Tire DOT date codes are markings found on the sidewall of a tire that indicate the tire's manufacturing date. The DOT (Department of Transportation) code is a series of four numbers that represent the week and year of manufacture. The first two digits indicate the week, and the last two digits indicate the year.
For example, if the DOT code is "3516", this means the tire was manufactured in the 35th week of 2016.
It's important to check the DOT date code when buying new or used tires, as tires have a limited lifespan and can become unsafe over time. The general rule is to replace tires that are more than six years old, regardless of their condition or tread depth.
What do the rest of the Letters Represent?
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires every tire manufacturer to provide a standard tire identification number or code. This helps drivers like you learn a lot of informationabout your rubber with a quick glance at your tire date code. To help you interpret the tire DOT code, we’ll work from the example below and break down what each section of the code means.
EXAMPLE: DOT CC9L XYZ 3516
The first two characters in the tire code represent the manufacturer plant. Not only does thisindicate the manufacturer, it tells the precise plant where the tire was built.
9L The next set of characters represent the tire size.
XYZ The next three characters represent the brand characteristics. These are significant characteristics about the tire as determined by the manufacturer. 3516 Represents the month and year of manufacture.
Since some tires don’t technically become unsafe until a decade after they’re produced, the best advice is to have your tire checked by a professional at Auto Select to make sure they are safe for continued driving. So next time your vehicle is in for service, ask your service advisor, “What year were my tires made?”