But what about other products we use, like car parts, should they have sell-by dates, too?If you talk with your mechanic when your car's getting fixed, he'll probably won't mind telling you what area of the car he repaired, the main auto parts that were replaced and he might even tell you some additional auto part information, like how long a specific component you just bought might last before it goes bad.I also had no idea that tires have a manufacture date stamped on them.
They may last another three years, but your tread has little to do with it. Tires are made of rubber, obviously, and when rubber gets old, it starts to dry and crack (often times from the inside out – this process is not always visible to the naked eye).What’s more important than the thickness of the tread is the date that the tires were manufactured.This is because tires are made mostly of rubber, and rubber degrades with age.Sunlight, heat, ice, and general wear and tear can accelerate the breakdown of a tire.The last two numbers identify the year of manufacture (e.g., a tire with the information "DOT XXXXXXX2714” was manufactured in the 27th week of 2014).
For tires manufactured prior to the year 2000, three numbers instead of four indicate the date of manufacture.
Because this process occurs naturally, it does not matter if a tire is being used, stored as a spare, or simply waiting on a store shelf for an unsuspecting consumer. A 2006 survey showed that only 4% of consumers are aware that tires become more dangerous as they age.
In 1973, the average tread life of a passenger car tire was approximately 24,000 miles. If the tire has only 10 digits, the tire was manufactured before the year 2000. This six-year expiration date begins from the day the tire was manufactured at the plant—not the date it was sold to a consumer or the date that it was installed on a vehicle.
Once a tire begins to break down, it becomes more likely to fail in the form of a tread separation–often at highway speeds, when the failure is most likely to cause catastrophic injuries or death.
For most tires, this expiration date should be six years from the date of manufacture.
It turns out that tires have cryptic codes on them.