Determining Tyre Age: DOT Code Explained – OPONEO.CO.UK

Determining Tyre Age: DOT Code Explained – OPONEO.CO.UK


Do car tyres have an expiration date? Does the age of a tyre actually matter? These are the most common questions asked by car owners thinking of replacing old tyres. Even if your tyres don’t show much wear after a few years of driving, bear in mind that they are considered “new” for up to 5 years from the manufacture date. It’s good to know what the tyre age is then – it’s not advisable to rely only on a visual inspection of the tyre wear.

What is the tyre DOT code?

Each tyre has an imprinted DOT code on the sidewall. DOT stands for the Department of Transportation and the code is made of numbers and letters – they indicate the place and date of the tyre’s manufacture.

Read on to find out how to check the tyre’s date and place of manufacture and why the age of a tyre matters.

To begin with, watch our expert video:

Production year – how can you check the tyre age?  

The DOT abbreviation is followed by numbers that indicate the tyre factory code and date, respectively. Production time is indicated by the last three or four digits.

Three-digit numbers indicate a production date before 2000; the first two digits stand for the production week and the last one indicates the year.

For example, 346 means the 34th week of 1986 or 1996. To indicate that the tyre was manufactured in the 90s and to distinguish it from products from the previous decade, the triangle symbol is shown.

Read on

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