How to Find Manufacturing Date on Tires

How to Find Manufacturing Date on Tires

Like any other product around, car tires also come with essential information, including production or manufacturing dates. Have you ever tried to find it? For less experienced drivers, that could be tricky. But, at the same time, this piece of information is important for different reasons. Of course, a warranty is one of the first things that come to mind, but not the only one. The manufacturing date is important for many other reasons it determines the performance of your tires because they lose their features over time. But first, let’s locate the date!

Locating the DOT Code

Car tires have been standardized long ago and nowadays they all come with the so-called DOT numbers. Those three letters stand for the “Department Of Transportation” and it’s always located in the same place, on the sidewall of a tire. But many other things are on the sidewall, so it’s important to figure out what this number looks like. Thankfully, that’s super easy, because the DOT number always has four digits – two of them referring to the year of the production and the other two referring to the week of that year, withing the tire was rolled out from the factory. 

All in all, the DOT code is not difficult to find but, in any case, a short description will be useful: find 

  • The DOT code on the side of the tire. It is usually on only one side; 
  • The code itself begins with the word “DOT” and then is a sequence of numbers and letters; 
  • The last digits are the week and year of production, where the first two indicate the week and the second two indicate the year. For example, the last four digits are 3018 – this means that the tire was produced in the 30th week of 2018.

What’s good to keep in mind is that the DOT code can be located on just one or both sides of a tire. Most manufacturers put it on both sides, which helps us find it easier. But, there are still some tire models with the DOT number on just one side. In that case, there is the possibility that the tire was installed in the way that the DOT number is located on the inner sidewall, which means that you will have to take the wheel off or find another way to check the actual number.

Checking the DOT number is important for various reasons, but it’s mostly about the recommended lifespan, which has been standardized among tire manufacturers and now usually goes around six years, which means that, even if the thread still looks good, it’s time for a replacement. Let’s explain this in more detail:                                                                           

Importance of Manufacturing Date

As we’ve just mentioned, there are several reasons why the production date plays such an important role. For many reasons, it can impact the overall performance of a tire, so without further ado, let’s check the most important ones:


First and foremost, do not judge your tires by their threads and by the way they look.  It’s essential to keep the age in mind because the materials with which the tires are made lose their properties after a certain period. Most experts, as well as carmakers, agree that would be six years. That’s the normal lifespan of a tire, no matter the mileage and the way of exploitation. 

In other words, once six years pass, it’s highly recommended to replace the tires, even though the threads are good. Rubber compounds play a key role in this case because they deteriorate over time and lose their characteristics.

  • Rubber used to manufacture tires is certain to age eventually, regardless of how much effort is made to prevent it. To prolong the process, the compounds have some antioxidants and agents that limit the effects of aging. 
  • Unfortunately, a tire’s life cycle is limited, and all possible preventions may only postpone the time when the tire may be considered fully useless. Some environmental factors make the rubber more susceptible to breakdown, such as sunlight, heat, and oxygen. As a result, such degradation makes the tires more prone to cracks, for example. 
  • Indeed, tires are presumed to last six years on average, and after such a period, the chances of them failing rise significantly. Even if a tire has sufficient tread depth, it may become structurally less secure after all this time. Moreover, storage conditions also play an important role in the acceleration of tire aging. Tires stored in areas with little sunlight, low temperature, and dryness age slower than those left outside. 
  • Stacked tires also age differently. Outdoor storage leads to rapid oxidization, and you should avoid storing tires near high sources of heat or chemicals. Four: to visually inspect one’s tires regularly. If cracking, bulging, or any other indication associated with tire aging is noted, have a professional examine it.

Importance of Manufacturing Date

Warranty Coverage

Another important aspect of the DOT number is the warranty. It helps you figure out the production date and that’s later important in the way that you get the most important piece of information that tells you whether you’re eligible for coverage and if it can be applied. After all, that’s one of the key reasons why experts always recommend taking a detailed check of DOT numbers when buying a new set of tires. 

