VanDweller Community Forums

Full Version: Survey: How Old Are Your Tires?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
You can tell how old your tires are as follows:
"DOT Code
The DOT code is used by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to track tire production for recall purposes. If a tire proves to be defective, this number helps keep track of where these tires ended up so that buyers can be notified of the problem. At the end of the DOT code you'll find a four-digit number. This is the manufacturing date of the tire. The first two digits stand for the week; the other two are the year. For example, if your tire had "1610" listed, it was manufactured on the 16th week of 2010.

If you come across a three-digit number, you have a tire that was manufactured before 2000. A DOT tire code of "127" indicates the tire was made on the 12th week of the seventh year of the decade. But it's difficult to know whether that was 1997 or even 1987. According to, some tires produced in the 1990s may have a small triangle following the DOT number to identify the decade."
[I would expect almost all of these would be from the 1990s unless you come across an old RV which has been stored for a very long time]
The DOT code may either be on the outside or inside of the tire. Please check and tell us the results (as well as the vehicle they are on).
week 29 2013
I don't put more that 2500 miles on a year and my tires are o l d. I here one should replace all tires at 5 years regardless of mileage. Being very expensive I don't went to replace unless truly needed for safety. Are years a factor? Thanks
As a tire ages the rubber degrades you may see cracks in the rubber, the things you can't see are separating belts. This can cause friction then the tire gets very hot and comes apart, this be a sudden failure or could come apart gradually over a few miles. Watch your tires in the mirror, I have seen some trailers with 3 out of 4 tires blown out. When 1 tire goes this makes the other tires work harder and they can blow out also. Another cause of tire failure is air pressure too low,always check tire pressure before a trip!
The people who drive those big, expensive motorhomes frequently invest in tire covers that fit over the tires when they are parked to protect them from sunlight, cause the uv will cause them to degrade.

I worked in my uncle's gas station when I was young, and mounted and demounted a fair number of tires on the Coates tire machine. Old tires were significantly less flexible than new tires.

The bottom line is that, yes, old tires can be unsafe, regardless of how much tread is left on them.

The accepted age to replace an old tire, regardless of tread depth, is 7 years. Mechilan claims that theirs will go 10 years but they need to be demounted each year and inspected. Personally I wouldn't go past 7 years on any tire.

When I bought my 1979 BlueBird Wanderlodge the youngest tire was no younger than 2000, way beyond the scrap date. As it's a sizable cost to replace tires on the RV. I won't be buying tires for it until I'm ready to move it and start using it.

As far as what ages it, I understand it's the ozone in the air that does it. That's why some people use an inert gas to inflate their tires, nitrogen. But who's got a ready supply of nitrogen around?Huh
I have driven some very old well worn tires at highway speed with little problem. But my experience will not be yours. I do think keeping my tires at the upper end of the "safe" air pressure helped them to run cooler.
I just had a blowout on one of my Michelin 235/15 LTX's. They are 10 years old and still have more than 1/4" tread left but will be replaced with Hankooks.
Michelin XCX-APT bought in early 2003:

[Image: 8yomichytread_zps0b9e3148.jpg]

[Image: 8yomichysidewall_zpse85bbca4.jpg]

[Image: 8yomichytreadblock_zpsc1151a11.jpg]

These had about 75K miles on them, and half their tread left when I replaced them. Lots of reports of Michelin LT tires checking on the sidewalls but I attribute this excessive checking to using dollar store tire shine, as well as airing down to 28PSI in Baja and driving like a rally car on washboard roads.

The tires withstood a lot of abuse. A few screw punctures I fixed myself.

Note that tire products which contain Petroleum Distillates will accelerate sidewall degradation. Almost all tire shine products contain PD's.

I really like Aerospace 303 on my tires. Not shiny, beads water for months. Claims to have UV protection, but I believe few product claims.
I drive regularly. They tend to wear out every five years or so.
Pages: 1 2