How to Determine the Age of your Tires
How to Determine the Age of your Tires
Have you ever asked yourself, “How old are my tires?” If not, you should! Determining your tire age is very important to you and your family’s safety. If you’re driving with a tire over six years old, you could be putting yourself in danger, as tires dry rot with age from the inside out.
“These Tires Have a Few Good Years Left in Them”
I used to think, “The tread looks great, no bald or worn out spots, these things could last at least a couple more years”. They may last another three years, but your tread has little to do with it. What is more essential is the age of the tire. Tires are made of rubber, obviously, and when rubber gets old, it starts to dry and crack (often times from the inside out – this process is not always visible to the naked eye).
What’s more important than the thickness of the tread is the date of the tire's manufacture. Until recently, I had no idea that the age of the tire mattered. I thought it was all in the tread and visible cracking. I also had no idea that tires have a manufacture date stamped on them. But the manufacturers don’t make it easy on you to figure this out.
It turns out that tires have cryptic codes on them. Believe it or not, you can actually determine your tire’s manufacture date based on these codes.
How to Determine your Tire Age
Let’s discuss pre and post 2000 tire manufacturing date stamps (if your tire is older than this as indicated by a lack of this standard, you’ll want to have it replaced immediately).
Tires Manufacture Date After 2000
Since 2000, the week and year the tire was produced has been provided by the last four digits of the Tire Identification Number with the 2 digits being used to identify the week immediately preceding the 2 digits used to identify the year.
Example of a tire manufactured since 2000 with the current Tire Identification Number format:
The last 4 digits of the DOT code 1615 indicates mnufactured during the 16th week of the year, in 2015
While the entire Tire Identification Number is required to be branded onto one sidewall of every tire, current regulations also require that DOT and the first digits of the Tire Identification Number must also be branded onto the opposite sidewall. Therefore, it is possible to see a Tire Identification Number that appears incomplete and requires looking at the tire’s other sidewall to find the entire Tire Identification Number
The use of a partial Tire Identification Number on the one sidewall reduces the risk of injury to the mold technician that would have to install the weekly date code on the top sidewall portion of a hot tire mold.
Tire Manufacture Date Before 2000
The Tire Identification Number for tires produced prior to 2000 was based on the assumption that tires would not be in service for ten years. While they were required to provide the same information as today’s tires, the week and year the tire was produced was contained in the last three digits. The 2 digits used to identify the week a tire was manufactured immediately preceded a single digit used to identify the year. If you’re driving on a tire with this format, it was made before 2000 and it is definitely time to retire it!
Example of a tire manufactured before 2000 with the earlier Tire Identification Number format:
The last 4 digits of the DOT code 408 indicates manufactured during the 40th week of the year, during the 8th year of the decade. Which decade? Good question!
And finally, hold on to your sales receipt. Most tire manufacturer’s warranties cover their tires for four years from the date of purchase or five years from the week the tires were manufactured. So if you purchase new tires that were manufactured exactly two years ago they will be covered for a total of six years (four years from the date of purchase) as long as you have your receipt. If you lose your receipt, your tires’ warranty coverage will end five years from the week the tire was produced (resulting in the tire manufacturer’s warranty coverage ending only three years from the date of purchase in this example).
Will My Set of Four Tires All be the Same Age?
Another thing to note when getting new tires or checking your old is that all four tires will most likely not be the exact same age. On a previous set of tires I purchased, I found that three of my new tires were made in the second week of 2008, while the fourth was made in the 21st week. Had any of my tires been manufactured more than a year prior to my date of purchase, I would have taken them back immediately and demanded a refund. When checking the age of your tires, check all four tires.
My Tires Don’t have a Code on Them!
If you do not see a manufacturing code on your tire, grab a flashlight and slide underneath your car to check the other side. Tire manufacturers want to make it as hard as possible for you to determine your tire’s age, so they’ve inconveniently placed the manufacture date on only one side of your tires.
