Tires - Safety Question

I’ve owned my 69 Dodge Dart four months now. It has good condition looking Road Hugger G/T radials on it. Hardly any tread wear. Here is the thing. The fronts were manufactured in 1999; rears 2000. I don’t know how many miles are on the tires. I’ve been reading up about “old” tires and how unsafe they may be although looking to be “good” tires. I live in WA state. The car was garaged and still is. Weather can be extreme cold to extreme heat. Mostly rainy though, mid temps. Should I replace all the tires? Thanks.

These are basically ten year old tires, and they should be replaced for safety reasons. Here’s a link that explains why.


Hey thanks Tester! I will replace them with BF Goodrich T/A’s. Hummm…Old tires - Maybe that is why I am getting extreme steering wheel vibration over 60 mph???

If it were me I would replace them based on age alone. I have never heard of "Road Hugger tires. Looks like they are some cheap house brand tires, those can be hit or miss. I would just get a set of brand name tires that aren’t made in China.

Road Hugger are a popular brand sold at Discount Tire…actually rated better than BF Goodrich.

Ya betch ya. Those tires are old enough where a belt seperation could be occuring in one of the front tires.


Holy S@#*! OK - will get 4 new tires Monday morning. I will look to see the manufacture date on them before I buy. Thanks again!!

I learned how to drive in a Valiant of the same vintage. I hope that you are not expecting it to be as shake-free as a modern vehicle.

Don’t panic; unless they are cracked, they’re OK to drive on; SLOWLY. As pointed out, tread separation is a major problem but take your time and don’t race or drag in the meantime.

I had the infamous Firestone 500 tires on my Granada; these had the habit of flying apart and were recalled.

It’s the tires’ condition that matters, not their age. The fact that the car was kept in a garage helps.

There are many reasons why you could experience vibration at highway speeds. The simplest would be that the tires need to be balanced again. However, tires that are in balance don’t go out of balance by themselves. Maybe a weight came off or maybe one of them is beginning to come apart. If a tire is out of round, it can be in balance but still vibrate. Belt separation is a possible cause. So is a bent wheel. Considering the car’s age, everything in the suspension may be worn out.

Before you go much farther, take the car to a mechanic whose competence and integrity you trust and have him inspect the tires and the suspension. Then, you will know what does and doesn’t need to be done.

Hey, thanks a bunch for the info…appreciate it!

Even if there is no visible cracking of the rubber, and even if the belts are still good, the fact remains that the rubber compound of the tread does harden as it ages. A hardened tread compound will have MUCH less traction on a wet road.

After 10 years, the hardened rubber compound on these tires makes them much less safe on wet roadways, even if everything else about the tire looks good.