Are Your Tires Too Old? This Code Will Tell You, and Your Safety Depends on It

Are Your Tires Too Old? This Code Will Tell You, and Your Safety Depends on It

Even if they seem to be in good condition, your tires can become fragile if they are too old. It's in your best interest to check their age by examining a special code on the sidewall.

Tires are a crucial part of your vehicle, providing the essential contact point between your car and the road. They have considerable impact on your car's comfort, performance, and most importantly, safety. That's why it's vital to check their condition regularly and remember that they won't last forever.

Like windshield wipers, tires are consumable parts that need to be replaced relatively often to ensure the safest possible driving conditions. Fortunately there is a simple way of finding out how old your tires are

Tires naturally wear out over time. The rubber wears down from contact with the asphalt, depending on your driving style and the tire's quality. Impacts like hitting curbs can also weaken their internal structure, and they age over time. Experts suggest replacing tires every eight years at the latest, even if they show no visible signs of wear or damage. The actual lifespan depends on usage conditions, mileage, and climate.

Knowing the age of your tires is essential. Even with little use, rubber ages and loses its qualities. Older tires can develop cracks and internal damage that isn't visible, increasing the risk of failure and compromising safety.

You don't need a receipt to determine the age of your tires; just check the sidewalls. Look for the DOT code (Department of Transportation), which acts like the tire's ID. This code includes several numbers and letters, but only the last four digits matter—they show the manufacturing date. For example, "DOT XXXX YYY ZZZ 1520" means the tire was made in the 15th week of 2020, making it four years old in 2024.

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Regularly check your tires for visible wear and their age. An old tire can be dangerous, even if it looks good. If you're unsure, consult a professional to assess their condition and advise if replacement is needed.

Besides checking the age, maintain proper air pressure and monitor tread wear. Well-maintained tires boost safety, performance, and fuel efficiency. Keep your tires in top shape by maintaining and replacing them when necessary. Your safety depends on it.