For the most part cars a pretty great invention, they get us where we need to go with relative comfort and speed. But when they break down they can be a real pain in the neck. Many times, however, routine maintenance and early detection can go a long way toward saving you a lot of unexpected problems and expenses. One item in particular that wears out on a regular basis and needs to be monitored for wear is the tires.
There is no set timetable for how long car tires last. There are many variables that can affect the life of a tire, but the biggest is the driver. Burning rubber and screeching to a stop are some of the more obvious ways to shorten the life of your tire. Besides treating your tires with care maintaining the proper tire pressure, not exceeding the maximum load capacity, avoiding objects and potential hazards on the road, and performing frequent checks for cuts, slits, cracks, and other damage can really increase the longevity of your tires .
To find the actual date that your tires were manufactured all you need to do is look at your tires sidewall. Each tire has it’s own Tire Identification Number that displays the week and year that the tire was produced. Each identification number begins with DOT ( Department of Transportation ). For tires produced prior to 2000 the last three digits represent the week and month. For example 356; the 35th week of the year and the 6th year of the decade. It was commonly believed that tires were used more than 10 years. Tires produced after 2000 use the last four digits. For example 2109; the 21st week of the year and the year 2009.
It is a good idea when you purchase new tires to keep track of the paperwork as well as the date. This is beneficial for a couple reasons. One you so that you know how old your tires and two so that you have the paperwork in case you have a problem and they are still under warranty.
Even if your tires are not that old it’s a good idea to check them frequently for possible damage. A small cut or slit could be an indication of a bigger problem. You can also perform the penny test to check for tread wear. Place a penny upside down and place it between the tire treads. If all of Lincoln’s head is visible then it is time for some new hot rod tires .
If it is time for new tires, don’t get discouraged. There are a lot of great deals on tires out there; especially on the Internet. Some even offer, with the purchase of tires, free shipping .