Ever since I've been teaching my son how to drive, I've been questioning my own knowledge about driving, and I'm having some interesting thoughts. Most recently, I've been teaching my son how important it is to check your tires and make sure they are inflated properly.  I've tried to explain to him that he needs to actually check them with a tire gauge, and not just by sight, as you sometimes can't tell if a tire is running low on air.

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Then; this question popped into my head. Do tires expire? Seriously...Do tires have an expiration date like milk? Are they perishable items that have to be replaced by a certain date? Can you get a ticket for an expired tire?

Daniel Foster/Unsplash
Daniel Foster/Unsplash


I found some interesting facts about expired tires. The answer is: YES! Tires have an expiration date. How do you know if your tires are expired?

The Manufacturer's date can be found embossed on the side of your tire. It's called a DOT number, which stands for Department of Transportation. It is a code of 10 or 11 characters embossed on the tire.  Tires that were made before the year 2000 will have a 10-character code. Tires made in 2000 and after will have an 11-digit DOT number.

Photo by Kelly Cordes
Photo by Kelly Cordes

The last four digits of the DOT code represent the manufactured date of the tire. The first two digits refer to the week of the year they were created, and the last two digits will give you the year of creation.

According to Ag Safety & Health, the current guidelines for tires is that they should be expected to last six years. Tires created before the year 2000 were based on a 10-year scale because the life span at that time was 10 years.

So expire and you should replace your tires if they are older than six years for obvious safety reasons.


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