When it comes to questions about tire aging, the most common are:
- How do I determine the age of my tires?
- How old are the tires I want to purchase?
- How long do tires last?
The way to determine the age of a tire is easy once you know what to look for. Every tire has an identification number starting with "DOT", followed by a series of numbers and letters with the last four numbers identifying the tire's age. The last two are the production year, while the first two identify the week in which the tire was made. In the picture below, the sequence ends in "5107", which shows the tire was produced in the 51st week of 2007.
Exposure to the elements, regularity of use and the quality of maintenance will have an impact on a tire's lifespan. Heavily loaded tires on vehicles that are stored outdoors in sunny, hot climates and only driven occasionally face some of the most severe conditions. This potentially can lead to tires having a short lifespan. In comparison, lightly loaded tires on vehicles parked indoors and driven daily in moderate climates can potentially have the longest lifespan.
The British Rubber Manufacturers Association recommends that unused tires not be put into use if they are over six years old and all tires should be replaced ten years from date of manufacture. Our experience has been that when properly stored and cared for, most street tires have a useful service life of between six to ten years.
To gain a better understanding of the age of your tires, read "Determining the Age of a Tire."