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Old 09-20-2011, 11:45 PM   #1
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Default Tire DOT Code

When I bought my used camper van I looked at the tires and guessed that the van was probably on its second set of tires and it looked to me like they had 3 or 4 years left in them. The tires looked OK. Not new but good enough.

Imagine my shock to discover that they are the original tires from when the van was new in .................. 1997!

The DOT Code is on the inside sidewall of these tires so it is not easy to see.



For tires manufactured after the year 2000 the last four numbers of the DOT code indicate the week and year of manufacture. So if the last four numbers are 5208 that means the tire was made in the 52nd week of 2008.

For tires manufactured before the year 2000 the last three numbers of the DOT code indicate the week and year of manufacture. So if the last three numbers are 496 that means the tire was made in the 49th week of 1996.

The van has been through two safety inspections in two provinces in the last 9 months and the age of the tires isn't something they check.

I have to get new tires before I head out on a trip. I might just store the van until next spring and get the new tires then.
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File Type: jpg dot code.jpg (49.0 KB, 999 views)
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tire DOT Code

Got a great deal at Discount Tire in the USA. 4 Michelins, still look new with about 100,000kms on them.
Paid about 3/4 of what I would have paid in Ontario. Saved about $400. Enter the US, and stay for 7 days,
and you can declare $750 (each) duty/tax free.
Just a thought.

(oddly, the pic of that tire looks like it isn't badly worn, but the rubber must be getting brittle)
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tire DOT Code

Thanks Mike - I'll probably do that.

The Michelin LTX M/S2 - LT245/75R16/E 120/116R gets high scores in the categories important to me so it is at the top of the list.



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File Type: jpg Michelin LTX MS2.jpg (11.1 KB, 982 views)
File Type: jpg ltx-m-s2.jpg (13.0 KB, 982 views)
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tire DOT Code

More tire date of manufacture info:

[youtube:1kxxj72g]sBMkswl8VQw[/youtube:1kxxj72g]
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tire DOT Code

If you look carefully at the sides of the tires that you show in your picture, you can see the cracks starting to form. As long as I have good tread on a tire, I will continue to run those tires until I start seeing those type of cracks. That is when I will replace the tires, no matter what amount of tread is left. I know that they reccommend replacing tires 5-years from that date code information, but as long as they are crack free I will run them. I can't afford to throw away tires just because of a date. I am really particular with my tires, and the care I give them, so I am not afraid to run them until the cracks appear. I just replaced some tires on my utility trailer that were 12 years old, because the cracks started to appear. They still had very good tread though.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tire DOT Code

I see that now. Time for new glasses for me, maybe?
I think you're right about not tossing out tires because of a date,
just keep an eye on them for sidewall wear/cracking.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tire DOT Code





Michelin suggests keeping tires in service for no more than 10 years. That seems reasonable.

Quote:
While most tires will need replacement before they achieve 10 years, it is recommended that any tires in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tires, be replaced with new tires as a simple precaution even if such tires appear serviceable and even if they have not reached the legal wear limit.
Mine have to be replaced for sure.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 15yr old tire.jpg (188.7 KB, 966 views)
File Type: jpg 15yr old tire crop.jpg (199.6 KB, 968 views)
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tire DOT Code

I think make and construction/engineering has a lot to do with it.
Bridgestones, for example, are said to be made of a firmer rubber compound and generally have stiffer, less flexible,
sidewalls, and more durable tread surfaces than comparable Michelins.
Michelins are said to be made with a softer rubber compound, and wear quicker, but grab better as they flex more
in difficult handling situations. But they wear quicker overall, too.
(based on the arguments for and against them both in F1 racing, over the last 2 decades)
That said, I went for a "hardier" type of Michelin, thinking I might get the best of both worlds.
The AT/2 is almost an off road tire by specs in the LT 245 75R16 Load range E size. The tread depth was slightly
deeper than the same sized LTX MS2s, so I went for the extra durability and tread depth. There's no noticeable road
noise difference that I can hear, but my hearing is about as good as my vision on some days. .
So far, they're wearing as expected with a lot of kilometers on them. Great on dry surfaces, or in mud or snow.
2 years ago, $800 at Discount Tire installed, balanced, out the door price. And, there was a manufacturer's mail in
rebate of $75 on at the time, if you bought 4. About a month later, they got even less expensive.
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