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Tires: How Old is Too Old? Dear James, I’ve read your articles and you have talked about where the best tires should be on your car. And you have talked about putting a little more air pressure in your tires to get better fuel mileage. But what you have not written about is the age of tires. My question is: How do you tell the age of a tire and how old is too old for a tire? Bill B. Ottawa Dear Ottawa Bill, Well if you had listened to me last week on the radio or watched my show on Wednesday Morning I covered those question. So for you and others that may have missed my diatribe on tires, here goes. The best tires should always be on the rear of a vehicle regardless of being a front wheel drive or rear wheel drive car. Hear is the common sense and test track proven reason. When a front tire blows out or you start to hydroplane you will under steer the vehicle. This mean the car will continue to go in the direction you are heading. To correct this problem you take your foot off the gas until the car slows down and you can steer safely off to the side of the road. If a rear tire blows out or you start to hydro-plane you will over-steer and you may loose control of your car and flip over. Please go to www.tirerack.com to verify what I am saying and search “where should the best tires go”? Now about how do you tell the age of a tire? This can be tricky because it is only found on the back side of the tire on the DOT code. The last 4 digits of the code tell you the week it was made and the year. So if you see 4209 this means the tire was made the 42 week of 2009. Too many people have gone to discount type tire stores and bought brand new looking tires only to find out later they were too old to be safe on their vehicle. Case in point: customer comes into my shop with 4 “brand new looking tires” and complains of a “wobble” and vibration at low speeds. When we inspect the tires we find that two of the tires are separated and coming apart. When we look at the age of the tires we see only 3 digits instead of 4 in the DOT code. This means the “new tires” were made in the 42 week of 1999. So her “new tires” were 10 years old and she bought them two years ago when they were 8 years old. Tires that are older than 5 years old should not be allowed to be on the road, much less sold as new tires. The bad part is there is no law, Federal or State or local to protect the consumer from someone selling you “stale tires”. So be alert and when you purchase your new tires ask them to show you the DOT code and make sure your new tires are NEW, not old tires sold as “new tires”. Michelin’s Mascot “Bib” says it best: “There’s a lot riding on your tires”

Tires: How Old is Too Old? Dear James, I’ve read your articles and you have talked about where the best tires should be on your car. And you have talked about putting a little more air pressure in your tires to get better fuel mileage. But what you have not written about is the age of tires. My question is: How do you tell the age of a tire and how old is too old for a tire? Bill B. Ottawa Dear Ottawa Bill, Well if you had listened to me last week on the radio or watched my show on Wednesday Morning I covered those question. So for you and others that may have missed my diatribe on tires, here goes. The best tires should always be on the rear of a vehicle regardless of being a front wheel drive or rear wheel drive car. Hear is the common sense and test track proven reason. When a front tire blows out or you start to hydroplane you will under steer the vehicle. This mean the car will continue to go in the direction you are heading. To correct this problem you take your foot off the gas until the car slows down and you can steer safely off to the side of the road. If a rear tire blows out or you start to hydro-plane you will over-steer and you may loose control of your car and flip over. Please go to www.tirerack.com to verify what I am saying and search “where should the best tires go”? Now about how do you tell the age of a tire? This can be tricky because it is only found on the back side of the tire on the DOT code. The last 4 digits of the code tell you the week it was made and the year. So if you see 4209 this means the tire was made the 42 week of 2009. Too many people have gone to discount type tire stores and bought brand new looking tires only to find out later they were too old to be safe on their vehicle. Case in point: customer comes into my shop with 4 “brand new looking tires” and complains of a “wobble” and vibration at low speeds. When we inspect the tires we find that two of the tires are separated and coming apart. When we look at the age of the tires we see only 3 digits instead of 4 in the DOT code. This means the “new tires” were made in the 42 week of 1999. So her “new tires” were 10 years old and she bought them two years ago when they were 8 years old. Tires that are older than 5 years old should not be allowed to be on the road, much less sold as new tires. The bad part is there is no law, Federal or State or local to protect the consumer from someone selling you “stale tires”. So be alert and when you purchase your new tires ask them to show you the DOT code and make sure your new tires are NEW, not old tires sold as “new tires”. Michelin’s Mascot “Bib” says it best: “There’s a lot riding on your tires”

 

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