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Information You Should Know

Knowing How Old Your Tires Are Could Save Your Life

Last year NHTSA's Dr. Merisol Medri's SAE presentation (click here for a copy) cited the following:

"Based on analysis of data from 2005-2007 including databases (NMVCCS, GES, CDS), 90 fatalities and over 3,200 injuries occurred annually as the result of crashes that were probably caused by tire aging or where tire aging was a significant factor."

There are NO expiration dates stamped on tires as seen on many consumer products.

Most experts believe a tire should be replaced once it is 6 years old REGARDLESS of the tread condition or depth!

Checking the age of tires installed on your car requires reading the code created during its manufacture.

The date of manufacture is indicated by the last group of digits in the DOT manufacture code on the sidewall of a tire. The number is often stamped in a recessed rectangle. The DOT code tells who manufactured the tire, where it was made and when. The last group of digits in the code is the date code that tells when the tire was made.

Before 2000, the date code had three digits. Since 2000, it has had four. The first two digits are the week of the year (01 = the first week of January). The third digit (for tires made before 2000) is the year (1 = 1991). For most tires made after 2000, the third and fourth digits are the year (04 = 2004).

For instance, a code that includes "8PY806" means: 8PY is a manufacturing shift code, and the date the tire was actually made was 0806, which is the 8th week (08)in the year 2006 (06).

The date of manufacture is essential information for car owners and tire buyers because tires deteriorate even if they are not used. European automobile manufacturers recommend replacing ANY tire that is more than six (6) years old, including the spare tire. No such recommendations have yet been made by domestic vehicle manufacturers.

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