Wheels and Tires

Are my Winter tires safe?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 14th, 2019 9:49 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Dec 10, 2019
7 posts
4 upvotes

Are my Winter tires safe?

Hello all,

So a few days ago I installed my trusty winter tires for the upcoming weather. I was in the process of getting them installed on my vehicle when I noticed several small cracks running along the vertical tread line, along with a single line running across the sidewall. I addressed these concerns to my installer/mechanic who assured me that they were simply "weather wear' and that I could easily get two more seasons out of them. Leaving the shop, I wasn't completely satisfied with my installer's answer, so I stopped by another shop to get a second opinion. They also suggested that I was safe to drive on them. To give more context, I have had them for a few years now and was expecting to maybe get one more winter out of them, but after noticing the cracks forming on the tire, they have really worried me to the point where I have placed an order for a new set of tires which will arrive in a week or so. My only question is whether or not I am safe to drive on them for a few more days? I have already started taking precautions such as taking roads with a lower speed limit rather than the normal commute to work I take using the highway. I have attached pictures to this post for you to get a better idea of my situation. (205/65r15)

Any help will be greatly appreciated!
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15 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
28572 posts
13972 upvotes
Toronto
they seem to look decent to be used as "all season".
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 7, 2004
5846 posts
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GTEH!
They look OK, from the pictures. Is the rubber compound still soft where the tread is? Over time the rubber compound starts to harden up and isn't as soft as when they were when they were new.
I would use them for this winter and get NEW Winter tires next winter. IMO.
😎
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 10, 2019
7 posts
4 upvotes
I may be misinterpreting your answer, but they were not used throughout the year, only in winter. I suspect the method I was using to store them may have been incorrect, as the tire tread is quite deep and still measures about 8/32, but the rubber may have deteriorated due to the storage environment.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 10, 2019
7 posts
4 upvotes
How soft should the rubber feel? I can't give any real context as I have never used this method, but pushing down with my finger does make a small indentation.
Member
Jan 13, 2007
490 posts
373 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
The tread depth looks good and if you say they still feel 'soft', then I would be inclined to say they will be perfectly fine.

It's not a bad idea to double-check the tire manufacture date code on the sidewall of the tire, just so you know how old they are.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech ... ?techid=11
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 10, 2019
7 posts
4 upvotes
woofster wrote: The tread depth looks good and if you say they still feel 'soft', then I would be inclined to say they will be perfectly fine.

It's not a bad idea to double-check the tire manufacture date code on the sidewall of the tire, just so you know how old they are.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech ... ?techid=11


They were manufactured back in 2012, which makes them about 7-years-old. I continued using them past the 5-year mark as there was no evident cracking, and because I only put about 5000km on them every winter. The cracks in-between the treads dont worry me as much as the ones running along the sidewall.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 24, 2006
9163 posts
3417 upvotes
If this is the last winter for the vehicle, they will be okay. If you plan to keep the vehicle for several more winters, it wouldn't be a bad time to get a new set.
Banned
Dec 14, 2017
719 posts
1759 upvotes
The amount of you worrying while driving is going to be more dangerous than the tires themselves
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
6361 posts
2009 upvotes
BC
Was the 2nd shop you stopped at a dedicated tire store?

If so, they should have known enough to tell you that it's quite common for some models of Michelin to exhibit noticeable weather checking (dry rot) around the 5 year mark.

Two opinions from pros that they are safe should be good enough for you.

Depends what you have in mind when you say "safe". Safe from blowing out? Or safe in that they will perform well on slick roads?

It does look like the first set of wear bars are close to the tread surface now, so no harm in replacing them next winter for better performance, cracks regardless.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 10, 2019
7 posts
4 upvotes
rubikas001 wrote: The amount of you worrying while driving is going to be more dangerous than the tires themselves
Haha. I hope not...
Last edited by MK6100 on Dec 11th, 2019 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 10, 2019
7 posts
4 upvotes
macnut wrote: Was the 2nd shop you stopped at a dedicated tire store?

If so, they should have known enough to tell you that it's quite common for some models of Michelin to exhibit noticeable weather checking (dry rot) around the 5 year mark.

Two opinions from pros that they are safe should be good enough for you.

Depends what you have in mind when you say "safe". Safe from blowing out? Or safe in that they will perform well on slick roads?

It does look like the first set of wear bars are close to the tread surface now, so no harm in replacing them next winter for better performance, cracks regardless.

My main concern was the tire blowing out at a high rate of speed, which is why I avoided taking the highway on my morning commute to work. I wouldn't be too worried about them if they were just a few years old, but a tire which was manufactured back in 2012 definitely concerns me. Anyway, just to be on the safe side, I have ordered a new set of tires which should be here in a day or two.

Thank you for your feedback!
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
4022 posts
4155 upvotes
GTA
They're just starting to crack between the treads. Could be much worse. The sidewall is still fine. I wouldn't worry at all about driving on them for the next few days. Good on you for getting a new set.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 13, 2004
11152 posts
2912 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
The line on the side wall suggests that it may have been driven on with low air pressure which caused that crack. The cracking around the thread also is from normal wear and tear and the rubber being old. My opinion is if you were to just drive locally on city streets you would likely be ok for another winter. However if you ever go on the highway or longer stretches of road I would not use them.

Either way you bought new winters tires which is great and these will be good until you replace them next week.
0_o
<_<
>_>
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 10, 2019
7 posts
4 upvotes
Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this thread with their own personal opinions. To give an update, my new winter tires arrived yesterday and I had them installed just in time for the messy weather we experienced this afternoon : )
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
13777 posts
8820 upvotes
Think of the Childre…
Whatcha get?
MK6100 wrote: Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this thread with their own personal opinions. To give an update, my new winter tires arrived yesterday and I had them installed just in time for the messy weather we experienced this afternoon : )

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!

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