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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.
The date of manufacture is the last three digits of the code.
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.
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.