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In 1973, the average tread life of a passenger car tire was approximately 24,000 miles. If the tire has only 10 digits, the tire was manufactured before the year 2000. This six-year expiration date begins from the day the tire was manufactured at the plant—not the date it was sold to a consumer or the date that it was installed on a vehicle.

Tire tread life has quadrupled over the last forty years and some currently sold tires promise 100,000 miles of tread life. Many auto manufacturers have taken small steps to warn consumers by placing warnings within the owner’s manual of newer model vehicles.

While they were required to provided 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.

Fortunately, you can crack the code on the side of a tire to determine a tire’s actual age. The Tire Safety Group offers a free tool for consumers to check their tires to instantly determine whether a tire is expired or recalled.

You can either obtain a free Tire Facts Report from this website or you can do it the old-fashioned way. Simply type in the full DOT code from your tire and instantly receive a free Tire Facts Report.

Believe it or not, you can actually determine your tire’s manufacture date based on these codes.

I also had no idea that tires have a manufacture date stamped on them.Sunlight, heat, ice, and general wear and tear can accelerate the breakdown of a tire.Once a tire begins to break down, it becomes more likely to fail in the form of a tread separation–often at highway speeds, when the failure is most likely to cause catastrophic injuries or death.Therefore, it is possible to see a Tire Identification Number that appears incomplete and requires looking at the tire’s other sidewall to find the entire Tire Identification Number The use of a partial Tire Identification Number on the one sidewall (shown above) reduces the risk of injury to the mold technician that would have to install the weekly date code on the top sidewall portion of a hot tire mold.The Tire Identification Number for tires produced prior to 2000 was based on the assumption that tires would not be in service for ten years.

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