Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Tom asks: I am getting a long list of parts for my 2007 Lacrosse. My mechanic said not to get tires, because after three years they wouldn’t be any good, and he feels that my size tires will be cheaper in years to come because of changing (larger) tire sizes being put on new cars. What do you think?
My reply: It is true that tires have a limited shelf life because of oxidation/aging of the rubber. However, given the fact that anything made of rubber – which means made of oil – is apt to become much more expensive in the future due to the Green New Deal and possibly unobtainable, I think buying a spare set now is not a bad idea. If you store the tires indoors, protected from sunlight and extremes of temperature, they will be fine three years from now – just as the tires you have on your car right now are fine, even though they aren’t new, either. I would only be concerned about tires more than ten years old and even then, they are probably ok for normal use (not high-performance/high-speed use).
There are countless cars being driven around with tires five-plus years old and if that were a major issue, we’d be hearing about.
Another thing to consider is size – as it relates to availability. It has become fairly challenging to find 15-inch tires because almost all new cars have 16, 17 and 18-inch wheels. This increases the cost of the 15-inch tires because fewer are being made.
In any event, I think it’s very sound policy to get your vehicle as up-to-date as possible and keep it as up-to-date on a rolling basis, given what’s possibly in store for us.
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