It’s good that you’ve found your way to this blog; it shows you care about a very important thing – the age of your tyres. Aside from the manner of your driving, tyres have the biggest impact on your safety when you’re on the road. And, yes, tyres do age, just like wine. Unlike wine, however, they don’t get any better. After ten years, just as your twisting the cap off that Merlot you’ve been cellaring with stalwart discipline, it’s time to have your tyres replaced – no matter how much or how little they’ve been used.

The problem, of course, is that no one can remember when their current set of tyres was put on. Thankfully, tyre manufacturers have taken the foibles of human memory into account.

Your Tyre’s Birthdate is Stamped on its Sidewall

The date of a tyre’s manufacture is stamped on its sidewall. Four digits give you the week and year of production. For example, 3218 indicates the tyre was made in the 32nd week of 2018. It will look something like this:

Showing DOT (date of manufacturing) number on a new tire.

This has been the case since 2000. Before 2000, the date of production was included in the serial number, but that’s neither here nor there, considering you’re not driving on tyres manufactured before 2000, are you?

Why do I need to know the age of my tyres?

When we think of a tyre’s integrity, there are a couple of things we always take into account:

  • Tread wear
  • Pressure
  • Rotation

Age is another factor, but one that isn’t taken into account nearly as often as it should be. This is probably because wear and tear usually spells the end for a tyre long before age has a say. Regardless, the rule of thumb is as follows: once a tyre is five years old, it’s good practice to have it checked by a professional annually. Once it reaches ten years, it’s time to have it replaced – no matter its condition.

Why should a tyre be replaced after ten years if it appears to be in good nick? This is a good and reasonable question. The important word in that question, though, is ‘appears’. Appearances, as we know, can be deceiving. The rubber in your tyres ages, no matter how little tarmac it rolls over. Time causes the bonds between the rubber and other elements to degrade, and cracks can occur beneath the surface and out of sight. Just because a tyre looks healthy on the surface, that doesn’t mean things haven’t deteriorated within the structure.

To learn more about the factors affecting the life of your tyres and how to maximise their longevity, take a look at our blog on determining tyre health.

Tyres on trailers and caravans aren’t immune to the effects of age

Some tyres don’t see as much action, such as those on trailers and caravans. This shouldn’t lead you to assume that the ten-year-rule doesn’t apply to them. As already mentioned, it doesn’t matter how little a tyre is used, it still deteriorates with age and needs to be replaced once it hits double digits.

Here’s something else to keep in mind. Most people check the pressure in their trailer’s tyres when the trailer is empty, after which they pile it up and never give it a second thought. Always check the pressure in your trailer’s tyres when the trailer is full, as this is the condition under which your tyres need to be operating at their best.

Let us take a look at your tyres

Once tyres hit the five year mark, you should have a tyre professional run their eye over them annually. If you’re not sure how to tell the age of your tyres or they look a little worn, pop in to Eastern Tyre Centre and let us take a look. As we’re always saying, your tyres are the only thing keeping your car glued to the road, so please treat them with respect.