DOT: How long do car tires last? When do I have to switch?

There is no fixed rule as to when a tire has to be replaced. However, the driver should not wait until the profile is worn or the tire cracks. Only then will the TÜV intervene during the next general inspection and the sticker will fail. In the worst case, you will fail the next police check with the corresponding deficiencies and may leave your car immediately.

The tire birth certificate

First of all, every car tire has a kind of birth certificate on its side, which can be used to find out the age of the tyre. This so-called DOT number (DOT = Department of Transportation) must be found on the sidewall of the tire. The corresponding number consists of four digits and is surrounded by an oval circle. If “3716” is there, it means nothing other than that the tire was produced in the 37th calendar week of 2016.

When does a tire change make sense?

Tires are ultimately made of rubber to a large extent. Like all rubber, this material becomes hard and brittle over time. This not only plays a role in winter tires, whose fins are a little softer because they are supposed to claw into the snow


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As a rule, the tires should be changed after six years at the latest, with summer tires it can be seven in exceptional cases. But then the change makes sense. The prerequisite for this is that the tread depth is sufficient, because this is decisive for the functioning of the tires regardless of age.

If the tread depth is less than 1.6 millimeters, you must change the tire, no matter how old it is. But even if the penalties only apply at 1.6 millimeters remaining tread, you should already change the tires when the tread is around 3.0 millimeters, because then cornering and braking potential decrease significantly.

Author: press-inform

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