Tyre Safety: How To Check Tyre Age for Safety & Performance

When it comes to vehicle maintenance, one aspect that is often overlooked is the age of your vehicle's tyres. Many drivers focus on tread depth and overall condition but forget that tyres also have a lifespan, which plays a major role in your overall driving experience and ensures your safety on the road. For this reason, understanding the age of your tyres is essential. In this guide, we'll delve into why it is important to replace your tyres and the process of checking their age.

Why is it important to replace your tyres?

Tyres, like any other rubber-based products, deteriorate over time. They age not only with mileage but also due to external factors such as exposure to sunlight, heat, and even the conditions in which the vehicle is stored. These factors can greatly impact their performance and safety. With a loss in elasticity and flexibility, the chances of finding cracks, bulges, and other structural weaknesses on the surface of your tyres increase. This results in the hardening of tread compounds, which, if ignored, could lead to skidding and increase the risk of a blowout.

Once your tyres have reached their maximum potential, replacing them with newer ones is crucial so you can embark on adventures that are comfortable while keeping yourself and those on the road safe. Newer tyres have softer tread compounds that provide better grip on the road, assist with fuel consumption, improve braking performance, and enhance overall vehicle stability.

If you're thinking of getting your tyres checked by a mechanic, there's no need for that! The process is pretty straightforward and one you can tackle yourself.

How to check the age of your tyres

The first step is to locate the Tyre Identification Number (TIN), which is a series of characters on the tyre sidewall that begins with 'DOT'. This number indicates that the tyre complies with safety standards. The next step is to identify the last four digits of the TIN, as these inform you of the tyre's age.

The last four digits represent the week and year of manufacture. The first two indicate the week (e.g., 34 for the 34th week of the year), and the last two indicate the year (e.g., 18 for the year 2018). In some cases, your tyre may have a three-digit code, which indicates that it was manufactured before 2000. If this is the case, you should get your tyres replaced immediately.

As a general guideline, it's recommended to replace tyres older than six years, regardless of the tread depth, due to the natural ageing process that affects rubber.

Regularly checking and replacing tyres when necessary is not only a matter of responsible vehicle ownership but also a crucial step in ensuring the well-being of yourself, your passengers, and others on the road. By understanding the basics of tyre ageing, being aware of signs of wear, and taking proactive measures, you can enjoy a safer and more efficient driving experience.