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I was told you should change them if they are 5 to 6 years old. I don't know if that's true anymore.
That is still generally true, especially for tires that are mounted on a car year round and face all kinds of weather. Tires stored unmounted in a climate controlled environment may be good for longer, but I try and change my tires no later than 6 years after the build date code on the tire, regardless of how much tread is left or if there is any cracking. SOunds like the OP should be buying a set of new tires soon. I believe there is more info on tire aging on the Tire Rack website in the tire tech section.
You should change them out. even though the have low miles on them they are relatively old. i look at it as a safety thing not a money thing. new tires may be a little costly but it's cheap insurance.
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Many people base their decision on when to change their tires on the number of miles the tires has been used. However, the age of the tire is also a consideration when determining the safety of tires.
Tires dry out as they age, which makes them more susceptible to blow outs even if they have relatively few miles on them.Time Frame
BF Goodrich claims that tires more than 10 years old need to be replaced. If you have used your tires more than five years, you should check them each year for cracks.Identification
Each tire should have its date of manufacture stamped on it as part of the DOT code. The last two digits represent the year and the prior two digits represent the week of the year. For example, a DOT number of "4402" means the tire was made in the 44th week of 2002.Warning
If the DOT code ends in three numbers instead of four, the last digit represents the year and the prior two represent the week. These tires are at least 10 years old and should be replaced.Considerations
The National Highway Transit Safety Administration cautions that tires will age faster in warmer temperatures due to the extra sunlight. In addition, seldomly used tires will age quicker than tires that are used on a regular basis.
Thanks for all the responses. I live near Las Vegas and it is brutally hot here in the summer. I've been looking for some GT500 Take offs, but I need to check the manufacture dates before I buy them. I am only going to drive around town until I get some new tires.
05 Mustang GT Deluxe Vert Comp White, sequential turn signals, Redline hood lift pistons, FlowMaster Axle Back Exhaust
IUP, AT, Shaker 500, Dark Charcol leather, Ford Racing Suspension. Custom GT Paint Scheme, Cragar S/S with triple blade center caps (knockers)
I think it really varies on manufactures. Some seem to show cracking a lot sooner than others. I would not worry too much about the F1's that are on those GT500 take offs.
My winter beater is rolling around on 12+ year old Goodyear snow tires, no issues.
I am taking off my rear F1's today as a matter of fact. DOT code 3807, and the new ones that just came from Tire Rack are 4907, a whopping few months newer, lol. I have confidence in Goodyear tires when it comes to age. Michelin, not so much. Thats about 19 years of experience in the tire industry.
I generally wear my tires out before they get too old anyway, lol.
The Michelin TRX tires on my '82 GT are original and are not cracking (it is not stored outside) but I would not drive a long distance at highway speed on them since they are so old.
As owner of several older, low mileage vehicles, I've done some research into this issue in the past. (Once even had a letter published about this in Road & Track!)
IMHO, the greater "danger" in rolling on older tires (meaning 5-8 year-old range) then an increased chance of a blowout due to cracking is a deterioration in handling due to the aging rubber.
But 25+ years old is a whole other story. There's a lot to be said for "originality" but personally I would never have tires that old on a vehicle that I actually drove. Whatever you're worried about on a "long" drive could happen on a "short" one, right?