How Old are your Tires? Your Safety may Depend on the Answer
In the past two decades we have developed a number of new designs that are the result of an extensive evaluation of a variety of variables. In addition, our tires require a higher degree of maintenance and repair, and our new tires must be removed and replaced on a regular basis to achieve the best performance. The performance and wear characteristics of most tires will only deteriorate with frequent use. In extreme low speed maneuvers, the tires may require a less stiff tire compound and a higher performance tire sealant. There have been a number of designs and development approaches being used within the past few years. In some situations a driver may experience a temporary loss of traction in one or two wheels, or the. Our road tires are designed to perform very well in the extreme conditions typically encountered on the road, including severe rain and severe dust storms, which are the worst conditions to drive in. We have continued to use high performance rubber that will produce the highest performance with less rubber and less material to weigh. In the 60s and early 70s these tires were made of high grade steel and rubber, and they looked like this: In the past decade there has been more of a trend for the manufacturers to use higher grade rubber and metal and to offer a lighter and more flexible tire.
Watch Out for Old Tires
Tires are just about the most important part of your car. If they’re in bad shape, the car’s ability to accelerate, stop, and turn in all conditions is greatly compromised. Everybody knows to replace tires when the tread gets down to the wear bar, but what about when they get too old? The rubber in tires deteriorates over time due to UV and environmental exposure. The resulting “dry rot” leaves tire structure brittle and leads to sidewall damage and eventual failure.
This isn’t “Oh I’ll just fill it up and drive on it.
The rubber on a car tire degrades over time, and tire warranties can be tied to manufacturing dates. Every tire sold in the United States has a date code stamped.
Research and tests show that as tires age, they begin to dry out and become potentially dangerous, leading to calls for a six-year age limit for tires from Ford Motor Co. Unlike most consumers, we knew how to read the industry’s convoluted date code, which reveals the week and year when a tire was made. In San Francisco, Calif. In Indianapolis, Ind. In Orlando, Fla. At Sears, the fifth largest tire retailer in the U. At a Sear’s store in Watchung, N.
In response to our findings, Sears released a statement saying, “It is unusual that there would be tires that old in our stores.
The Ones for Justice: Tires Display ‘Birth Dates’ But Industry Opposes Expiration Dates
The Typhoon probably dates from the late ’50lil or ’60’s. If I recall, it was what Schwinn called a ” catalog ” frame, where the seat stays pass by the seat cluster and continue on in a graceful tire to join the bottom of the head tube. Avon Schwinn ” cruisers “, such as the Excelsior that was the inspiration of the serial mountain models, used a straight lower top dating from the bottom of the head tube to the seat catalog.
They also manufactured their own rims in the Chicago factory, the “Schwinn Tubular Rim”. These lil, like the Chicago frames, were among the sturdiest ever built. The parts that say “Schwinn” were made by Schwinn in their serial Chicago factory which I had the pleasure of touring in the early ’70’s.
Tires made before have a three-digit code that is trickier to decode. The first two digits still indicate the week, but the third digit tells you the year in the decade.
Federal safety regulators suggest replacing tires after six years, regardless of use. Danielle Escalante courtesy: Escalante family. But in June , the back tire blew out on the President George Bush Turnpike, according to an incident report. Escalante said she never hit any debris. The National Transportation Safety Board deemed aging tires a safety concern in a report released in But the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration has stopped short of requiring the industry to print an expiration date.
Tires, like most other auto parts, are built to withstand a great deal of wear and tear. Unlike other car parts, however, tire manufacturers always give an estimate for about how long a tire should last. The estimates themselves can range greatly for each tire, but you’ll usually see a manufacturer listing of how many tens of thousands of miles you may expect out of that particular tire. When it comes to car part longevity, however, there are always circumstances when the auto part information given by a manufacturer may not apply.
In the case of tires, the estimate of how long a tire can last is based primarily on the tread wear.
Near the edge of the rim, look for a long serial number starting with the letters “DOT.” The code will end in either three numerals (pre) or four.
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Determining the Age of a Tire and Reading the Code
The full DOT number is only on the outside of the tire. The inside will have a shortened version with just a few letters or numbers. These numbers let you decode the date of manufacture of the tire. The first two numbers indicate the week; the last two the year. For example, indicates the tire was produced in the fifth week of Subtract the tire manufacture date from the current date to determine the tire’s age.
