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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2018, 02:57 AM
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Default Replacing Old Tires

This may have been discussed before, but I would like some advice.
My Cobra has 15 yr. old BFG T/A Radial tires with 8000 miles on them and they look like new. There are no signs of cracking and they don't lose air. I will be driving on highways, but not on a track.
I've read it would be advisable to replace them. Since most of us don't drive our cars everyday, I was wondering what length of time you guys recommend between tire replacement.
Thanks in advance for your recommendations.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:12 AM
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RB60,

The short answer is six to seven years for street tires if they are not used too spiritedly and still have no obvious damage, deterioration or wear. After that it's a matter of how long before one of them fails, usually rather suddenly.

Tires never fully vulcanize when they are manufactured; they continue to change properties as they age, kinda like humans. The internal bonds between layers of rubber and fabric age and lose strength. The rubber itself becomes less elastic, weaker and its traction property decreases.

None of this is usually obvious on the surface. It happens very slowly. If you cut an old tire open and measure its properties against a new tire, the differences will be striking.

Fifteen years for a tire is equivalent to about 25 dog-years

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Old 02-12-2018, 04:39 AM
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It's painful. I have a 66 Vette with 25 year old BF Goodrich tires and a 67 GTX with 16 year old Coker redlines. They all look like new, low miles, no cracks, hold air fine - but I know they need to be replaced sooner rather than later. I figure most cars that spend 98% of the time in a garage out of sunlight are probably safe beyond the 7 yr rule for daily-driver tires - but for how much more time is a big question mark. There's no absolute answer except to replace them.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:10 AM
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I think DanEC is right about not being in the sun. The lack of traction during spirited runs is my main concern. My life is worth more than the cost of a set of tires. At least that is what my wife says.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:09 AM
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RB60 - I just went through this exact same thing. My tires looked great, with tons of tread, held air great, etc. etc. I did not want to replace them. Researching online, tire manufacturers say you should replace tires every 6 or 7 years. Yes, they're also wanting to sell you more tires, but even the skeptics online said 10 years, tops. Apparently, the concern is more about catastrophic tire failure (like losing your tread at speed!) than developing a slow leak you have to deal with. My oldest tire was about 15 years old according to the DOT info on the sidewall, so it was clearly time for a change. I bit the bullet and ordered new tires (Cooper Cobras) which I installed just last week. The amazing thing to me was, after resisting it for a couple of years after buying the car, I now wish I had done it sooner. The car drives, handles and steers better. And I know it's safer, as well. Plus, I was able to get in there and clean up the brakes and wheel wells. With the age of your tires, I suspect when you do it you'll have a similar experience. Hope so!
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seagull81 View Post
I think DanEC is right about not being in the sun. The lack of traction during spirited runs is my main concern. My life is worth more than the cost of a set of tires. At least that is what my wife says.
Tell her to check your life insurance policy. LOL
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RB60 View Post
This may have been discussed before, but I would like some advice.
My Cobra has 15 yr. old BFG T/A Radial tires with 8000 miles on them and they look like new. There are no signs of cracking and they don't lose air. I will be driving on highways, but not on a track.
I've read it would be advisable to replace them. Since most of us don't drive our cars everyday, I was wondering what length of time you guys recommend between tire replacement.
Thanks in advance for your recommendations.
I have seen different recommendations on tire life, but generally not beyond 10 years. Keeping them out of the sun and heat will prolong their life. Mine is always garaged when I'm not using it (as often as I can) and I'm in the Canadian prairies - fairly warm in summer, but gawdawful cold in winter - so the tires might last forever.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:01 AM
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When I started fishtailing around corners at normal speed and in a straight line with mild acceleration, it was time to change. 7 years, 5000 miles, tons of tread left.
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:26 PM
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Here is maybe a better question. How many of you with tires over 7 years old have had a blow-out? I have had many old tires on various cars and heard all the danger stories, but to this day, not a single one has blown out or done anything remotely close. Many people I know have had old tires and never had a blow-out. I have seen more blow-outs from hitting nails, rocks, curbs etc. than I ever have from an old tire.

So how many of you had a tire over 7-10 years old blow under normal driving conditions?
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:11 PM
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There is another issue with aging tires in addition to, but of less concern than catastrophic failure - traction. I've had a good opportunity to see this on my Wife's front drive Toyota Highlander. We bought it new with Toyo tires and within a few months started to experience problems with loss of traction when starting from a stop on wet roads or an up-hill grade. Sometimes it would just sit and spin and barely creep forward. After a couple years of enduring that but still with lots of thread on them, we put a set of Continentals on it and voila - no more traction problems. Starts on wet streets and up-hill grades were no longer met with spinning tires. Great news -- for 2-1/2 years, after which the tires began showing more and more evidence of being sensitive to traction loss. By 3 years time they were literally as bad as the original Toyo's. My Wife ran over something on the Interstate and experienced a catastrophic blowout which prompted yet another change of tires with only about half of the thread gone on the Continentals. With a set of Michelins we are back to having traction again. But considering how well the Continental's were rated (even the owner of the tire store we frequent uses them on his car) I'm expecting about 3 years service out of them. The point is that the rubber compounds have limited life and get harder with age and slipperier - maybe in as little as 2-1/2 years - and just when you might need a little traction in a sticky situation, it might not be there.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:39 PM
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The problem with BFG T/A's is that they will look new after 30 years and 30,000 miles. They appear to be impossible to destroy. They're the cockroaches of tires. But they're crappy tires (stiff and handle like pigs) IMO.

