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Tyre Manufacturing Date Check

For the most part, the age of your tyres and the annual mileage driven is going to determine how long the tread depth remains legal.

This guide explains how to check the age of a tyre using the Department of Transportation (DOT) code numbers stamped on the sidewall.

How to Check the Age of Tyres in the UK

  1. Look for the serial number markings that the manufacturer stamps on the tyre wall near the rim.
  2. The four-digit code denotes the exact week and year that the tyre was first manufactured.
  3. For example, a DOT code "1316" would mean the year of manufacture was the thirteenth (13) week of the year 2016.
  4. The general recommendation is to replace the tyre if the DOT numbers indicate the tyre is more than ten (10) years old. Remember to check the spare tyre as well.

So, what are some common reasons for tyre ageing? In fact, most of the damage occurs from UV light because it oxidises the rubber. Hence, the tyre walls dry out and start to crack as they get older.

At What Age Do Tyres Expire?

It's true to say that most tyres contain anti-oxidising chemicals to help slow down the ageing process. But, it fails to protect them when they are not moving.

As a result, tyres age faster when they are not used on a regular basis. In the same way, keeping them in storage means they will deteriorate quicker.

How to Read Tyre Codes?

There's no need to remember when you had them fitted if you know how to perform a tyre manufacturing date check.

How to Tell the Age of a Tyre in the United Kingdom?You can work out your tyre age by reading the 'date of birth' written on the rubber wall near the rim.

It's best to clean them first, and then look for the four (4) digits - also called the DOT code.

The first two numbers define the actual calendar week of manufacture (e.g. week 01 up to week 52).

Then, the second two numbers represent an abbreviation for the actual year of manufacture (e.g. code 1316 means the tyre was made between the 28th of March and the 3rd of April in 2016).

Note: Despite being very old and most likely needing replacement, tyres manufactured before the year 2000 will only have three (3) figures.

When is a Tyre Considered Too Old?

The introduction of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (by the Department for Transport) bans the use of tyres aged more than ten (10) years on certain vehicles.

Even so, the general recommendation is to replace all tyres if they get damaged or when they reach ten years old - no matter the depth of tread.

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