Tires, like most other auto parts, are built to withstand a great deal of wear and tear. Unlike other car parts, however, tire manufacturers always give an estimate.
All new tires sold in the United States must have a DOT number cured into the lower sidewall of one side of the tire. This code has a standard format which has been designated by the federal government. Some manufacturers place an additional code with a specific serial, which identifies the specific tire model a tire type code. This optional number is located on the sidewall opposite the DOT number. Commercial treads also include codes, which are used to detail retread information.
This code is generally found on the lower sidewall near the original DOT code. There are many factors that contribute to how your vehicle performs, but few have as direct an impact as its tires. This short code, which consists of a two- or three-digit number along with a single letter, designates just how much weight your tires are capable of carrying safely load index and the maximum speed the tires are designed for speed category.
Tire Date Code and How to Read It
A frequent question about tire maintenance concerns service life. How long will your tires last before you should replace them? The answer depends on different factors such as your driving style, the tread design of the tire, regional climate, road conditions, and how frequently the car is in use. Another factor is you, the driver.
That is why, in addition to regular inspections and inflation pressure maintenance by consumers, it is recommended to have passenger car and light truck tires.
Recent news reports about old tires failing has experts asking if tires should have expiration dates the same as many other products. Because old tires are failing and killing people! NHTSA to investigate the problem of tire aging. The group says they have documented at least 20 accidents caused by old tires blowing out, 10 of which resulted in fatalities. Most of the lawsuits involving these tread separation accidents have been on tires that were six or more years old.
The group says the NHTSA should have a new rule requiring tire manufacturers to put expiration dates on all new tires. The group also says tire retailers should NOT sell tires that have been in storage for more than six years since the date of manufacture. Tires deteriorate over time, even if they are not used or driven on.
The tires may appear to be in like-new condition on the outside, but inside the rubber is slowly deteriorating. This may dangerously weaken the tire and increase the risk of a blowout at high speed or during hot weather. In one such incident, the owner of a Sunbeam Tiger was returning from an antique car show. The tires only had 4, miles on them and looked good as new on the outside, but the tires were 11 years old.
If you’ve ever wondered how old your tires are, it’s an easy bit of information to find out. Tires actually have a “born-on” date, and it’s listed right on the tire itself. Almost everything you need to know about your tires is molded into the sidewall and coded according to federal requirements, including the specific week and year when a tire was made.
Tire spec notation varies according to car model but primarily consists of symbols and numbers denoting tire width, aspect ratio, diameter, load index and speed.
Since , the week and year the tire was produced has been provided by the last four digits of the Tire Identification Number TIN with the 2 digits being used to identify the week immediately preceding the 2 digits used to identify the year. If you don’t visibly see the DOT tire code with the date code from the outside view, then you’ll need to view the other side of the tire. The Tire Identification Number for tires produced prior to was based on the assumption that tires would not be in service for ten years.
While they were required to provide the same information as today’s tires, the week and year the tire was produced was contained in the last three digits. The 2 digits used to identify the week a tire was manufactured immediately preceded a single digit used to identify the year. In the example above: 17—Manufactured during the 17th week of the year 9—Manufactured during or could have been or Due to trailer suspension design, there are unique forces such as ” Interply Shear ” placed on multi-axle trailer tires.
DOT Date Code & Tire Age Explained
If not — you should. They may last another three years, but your tread has little to do with it. What is more essential is the age of the tire. Tires are made of rubber, obviously, and when rubber gets old, it starts to dry and crack often times from the inside out — this process is not always visible to the naked eye.
Nitto passenger and light truck tires are designed and constructed to provide thousands of miles of excellent service. Like all tires, however, their safe and.
Tire spec notation varies according to car model but primarily consists of symbols and numbers denoting tire width, aspect ratio, diameter, load index and speed symbol that indicate tire performance. E-mail Share this page to my friends. Your Information Message. Clear Fields. Tire Sidewall A tires sidewall protects the carcass on the inside and provides a comfortable riding experience due to its flexibility during cornering.
Click the buttons for more information about the components of the tires sidewall! DOT Department of Transportation. Product Name. Tire Size.
How To Read Your Tire Sidewall
Read the manufacturing date of your tires from the DOT code. Find out whether your tires are safe!
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