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How Old is My Tire?

By: Milstead Automotive | Published 04/19/2021

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Determining your tire age is very important for your driving safety. Driving with a tire over six years old could be putting you and your passengers in danger. Tires dry rot with age from the inside out. When the tire gets older, it is exposed to the elements, and the strength of the bond between the rubber and the steel belts is reduced. This can cause cracks in the rubber, which may appear on the tire’s surface and can also appear out of sight within the structure of the tire. Keeping a record of your tires and understanding their age will help you save money on repairs and take proper care of your vehicle. Driving on damaged tires is extremely dangerous and can lead to a fatal accident. 

It is recommended that drivers have a professional auto mechanic inspect all tires that are in use for six years or more to ensure they are still safe for use. Proper tire maintenance will also help to keep your tires working effectively and lasting longer. Keep up with tire rotation, tire repairs, tire balancing, and wheel alignment services to avoid premature tire wear. 
 
How Can I Tell the Age of a Tire?
 
The age of your tire can be identified by an imprinted coded date that indicate when that tire was manufactured. The four-digit tire code is usually located on the tire sidewall. The tire serial number is the best way to determine how old a tire is. The serial number is sometimes called a DOT Code. This code offers information on who manufactured the tire, where it was made, and other tracking information. It also indicates that the tire has passed the legal manufacturer requirements. An example of a tire manufacture DOT code is 4718. 
 
• The first 2 digits are the week.
• The last 2 digits are the year.
• In this example, the tire was made in the 47th week of 2018.
 
If you have a tire with a 3-digit number in the serial number, it was manufactured before the year 2000, and you should replace it regardless of tread depth. Your tire can become brittle over time, increasing the chances of a blow-out. Tires are considered to be “new” and suitable for retail sale for up to 5 years from the original date of production with proper storage. To check for the serial number of your tire to determine its age, you can remove the tire or ask your service professional or tire shop. 
 
Every tire has a birthday, and we advise you to have your tire checked regularly by a professional to make sure they are safe for continued driving. Install new tires regardless of appearance, mileage, or actual wear, once they reach ten years of age. 

 

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