How Aging Tires Can Cause Unexpected Blowouts

by Tujuana Lee
Finance Advisor
We Drive

One day scrolling through Facebook, I came across an individual’s post on the passing of a family member due to aging tires. I began to do some research on how aging tires can cause unexpected blowouts.

Did you know that an old tire that has never been used can look exactly like a brand new one? The tread looks new and the manufacturer’s stickers may still be on it. When tires reach a certain age, the rubber begins to dry out and crack, which can make it unsafe for road use because it may run the risk of blowing out, falling apart, or lose traction during bad road conditions.

Vehicle’s manufacturers recommend tire replacement at 6 years.

Tire manufacturer’s warranties expire at 6 years.

Tire manufacturers recommend replacement at 10 years, regardless of tread depth.

When it comes to determining the age of a tire, it’s easy to identify when the tire was manufactured by reading the Tire Identification Number (serial number). Tire Identification Numbers are codes that identify the week and year the tire was produced.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that Tire Identification Numbers be a combination of the letters DOT, followed by 8 to 13 letters and/or numbers that identify the manufacturing location, tire size and manufacturer’s code, along with the week and year the tire was manufactured.

The Tire Identification Number for tires produced before 2000 was based on the assumption that tires would not be in service for 10 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 3 digits. The 2 digits used to identify the week a tire was manufactured immediately preceded a single digit used to identify the year.

Here is an example of a tire manufactured before 2000 with the earlier Tire Identification Number format:

DOT EJ8J DFM 408

40: Manufactured during the 40th week of the year

8: Manufactured during the 8th year of the decade

Tires manufactured since 2000 display the week and year the tire was produced, and is shown by the last 4 digits of the Tire Identification Number with the 2 digits being used to identify the week immediately preceding the 2 digits used to identify the year.

Here is an example of a tire manufactured since 2000 with the earlier Tire Identification Number format:

DOT U2LL LMLR 5107

51: Manufactured during the 51st week of the year

07: Manufactured during 2007

Still have questions or need help? Call or visit We Drive today. And always drive safely!

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