How To Tell How Old A Car Tire Is
When you think about all the components that make up a car, it’s crazy to think that only one part of the car actually makes contact with the road. Though you should check your tires regularly, so many drivers don’t take proper care of them.
Good tires can last you a long time, ten years on average for example, but it’s so important to replace them when needed. Here are just a few ways to determine the age of your tires.
Check the Dot Code Or Tire Identification Number
On the top sidewall portion of your tires, there is both the dot code and tire identification number. This will tell you the date of manufacture, right down to the week of the year in most cases. Therefore, it’s vital to know what these numbers represent and know where to look if someone asks for your tire identification numbers.
Any dot number for tires manufactured after the year 2000 should end in four digits. The last four digits of the dot number will then indicate the tire age.
The tire date code or date codes on the tire’s sidewall will tell you the production date. The maple leaf after the four digits shows the tire was manufactured in Canada. Tires produced in Canada meet the country’s specifications.
You should be able to calculate the maximum service life this way and figure out if you have older tires. However, when discussing the age of your tires, we’re really talking about how much they’ve been used. Time itself does take its toll on them but it’s things like driving style and wear and tear that really cause aged tires.
Depending on the usage and the tire type, your tires can be old before their time and there are other ways to tell.
Is The Tire Flat?
This might seem obvious, but unless it’s seriously flat, few drivers notice when their tire has lost air and it could have something to do with a tire’s age and the damage on the rubber compound.
This is understandable, as most drivers use their cars for short trips and don’t stop to check their tires unless there is a visible issue. And that’s just the problem, most old tires will have lost tire pressure and go almost unnoticed.
If you have new tires that keep going down, it might be worth contacting the tire manufacturers and giving them the tire identification number to see if there is an issue you are unaware of.
If was an issue when the tire was manufactured, it’s crucial to get them replaced immediately. Today’s tires are built to an incredibly high standard, from the hot tire mold to their first moments on the road. However, problems can occur and a regular visual inspection from the driver themselves is vital.
How Quickly Does It Use Air?
Unless you’ve got a puncture that needs sorting, most tires that lose air rapidly are simply too old. Though they may seem airtight, tires lose air through microscopic gaps in the rubber compounds, especially as the age of your tires goes up. It’s important to note, if you do have a puncture or two you should only be using your spare tires briefly before booking to get new tires installed.
How Smooth Is It?
In Canada, the legal minimum tread depth for a tire is 1.6mm but ideally, your tread should be quite a bit above this. If your tires are looking quite smooth, both the tread itself and the tire sidewall, this be a sign that they are old and need replacing.
In these circumstances, it’s best to contact your local car dealership and speak to their service department. The service team at Race Auto Group will be able to let you know if your tire tread depth is above the legal minimum and sort out replacement tires for you if you need them.
Your local dealership will be able to determine if you have aged tires and locate new tires for you by just using the partial tire identification number and offer you upgrade options for tires built to last and that fit current regulations.
Do You Remember When It Was Last Changed?
Outside of all the physical sides of age, one of the best ways to tell if your tire is old is by thinking back to when you last changed them.
Let’s say you know that your car is eight years old and you’ve had it for five years. If you know you changed the tires shortly after buying it, your tires might still have some life left in them.
However, if you’ve never changed them, this might be a good sign that your tires are on the older side. This is when checking a date code or entire tire identification number on the tire sidewall can give you everything you need to know.
Get Your Tire Problems Solved at Race Auto Group
Tires are certainly one of the most important parts of your car and the tire age is something you should always keep an eye on. Though your car is likely important to you, it’s very easy to let taking care of it slip your mind when going about your day-to-day life.
It’s for this very reason that having a dealership you trust, like Race Auto Group, can truly make a difference. Their servicing experts are on hand to help you decide if your tires need changing, let you know if anything appears incomplete and support you in making a decision about the right tires to choose next.
On top of solving your tire issues, Race Auto Group can meet and exceed all your servicing expectations as your go-to stop when your car needs some care. Contact our servicing team today.