  • Warranty expiration: Most tire manufacturers offer warranties for a certain period after the moment of purchase. You can calculate the exact time that you have by knowing the production date. For example, if the tire is still under warranty, you can use it in case of defects or unexplained wear. 
  •  Treadwear warranty: It is always defined with the number of miles the tire can be used in specific driving conditions. The specific number of miles is individual for all models. If you know the exact date of production, you can count the number of miles you have to prove your claim.
  • Checking for Recalls: Manufacturers sometimes recall tires based on their manufacturing dates. Hence, the manufacturing date helps you search for any recalls on the specific tire model you have. If the manufacturer has issued recalls that affect your tire model, it can replace the tires at no extra cost. Alternatively, it may issue a credit toward the purchase of new tires.
  • Transferability and Selling the Vehicle: If the warranty on your tires is transferable, you must disclose the manufacturing date when selling your vehicle. Potential buyers may ask you questions about the remaining warranty, and sharing this information could increase the car’s resale value.
  • Maintains Warranty’s Conditions: Tires warranties are subject to varying conditions which the tire owner must fulfill to maintain the warranty. For example, maintaining them in the required pressure levels, rotating them periodically, and proper tire maintenance. That means that the owner must note down these requirements’ due dates.
  • Warranty Coverage Claim: A warranty claim also requires proof of purchase, and the manufacturing date is used as a guide. The new tread depth from the production date is an important value to ensure that the tire is still under warranty. 
  • Prorated Coverage Terms: The tire industry’s prorated coverage requirements indicate that the warranty value diminishes over time. An indicator of that information from when the tire was manufactured would allow me to understand how the prorated coverage is defined via The existing or expected usable tread life or The tire’s actual age.

Warranty Coverage

Regulatory Compliance

Last but not least, there is the aspect of regulatory compliance. Not only tires are crucial for safe rides, they are also important in the way of regulatory compliance. In many states, there are tire age-related regulations, which are designed to minimize safety risks, considering that older tires are usually more prone to failure.

  • Age Limits on Usage: A few countries or regions have legislations or standards that put age limits on the usage of tires. In such areas, selling or using tires over a certain age may be illegal. Such age is calculated from the manufacturing date, and therefore, being aware of that information is essential for consumers and also contravenes these restrictions. 
  • Import and Sale Laws: In some parts of the world, there are laws that govern the importation and selling of tires. Some of these regulations may include disclosure requirements regarding the tire’s manufacturing date. Sellers, as a result, require that information to be legally compliant and also to uphold transparency. 
  • Consumer Education: Concerned regulatory bodies stress consumer education about tire age as a critical concern for creating safer roads. Access to the tire manufacturing date enables the consumer to evaluate the choice they are making regarding the tire and falls under this goal.
  • Enforcement by Authorities: A regulatory authority may frequently conduct an inspection and enforce tire-related regulations. It includes checking whether retailers are selling tires within the permitted age ranges and whether manufacturers followed the safety units during tire construction.
  • Recalls and Reporting: Manufacturers may recall tires if they notice safety-based problems or defects. The manufacturing date is necessary to determine which tires are affected and ease the recall process. Part of compliance involves reporting and responding to recalls quickly to minimize potential dangers.
  • International standards: International standards organizations such as the UNECE place guidelines on tire manufacturing, labeling, and protocols to follow tires on safety regulations. compliance with international standards may also involve giving genuine information about the tire manufacturing date.
  • Documentation, and recordkeeping: The records of sales documentation may also be guided by the compliance with the manufacturer’s regulations regarding selling the tires. Retailers and distributors must maintain sales records including manufacturing time to use the auditing process.


All in all, locating the DOT number shouldn’t be a hard task. Solving this rubber mystery usually takes no more than a few steps and a good thing is that this has been standardized long ago and that the production date details are always in the same location, no matter the tire manufacturer or model.

Knowing the DOT number is important for many reasons. It helps you track their age and understand warranty, as well as stay in the good books of road safety regulations. So, next time you're giving your tires a once-over, don't forget to peek at those four little numbers and discover the story of your trusty treads!