Determine the age of your tyres Not sure how old your tyres are, and don’t have the receipt from your last purchase? No worries — this is a common issue and we can show you exactly how to find out.
If you look closely at the side of each of your tyres, you’ll see a bunch of letters and numbers. While this may just look like a confusing jumble, it’s actually useful info. Look for a number that starts with the letters “DOT,” followed by a series of 10-12 characters. This code, which is required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), will tell you several things:
- Week, year, and place of manufacture
- Tyre size
- Manufacturer’s unique code
The date of manufacture is the last four digits of the DOT code. The first two digits are the week of manufacture, and the last two digits are the year. For example, if the last four digits of the DOT code are 0203, that means that the tyre was manufactured during the second week of the year 2003. Pretty simple, right? However…if your tyres were made before 2000, it gets a bit more complicated.
The date of manufacture is the last three digits of the code. The first two digits refer to the week within that year. For example, if the last 3 digits are 022, it means that the tyre was manufactured in the second week of the year, and the year is the second year of the decade. This is where it gets confusing — there’s no universal identifier that signifies which decade, so in this example the tyre could have been manufactured in 1982 or 1992. Some tyres do have a small triangle following the DOT code to indicate the 1990s.
If you look at the tyres sidewall and see a DOT number that appears to be incomplete, that’s because the DOT’s current regulations require the entire number to be branded on only one sidewall, while the opposite sidewall is branded with just the first few digits. To see the entire DOT number, just look on the other sidewall.