inspecting a tire to find out where is the date code on a tire

The Ultimate Guide on How to Tell Tire Age

A tire’s sidewall represents its manufacture information.

Tire age plays a crucial role in your vehicle maintenance needs. Knowing how old your tires are allows you to handle your vehicle with care and provide it with the maintenance it needs to keep working. Suppose you buy a used vehicle for your daily use. If you are unaware of the tire manufacture date, you may never know when driving with this tire might get risky. What if we tell you that you can locate the tire date code chart yourself? After reading this ultimate guide, you won’t have to call the tire service crew every time you need to check your tire’s life. 

How to Determine Tire Age? 

Whether you have a motorcycle or a car, you need to know how to figure out your tire age. While it seems like a task for technically minded people, finding the manufacture date of your car’s tire is actually super easy. Regardless of your chosen company, your car’s tire has a few numeric characters embossed on the outer wall. These characters, followed by DOT (Department of Transportation), represent the information you’re looking for. 

Typically, you may find up to 13 alpha-numeric characters to help you identify the tire age code. These characters allow vehicle users and automobile experts to learn how old the tire is. To understand how, check out the next section. 

tire date code chart for tire information on side of tire

How Can You Tell How Old a Tire Is? 

The characters mentioned above that are located on the tire wall actually mean several things: tire’s manufacturer and age. How can you tell how old a tire is? Let us provide you with a detailed guide:

Understanding the Meaning of Characters 

Please note that we have covered the details of 13-character tires. The recent legislation has increased the number to thirteen characters. 

  • The initial 3-digit tire date code characters represent the tire factory (plant) code. 
  • The next six characters speak about the tire size, type, and other characteristics. 
  • The last four characters represent the manufacture date (this is how you can know how to tell the year of the tire manufacture). 

Let us elaborate on how you can check the tire date code location in the last four characters. Generally, the first two characters identify the week, while the other two highlight the year. For instance, if you have a tire with 1220 as the last four characters, your tire’s age should be the 12th week of 2020. 

What Are Tire Age Limits and Why Are They Important? 

Understanding the tire age limits is highly crucial. If you overlook the tire’s age, you may be at a huge risk while driving. Many vehicle owners ask how to know if the tire age limits have been reached. With passing years, the material of your car’s tires wears off. According to the DOT tire age laws, changing your car’s tire every six years can save you from risky use. We have covered a few crucial signs below to help you determine when you need tire replacements. 

Uneven Surface 

If your car’s tire has an uneven surface, you may replace it at your earliest to avoid any problems. Regardless of the tire age limits, your tire’s uneven surface indicates a replacement warning that you should not ignore. 

Noisy Movement 

When you achieve a certain speed, you may lower the radio volume to notice if your tire makes a noisy contact with the road. Noisy tires indicate the depletion of the tire’s tread. Speeding up or down your vehicle can help you identify if the noise is coming from the tire or other wheel parts. 

Bulges and Cracks 

Tire age limits, when reached, often highlight bulges and cracks on the tire surface. You may take such conditions as a warning to change your car’s tire. If left unchecked, bulges and cracks may lead to tire bursts. 

Air Pressure Issues 

If you notice frequent air pressure problems in your car’s tires, it may indicate poor tire condition. When tires become weak, the air pressure lowers due to minor leakages. Low air pressure can cause serious accidents.

If you notice any of the above signs, you may consult a tire expert in your area to get tire replacements for your vehicle. Keeping a close check on tire age limits can save you from trouble. 

How to Read Tire Age Like a Pro? 

If you wonder how to read tire age like a pro, you can refer to the tires’ DOT information and determine your tire’s age. To avoid getting your hands or clothes dirty while locating the DOT information section, you may reach out to a pro tire service company in your area for quick solutions. 

The experts at Creamery Tire provide professional tire check and replacement services. The company also teaches drivers how to read tire manufacture date to avoid any market scams. 

Here are the advantages you can enjoy using the Creamery Tire services. 

  • We pride ourselves on giving the best service in the industry.
  • We give our customers a unique experience that no other tire shop does.
  • No hidden fees, and all of our pricing is complete (we do not try to “upsell” or add fees of any type).
  • Professional wheel alignment services.
  • No appointments necessary.

Call one of the Creamery Tire experts today to book your tire inspection.