It is a known fact that the number one issue with tire safety is maintaining correct tire pressures. That also happens to be the #1 contributing factor to maximizing fuel economy. A new issue relating to tires has come to light recently, aged (old) tires are being sold daily in the United States. These aged tires have been linked to injuries and deaths throughout our great nation. It is surprising that there is no set industry standard for testing and expiration of shelf life for tires. Tires are being sold over 12 years after manufactured here in the U.S. Common sense tells us that rubber loses its elasticity as it ages and tires can’t be as safe as when they were manufactured.
The tire industry in the U.K. strongly recommends that tires not be sold 6 years after date of manufacture. Why is there not such a standard in place here in the United States? It seems to us that a 6 year standard is reasonable, we encourage you to be cognizant of this issue and to ensure tires you purchase from now on are not more than 6 years old. Obviously, we recommend they be as new as possible so shop around if you can.
How can you determine a tire’s age before buying? There is a code stamped on the tire that tells you the tire’s age. It is at the end of a series of small numbers and letters that used to be stamped inside of the tire. The date code is at the end of the series of numbers and letters. The code reads as follows. Three digits means the tire was manufactured before 2000. Obviously no tire with tree digits should be purchased. Four digits reads like this. The first two numbers indicate the week of manufacture and the second two numbers indicate year manufactured. For example, the digits 1216 indicate the tire was manufactured in the 12th week of 2016. This is considered a safe tire as far its age. 4013 would mean the tire was manufactured in the 40th week of 2013. This tire would be at the extreme edge of safe purchase. We encourage you to educate yourself for your safety as well as the safety for others and also to deal with local reputable tire companies for your tire purchases. Please pass this information on to friends so they can be informed also.