How Can I Determine the Age of My Tires?

Recently, there's been a lot of concern about tire age and how long the serviceable life of a tire is. Federal law requires tire manufacturers provide standardized information permanently branded on the sidewalls of all tires sold in the United States. This includes information about the tire’s basic characteristics, capacities and construction, as well as its U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) tire identification number used for safety standard certification and in case of a recall.

A tire's DOT number is ten to twelve alpha numeric characters that help identify manufacturing location, size, specifications and week and year the tire was made. This DOT number also identifies what production batch the tire was made in. Regulations also require the entire DOT tire identification number be branded on one sidewall, while only the letters "DOT" and the first digits of the tire identification number be branded onto the opposite sidewall (shown below). Therefore, it's possible to see a tire identification number that appears incomplete, yet simply requires looking at the tire’s other sidewall to find the complete numbers.

Our experience has been that when properly stored and cared for, most street tires have a useful life in service of between six to ten years. And while part of that time is spent as the tire travels from the manufacturing plant to the manufacturer's distribution center, to the retailer and to you, the remainder is the time it spends on your vehicle.

To learn more about the age of your tires, read "Tire Aging - Part #1" and "Tire Aging - Part #2."


Wednesday, August 13, 2014 by Jerry

How can I identify the age of my new tires that's continental (German made). Is there a number on the tire to check?
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 by Neal

Do you know the model Continental?
Monday, November 16, 2015 by Don Ennen

Like to know the letters/#s on tire,what they mean,as far as the age of tires,How to read the # s,So I know the age of them when I put them on my car? Thank you Don
Monday, November 23, 2015 by Neal

The last four digits of a tire's DOT # represent the week and year of a tires production. Example, if last four numbers are 1214 then the tire was made in the twelfth week of 2014.
Sunday, March 27, 2016 by Chris

Do tire dressings help maintain the health of the tire or are just for show? If they help maintain the tire what ingredients are important?
Monday, March 28, 2016 by Neal

Tire dressings have chemicals which make your tire more attractive, but over time can dry it out. These chemicals pull the oils that make a tire pliable. Because of this we do not recommend using tire dressings.

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