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Hagerty Employee

Your tires are talking to you- here's how to understand them | Hagerty Media

The tires on your vehicle are critical to its performance and to your safety. Knowing what type of tire your vehicle needs and how to determine the age of your tires is essential. Everything you need to know is stamped on the tire sidewall; this article will help you decipher the letters and numbers so you understand exactly what the tire is telling you.
Intermediate Driver

Good information. It seems that a lot of tires will only have the date code on 1 side of the tire. And if the date code is 3 digits, then it is from about year 2000 or older. The first two digits are still the week, but the 3rd digit is the last digit of the year but the decade is up for guessing. But at that point it doesn't really matter the decade, they need to be replaced for an on-road vehicle.

Good article Kirk.
When I bought my Eldorado, the radial tires had good tread. But the date code had weathered off the tires.
I bought new ones.

The tires on my wife's Mustang are talking to me, and they're saying, "put us out of our misery and buy new tires".
New Driver

Good information, but ad JeepCJ5 mentions, Date code is the most important item on a tire. A buddy of mine totaled a classic car that he had only had a few weeks due to tire failure from old age. in that cast the tires were over 20 years old, looked fine but could not handle freeway speeds. I have a set of B/F. Goodrich T/As that have 90 to 95% tread on them. But they were made in 2006. I will be replacing them before the set of wheels they are on go back on to my car.
New Driver

I have a 2002 Camaro Z28 triple black convertible (35th Anniversary Edition) that only has 3,500 miles on it. The tire date code says the tires were manufactured in August 2002. I know they need to be replaced but I'm thinking I should keep them to preserve the "all original" tag. Should I buy new tires and rims and keep the originals together for resale? I appreciate any replies!
Community Manager

Roger you need to buy a second set of wheels with new tires, and save the originals indoors (away from sunlight!) 


That's the best way to ensure the Z28 is worth the most amount of money is to save the original tires! 

New Driver

I've never personally understood that concept, since the original tires are junk, but it does seem to make a difference for some "collectors." I collect my cars to drive them, so junk tires are of no use to me.
New Driver

I bought a nicely maintained 1962 Impala in 2002, with Reliant A/S steel radials (curiously, marked M+S even though they're street tires). They're still on the car today. Lots of tread. I drive the car infrequently and store it inside my garage. Are those tires now unsafe simply because of their age? Should I replace them for safety's sake?
Pit Crew

They're at least 19 year old. I'd drive them as far as the nearest tire store, or better yet, put the car on stands and take them to a tire store for replacement.
New Driver

Why must manufacturers today spec such big wheels and low profile tires for the street? My car wears 245/45-R19’s. Oh, it handles great, especially for an SUV, but in 3-years of driving, I’ve bent 2 wheels, cut a tire and damaged 3 rims on curbs because their is virtually no sidewall. They’re VERY impractical and expensive.
New Driver

Decided to buy new tires for my 1962 Impala. Looking at Coker Tires, they offer a Travelstar radial whitewall 205/75R14 for only $62 each. I'm leery at that low price. Anyone have experience with this tire? Can it really be good quality at that price?