Since a tire has a lifespan of 10 years the United States Department of Transportation recommends that car owners replace the tires on their vehicles every 5 to 6 years in order to stay safe. This applies to all types of vehicles from sedans to vans, trucks to buses, and even farm equipment. However, most car owners are unable to tell exactly how old their tires are. Fortunately, there is a way to check the date when your tires were manufactured according to DOT date codes explained in a guide prepared by our towing experts here at Chicago Towing.
What are DOT Date Codes
DOT date codes appear on all commercially manufactured tires to allow car owners to identify the date on which the tires were manufactured. This information is useful to keep track of a tire’s age in order to know when it is time to have it replaced. Because tires deteriorate naturally over time even when not in use, DOT date codes will allow you to determine how long they had been kept in storage before being installed on your vehicle. This is vital information that will help you decide when it is time to buy a new set of tires. DOT codes also play an important part in the insurance process as it can help identify possible tire malfunction that often leads to accidents.
How to Read DOT Tire Date Codes
DOT tire date codes are imprinted on the side of every commercial tire and contain letters and numbers clearly marked ‘DOT’. The remaining characters contain details of the size of the tire, where they were manufactured, the tire manufacturer’s unique code, and the year and week they were manufactured. The most important numbers are the four digits at the end of the code which denotes the date when the tire was manufactured. For example, a code that reads ‘0812’ means that the tire was manufactured during the 8th week of the year 2012.
How to Make Your Tires Last Longer
It is advisable to have your tires replaced after a period of between 6 and 10 years from the date of manufacture. However, there are certain steps you can take that could help your tires last longer. As extreme weather conditions can have a detrimental effect on tires, we recommend parking your car in a climate-controlled garage if you live in a very hot or cold area. In any event, it is vitally important to regularly carry out visual inspection of your tires for any signs of tread wear, white rubber or hairline sidewall cracks, especially if the tires are more than five years old. At the first signs of wear and tear, you should have your tires replaced as soon as possible and Leahy’s Towing can help you stay on the safe side. Give us a call to see when you can come in for a check.