In the photo above, the date code is 8PY The 8PY is a manufacturing shift code, and the date the tire was actually made was , which is the 8th week 08 in the year The date of manufacture is essential information for car owners and tire buyers because tires deteriorate even if they are not used.
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European automobile manufacturers recommend replacing ANY tire that is more than six 6 years old, including the spare tire. No such recommendations have yet been made by domestic vehicle manufacturers. Tires have wear bars flat spots in the tread grooves to visually indicate wear. If the tread is worn down so the wear bars are flush with the surrounding tread, the tire is worn out and needs to be replaced.
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If you see cords showing through the rubber, the tire is unsafe to drive on and is on the verge of failure. Replace the tire without delay! The same advice goes for any tire that has bulges, deep cracks or the tread is separating from the casing. Tread wear can be measured using a penny. Place the penny with Lincoln's head upside down in a groove between the treads. If you can't see the top of Lincoln's lead, the tire is okay and still has some wear left in it. Some experts now say the same test should now be done with a quarter. Though the tire still has some tread wear left, braking, traction and handling are significantly reduced compared to a tire with more tread on it.
It reportedly involves subjecting a tire to high temperatures up to degrees Fahrenheit for 8-to weeks in a high oxygen environment.
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The test was given a stamp of approval by The Aged Tire Durability Task Group, a member task force which includes representatives for tire makers, the auto industry and safety groups. The Task Group was formed in to establish a tire durability test. The Task Group also endorsed its own, separate durability test that would run tires at about 75 miles an hour for more than 30 hours.
At issue is the claim that some rubber compounds degrade over time, even if unused. NHTSA has been in the process of studying the topic but has found that it may be difficult to establish a uniform time limit that does not take into account other contributing aging factors such as climate, handling and storage. Several auto companies are backing a 6-year tire expiration date and a number of safety advocate groups are urging NHTSA to institute a regulation. While supporting tire expiration research, SEMA believes it is important that regulators and lawmakers have the best science available before making any decisions on this topic.
They should also consider the associated environmental, social and economic costs if expiration dates lead to premature tire scrapage. If a regulation were proposed, SEMA would likely seek a provision that exempts limited production tires 15, or less annually and other specialized tires, similar to that already included in a California law requiring replacement tires be as fuel efficient as OE tires.
The law has yet to be implemented. All tires including spare tires that were manufactured more than ten years ago should be replaced with new tires, even if they appear to be usable from their external appearance and if the tread depth may have not reached the minimum wear out depth.
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Tire aging and road safety
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