Many times we find new customers with old and dry rotten tires on their vehicles. Dry rotten tires can be just as much of a safety risk as a worn tire. A tire that is dry rotten is much more likely to fail from tread separation than a tire that is less than 5 years old. All Department of Transportation certified tires have a serial number molded or branded into the sidewall. This number is referred to as the DOT number or the Tire Serial Number. DOT numbers are 8 to 13 digits long and identify:
1) the manufacturing location of the tire
2) the tire size and manufacturers code
3) the week and year the tire was produced
If you are looking at the sidewall of a tire you can easily tell the manufacturing location, and tire size without decoding the DOT number, however nowhere on the tire besides the DOT will tell you the age. When looking at the DOT number, reference the last four digits (on tires made since 2000), the first two will tell the week and the last two will tell the year that the tire was made. For instance, in our examples in the photos both the Hercules and the Yokohama tires pictured the first two numbers 39 reference that the tire was made in the 39th week and the last two numbers 18 indicate that the tire was made in 2018.
At Tim’s we do not recommend using tires that have been installed for over five years. We believe that it is not worth the safety risk to use old tires. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any of your tire needs!