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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 10:44 AM
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Cracked run-flats on R50 Cooper

Hi Guys,

Both rear tyres on my Mini have cracks round the outer edge.

Since I bought the car its been outside my mums house parked and next week im travelling down to pick it up and drive it 300 miles home.

Would you advise to get these changed before I drive back?

I have attatched a picture of the worst one
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 11:29 AM
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Yes, they are well well best their best, the rubbers gone off and perished and will no doubt be hardened hence the cracking.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 04:10 PM
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Personally, that cracking would not stop me driving the car at all, but I would certainly check the tyre pressures before going anywhere and would not drive it either fast or like I stole it....

You certainly need to budget for replacement tyres in the immediate future - there doesn't look to be a huge amount of tread depth, so new tyres wouldn't be a bad idea for grip in the wet, never mind those cracks.

You can tell how old a tyre is by reading the info on the side of the tyre - you are looking for a string of 15 letters and numbers starting with 'DOT'. Here is the one from one of my tyres:



It's the last group that give the manufacturing week - so my tyres was made in the 24th week of 2012. If yours are very old, it's possible that the code is only three numbers long - two numbers for the week and one for the year, so 011 would be the first week of 2001.

There are no hard and fast rules about how long tyres are safe to use, as most tyres wear out before they 'age out'. But at 6 years old, they are getting old and 10 years is probably a sensible maximum. It's ultraviolet that kills tyres so if they have stood outside all their life, that ages them faster than in a garage.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 04:17 PM
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Looking again at your photo, you have cleverly included one of the tread depth markers built into the tyre - a bump in the main drainage channels:



So that tyre is still legal on tread depth, but only just. My experience (which may be just psychological) is that tyres seem to wear faster the nearer the minimum tread depth they get, so replacing them at 3mm instead of the legal minimum of 1.6mm isn't costing me much - and there is a big, big difference between the wet grip at 3mm and 1.6mm.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 04:12 PM
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Thanks for the detailed reply. Ill defo have a look at the dates I didnt know that you tell by reading the numbers.

I also didnt know they had tread depth markers so the photo was a total fluke!

Mine is an 04 so the worst case scenario could be that they are 10 years old,

I think I will just drive it back and take it easy as im toying with the idea of getting new black alloys and replacing 2 of these tyres would eat into my budget for that!

Thanks again
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 05:14 PM
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It wouldn't stop me driving but I would take it easy. In any event I'd ditch the run-flats asap.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 05:17 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by jamieeccles123 (original)
I think I will just drive it back and take it easy as im toying with the idea of getting new black alloys and replacing 2 of these tyres would eat into my budget for that!

Bear in mind that you would just like to get new alloys but you have to get some new tyres as soon as you get home. Thinking you look good isn't half as important as staying on the road.
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Old Jun 10th, 2014, 07:30 AM
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They say tyres last around 5 years after which they start to decompose whatever.
Many cars such a classics that may only do a couple of hundred miles a year and still have tyres on well over 10 years old that still havent worn at all and look fine, but take them on the motorway at high speed and they can blow as quite a few have in the past with disastrous results.

If you want a definitive answer just pop into a garage that does MOTs and ask if they will just look and tell you theres no problem, if they say its ok you can then blast off down the motorway without a care in the world?
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