So how old are my tires anyway? And why should I care?
Tires deteriorate over time due to UV and air exposure in a process called outgassing. As the tire ages, the rubber becomes harder and more brittle which can eventually lead to major tire failure like tire-tread separation. Definitely not a good thing. Experts say that tire-tread separation can cause drivers to be involved in serious crashes that could result in death.
Manufacturers suggest tires be replaced if they are over 10 years old. It’s not only important to check how old your current tires are but when it comes time to buy new tires you want to check how long they’ve been sitting on the store shelf too.
Checking a tires age is actually pretty easy and fun to do.
Every tire has a “manufactured-on” date. It’s a 4 digit number found right on the side of the tire. To find it, look for a marking with the letters ‘DOT’, there should be a 4 digit number close by. Something like 1411.
The first 2 digits indicate the week of the year the tires were made, so 14 means the 14th week in a calendar year, which would be sometime in April. The last 2 digits indicate the year the tires were made, so 11 would mean there tires were made in the year 2011.
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