Dot Code: Why It’s So ImportantEvery driver should be familiar with proper tire maintenance and practice it. Regularly inspect your tires for signs of wear, and ensure they are at the correct PSI, these are all important tips to ensure your tires last a long time. Properly inflating tires will increase fuel efficiency and give you more mileage than if they are improperly inflated. However, it is something that not everyone thinks about (until too late, that’s) how old your tires actually are. You bought them not too long ago. Maybe it was a few years ago. Okay, maybe more than a few years. You probably don’t even remember which year you bought your tires. Worse, you may not know when your tires were made. Tire age, longevity, and tire safety. Let’s introduce you to the DOT Code and why it’s so important.

What Is The DOT Code?

The DOT Code is one of many pieces of information that are stamped on the sidewall of every tire made in the United States of America. It is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, but we will return to their identity later. It’s easy to find, thanks to the fact that it has the words “DOT” followed by a string number and letters. The letters and numbers indicate the location and time of manufacture.

How Do I Read A DOT Code?

We’ll be focusing on the four last numbers. These are going to tell you when the tire was manufactured. To make things even simpler, they are often separated or circled on tires. Let’s take, for instance, the following numbers:

2519: These numbers will be split into two pairs. The first two are the week the tire was made and the second two are the year. The “25” indicates that these tires were made in the 25th Week, while the 19 indicates that it was 2019. You will need to do some math to determine the exact month of manufacture, but it is possible to type it into Google to find a simpler way. You just need to enter your four digits and it will tell what week it was made and how old it actually is.

What Is The DOT Code For Tires?

While it’s recommended to replace your tires somewhere between six and ten years of being on the road, knowing how old they are even before you buy them can be very important. Tires that have been sitting on the shelf for a while would still be in good shape, but the rubber would show its age. This means that you need to consider the age of your tires as well as how long it has been on the road. If it is getting old, you may need to replace it sooner.

What Is The DOT?

The Department Of Transportation is the acronym for Department Of Transportation. They are a part of the United States Government. This is the DOT’s mission statement:

“To ensure America has the most modern, efficient, and safest transportation system in the world. This will increase our economic productivity, global competitiveness, and improve the quality of life for rural and urban communities.”

It sounds great, doesn’t it? They are the ones responsible for setting regulations and rules that protect the safety and best interests of drivers all across the country. Although some may disagree with every decision made by the DOT (welcome into the world of politics, regulations, and politics), the mandatory stamping of DOT codes on all tires manufactured in the U.S. serves only to ensure that drivers have the best quality tires and that they are within safety limits.

Why Is It Important To Know How Old My Tires Are?

As we’ve mentioned, when tires start to age they become very dangerous, potentially more so than you’re thinking now. Tires reach close to ten years old, regardless of how many miles they’ve been on the road, and rubber begins to crack and deteriorate. This was probably when you were looking for something interesting on the floors and walls. (We are sure that this wasn’t just our imagination. Rubber bands become rigid and crack as you pull them. If they are particularly old, they may even snap easily without any pressure. This is exactly the problem that tires face when the rubber in them begins to wear and crack, causing them to literally fall apart.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Tire?

It is recommended that tires are replaced every six to ten years depending on tread wear and mileage. This applies to both the tires on your car and those in storage. Granted, if you have a dedicated pair of snow tires that you switch out every season that only see a few months out of the year compared to your summer tires, those will last a bit longer. However, regardless of how many miles your tires travel, ten years is the maximum life they should have before you are in serious danger.

Tips On Tire Life

We recommend that you stay clear of used tires. You should be able to verify that your tires have been properly maintained. Are they properly maintained? At Wheel Identity we have a plethora of options for tires, anything from affordable but reliable all the way to high-end performance models. Maintaining proper air pressure in your tires can also prolong their life. Normal Tire Rotation and Wheel Alignment also keep wheels balanced for normal and safe wear. Tires with insufficient air will cause uneven wear and sag under pressure. Too much pressure can cause coin tires to bulge, which will result in most of the weight being transferred onto the tire’s centerline. This causes uneven tread wear. The temperature also plays an important role in tire life.

The Takeaway

The DOT code helps drivers determine when their tires were made. Knowing how old your tires are will help you avoid a lot of hassle. It is vital to take good care of your tires. They are the only thing that will keep you and your ride safe and sound on the hard, uneven pavement. You and your car will be safer if you keep your tires at the recommended air pressure level. Also, check the tread regularly and confirm their age. We have many options at Wheel Identity that you can look at if you are in dire need of a new set.

Wheel Identity has professional tire technicians available online to chat with you to help you choose the right tires for you and your ride. Tires don’t need to be expensive with our flexible monthly payment plans. We want you to feel confident and comfortable in your tires so contact us today for more information!