How old are my tyres?

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How old are my tyres?

The age of the tyres has a decisive influence on the function of the tires and thus on the roadworthiness of the vehicle. Worn tires, for example, show poorer road grip. It is therefore useful for the car owner to be able to determine the age of the tires themselves at any time. Here you will find all the important background information on this exciting topic.

How can the age of the tyres be determined?
Many car owners ask themselves how to tell the age of their tyres. The easiest way is to assess the profile. A new tire still has its full tread thickness. Over time, however, this profile wears out due to abrasion on the road. For example, a tire with an initial profile of 8 mm may only have a profile of 3 or 2 mm after a certain period of use. The less profile there is, the older the tire must be. However, this is not a precise method of determining the age of the tire.

Where can I read the tyre age?
If you want to determine the age of tires more precisely, you have to look at the so-called DOT number . This is a four-digit identifier that all tires have had since the year 2000. DOT stands for “Department of Transportation”, meaning the date of manufacture. The identifier is read as follows: the first two digits indicate the week of production, the last two digits hide the year of production. A DOT number like 0915, for example, means that the tire was manufactured in the 09th week of 2015. Anyone who can read the age of the tires has a clear advantage.

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With this method, the age of tires can be determined with absolute precision. Checking the DOT number is always instructive. This also applies to the purchase of new tyres: the number shows immediately how long the product has been on the shelf. The same applies to the purchase of used cars or used tires.

Tyre age: Why are winter and summer tires that are too old dangerous?
The older a tire is, the more worn the profile is. However, the tire profile provides the necessary grip on the road. If this is lower, the driver has to cope with a spongy driving behavior of the vehicle. This represents a significant risk factor. If the condition of the tire continues to deteriorate due to wear, damage can result. The material eventually becomes brittle and cracked. In the worst case, the tread can become detached. Basically, the following applies: The age of tires has an impact on how great the risk of failure is.

Determining tire age: How old can a summer tyre be?
The ADAC recommends that summer tires should be replaced with new models after six years at the latest. When the right time has come also depends on the intensity of use and driving style.

Read tire age: How old can a winter tyre be?
Winter tires have a significantly thicker profile and a softer rubber compound than summer tires . This allows the tread of winter tires to adapt more easily to the road surface. In this way, the special feature of the profile of winter tires, namely the presence of lamellae, comes into its own and provides the so-called “grip edge effect”. Since winter tires also “harden” over time , this benefit decreases over time and as the profile decreases. There is no legal age limit for either summer tires or winter tires. However, there is a recommendation to replace tires after 8 years (ADAC) or after 10 years at the latest – regardless of the profile height. This is 1.6 millimeters for winter tires. So that a winter profile with slats can still work well, the change recommendation is 4mm.

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How can I extend the life of the tyres?
A few actions by the driver can effectively extend the life of the tires. Heavy braking and an overly dynamic driving style should be avoided. The latter applies especially to cornering, which puts the greatest strain on the tyres. It is also important that the tires are driven with the correct pressure . In the tire table you will find the relevant information in cash. This is usually located on the inside of your fuel tank cap or in the driver’s door.

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