Just How Old Are Your Tires?

The age of your tires has a lot to do with their overall quality and safety. Most drivers don’t realize that there is a way to tell the age of your tires just by looking at them. And, no, we are not talking about checking the tire tread wear. Whether you are checking your tires to determine if they are under warranty, if it is time to replace them, or making sure the tires on the used car you are buying are good, Pit Shop Auto Repair is here to help.

What’s Age Got To Do With It?

Even with great-looking tread depth, old tires are a huge safety hazard. Tires are often susceptible to dry rotting from the inside out. So while they make look brand new, it is possible that your tires are actually too old to be on the road. Most tire manufacturers and auto experts recommend that you not drive on tires that are 6 years or older.

How Can I Find The Age Of My Tires?

The United States Department of Transportation actually requires that manufacturers display the age of the tire right there on the sidewall. If you look closely you should be able to find the letters “DOT” with a series of characters behind them. This series usually includes 10-12 numbers and letters. It just looks like an uncrackable code doesn’t it?

If you know what you are looking at, this series of characters actually includes just about everything you need to know about your tire. It tells you the tire size, the place it was manufactured, and the week and year it was manufactured.

How do You Read It?

If your tires were manufactured after the year 2000, and let’s hope they were, the date they were made are the last four numbers of the code. The first two numbers represent the week that the tire was made and the last two represent the year. Does it sound confusing? Don’t worry, this part is easy. If the last four digits of the code are 4618, then you know that the tire was made the 48th week of 2018. It’s pretty simple, right?

What About Older Tires?

Tires that were made before the year 2000 are a little more complicated, but they aren’t too bad. Instead of four digits tires manufactured before 2000 only have three numbers to represent their age. In this case, the first two digits are still the week of the year, but the year only gets one digit. While some tires included a triangle after the DOT to signify the 1980’s, this was not a universal trend.

If you suspect it may be time for new tires, call the experts at Pit Shop Auto Repair and take advantage of our tire services. We have been proudly serving the Libertyville area since 2010 and are here to help with all of your auto service and repair needs.