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J
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
First off-- thanks to everyone for their recent help on the Code 25 on
my '89 Corolla-- indeed it was the O2 sensor. With your help I was
able to test and replace it myself (got a new Denso part off Ebay for
$22!) and save a lot of money.

Now a tire question-- this is for my wife's 2000 Civic but this would
be a question generalizable to any car-- her car has 44k miles on it
and its original tires. We use the Corolla 80% of the time, and the
Civic mainly for long highway trips, so it sits around a lot and only
gets driven about 4-5k miles a year.

I was checking the tires on the Civic and they still have plenty of
tread left (maybe 5/16") and are wearing evenly. Around the sidewall
of the tires though-- I think it's called the "shoulder", some
superficial circumferential wrinkling/cracking has developed. In other
words, there's multiple superficial circumferential circular lines
going around the sidewall/shoulder area of every tire. By circular, I
mean that the diameter of the circles is just slightly smaller than the
diameter of the tire. By "superficial," I mean maybe 1/16 of an inch
or slightly more. There are no cracks on the actual tread itself. The
tires maintain their PSI fine and only need about 1 lb added per month.

>From hunting on the web yesterday I was unable to find definitive

information on whether this condition is dangerous or not. "Dry rot"
is the term used to describe this I believe. Does the rubber on the
sidewall/shoulder area contribute much to the structural integrity of
the tire?

We may be moving next year (to what kind of climate I don't know yet)
and I was hoping to wait until next year to replace the tires, since 1.
the climate where we move may favor one type of new tire over another,
2. if we need to sell the car, the buyer might have a certain
preference for what kind of tires he/she wants.

A couple people have told me that tires can always be used until they
lack sufficient tread, but I don't know if this is always the case.

What do you think? Appreciate your input,
John
 
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Discussion Starter #2
On Mon, 22 Jan 2007 06:54:59 -0800, johnyang97 wrote:

> Hi all,
> First off-- thanks to everyone for their recent help on the Code 25 on my
> '89 Corolla-- indeed it was the O2 sensor. With your help I was able to
> test and replace it myself (got a new Denso part off Ebay for $22!) and
> save a lot of money.
>
> Now a tire question-- this is for my wife's 2000 Civic but this would be a
> question generalizable to any car-- her car has 44k miles on it and its
> original tires. We use the Corolla 80% of the time, and the Civic mainly
> for long highway trips, so it sits around a lot and only gets driven about
> 4-5k miles a year.
>
> I was checking the tires on the Civic and they still have plenty of tread
> left (maybe 5/16") and are wearing evenly. Around the sidewall of the
> tires though-- I think it's called the "shoulder", some superficial
> circumferential wrinkling/cracking has developed. In other words, there's
> multiple superficial circumferential circular lines going around the
> sidewall/shoulder area of every tire. By circular, I mean that the
> diameter of the circles is just slightly smaller than the diameter of the
> tire. By "superficial," I mean maybe 1/16 of an inch or slightly more.
> There are no cracks on the actual tread itself. The tires maintain their
> PSI fine and only need about 1 lb added per month.
>
>>From hunting on the web yesterday I was unable to find definitive

> information on whether this condition is dangerous or not. "Dry rot" is
> the term used to describe this I believe. Does the rubber on the
> sidewall/shoulder area contribute much to the structural integrity of the
> tire?
>
> We may be moving next year (to what kind of climate I don't know yet) and
> I was hoping to wait until next year to replace the tires, since 1. the
> climate where we move may favor one type of new tire over another, 2. if
> we need to sell the car, the buyer might have a certain preference for
> what kind of tires he/she wants.
>
> A couple people have told me that tires can always be used until they lack
> sufficient tread, but I don't know if this is always the case.
>
> What do you think? Appreciate your input, John


1/16th inch? That's a good size crack. (Do you mean length or width? If
it's width, get going!) I've driven on tires with 'dry rot' before, but
the cracks were the width of a hair.

You don't know where you're moving? Get an all season tire and be happy.
Oh, and bring the car to the dealer to have a look. They sell tires, but
not as a main business, so they won't be as hard sell. They will tell you
if they're safe.

I had to laugh...the Toyota dealership I worked at sold tires. They had a
four tire stack each of four different sizes. If someone came in looking
for tires, they were charged full retail price, and then the car was sent
to the discount tire dealer down the street!
 
J
Joined
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0 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi,
Thanks for your help! By 1/16 I mean depth. Well, they look more like
wrinkles than cracks. They run the whole side of the tire (in a
circle) so the length of the cracks/wrinkles is like a 14 inch circle.
I remember they were there maybe a year ago though I can't remember if
they are bigger now.

