A few years old tires are count as new.
In the past years, when the seasonal tire change is due, the Hungarian media tends to communicate contradictory information about the DOT code engraved in the sidewall of tires.
Regarding the tire seasonal exchange due in spring, the Association believes it is essential to clarify the meaning of this identification number and to explain for how long is it safe to buy and use a tire.
- The last four digits of the DOT code represents the time of manufacturing. The first two refer to the week of production, while the last two refer to the year of production. Many people tend to seek tires of the “current year”, whereas tires are slow perishable goods, which can retain their useful qualities for several years, in the same way, and quality.
- All tire experts agree that the lifespan of a tire is 10 years. However, it is vital to note that tires not yet mounted and stored under appropriate conditions retain the same qualities for 5 years, which they had at the time of manufacturing. It means that selling and mounting a not yet used, 5 years old tire will not represent any kind of technical danger. Nevertheless, it is worth differentiating between the categories of new and freshly manufactured tires. The latter includes tires produced in the past 3 years. Tires made at the latest 3 years ago are “freshly manufactured”, while tires produced 3-5 years ago are considered to be “new”.
- Why is a five years old tire considered to be new? Aging is triggered by various chemical and physical processes. To protect the products against aging, special additives are mixed into the compounded rubber, which prohibits chemical reactions with oxygen and ozone decreasing the performance of the tire. On account of these additives, an appropriately stored tire will not lose its usability for many years, and its qualities will be the same as of tires just rolling out of the factory.
- The lifespan of a tire is 10 years. A 6 years old tire in good condition can also be sold, along with a notification that it should be used for 4 years.
- The conclusion briefly is.
- Freshly manufactured: up until 3 years
- New: until 5 years. It means that a tire stored under appropriate conditions for 5 years will have the same qualities as a new tire, and will not lose its usability.
- Lifespan: 10 years, the usage of tires older than 10 years is not recommended due to safety reasons!
- Official repair shops will gladly provide information about the tires they sell, regarding any manufacturing, mounting, reparation, and storage related questions.