Do these 12 year old tires have any wear left in them?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 01, 1995

Dear Tom and Ray:

My mom has a set of tires with only 10,000 miles on them. But these tires are 12 years old! The car is driven about once a month. Are the tires safe?
John

TOM: Probably. As long as there's no cracking on the sidewalls or tread, they're probably OK. Tires can dry out and crack over time, and that can make them more prone to failure.

RAY: If you're not sure, take the car to a mechanic and ask him to take a look. And if there are cracks in the tires, tell mom to get a set of new ones.

TOM: And if she refuses, make sure her insurance policy is paid up.

RAY: Tommy!

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