2005 Original Tires safe?

Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2005
my 2005 bird has the original Michelin tires. 24500miles. should I replace them? one has a little cracking otherwise they look normal and very rarely need air. Maybe something in a raised white letter??

Moderator Note: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and official manufacturers suggest a tire is only 100% safe to use until it turns 5-6 years old.
 
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doug7740

Active Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Thunderbird Year
1955
Rubber products start to slowly deteriorate shortly after they are manufactured. Cracks in a tire's rubber begin to develop over time, appearing on the surface and inside the tire as well. This cracking can eventually cause the steel belts in the tread to separate from the rest of the tire. Improper maintenance and heat accelerate the process. Many automakers, including Ford tell owners to replace tires six years after their production date, regardless of tread life. Tire manufacturers such as Continental and Michelin say a tire can last up to 10 years provided you get annual tire inspections after the fifth year.

doug7740
1955 Thunderbird Blue
 

marvinlee

Active Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2004
I changed mine on the 2014 after seven years and 21000 miles. I am dubious that they needed changing in my low ozone climate. Consider that cars have thousands of rubber bits and pieces. I would expect rubber scientists to know how by now to make long life rubber products so long as they are not physically worn out. I did change the spare at the same time.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Thunderbird Year
5702
my 2005 bird has the original Michelin tires. 24500miles. should I replace them? one has a little cracking otherwise they look normal and very rarely need air. Maybe something in a raised white letter??
Your tires are 17 years old I would replace if you do and highway driving, new tires are cheaper than fenders getting damaged from tire coming apart!:
I replaced tires on my 2002 in 2012 with only 18,000 miles on them, I will be replacing them again this summer, with only 6,000 miles on them!!! I have 24600 miles on the car!!!
 
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biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
my 2005 bird has the original Michelin tires. 24500miles. should I replace them? one has a little cracking otherwise they look normal and very rarely need air. Maybe something in a raised white letter??
The only thing between you and the road is tires. Is it a good choice to drive on tires that old going 70 MPH?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and official manufacturers suggest a tire is only 100% safe to use until it turns 5-6 years old.
 
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CBBIRD

2005 Steel Blue Tbird
Joined
May 3, 2006
Thunderbird Year
2005
my 2005 bird has the original Michelin tires. 24500miles. should I replace them? one has a little cracking otherwise they look normal and very rarely need air. Maybe something in a raised white letter??

Moderator Note: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and official manufacturers suggest a tire is only 100% safe to use until it turns 5-6 years old.
Definitely they should be replaced.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2002
16 year old tires are about as safe as gas station sushi...

"Looking normal" has nothing to do with it.
Many tire shops won't even rotate/balance tires 10 year old or older as they are considered safety hazards.
Regardelss of mileage, if you drive the car, replace them for safety and peace of mind.
 

marvinlee

Active Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2004
16 year old tires are about as safe as gas station sushi...

"Looking normal" has nothing to do with it.
Many tire shops won't even rotate/balance tires 10 year old or older as they are considered safety hazards.
Regardelss of mileage, if you drive the car, replace them for safety and peace of mind.


Tire shops have a vested interest in selling new tires. Those who work there may be more useful if they can point out visual defects that actually justify tire replacement.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2003
When cars are driven few miles annually the tires sit and get flat spots and also the rubber gets hard. You don't notice the ride deterioration as it is gradual over the years. When you change those out of date tires for new ones you should notice improved ride handling, and traction. I have a 2003 Thunderbird that I purchased recently and it had the original Michelin tires on it and rode horrible... So bad I almost did not buy the car. The owner said it was the tires and they were original and needed to be replaced. I changed the tires and what a difference! I asked why he did not change the tires and he said he just collected cars and did not drive them often. He had a 2002, 2003 2004, 2005 in mint condition in his collection! He got me to thinking about tires and I checked the tires on my low mileage 2004 Hummer H2 and I had 3 original tires two on the ground and one as the spare. I changed them and cant believe the difference that the new tires made in vehicle enjoyment and safety! Now I am tire poor, but happy and safe so change those tires.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2003
The 2003 I just purchased from my MIL had the original tires on it when I got it last month. The tires looked perfect since the car had 10,700 miles on it. The date code on the tires was from the 42nd week of 2002. The first thing I did was drive to Discount Tire to get a new set put on. I would change them if they are 8-10 yrs old. I had one on my Trans Am come apart and trash my front fender.
 
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