I had beautiful original Yoko Avids on my Cobra, but I decided that after 10 years, it was time to replace. My "fear factor" was growing inside me. It's just not worth it. All you have between you and the road are those 4 tires. So, just in the past couple months, I went with Avons.

YMMV literally.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:00 PM
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I have had old(er) tires let go - tread separation - twice on good quality tires that were properly inflated and not abused. Daily drivers - not the Cobra. It is not fun. Both pairs about 7 yrs old and plenty of tread left. You are nuts to drive a Cobra on old tires. Replace them and not with BFG - they are not performance tires.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt289 View Post
RB60 - I just went through this exact same thing. My tires looked great, with tons of tread, held air great, etc. etc. I did not want to replace them. Researching online, tire manufacturers say you should replace tires every 6 or 7 years. Yes, they're also wanting to sell you more tires, but even the skeptics online said 10 years, tops. Apparently, the concern is more about catastrophic tire failure (like losing your tread at speed!) than developing a slow leak you have to deal with. My oldest tire was about 15 years old according to the DOT info on the sidewall, so it was clearly time for a change. I bit the bullet and ordered new tires (Cooper Cobras) which I installed just last week. The amazing thing to me was, after resisting it for a couple of years after buying the car, I now wish I had done it sooner. The car drives, handles and steers better. And I know it's safer, as well. Plus, I was able to get in there and clean up the brakes and wheel wells. With the age of your tires, I suspect when you do it you'll have a similar experience. Hope so!
My experience was just like Cobalt's. The Cooper Cobras were a night and day improvement over the BFGs, which were ~7 years old. The only difference was that I had a close call where I lost traction with the BFGs at a moderate speed around a corner that motivated me to make the change. The BFGs still looked great--lots of tread, no cracking. I'm not sure how much of the issue was the BFGs as a hard, crappy tire, and how much was because they were just past their prime, but regardless I wish I'd done it sooner. $500 very well spent.
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Last edited by ACHiPo; 02-12-2018 at 07:21 PM..
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:44 PM
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I had Goodyear Eagle GTII's on mine and when I saw they were 10 years old, they immediately were replaced. I went with Mickey Thompson SR's and except for the tread pattern, they are pretty sticky. I would recommend them. Other than AVONs which are too much for my blood MT is about the only choice in 15" tires.

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Old 02-13-2018, 03:13 AM
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Thanks for the advice, guys. I will be replacing them as soon as our weather permits driving again. I think I will check into the MT Sr's.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:41 AM
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MT SR's are on mine. The second set because of age. Front tires looked like new. Had T/a's prior to this. Huge difference in traction and handling. T/A's look good. The problem is 15 inch tires. Avon is the best but hurts the pocket book hard.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:54 AM
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When buying your replacement tires be sure to ask for the date of manufacture. I've heard stories of unscroupulus tire warehouses that sold people dated tires that should have been sent back. Just a FYI, here's how to read the date coding on tires.

https://www.tirebuyer.com/education/...-of-your-tires
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:13 AM
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Mickey Thompson SRs are an option at 15". They have a modern "flame" tread pattern. According to the company they are designed for hot rods (not that it matters if you like the tread). The tread compound is softer than the STs or Cooper Cobras.
mickey thompson sportsman s/r tires

Mickey Thompson Sportsman STs are also available at 15". They have a more traditional tread pattern.
https://www.performanceplustire.com/tires-for-sale/mickey-thompson-tire/sportsman-s-t-radial-tire/

Cooper Cobras are the same compound and tread pattern as Mickey Thompson STs. According to the techs I spoke to at Cooper and Mickey Thompson, the MT STs and Cooper Cobras are the same compound and tire, but have different patterns on the sidewalls.
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/BigPic.jsp?gclid=CjwKCAiAtorUBRBnEiwAfcp_Y87TqoLge YaDWKWhhN8stJzD0ikD551hFCX4gRztd-49XP95hU9vKRoCqmoQAvD_BwE&tireMake=Cooper&tireMode l=Cobra+Radial+G%2FT&partnum=17TR5CRGTRWL&GCID=C13 674x012-tire&KEYWORD=tires.jsp_Cooper_Cobra_Radial_G%2FT_T ire&code=yes&src=17540115&ci_sku=17TR5CRGTRWL&ci_s ku=17TR5CRGTRWL&ci_src=17588969&s_kwcid=AL%213756% 213%2172322431853%21%21%21g%21175653683053%21&ef_i d=V38gbwAAADwu3Hph%3A20180213141140%3As&sidewall=R aised+White+Letters

The Coopers are about 30% less expensive than Mickey Thompsons, and in my area are in stock at Discount Tire, but it takes a few weeks to get the MTs.

As an aside, Cooper Tire owns the Avon and Mickey Thompson brands.
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:14 PM
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That is my understanding also AC. The ST's or Cobras are better than TA's IMHO if that is route you take.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:26 PM
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Well, I went to the tire center I've dealt with for many years and the owner and I settled on Cooper Cobras (he gave me a good price). I'm also considering adding the Goodyear Eagle F1 lettering kit from TIREGRAFICX (has anyone used these before?).
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