When to buy new tires?

There are 10-year-old tires on my 2007 Corolla. They still have a good amount of tread, but do they need to be replaced? Does the rubber age and the tires become unsafe? Thanks for any advice.
P.S. the car has only 50,000 miles on it, not driven much, mostly in town.

You should replace them because rubber degrades over time.If you can see a lot of micro cracks on the sidewall its time to get a new set of 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:

That post may be a few years old, but it should still be valid.

Yes they need to be replaced . Also did you ever replace the fluids and timing belt that you asked about 3 years ago ?

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Thanks! that answers all my questions.

This is a common question and my answer
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The tires may be the least of your problems, based on the type of use that your car is getting.
In case you weren’t aware of it, every car manufacturer defines that type of use as Severe Service. Are maintaining it according to Toyota’s Severe Service Maintenance Schedule?

Yes, your tires are a few years overdue for replacement, but I would also be concerned about the engine, the transmission, and the brake hydraulic system if you are performing maintenance on the basis of odometer mileage. Because you drive ~3,500 miles per year in mostly local conditions, you need to have maintenance performed on the basis of elapsed time, not on the basis of odometer mileage.

Even if they look good the rubber hardens as it ages, reducing traction. I’d really replace them.

I am in the market for a replacement set of tires for my truck. They are 7 years old and still have legal tread depth and they are as hard as a rock and show dry rot cracks. They are no longer safe to use.

If you cannot press your fingernail into the tread surface at all, they are too hard to drive on.

The good news is that you can probably wait for a really good tire sale. There is usually one every couple of months for just about any tire you are interested in.

I predict that in 8-12 years, someone will revive this thread in order to tell the OP that he needs to replace his tires immediately.


There are also cheap tires that are decent. I bought Nexen tires from 4wheelonline last year. So far, no issues in the dry and wet. They can handle corners pretty well. I don’t do spirited driving so these tires are good enough for me.