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Read tire age by DOT number - determine age exactly

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Winter time is tire time. At the latest when the temperatures fall below 5 degrees, it is urgently necessary to worry about the tires of the car. Low-budget cars always have the temptation of using used tires to reduce the cost of changing tires. On the other hand, basically nothing to say - if you pay attention to a few things. Read in this text how you can buy used tires with low risk.

What is the DOT number?

How old is the tire?

Reading the age of a tire is very simple: the so-called DOT number is pressed in on the flank of the tire. DOT means "Department of Transportation", the US Transport Authority. It has enforced that customers can clearly read the age of car tires in order to take no risk.

The DOT number is a four-digit number. It is additionally marked by the name DOT. However, on some tires the DOT number and the DOT designation are not next to each other. Nevertheless, it is easy to identify: The DOT number is also delimited by an elliptical background.

Read DOT number:

The numbers indicate the manufacturing week and the year of manufacture of the tire.

Accordingly, "4016" means "40. Week in 2016 ".

How old may a tire be ">

Tires consist of a carcass of steel mesh vulcanized in a rubber mixture. The rubber loses plasticizer over the years. As a result, the tire gradually hardens and inevitably loses grip. This means that outdated tires can no longer be roadworthy even with sufficient tread. The highest tire age is therefore six years according to law. Tires manufactured before 2011 are therefore no longer permitted for traffic today.

Winter tires are particularly sensitive

For winter tires, tire age is especially important. These tires are a bit softer than summer or all-season tires. You need to have reliable grip on the road so you can get every grip on slippery roads. For tires for the most demanding season, therefore, no compromises should be made on tire age.

What belongs to the tire

It makes little sense to buy used winter tires and have them put on the existing rims. This makes little sense if the summer tires were mounted on alloy wheels. The putting on and taking off of the tires already costs so much that you can also look for cheap new tires right away. Then you do not have to worry about the tire age.

Winter tires basically belong to steel rims. If you move light-alloy rims through salty winter roads, you can dispose of them the next spring. Aluminum is particularly sensitive to salt water. It forms ugly scars that can be polished out only with a lot of effort. Winter tires should therefore, especially if they are bought used to be bought only as a complete wheel with rim.

But better all-season tires?

Since 2014, a tire pressure control system has been mandatory for new cars. This consists of a sensor in each tire and a receiver. In the case of double tires for summer and winter operation, therefore, each wheel must also be equipped with a sensor for the winter tire set. The more expensive the additional tires about another 100 euros. It is therefore worth considering saving intelligently: instead of buying wheels with an expired tire age, all-season tires are a practical alternative. You save yourself the annoying change and only need a set of sensors and rims. The money saved can thus be invested in new and high-quality all-season tires. This has achieved the desired saving effect while still achieving maximum driving safety. If you still want to save, you can still resort to retreaded all-season tires.

No reason for risk

As you have seen, there is no reason to mount old tires on your car. The DOT number gives an indication of the age of the tire. But she says nothing about how well the tire was treated. Curbs, permanent low-pressure driving, drifting feats and other influences can have damaged an outwardly good and young tire as well. The purchase of used tires is therefore always a risk that should be well considered. There are reasonable alternatives in most cases.

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