Shopping For Tires

Thanks to Jim Annis for the tip and information providing the basis of this article which we’ll categorize as a “family health issue.”

There is some evidence that aging tires mean failing tires and safety issues, according to an ABC 20/20 news story. The story suggests that tires have a “shelf life” not unlike food and other products. Tires over six years old lose their elastiscity and are prone to tread separation and sudden blow-outs. (I did a cursory Internet search and found a fair amount of support for this six year limit.)

Reporters for 20/20 found many stores and garages selling tires much older than six years. Consumers have no reason to question this because the tires look brand new.

What most people don’t know is there is a code that gives the date of manufacture. You’ll need to look on the “inside” of the tire (on tires on the car this will mean crawling under the car with a flashlight)… find a string of numbers… the last four digits will be the week number and the year. For example, 1404 would mean the tire was manufactured in the 24th week of 2004 and is about five years old. Obviously when purchasing new tires this gets a lot easier! You could just ask.

The point of this is not to create paranoia but to create informed consumers!

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