How to check if tires need replacing

test if your tires need replacing

There is no legal age regulation for tires, Nevertheless, there are some factors that you can use to check if tires need replacing. Also below we tell you how to check a tire’s age.

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How to check if your tires need replacing: the basics

A statutory maximum age for car tires does not exist. However, you should change the tires between the age of 6 to 10 years, even if the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm is not yet reached.

The reason for this is that safety-related functions of the tire wear off over time even without its use. For example, softeners diffuse over time and the tire can become more brittle.

In most cases, it is even recommended that you replace the tires at about 4mm remaining tread depth, as wet properties are already noticeably worse in this condition.

An exception are trailers that have an approval to 100 km / h. For these a maximum tire age of 6 years applies.

How to tell the age of a tire

On all tires produced today you will find the so-called DOT notation (“Department of Transportion“). The string gives you more information about the tire:

The DOT notation always begins with the character string “DOT”. It is located on the outside of the tire. This is followed by two to four-digit abbreviations for the manufacturing plant and the tire size. Of interest to you are the last four digits.

These four numbers describe the production week and the year of production. For example, if the episode reads “5012,” the tire was produced in calendar week 50 in 2012. It should be noted that legally up to 5 years old tires may be sold as new.

With these tips you can check if your tires need replacing, and make sure that you are always driving on safe tires.