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DOT Date Code & Tire Age Explained

Tires-Easy Radial Tires, Tire Buying Guide, Tire Safety, Tire Technology

How Old Are My Tires? DOT Date Code Tells You

Are you concerned about the age of your tires? Worry no more! After this quick guide you will clearly understand how to find the manufacture date of your tire and understand how Tires-Easy handles tire age based on the DOT Date Code.

To find your tires age you need to find the DOT Date Code on the tire. Find the raised DOT letters and numbers. Look for 4 numbers together, often enclosed in a raised oval. The first two numbers are the week the tire was manufactured, for instance in the example below, 35 stands for week 35. The second two numbers are the year the tire was manufactured. In the image below we see the 07, indicating the tire was build in 2007. This particular tire was made the 35th week of 2007.

Tire DOT Date Code shows when a tire was made.

This tire has a DOT Date Code indicating it was made in the 35th week of 2007.

Tires-easy Tire Age Warranty

At Tires-easy we consider the tire warranty to begin from the date of purchase, not the DOT Date Code. This means if you purchase new tires today, and the DOT Date Code was a year ago, your warranty still begins on the purchase date, not the manufacture date of the tire. If for any reason you are uncomfortable with the age or your tires after looking at the DOT Date code, please call us and we can quickly aid you with a return under our 45 day return policy.

Why Should I Be Concerned About the DOT Date Code?

The concern is usually that tires may have sat in a warehouse for years, and the rubber has degraded in some way.  While it is not uncommon for it to take several months, and sometimes even up to a year for tires to be shipped from the manufacturer to suppliers in the US, be assured the tires have been stored to ensure their integrity. Once tires reach the US, they are moved into Tires-Easy industrial tire warehouses, to ensure proper storage and prevent exposure to seasonal weather conditions. Checking your tires’s DOT Date Code will tell you when they were made and how long they may have been stored.

Proper Storage Increases the Life of the Tire

Properly stored tires that are protected from the elements and not mounted on a wheel age very slowly.  There are strict industry standards for tire storage that apply to tire manufacturers, distributors and tire retailers.  Tires must protect the tires from UV rays or excessively high temperatures. While these are the main contributors to excessive tire aging, it would still take years of exposure in the hottest and driest climates for the first signs of tire aging to appear.  Whitening of the rubber, and shallow hairline cracks in the upper or lower sidewall may be an indication of UV and heat damage, but not something you would commonly see in new tires.

Sidewall cracking in a tire caused by heat and UV rays

Sidewall cracking due to heat and UV rays

Tires on most vehicles that are used regularly are likely going to be removed from service due to tread wear out before any conditions associated with tire age.  While it is impossible to predict when tires should be replaced based on tire age alone, the structural components of your tires simply don’t degrade quickly when used regularly and maintained at the correct air pressure.  The tread rubber however, is used up with every mile travelled.  Even tires on low mileage vehicles driven daily in cold climates will likely run out of tread before any signs of age related conditions appear on the rest of the tire.

How Old is Too Old?

A general guideline and consensus from the various tire industry associations around the world is that tires have a useful service life of 6 to 10 years. If you consider that the tread on even the longest lasting tires will be fully worn after 5 or 6 years of typical usage, you would still have some time before there is an elevated risk of age related degradation of the materials given proper care and handling.

No matter how old the tires are when you buy them, the most important aspect of tire safety is regular maintenance and inspection. According to The Rubber Manufacturer’s Association of America: Since service and storage conditions vary widely, accurately predicting the service life of any specific tire based on calendar age is not possible. For this reason, there is no specific limitation on the age of the tire when it is sold, based on its DOT Date Code.

If you have any questions about your tire’s DOT Date Code or tire age in general please be sure to call us and let us help you! We are always happy to help our customers!

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