I read online that if a car is not driven much, then the special "oils"
built into a tire do not get to the surface and dry rot is more prone
to develop. Is this actually true? I'm curious if I'd put more miles
on the Civic if the tires would actually be in _better_ shape now.

My '89 Corolla has 147k and had its tires replaced about 6 years/50k
miles ago (good quality set from Costco) and are in much better shape
than the 6 year old/44k mile tires on the Civic. Whether this is
because the Corolla is driven more or b/c the quality of tires on the
Corolla is much better or both, I don't know.

I can bring the car to Costco (where I would get tires for the Civic if
I buy now) to ask the guys there what they think of the tires, though I
don't know if they are experts in dry rot or not.

Just curious--how much profit did the Toyota dealer make on tires when
you were working there?
I met a guy who's in the rubber business, when I talked to him last
year, he said wholesale prices for rubber and tires had spiked
something like 80% with the increase in oil prices these past couple
years.

Thanks again for your help,
John

> > sidewall/shoulder area of every tire. By circular, I mean that the
> > diameter of the circles is just slightly smaller than the diameter of the
> > tire. By "superficial," I mean maybe 1/16 of an inch or slightly more.

>
> 1/16th inch? That's a good size crack. (Do you mean length or width? If
> it's width, get going!) I've driven on tires with 'dry rot' before, but
> the cracks were the width of a hair.
>
> You don't know where you're moving? Get an all season tire and be happy.
> Oh, and bring the car to the dealer to have a look. They sell tires, but
> not as a main business, so they won't be as hard sell. They will tell you
> if they're safe.
>
> I had to laugh...the Toyota dealership I worked at sold tires. They had a
> four tire stack each of four different sizes. If someone came in looking
> for tires, they were charged full retail price, and then the car was sent
> to the discount tire dealer down the street!
 
R

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Guest
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Discussion Starter #4
<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Hi all,
> First off-- thanks to everyone for their recent help on the Code 25 on
> my '89 Corolla-- indeed it was the O2 sensor. With your help I was
> able to test and replace it myself (got a new Denso part off Ebay for
> $22!) and save a lot of money.
>
> Now a tire question-- this is for my wife's 2000 Civic but this would
> be a question generalizable to any car-- her car has 44k miles on it
> and its original tires. We use the Corolla 80% of the time, and the
> Civic mainly for long highway trips, so it sits around a lot and only
> gets driven about 4-5k miles a year.
>
> I was checking the tires on the Civic and they still have plenty of
> tread left (maybe 5/16") and are wearing evenly. Around the sidewall
> of the tires though-- I think it's called the "shoulder", some
> superficial circumferential wrinkling/cracking has developed. In other
> words, there's multiple superficial circumferential circular lines
> going around the sidewall/shoulder area of every tire. By circular, I
> mean that the diameter of the circles is just slightly smaller than the
> diameter of the tire. By "superficial," I mean maybe 1/16 of an inch
> or slightly more. There are no cracks on the actual tread itself. The
> tires maintain their PSI fine and only need about 1 lb added per month.
>
>>From hunting on the web yesterday I was unable to find definitive

> information on whether this condition is dangerous or not. "Dry rot"
> is the term used to describe this I believe. Does the rubber on the
> sidewall/shoulder area contribute much to the structural integrity of
> the tire?
>
> We may be moving next year (to what kind of climate I don't know yet)
> and I was hoping to wait until next year to replace the tires, since 1.
> the climate where we move may favor one type of new tire over another,
> 2. if we need to sell the car, the buyer might have a certain
> preference for what kind of tires he/she wants.
>
> A couple people have told me that tires can always be used until they
> lack sufficient tread, but I don't know if this is always the case.
>
> What do you think? Appreciate your input,
> John
>


The minimum tread depth is 2/32." Passenger car tires usually have 10/32"
or 11/32" when new, so the 5/16" on the tires is basically most or all of
the original tread.

If the cracks in the sidewall are 1/16 (= 10/32) inch deep, then the tire is
not safe to drive on, since the sidewall is much thinner than the tread. If
you can see any fabric or metal through the cracks, the tire is unsafe.

If the cracks are superficial, then the tire is probably safe. I recommend
that you have the tires looked at by a competent technician, preferably one
that does not work for a place that sells tires.

In the future, some things that will slow down tire deterioration are
staying away from electric motors and generators, i.e., refrigerators in
garages, keeping the tire out of the direct sunlight, keeping the tires
slightly over-inflated (4 or 5 PSI over the tire pressure listed on the car
door also improves fuel mileage and tread life), and an occasional
application of a rubber coating like ArmorAll.
--

Ray O
(correct punctuation to reply)
 
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Discussion Starter #5
On Mon, 22 Jan 2007 08:15:59 -0800, johnyang97 wrote:

> Hi,
> Thanks for your help! By 1/16 I mean depth. Well, they look more like
> wrinkles than cracks. They run the whole side of the tire (in a circle)
> so the length of the cracks/wrinkles is like a 14 inch circle. I remember
> they were there maybe a year ago though I can't remember if they are
> bigger now.


