure.

The curb rash isn’t good, but it doesn’t warrant immediate replacement.

The other photo of the dry rot also isn’t quite there either.

And it’s hard to tell how much tread is left. Looks like a bit.

So I think the OP should start looking for tires and try to get that done in the next few months.

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Something to think about with the cruise control set at 75 while on the freeway…


If my tires looked like that I’d replace them all in the coming week. What is the tire’s age, based on the date stamp on the sidewall?