The same principle holds true for the tyres of your vehicle as for any part of your car: age matters. It is important to check the manufacture date of tyres and not just rely on a visual inspection of rubber cracking, crazing, wear and other signs of age deterioration. Tyres might look fine, but they could still need to be replaced based on their age.
The age of any car tyre can be found on the tyre sidewall by examining the characters following the inscription “DOT”:
- The last four numbers identify the date of manufacture of the tyre to the nearest week.
- The first two of these four numbers identify the week the tyre was made (which range from “01” to “53”).
- The last two numbers identify the year that the tyre was made.
For example: the tyre in the image on the left was fabricated in the 31st week of 2012.
Some points to note about older tyres
Look for the following when you check your sidewall inscriptions:
- Tyres produced prior to the year 2000 have three numbers instead of four indicating the production date of the tyre.
- In the 1990s, Continental added a triangle (◄) to the end of the character string. This distinguishes a tyre built in the 1990s from one constructed in previous decades. As an example, a tyre with the information “DOT XXXXXXX274◄” was manufactured in the 27th week of 1994.
Continental tyre recommendations
All tyres (including your spare tyres) produced more than ten years ago should be replaced. We recommend this, even if:
- The tyres seem to be in good condition and appear usable based on their external appearance.
- The wear to the tread depth has not reached the minimum legal limit.
Even though a tyre might seem fine for driving, we recommend getting new tyres for your car.