That's pretty deep! I'd be looking for new tires. In Mass, they won't
pass inspection and you'll be forced to not drive the car.


>
> I read online that if a car is not driven much, then the special "oils"
> built into a tire do not get to the surface and dry rot is more prone to
> develop. Is this actually true? I'm curious if I'd put more miles on the
> Civic if the tires would actually be in _better_ shape now.


I'd think it has more to do with the quality of the tire, but I had some
incrdibly cheap tires on an old Grand Voyager that looked new after 4
years, and some newer, more expensive tires that looked horrible!

>
> My '89 Corolla has 147k and had its tires replaced about 6 years/50k miles
> ago (good quality set from Costco) and are in much better shape than the 6
> year old/44k mile tires on the Civic. Whether this is because the Corolla
> is driven more or b/c the quality of tires on the Corolla is much better
> or both, I don't know.
>
> I can bring the car to Costco (where I would get tires for the Civic if I
> buy now) to ask the guys there what they think of the tires, though I
> don't know if they are experts in dry rot or not.



I heard a report on NPR a year or two ago, and then reinforced by one of
the Evening News programs: With current tire materials and construction, 6
years is the MAX tire life. They recommended replacing 6 year old tires
with new ones. It has something to do with the way the compunds break down
over time.


>
> Just curious--how much profit did the Toyota dealer make on tires when you
> were working there?
> I met a guy who's in the rubber business, when I talked to him last year,
> he said wholesale prices for rubber and tires had spiked something like
> 80% with the increase in oil prices these past couple years.
>
> Thanks again for your help,
> John
>
>> > sidewall/shoulder area of every tire. By circular, I mean that the
>> > diameter of the circles is just slightly smaller than the diameter of
>> > the tire. By "superficial," I mean maybe 1/16 of an inch or slightly
>> > more.

>>
>> 1/16th inch? That's a good size crack. (Do you mean length or width? If
>> it's width, get going!) I've driven on tires with 'dry rot' before, but
>> the cracks were the width of a hair.
>>
>> You don't know where you're moving? Get an all season tire and be happy.
>> Oh, and bring the car to the dealer to have a look. They sell tires, but
>> not as a main business, so they won't be as hard sell. They will tell
>> you if they're safe.
>>
>> I had to laugh...the Toyota dealership I worked at sold tires. They had
>> a four tire stack each of four different sizes. If someone came in
>> looking for tires, they were charged full retail price, and then the car
>> was sent to the discount tire dealer down the street!
 
M

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Discussion Starter #6
"Troy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> the tires more than 6 years old and tires have an expected life of 6
> years... after that its time to change no matter how many miles or tread
> left... i would think since it highway use, it more dangerous not to
> change your tires. if your crusing around town at 25-30 mph its no big
> deal when a tire fails... but 65 - 75 mph could make you loose your life..
> the wrinkling is from shifting belts....i say change the tires...
>
> troy


I must agree with this assessment. I learned about tires the hard way,
having a blowout while hauling a U-Haul trailer through the Arizona desert
at 115 degrees. From that time forward, I've always looked at tires as the
#1 priority, along with brakes and steering gear. If you blow up an engine
or transmission, the only harm done is that you're stranded on the road and
your wallet will be in pain, but blow a tire and your life could end in the
next few seconds. Think hard and well about tires.
 
J
Joined
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0 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hi everyone,
Thanks again for your help.
I scrutinized the tires after work today and it looks like I
overestimated the size of the cracks. They are more like hairline
cracks and definitely not 1/16. That being said, I'll go get them
inspected by a professional and go with his recommendations.

Thanks,
John

> > I was checking the tires on the Civic and they still have plenty of
> > tread left (maybe 5/16") and are wearing evenly. Around the sidewall
> > of the tires though-- I think it's called the "shoulder", some
> > superficial circumferential wrinkling/cracking has developed.

>
> If the cracks in the sidewall are 1/16 (= 10/32) inch deep, then the tire is
> not safe to drive on, since the sidewall is much thinner than the tread. If
> you can see any fabric or metal through the cracks, the tire is unsafe.
>
> If the cracks are superficial, then the tire is probably safe. I recommend
> that you have the tires looked at by a competent technician, preferably one
> that does not work for a place that sells tires.
 
