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Tire Replacement - Old but plenty of tread

My mom has a 1994 Nissan Altima GXE. She is the original owner and the car has about 43,000 miles on it. The tires are 13 years old but because there is plenty of tread on the tires - since it is rarely driven - she thinks it is crazy to replace them. I’m going to start driving her car since she really can’t any longer and I’m not comfortable with old tires no matter how much tread is on them. Am I crazy to spend the money?

You would be CRAZY if you did not replace those tires.


Agree, those tires are WAY past their ‘use by’ date. Rubber deteriorates with age, hardens, and becomes more likely to fail. So even if one doesn’t blow out on its own, they’ll have worse traction (especially when you need it most, in slippery conditions). So new tires is job one.

Job two is reviewing all the maintenance records to see what’s needed. Lots of things have to be changed based on both miles and months. Does it have a timing belt? When was it last changed? That could fail and leave you stranded, and potentially ruin the engine.

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Thank you :smiley:

Thank you - am scheduling an appointment for tires right away! When I looked at the date on mom’s tires I did a triple take. I did have a mechanic look things over, although he must not have checked the tires. He did replace belts, hoses, spark plugs, leaking valve seal etc but I don’t know about the timing belt. I’ll have to check to the records on that - thanks for the suggestion.

I think that year model has a timing chain, but even if not, the car has only 43K miles on it. A belt should be good for another 50K

Nope, timing belts also deteriorate with age. So it comes down to when it was replaced, and how many months is the maximum recommended interval.


+1 to Texases post.

The KA24DE in that car has a timing chain. So no worries there.


I see you have rightly conceded to doing the tires asap.
To help your mom realize the correlation of old rubber vs tread depth , try to compare to rubber items she can relate to.
Maybe old shoes, how the soles no longer flex like they used to and when they do they crack !
What else is rubber affected by time around the house ?
Kitchen spatulas is one that irks me in my kitchen. Garden hoses, outdoor furniture covers, rubberized vinyl patio canopies, heck even knee pads ( construction / gardening ) are junk after a short time, . . etc.

My 1979 Chevy pickup has merely 71,000 miles on it . . it is on its THIRD set of tires !
My own wife’s 06 Escape hybrid even had ME fooled for a while. . .till I took close notice if the SIDE walls on her five year old tires. . . looked like a dry lake bed !

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At 43k they are the original tires, no?
If so, you’ve lost a decade in your age assessment…they’re 22-23 years old. Does that help the change argument?

I did look at the date on the tires to make sure - 0303. Probably the second set but still scary old.

Great descriptive comparison. I may try this explanation or I may just replace them and not tell her :grin: