I know that the picture might not help but I need some help as I don’t know if these cracks look bad. I won’t be able to replace tires for a while so I was wondering if they will be good to drive on freeway a few times in the next two weeks

Picture of car tire with some cracking

  • Cracks are dry rot, replace any tire with cracks.
    – Moab
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 20:55

1 Answer 1


Your tires are nearly nine years old - a good rule of thumb is to replace tires at 6 years of age. And I'm sorry to say it but they don't look good - the big worry with cracks is the ones you can't see. The rubber will be degrading throughout the tire and this can lead to sudden and catastrophic failure when the tire comes apart.

Are they safe to drive? No. If it was a matter of a low-speed drive round to get them changed that's one thing, they are less likely to fail under such low stress and if they do you stand a good chance of getting things under control without hurting yourself or others. Freeway driving? No chance - too big a risk IMO.

  • 2
    IIRC tire cracks will make you fail the MOT test
    – Martin
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 10:22
  • 1
    @Martin Strictly speaking they are only a fail if the cords are visible or can be seen/reached by inserting a "blunt object" into the crack or holding it open (sometimes the stuff that will get past an MOT is.. concerning!). Can't tell whether the OP's tires would be a fail from just the picture. Quite possibly not relevant though as they mentioned "freeway" which means they likely aren't in the UK. Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 10:38
  • @Martin I had the garage phone me about someone else's car when I had my last MOT (same make, model, colour). They told me that it had passed, as there was enough grip, but that the tyres had perished and should be replaced. So while yes, it is something that the garage should be able to pick up on, it isn't a MOT fail.
    – Baldrickk
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 13:35
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    @Martin What's an MOT test?
    – Deolater
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 13:58
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    @RoijanEskor See my answer here for a quick start guide on how to read the dates Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 16:04

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