How Do You Read A 3-Digit Tire Date Code?
The Tire Date Code is included on the sidewall of a tire. It is written in a series of numbers known as the DOT code, also known as the Tire Identification Number (TIN).
This code is issued by the Department of Transportation and it is useful for determining the manufacture date of your tires. It is also important for registering new tires with the manufacturer and even identifying the tire in case of a product recall.
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How to Read the Tire Date Code?
The Tire Date Code is usually written on the sidewall of your tire. The code starts with “DOT,” which stands for Department of Transportation, followed by 13 characters that provide information on how to identify the tire and the manufacture date.
7-12 Character TIN
For this type of TIN, the first two characters will be a code that represents the plant code assigned to the manufacturer. The next one or two characters show the tire size.
The next is a group of not more than four characters that are designated by the manufacturer with their internal codes for the construction of that particular tire. These characters are optional for the manufacturer so the TIN can be any length up to a maximum of twelve characters.
The last four digits are the tire date code and they represent the date of the manufacture. The first two of these digits show the week of the year and the final two characters represent the last two digits of the year of manufacture.
13 Character TIN
In this system, the first grouping consists of three characters that represent the plant code. Current regulations are transitioning the factory code from two to three characters.
This additional character will push the DOT to be a total of 13 characters in length. The second group consists of six characters that show the tire size, type, or other significant features of the tire.
Unlike in the case of the 7-12 character TIN, these characters are not manufacturer optional. The last four numbers represent the date of manufacture. The first two digits indicate the week, while the last two indicate the year.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
Why is the DOT Code Important?
The DOT code of a tire has many important reasons but the most notable one is that it is used to register your tire with the manufacturer.
Registering your tire with the manufacturer provides them with your contact information so that they can easily sort out any problems you encounter with your tires. It also shows you the date of your tires manufacture so that you know if it is expired or not.
How do I know the age of my tires?
To determine the age of your tires, all you need to do is to check the sidewall of your tire. Once you spot your TIN, look for the last four digits. This shows you the age of your tire. The first two represent the month and the last two represent the year of manufacture.
How long should a tire last?
It depends on the manufacturer and the quality of the tires. Normally, a good tire should last for up to 10 years before it expires. But when in use, that time is greatly reduced depending on the frequency and purpose of usage.
Is it good to buy used tires?
Although buying new tires can be very expensive, it is not advisable to buy used tires. The best thing to do is to get a brand new tire as it will last longer and serve better.
How do I authenticate my TIN?
To check if your tire is actually from that particular brand and not a copy, all you need to do is to contact the manufacturer and send the code on the tire. They’ll check if the code is authentic and inform you.
It is important to know how to read the code on your tire as it shows valuable information about the manufacture and age of the tire. It also helps you to know if your tire is from a credible manufacturer.