“The auto-oxidation of rubber has been known for a long time, and for a long time, too, it has been known that it plays an important part in spontaneous deterioration or aging, and it has been the object of numerous studies of much interest.” - Journal article from 1931There's been quite a bit of controversy over the issue of tire aging lately.Many people would like to see manufacturers and dealers either put expiration dates on their tires or otherwise clearly mark the age of each tire for consumers at the time of purchase.It can end up costing a pretty penny — usually 0 to 0 for a set of four. Replacement tires should always match what's noted in your owner's manual or car door jamb, not necessarily what's currently on your vehicle. A tire's "birthday" is noted as a four-digit number following a letter sequence beginning with DOT, indicating the week and year it was manufactured — 5009, for instance, means the 50th week of 2009.Vehicle manufacturers recommend you replace tires after six years, no matter what their condition. "All-season" tires are a popular and wise choice for most drivers.Rolling your mouse over any of the descriptions will highlight the appropriate branding on the tire sidewall illustration.Clicking on selected descriptions will link you to a page providing additional details (where applicable).The rule of thumb is to replace tires when they are 6 years old, even if they appear to be in good condition.
(Lea en español) In addition to the tire's brand and line names (tire model), there is a lot of information provided by the manufacturer on the sidewalls of the tires they produce.
Since some shops stock old tires, check the age code to make sure you're not being sold ones that are already several years old and well on their way to needing replacement. But think those called "high-performance" or "ultra high-performance" are better? Tire performance means ability to handle well at higher speeds, not lifespan. Manufacturers often tout mileage warranties — typically between 50,000 to 80,000 miles, depending on tire type.
Any tire with "high-performance" in its name will likely wear out quicker. The mechanic whom I use, however, says, "In truth, drivers never get that kind of mileage from their tires.
Roger Griggs from Kwikfit said: "Tyres contain anti-oxidising chemicals to slow the rate of ageing, but they need to be in use for these to be effective.
Infrequent use or poor storage can accelerate the ageing process and make tyres unroadworthy.