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