How to read dating codes on new tires

Written by jen davis
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How to read dating codes on new tires
Use the dated serial number to ensure you don't purchase excessively old tires. (tire image by Orlando Florin Rosu from

The date codes on your car's tires tell you the tires' manufacture date. You can determine the age of your tires by locating their manufacture date and subtracting it from the current date. The older the tire, the more likely it will malfunction. Check tires' date codes both to avoid driving on old tires and to ensure that tires you purchase in the store are actually new and haven't simply sat around dry rotting for the past several years. The manufacture date of your tires corresponds with the last four digits of your tyre's serial number.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Calendar for the year of the tires' manufacture date

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  1. 1

    Locate the serial number on your car tires---a 10-, 11- or 12-digit number printed on the sidewall of your tire. It will follow the letters "DOT." The serial number should appear on both sides of the tire; however, some manufacturers only print the full serial number on one side and a partial on the other. If you see a serial number that does not have at least 10 digits, you are likely looking at the partial. Jack the car up and remove the tire to see the full serial number.

  2. 2

    Write down the serial number of your tire. The last four digits of the serial number represent the manufacture date is. It will look something like "1410." In this example, The "14" stands for the 14th week of the year and the "10" is short for 2010.

  3. 3

    Use your calendar to determine which date corresponds with the week deoted on your tires. For example, the 14th week of 2010 fell in April, meaning the example tire would have been manufactured in the middle of April 2010.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid buying or driving on old tires whenever possible.

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