Are Your Tires Safe? Informative - Tire Safety, How To Read The Date Codes

Review by DigitalCommando on 2008-05-10
When it comes to buying a new tire, we use our eyes to view the tire and admire all that new thick shiny tread. But is that tire really new? In a recent undercover expose of several major retailers of tires, some were found to be selling “new” tires that were actually manufactured 11 years ago! These tires still looked good but according to industry watchdogs, any tire over 6 years of age is no longer safe to use. England has laws banning the sale of tires beyond 6 years old and seems to be a little ahead of us when it comes to protecting consumers. Due to a loss of pliability, the tires become harder and more brittle and that has been the direct cause of a large number of highway deaths recently, even though there was still a good quantity of tread left on them, but complete sections of the tire separated causing a blowout.

You can avoid becoming the next victim by knowing how to read the date code that is stamped on each tire. For some strange reason, the tire manufacturers decided that this date code should be placed on the side of the tire that faces inward! That means you have to climb under your car with a flashlight to get at the info. The tire identification code that you can easily see on the outside of the tire contains all of the information about the tire except date of manufacture. You need to check your current tires and check the code on any new tires BEFORE they are installed on your car. Here's how to read it: You will see a long series of numbers all in a row. The LAST 4 numbers are the date code. For example, if you saw the number 5102 at the end, the first 2 numbers are the WEEK of manufacture (51st week of the year), and the second 2 numbers are the YEAR itself.

If the last set of numbers only has 3 digits (as was discovered in stores being sold as new during recent stings) were actually manufactured before 2000 making those tires 8 years old or older. Knowing this small tidbit of info can possibly help save your life so make sure you use it. Don't let a tire store try to dump these old tires on you, demand a tire that was made within the last 2 years and take your business somewhere else if they won't. Happy and safe motoring! DC
Comments:12 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-07-20
Posted by Chris on 2008-05-10:
this is a good review...thanks for the good info.
Posted by tander on 2008-05-10:
Good review!
Posted by jktshff1 on 2008-05-11:
Agree with the others thanks! VH
Posted by MRM on 2008-05-11:
DigitalCommando, very informative article as I have learned something new today and thanks for alerting your readers!
Posted by D. on 2008-05-11:
DC...Thanks soooo much for this info...I'm always concerened about my tires, and a little overdue of replacing my two front tires. As you know, I'm not the "Sharpest Tool In The Shed" when it comes to car stuff...so, I always thought tires were save as long as it had good treads on it.

I'm sure this review will make it on the M3C Newsletter, as it has very important and helpful info...Thanks again!
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-11:
Excellent post DC. Thanks! Here's another ruse being used by discount tire stores in border states: Defective US-produced brand-name tires are sent to countries without strict quality/safety standards (Mexico). The defective tires are then sold to unscrupulous US wholesalers and are illegally returned to the US for sale as 'new' tires. Many times, the production code numbers on these tires have been removed. But, how many consumers know to look for these numbers in the first place? Everyone, go look at your tires today!
Posted by dimplepie on 2008-05-11:
The review is going to be helpful...a friend of mine is getting new tires, so I should pass this info on to her so she has safe and happy motoring. Thanks DC!
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2008-05-11:
Thanks guys, i just saw this on TV 3 days ago and thought it was interesting, and I did not know any of this either!.
Posted by D. on 2008-05-12:
See...Didn't Basher tell ya that you would make it on the M3C newsletter..and top billing as well! Congrates!
Posted by tyhero on 2008-05-25:
Thanks for the tip... I'm on my way to the driveway now
Posted by D. on 2008-07-20:
20/20 did a report on this issue...here is a link to the resport that was posted on YouTube...I would advise everyone to take the time to watch it and pass the information to their loved ones....

Posted by D. on 2008-07-20:
I just checked the two "new" tires I bought last month. The date code on them are 1408 ... which are good, made the 14th week of this year! I can't see the dates on the back tires, they are on the inside, but I did buy them at the same place, so hopefully they are good as well.

Thanks again DC for bringing this to our attention.

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