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How Old are your Tires? November 18, 2009

Posted by General Zod in Advice, Vehicles.
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Did you know that the tires on your car have an expiration date?

Have you ever seen a strip of tire tread laying on the side of the road and wonder how that happened?

Even if the tire looks brand new, it does not mean that the tire is new.  A tire could sit in a warehouse or on a store shelf for years before you acquire it.  Tires will begin to dry out over time… and (some say that after 6 years) the tire is in danger of separating from the tread at an unexpected moment.

So how old are your tires?

tire_age Look at the series of characters and numbers on the side of the tire that begins with “DOT”.  At the very end of the line, there should be a 3 or 4 digit number that indicates the date of manufacturing.  (If you do not see the manufacturer date code on the outside of the tire, then look on the car-side side of the tire.)

The first 2 digits indicate the week of the year during which it was manufactured.  The remaining digits indicate the year that the tire was made.  A single-digit year code refers to a year in the 1990’s.  (And if you have a 3-digit code, then get those tires replaced ASAP!)  A double-digit year code indicates a year in the 21st century.

Here are some code examples:

278 = 27th week of 1998
2105 = 21st week of 2005

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I just found an investigation piece by ABC News on this topic, and think it’s worth your time to watch.

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