Just by looking at the tire, you’ll know exactly its condition? Wrong. It may be a popular belief that once the tire look good then it can still be used on your vehicle, but truth to tell a number of research and articles say otherwise. Based on one article that I read, the surface look of the tire is just part of the equation. Along with thread depth and proper tire maintenance, the tire age is also a crucial factor in ensuring everyone’s safety on and off the road. So it is imperative that you monitor the age of your car, and if you want you can also double check the age of the tire just by looking on the product. On every tire, there will be a serial number etched on the rubber as mandated by the Department of Transportation. There will be a code of four numbers at the end of the 12 digit DOT serial number that can help you ascertain when was the tire manufactured. Here’s a simple fact that can help you. The tires that are made in the 1990s have three numbers at the end of the DOT code, and for tires that are made after 2000 then these tires have four numbers at the end. Now, it pays to have a newer tire on your vehicle since this will promote better safety on the road. A number of accidents, deaths and injuries have been reported thru the years and these are linked to aged tires, so it’s best that you take this seriously as well. Now even though a number of studies have been made between the correlation of aged tires and accidents, it was noted that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration still ignores this and fails to issue a warning to consumers regarding the issue. Sean Kane, an auto safety expert clearly illustrated the risks of having aged tires on this ABC News article;
As tires age, they can dry out and become brittle, leading to potential catastrophic tire tread separations. An old tire is like a ticking time bomb in many ways. You don’t know what’s going on inside it. That’s what makes it so dangerous.
NHTSA right now is doing its all to address the said issue. It was reported that NHTSA is in the process of developing a federal standard on aged tires for manufacturers based on tires that have been artificially aged. In the meantime, try checking the age of the tire that you buy by checking the DOT code. This article may help you weed out old tires, to get the newer ones.