Beginning to wonder if my son has sense...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Mar 01, 1992

Dear Tom and Ray:

I always thought my son had some sense. I am now beginning to wonder. He has a Honda Prelude with 55,000 miles on it, and it still has the original tires. He says the tread is good. He has three plugs in one tire, and drives quite a distance to and from work; this is freeway driving and he says he goes 70-75mph. Now, I say one would have to have suicidal tendencies to do such a thing, and that he should buy new tires. This is no kid--he is 43 years old. I think he is an accident looking to happen. What do you have to say? Donna

RAY: Well Donna, you can always threaten to make him move out of the house. Most 43 year old boys knuckle under to that kind of pressure.

TOM: But the truth is, Donna, he may actually be right. The plugs aren't anything to worry about. If they're installed correctly, they're just as safe as the original rubber. And if one ever does fail, the worst that will happen is that he'll develop a slow leak.

RAY: And although 55,000 is a lot of miles, it's possible that the tread is still good. If they were good tires to start out with, if they've been rotated regularly, if he's been doing mostly highway driving, and if the car is fairly light (in weight, not color), tires CAN last that long.

TOM: On the other hand, Donna, MOST tires with 55,000 miles on them are junk. So he really ought have a professional take a good look at them as soon as possible. The tread may be fine in some areas, and worn out in others. Or the sidewalls may be cracking.

TOM: But you won't get him to do what you want by scolding him, Donna. I think you're going to have to turn up the heat a little bit. For some creative ideas, we refer you to Chapter 6 of the Mother's Handbook: "Whining, Guilt, and Other Dirty Tricks."

Get the Car Talk Newsletter

Got a question about your car?

Ask Someone Who Owns One