How To Read Your Tires

California How to Read Your Tires Attorneys

What Your Tires Can Tell You

Your tires can tell you a lot: who made them, when they were manufactured, what plant they were made at, how fast they are designed to go, how quickly they are likely to stop, and much more. It's all part of the jumble of numbers and letters on the tire's sidewall.

Decoding the Sidewall Graffiti

For a comprehensive discussion of how to decode the sidewall data, refer to the "tire fundamentals" section of the National Highway Traffics Safety Administration's online tire safety brochure.

If your tire lacks these sidewall markings, they are defective and you shouldn't drive on them.

Knowing how to read your tires is the first step toward improving tire safety. We'll provide a quick overview of two essential pieces of information you can glean from your tires.

DOT Number

The US DOT tire information number is located on the inner ring of markings near the rim. It begins with the letters "DOT." The first two numbers or letters after DOT indicate the plant where the tire was made. The last four numbers specify the week and year the tire was created. For example, 2202 means the tire was made in the 22nd week of 2002. If the tire was manufactured before 2000, there will only be three numbers — the first two for the week of manufacturer and the last digit for the year. A tire with the number 339 indicates that the tire was manufactured in the thirty-third week of 1999. Be sure to check the age of any tires you purchase. Aged tires can be unsafe tires. The DOT numbers are important identifiers that manufacturers use to contact consumers in the event of a recall.

Maximum Inflation Pressure

This number is the greatest amount of air pressure that should ever be put in the tire under normal driving conditions. When inflating your tires, however, it is important to refer to the information contained in the owner's manual for your vehicle or on the placard that is attached to the inside of the driver's door, the glove compartment or the engine compartment. Know the number that's right for your tires and check it often. Improper tire inflation may contribute to premature tire wear or failure, reduce gas mileage or create vehicle handling problems.

If you have been seriously injured in an accident that involved dangerous or defective tires, contact the attorneys of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. Our tire defect lawyers represent clients in Los Angeles, Southern California, California and across the United States.

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