Q: How old are my tires?

A: The serial number of a tire is the most effective way to determine its age. The serial number may also be referred to as the DOT tire identification number.

How to Determine Tire Age

First, locate the serial number on the inside sidewall near the wheel. They are the last four digits of the various tire measurements displayed along the sidewall. They tell you which week of which year the tires were manufactured.

Looking at the four-digit code, the first two digits tell you which week, and the last two digits tell you which year.

For example, a code of 2317 indicates that the tire was made on the 23rd week of 2017.

NOTE: If your tire is showing a three-digit code, that means the tire was made before the year 2000. Those tires should be replaced regardless of tread depth. Experts recommend replacing tires every six years regardless of wear because the rubber can become brittle over time, increasing the chances of a blowout.

In some instances, the serial number may be located inside of the tire, requiring the tire to be removed from the wheel by you or your local tire shop.

Also, don’t forget to check the spare!

This is another in a series of weekly Q&A Mailbag sessions with the Summit Racing tech department, in which there are hundreds more. Click here to see them all.

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