Don’t Kick Those Treads Too Hard
Is this a new set of tires or a four-piece set of ticking time bombs waiting to explode?
The answer may surprise you…
That new set of Bridgestones you just purchased from Sears could be six, eight or ten years old and just waiting to disintegrate some time during your morning commute. The rubber that tires are made from dries out after six years, but unlike Europe and Asia, American companies may sell “expired” tires long after they have aged to the point of becoming deathly dangerous.
A recent 20/20 investigation found that the “new” tires on sale at Sears and Walmart can be up to 12-years-old. [See the video below]
Learning a Tire’s Age
So how do you tell the age of a tire when it’s sitting on a rack on the showroom floor?
Look for a section on your tire similar to the one shown above. The “414″ in this example indicates that this particular tire was made in the 41st week of 1994. And this cryptic code may not be as readily accessible as one might expect. In many cases, the marking may be on the INSIDE of the tire, requiring that the inspection be done from under the vehicle (on your back with a flashlight).
First you’ve heard of this? Find it surprising that this isn’t plastered all over the news or that this information wasn’t disclosed to you when you bought YOUR tires? It sort of goes without saying that the “code” system was never developed to be consumer-friendly.
See the video: