Consumers Beware: Old Tires Can Be Dangerous

I saw this report today and wanted to inform everyone that old tires can be dangerous.  In summary, becareful when you are purchasing “new” tires that are over 6 years old. Tires have a shelf life and ignoring the manufacturing date can be dangerous.


Tires that are left on the shelf too long can dry out and become less elastic, even if they are “new” or “unused”. Thus, the tires can explode or the tread can peel right off. The sad fact is that most consumers are unware of these findings. Although the federal government is aware, an expiration date is not yet imposed on tire sellers.


How can you determine the age of the tires?

  • 1.  Look on the inner/ or outer tire for the words D.O.T.
  • 2.  Follow the D.O.T. to the end and you will see either 3 or 4 digits
  • 3. The first two digits represent the week.
  • 4. The the third/ fourth digit(s) represents the year

    Example: 461 means that the tire was made in the 46th week of 1991

    Example: 3402 means that the tire was made in the 34th week of 2002



Note:  I’m not sure of the effects of old but used tires.  For example, what if I bought the tires in 01, but used them once a week?  Thus, the tires actually never “dry out” or become less elastic.  Please feel free to comment if you have some information or questions.


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