Tires and Beer: The Common Denominator

May 19th, 2016

Tires in Courtland VAWe know what you’re thinking, “why on earth did they write a blog about tires and beer?” But here you are, reading our blog about tires and beer. At first glance it may seem that these two things could not have anything more in common than the joy of cracking open a cold one while watching NASCAR, but they do.

Have you ever opened a beer only to find that the taste is off and the beer is flat? Chances are, your beer has expired – but how can you tell for sure? You check the bottle for the “born-on” or expiration date. But did you know that your tires also have a “born-on” date? Most drivers know to replace tires when the tread gets down to the wear bar, but what about when they get too old? The rubber in tires deteriorates over time due to UV and environmental exposure and the resulting "dry rot" leaves tire structure brittle and leads to sidewall damage and eventual failure. If your tires are in bad shape, the car's ability to accelerate, stop, and turn in all conditions is greatly compromised.

So how do you know a tire’s born-on date, and what exactly does it mean? Every tire has a born-on date molded into the sidewall and coded according to federal requirements. Near the edge of the rim, look for a long serial number starting with the letters "DOT,” the code will end in four numbers representing the two-digit week followed by the two-digit year. The tire shown in the picture below has a code of “DOT DA08 JM1R 3011” which indicates that the tire was manufactured in the 30th week of 2011

Now that you know your tire’s birthdate, what does it mean for you and your safety? As a precaution, the Department of Transportation recommends changing even “new-looking” tires once they hit 10 years old, and many manufacturers recommend swapping them out at six years old.

If you’re unsure about the age or condition of your tires – stop by any of our three Bobby’s Tire and Auto locations (Franklin, VA; Emporia, VA; or Courtland, VA) and we’ll help you inspect your tires for free. Tires are one of the most important parts of your car and the safety of those in it. Although drinking a flat beer may not be hazardous to your health, driving on old tires certainly is.

  Posted in: Tires 101