2001 Buick Lesabre Aged tires

Tiny
LINDSAYDARLING
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 BUICK LESABRE
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 26,877 MILES
My car (I'm 66 years old and it used to be my Father's) has high age and LOW miles. I'm sure the tires are the originals and have excellent tread. Since they're so old should I be concerned about blow-outs caused by their age? Should I replace them? Thanks for the advise.
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Monday, August 10th, 2015 AT 4:40 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
First look on the sidewalls, then between the grooves in the tread to see if there are cracks. In the tread, expect to see long cracks about 1/16" wide, usually near the sides where most of the flexing occurs. On the sidewalls, there will be a lot of tiny cracks from dry-rotting. If you aren't sure what you're looking for, normally I would recommend having them inspected at a tire and alignment shop, but they're in the business of selling you new tires, so in this case, you might look to your regular mechanic, or stop in at a local community college with an Automotive program, and ask one of the instructors to take a peek. If you don't see any of those cracks, and if the car was mostly kept in a garage, the tires will most likely be okay.

I have a '93 Dodge Dynasty with 4,500 miles and the original tires, but the car has spent less than a few dozen hours of its entire life in the sun. That sun is the biggest cause of dry-rotting. I also have an '80 Volare with 45,000 miles that has never been in a garage a day in its life. That one had the outer tread fly off a few years ago at highway speed. It was not an original tire, but it had been baking in the sun for many years. The tire didn't blow out and I was able to drive it home like that, but it wasn't very comfortable.

If you DO have a problem, it's important to note that tires rarely explode, or blow out instantly. It is much more common for them to suddenly start to lose air very quickly. Since I get the last ounce of life out of my tires, (not something I promote anyone else try to do), I have a flat tire about once every three or four years, and in every case so far, I've noticed the corner of the van dropping, a gradual loss of steering stability, then the agony of the rough ride, over a period of about five seconds. That is plenty of time to react without panicking I do my pit stop on the side of the road and I'm back driving within about 10 minutes. Problem is it usually happens to me in winter, and I really hate the cold.
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Monday, August 10th, 2015 AT 8:36 PM
Tiny
LINDSAYDARLING
  • MEMBER
This was a MOST excellent reply! I feel much better now with your advise. I haven't seen any cracks, and that's great to know that there wouldn't be a catastrophic blow out. Thanks so much!
Lindsay
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Monday, August 10th, 2015 AT 9:03 PM

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