Tyres more than 10 years old, including spare tyres, should be replaced—even if such tyres appear serviceable and even if they have not reached the legal tread wear limit of 1.6mm. This recommendation does not in any way reduce your responsibility to change tyres that are worn or damaged.
When a tyre has been in use, the effects of aging are lessened to a degree, so tyres that have been in storage should not be placed into use if more than six years old.
The effects of aging may be brought on prematurely, depending on such factors as load, speed, inflation pressure and maintenance. Premature aging may also occur in tyres that are:
- stored and later used as spare wheels.
- used on caravans and trailers. If caravans or trailers are not in regular use, their tyres should be inspected before every journey.
- used predominantly in coastal areas, due to the saline conditions.
- cleaned with certain chemical products.
How can I tell the age of my tyres?
The date of manufacture can be determined by the serial number located on the tyre sidewall. The serial number is a code usually preceded by the acronym ‘DOT’.
The last four digits of the serial number refer to the date of manufacture. As shown in the image the first two numbers indicate the week of manufacture (ranging from ‘01’ to ‘52’), while the last two numbers indicate the year of manufacture.