Why Do Tire Companies Hide the Tires Manufacture Date?
Because they can and it’s profitable to. In many other countries, government works for consumers a little harder on their rights. In the good ole’ USA, big business lobbies against consumer rights and quite often wins. Why would the big tire manufactures want to pull their tires off the shelf to be destroyed?
Some retailers are helpful and informed. Others not so much. Some retailers sell tires as old as 12 years! How much of this is policy vs. ignorance?
It pays to be an informed consumer, both in terms of finance and safety. If you’ve bought old tires recently, hopefully you have saved your receipts. Go back to the place you purchased from and see if they’ll swap newly manufactured tires (or demand it). If that doesn’t work, you should at least be able to get a credit towards new tires.
TagsAll blog car appraisal cars tires Auto insurance Safer driving Divorce appraisals Car consultant Diminished Value VIN Vehicle Identification Number Collector Cars Appraisal Clause Pre purchase inspections Vehicle Inspections Charitable Donation Total loss Prior to loss Totaled car Wrecked car Modified vehicle Extended warranty Probate Estate settlement Boat appraisals Financing Stolen vehicle Auto theft Hyundai Restomod Amelia Island Auction Nissan Cadillac Auto accident Collector car math Porsche Stolen car Ferrari Agreed value insurance RM Sotheby Monterey Ford Thunderbird Pebble Beach McLaren Mercedes Austin Car Jokes Hurricane Dorian Flood Austin Healey BringATrailer
Bring A Trailer is increasingly becoming the GO-TO on-line site to buy or sell a collector car. This No-Reserve 1967 Austin Healey 3000 almost complete project is going to a new owner in about 24 hours!
Whether you are buying a collector car from a dealer or private seller, and have the possibility of bringing in an appraiser to look at the car, it really behooves you to do so.
Before you accept a check from the insurance company for your wrecked or totaled vehicle, doing this one thing could mean getting thousands more dollars for your car.
1939 Porsche Type 64 Berlin-Rome at RM Sotheby’s Monterey The first car to ever wear a Porsche badge — and the direct ancestor of the 356 — will cross the block at RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction. This 1939 Porsche Type 64 Berlin-Rome was the personal car of Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche.
Find out what your car was worth prior to the accident. If you have been in an accident and it has been determined that your car is a total loss, your insurance company will need to pay to replace your car.
For his son’s 10th birthday, Keith Martin, the publisher of Sports Car Market magazine and host of the TV series “What’s My Car Worth?” bought his son Bradley a 1960 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite. Keith’s first car was a Bugeye, and he was indulging in a romantic recreation of his own past.
Sadie’s husband bought her a brand spanking new Cadillac for Christmas! With a big red bow on it just like you see in the TV ads! On December 30, with just 759 miles on it, coming home from Publix she was T-boned at an intersection by a red light runner!
More from Amelia Island: 1996 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo - Lot 102 (RM Sotheby’s) Sold for $53,200 Younger collectors are creating an increase in demand for ’90s Japanese sports cars, and while the Nissan Skyline, Toyota Supra and Acura NSX are getting the bulk of the attention, it’s a tide that’s raising all ships, including the Nissan 300ZX.
The 2019 Amelia Island Auction Week total now stands at $80 million. A 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB brought $2,205,000 at RM Sotheby’s — and was high sale at the 2019 Amelia Island Auction Week. RM Sotheby’s led all auctions houses with a $38.1 million total during their March 8-9 auction. Gooding and Company totaled $22 million during their March 8 auction. A 1930 Packard 734 Speedster Runabout was high sale at $1,765,000.
The Restomod is a relatively recent phenomenon in the collector-car world. As an alternative to the “survivor restoration” process, these new cars mix old and new technology to create the best of both worlds, matching classic styling with modern comfort, performance and reliability. From giant, retro-styled wheels to Singer’s hand-built Porsches, enthusiasts are able to have their cake and eat it too!