Never Get Fooled Again: How To Check The Manufacturing Date Of Car Tires

A few days ago i wanted to change all four tires of my car. I called several tire shops and they all gave me pretty much the same price for the same model. But at the very last shop i stopped, they gave me a price that was about 20% discounted from all the other shops. I asked if that was the exact same model and they assured me that it was. Long story short, i decided to go on with this one as it was by far the cheapest option.

While i was discussing it the other day with a friend of mine, he suddenly dropped the bomb: “They must have used an older stock. Same model but older.”

I immediately thought i was fooled. “Is there a way check the manufacturing date of the tires?” i replied. “Of course, there is”, he said. “You just need to know where to look”. (the article continues after the ad)

And as it turns out, the answer is indeed pretty simple. Every single tire has its manufacturing date molded on the side. It’s usually near the rim and starts with the letters “DOT” followed by a code that ends in four numbers. Those last four numbers is the tire’s “born-on date” and it reads as follows:  the first two numbers refer to the week and the second two numbers to the year. For example, in the picture below, the code is “3011” which means that the tire was manufactured on the 30th week of 2011 (July 25 – July 31, 2011):

Photo: Ben Wojdyla

Using the same principle, all tires that write 0716 are manufactured in the 7th week of 2016 and so on and so forth. Simple, right?

So, how old is “too old”? Well, even though there are no specific guidelines that can hep us answer this question, according to Popular Mechanics if your “new” tire is older than 2 years old, you should either ask for discount or a newer manufacture date.

For those who are curious about the first elements of the code, they are just an indication that the tire has passed the testing requirements of the Department of Transportation.


* By the way, I wasn’t fooled. All tires were made in “2117”, meaning they were made between May 22nd and May 28th 2017.

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: Don’t Get Fooled Again: This Is What ‘Genuine Leather’ Actually Means 

Photo: Ghetto Wagon / YouTube
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: How Old Are Your Tires? Check the Born-On Date | How to check when your tyres were manufactured | and most importantly Nicolas C.

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