How To Tell Your Tires Age
Tire Aging – What is it?
Tire aging happens when the rubber and other components in a tire change over time due to service, storage, and environmental conditions.
Am I at risk of Tire Aging?
Most of us drive our vehicles enough that the tires’ treads wear out, and we replace our tires before aging becomes an issue. However, if your annual mileage is low, you could be at risk. In addition to infrequent use, exposure to sunlight and temperature extremes, poor storage and poor maintenance also contribute to tire aging.
Know Your Tire Aging Facts
As tires age, they are more prone to failure. Some vehicle and tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires that are 6 to 10 years old, regardless of treadwear. You can determine how old your tire is by looking on the sidewall for your DOT (Department of Transportation) Tire Identification Number (TIN). The last four digits of the TIN indicate the week and year the tire was made. If the TIN read 0308 it was made in the 3rd week of 2008.
When should I replace my tires?
You should stop using tires for several reasons, including if a tire’s tread is worn down to a minimum depth, signs of physical damage (cuts, cracks, bulges, etc.), or signs of irregular wear or other damage due to under inflation or overloading. Don’t use your spare as a replacement for worn tires.
Consumers are strongly encouraged to be aware of not only their tires’ visual condition but also any change in how they perform. If you notice any tire performance issues, such as failing to maintain proper tire inflation pressure, noise, or vibration, consult a tire service professional.
What can I do?
You cannot detect tire aging simply by looking at your tires. However, there are steps you can take to extend the service life of your tires. Conduct monthly maintenance inspections, focusing on proper tire inflation pressure, treadwear and tire damage, along with recurring tire rotation, and balancing and alignment services.
If your car has a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), pay attention to it! If the TPMS symbol lights up on your dashboard, it means at least one tire is already significantly underinflated – You should take immediate action.