replace or keep?

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Looking for some opinions from the board regarding "oldish" tires that are seemingly in very good condition. I recently revived a '91 MB 300SE (and got some oil advice here too!) The car has a set of BFG Touring t/a with less than 10K miles on them. Problem is that they were installed in '97, and they have been on the car which was unused since early '02. They are nowhere near the wear bars, and do not show any cracking. Should the tires be replaced considering their age and the fact they were sitting on the same spot for the past 3+ years, or do you think they will be OK considering their low mileage and otherwise good condition? Thanks!
 
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They should still be good enough to carefully drive the car to a tire store and get new tires put on it. [Big Grin] If they pass the following, I think you can consider them the same as cheap azzed no-brand tires. 1. They look good, no cracks (you already said that) 2. They hold air as well as new tires. 3. They smooth out after driving a few miles the first time and are smooth from the start next time you take the car out. 4. Some max effort panic level stops show that they still deliver good traction. 5. Derate them acouple of speed ratings.Unll You would be better off with new tires, but if they meet the above criteria, they probably won't kill you. Unless you are really strapped for money, you should get new tires. New tires will give you peace of mind and a greater level of safety and reliability.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ediamiam: When you are at the tire store, get a professional opinion on whether they need replacement. Minimally call up several tire stores and get a consensus.
That's like asking a siding salesman if your house needs new siding. [Big Grin]
 

nj300se

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That's what I was thinking too, especially after reading all the posts regarding tires over 6 years old. Thankfully, they are only 15" tires and shouldn't be too expensive.
 
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YES! Definately replace them with the proper tires that MB requires for your car. Not only for safety reasons but, a MB is designed with H or V rated tires. You will not get the benefits of a Mercedes, ie. handling, braking and the other dynamic advantages that you buy a Mercedes for. And don't put real cheap tires on it, all you have are rim protectors, try to find a deal on good high performance tires. Being thrifty doesn't mean being cheap. I am going through the same dilemma with my old Buick, I put new tires on it in June of 1997 and have about 10000 miles on them since then. Good Luck! [Burnout]
 
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You will know right away that you should change them when you start driving the car and the tires never go back to being round again. If the car had been on blocks I'd keep using them though.
quote:
Originally posted by pastmaster: a MB is designed with H or V rated tires. You will not get the benefits of a Mercedes, ie. handling, braking and the other dynamic advantages that you buy a Mercedes for.
It really doesn't matter what kind of car it is and what it was "designed" for. Tire construction is certainly better on tires with better ratings and will make the car perform better, but the vast majority would never notice the difference. Someone that drives their Civic hard would benefit more from performance tires than most Benz drivers, even though the Civic was "designed" with S rated tires. I'm not disagreeing with the recommendation of getting good tires. I'm just saying that tire choice should be determined by your personal needs (and, of course, budget), not the type of car you're driving. [Smile]
 

nj300se

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Thanks all for the help! I think I'll replace them as soon as I can. It just is not worth the risk. This is a much bigger car than I'm used to. (92 Sentra SE-R) Its a big heavy car powered by a 177HP 6, so I won't be drag-racing or whatnot. I'm concerned about snow performance on a big RWD like this, so I was thinking that the Hakka WR would be a nice "all season" tire for this car.
 

nj300se

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That's what I was thinking. I run the older NRWs on my Nissan now, and I don't feel like I'm missing much on dry roads. I do feel very confidant in the snow with them. I think I'll shop around and get a set for the 300. Thanks everyone for the advice! This has quickly become my favorite on-line forum!
 
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Was the car garaged? If it was out of the sunlight & ozone the tires might be in better shape for their age than average. At least take the car to an abandoned parking lot on the current tires and test its limits on your "free rubber"... something everyone should do with any newly acquired car.
 

nj300se

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Yes, the car has been sitting in a garage unused for at least 3 years, maybe more. And, it has always been garaged while in use. The previous owner got the new tires for it when he got the car - put less than 10K miles on it in the 3 years he was able to drive it. Like I said, the tires LOOK brand new, but who knows. I haven't had a chence to put it on the road yet, (It's still in the garage) so I don't know how the tires on it feel. Still working on changing fluids and tune-up stuff, and the fun DMV process. Hopefully by mid-late fall it'll be ready to roll.
 
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I say "keep them". Think of how many classic cars you see at cruise-ins that have tires from the 1970s or earlier from when they were restored. Garaging really helps. Naturally keep them full of air and inspect them, very often at first. If you scrap them who knows if some used tire dealer will sell them to some shmuck who won't maintain them as well as you.
 
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Get rid of them! If you've ever seen a blow-out, or experienced one at highway speeds, trust me, you wouldn't think twice. It's NOT worth an accident, a roll-over, or worse, your life. I've done a LOT of traveling in my life, from the Dixieland, Midwest, Southwest, and the great Northwest and back several times over, I've seen some very horrible accidents - don't chance it.
 
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