R

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Discussion Starter #8
On Mon, 22 Jan 2007 15:26:43 -0800, "mack" <[email protected]>
wrote:

>
>"Troy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:[email protected]
>> the tires more than 6 years old and tires have an expected life of 6
>> years... after that its time to change no matter how many miles or tread
>> left... i would think since it highway use, it more dangerous not to
>> change your tires. if your crusing around town at 25-30 mph its no big
>> deal when a tire fails... but 65 - 75 mph could make you loose your life..
>> the wrinkling is from shifting belts....i say change the tires...
>>
>> troy

>
>I must agree with this assessment. I learned about tires the hard way,
>having a blowout while hauling a U-Haul trailer through the Arizona desert
>at 115 degrees. From that time forward, I've always looked at tires as the
>#1 priority, along with brakes and steering gear. If you blow up an engine
>or transmission, the only harm done is that you're stranded on the road and
>your wallet will be in pain, but blow a tire and your life could end in the
>next few seconds. Think hard and well about tires.
>


Well, you make it sound like a tire blowout is such a risky thing
while it really isn't I live in Arizona and in summer I see blown
tires ALL over the place and no wrecks from it. It's really what the
driver does after the blowout that decides his fate. If you slam on
the brakes or jerk the steering wheel then you could cause the crash
yourself. stay calm, let it coast and slowly come to a halt is the
best thing to do.
 
R

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Discussion Starter #9
On Mon, 22 Jan 2007 10:45:02 -0600, "Ray O"
<rokigawaATtristarassociatesDOTcom> wrote:

>
><[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:[email protected]
>> Hi all,
>> First off-- thanks to everyone for their recent help on the Code 25 on
>> my '89 Corolla-- indeed it was the O2 sensor. With your help I was
>> able to test and replace it myself (got a new Denso part off Ebay for
>> $22!) and save a lot of money.
>>
>> Now a tire question-- this is for my wife's 2000 Civic but this would
>> be a question generalizable to any car-- her car has 44k miles on it
>> and its original tires. We use the Corolla 80% of the time, and the
>> Civic mainly for long highway trips, so it sits around a lot and only
>> gets driven about 4-5k miles a year.
>>
>> I was checking the tires on the Civic and they still have plenty of
>> tread left (maybe 5/16") and are wearing evenly. Around the sidewall
>> of the tires though-- I think it's called the "shoulder", some
>> superficial circumferential wrinkling/cracking has developed. In other
>> words, there's multiple superficial circumferential circular lines
>> going around the sidewall/shoulder area of every tire. By circular, I
>> mean that the diameter of the circles is just slightly smaller than the
>> diameter of the tire. By "superficial," I mean maybe 1/16 of an inch
>> or slightly more. There are no cracks on the actual tread itself. The
>> tires maintain their PSI fine and only need about 1 lb added per month.
>>
>>>From hunting on the web yesterday I was unable to find definitive

>> information on whether this condition is dangerous or not. "Dry rot"
>> is the term used to describe this I believe. Does the rubber on the
>> sidewall/shoulder area contribute much to the structural integrity of
>> the tire?
>>
>> We may be moving next year (to what kind of climate I don't know yet)
>> and I was hoping to wait until next year to replace the tires, since 1.
>> the climate where we move may favor one type of new tire over another,
>> 2. if we need to sell the car, the buyer might have a certain
>> preference for what kind of tires he/she wants.
>>
>> A couple people have told me that tires can always be used until they
>> lack sufficient tread, but I don't know if this is always the case.
>>
>> What do you think? Appreciate your input,
>> John
>>

>
>The minimum tread depth is 2/32." Passenger car tires usually have 10/32"
>or 11/32" when new, so the 5/16" on the tires is basically most or all of
>the original tread.
>
>If the cracks in the sidewall are 1/16 (= 10/32) inch deep, then the tire is
>not safe to drive on, since the sidewall is much thinner than the tread. If
>you can see any fabric or metal through the cracks, the tire is unsafe.
>
>If the cracks are superficial, then the tire is probably safe. I recommend
>that you have the tires looked at by a competent technician, preferably one
>that does not work for a place that sells tires.
>
>In the future, some things that will slow down tire deterioration are
>staying away from electric motors and generators, i.e., refrigerators in
>garages, keeping the tire out of the direct sunlight, keeping the tires
>slightly over-inflated (4 or 5 PSI over the tire pressure listed on the car
>door also improves fuel mileage and tread life), and an occasional
>application of a rubber coating like ArmorAll.


I second the 4 to 5 psi inflation over suggested pressure. I get MUCH
better life out of tires.
downsides (if you consider it) is that the ride is a tiny bit harsher
and some tires are more noisy this way. Worth it to me.
 
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