Tire’s DOT Code – The Tire’s ID: How To Read Tire Date Codes And Plant Codes

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tire's dot code: how to read tire date codes and plant codes

Key takeaways:

Examples: DOT NEW4 JD1R 1221

  • DOT: This stands for Department of Transportation.
  • Manufacturer or Plant Code: NE – The tire was manufactured by Gummiwerke Fuida GmbH in Germany.
  • Production Date Code: 1221 – The tire was manufactured in the 12th week of the year 2021.
  • Tire Size, Type, and Specifications: W4 JD1R – These are the manufacturer’s codes for tire size, type, and specifications used internally. Don’t worry about decoding them; it’s not possible anyway.

How to find your tire’s DOT code?

To find the DOT code of your tire, you can follow these steps:

  1. Locate the outer sidewall of your passenger car tire. The DOT code is typically positioned on this side, facing outward.
  2. Look for the DOT code near the edge of the sidewall, in close proximity to the rim. It will be visibly displayed and easily identifiable.
  3. The DOT code consists of a combination of letters and numbers enclosed within a frame. It always commences with the letters “DOT” and is followed by a lengthy string of characters.

Why should I be concerned about the DOT code?

Understanding the significance of the DOT code is crucial for several reasons. Here are the main reasons why you should be concerned about the DOT code:

  1. Manufacturing Details: The DOT code enables you to track important manufacturing details of your tire, such as the origin of production and the quality control processes involved. This information can be valuable in assessing the reliability and performance of the tire.
  2. Tire Age: The DOT code allows you to determine the age of your tire. Every DOT code contains a four-digit number that represents the week and year of manufacture. This helps you assess the age of your tires and decide when it might be appropriate to replace them due to aging.
  3. Recalls and Safety: The DOT code plays a crucial role in identifying tires that are subject to recalls or safety concerns. In case of a safety issue or recall related to specific tire models or production batches, the DOT code helps you determine if your tires are affected and take appropriate action to ensure your safety.
  4. Warranty Claims: When filing warranty claims for your tires, the DOT code provides essential information to support your claim. Manufacturers often require the DOT code as part of the warranty claim process to verify the tire’s age, manufacturing details, and any specific warranty terms applicable.

By paying attention to the DOT code, you can gather important information about your tires, make informed decisions regarding their replacement, and stay updated on any safety-related concerns or warranty claims.

Oops. I talked too much and forgot to answer the basic question

What is DOT’s code?

The DOT code, also known as the Department of Transportation code, is a distinctive combination of letters and numbers that is engraved on the sidewall of every tire available for sale in the United States. This code serves as a crucial identification marker and provides valuable information about the tire’s manufacturing specifics. Typically, the DOT code follows the format:

DOT @@XX XXXX ####

Of which:

  • @@: Plant code
  • XX XXXX: Internal tire’s specification
  • ####: Production date

Now, let’s break down each component of the DOT code:

Understanding plant code

Understanding the tire manufacturer or plant code is important when decoding the DOT code. The first two characters (or three characters in the new format) following “DOT” represent this code, which is unique to each tire manufacturer. Here’s how you can look up the tire manufacturer using the plant code:

  1. Visit the Manufacturer’s Information Database (MID) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The website can be accessed at this link: https://vpic.nhtsa.dot.gov/mid/
  2. On the MID website, deselect the “Part 565” and “Part 566” sections, as they are not relevant for finding tire manufacturer information.
  3. Choose the “Equipment Plants” section, as you are specifically interested in tire manufacturing plants.
  4. In the “Equipment Type” field, select “Tires” to narrow down the search to tire manufacturers.
  5. In the “DOT code” field, enter ONLY the first two characters of the plant code (or three characters if using the new format).
  6. Click the search button to initiate the search for the tire manufacturer corresponding to the plant code.

Understanding production date

The production date code refers to the four-digit portion at the end of the DOT code that indicates when the tire was manufactured. It provides information about the week and year of production.

To read the production date from the DOT code, follow these guidelines:

  1. The first two digits of the four-digit code represent the week of the production year. This means it indicates the specific week in which the tire was manufactured.
  2. The last two digits of the four-digit code signify the production year. These digits represent the final two digits of the year when the tire was manufactured.

Let’s consider our example: DOT NEW4 JD1R 1221. 1221 means the tire was manufactured in the 12th week of the year 2021.


Featured Questions Answered

How long do tires last?

Tires typically last six to ten years, depending on factors like usage, storage, and maintenance. They’re like a relationship: treat them well, inspect for wear, and replace if they’re showing signs of age or damage. Otherwise, you might end up with a flat-tired heartbreak.

Are 7-year-old tires safe?

The safety of 7-year-old tires depends on their condition and how they’ve been treated. While they might still have good tread, aging can lead to performance issues. Get those tires checked by a pro to see if they’re roadworthy or if it’s time to bid them farewell, like a tire retirement party.

Do all tires have a DOT code?

Absolutely! In the USA, it’s the law for tires to have a DOT number. Think of it as a tire’s ID card, revealing manufacturing details, age, and more. It’s like having a passport to prove a tire’s road-worthiness—no DOT code, no road trip for that rebellious rubber.

What does it mean when tires are not DOT approved?

When tires lack DOT approval, they’re basically rebels without a cause. They don’t meet safety standards set by the Department of Transportation. These non-compliant tires might not perform as expected, so they’re a no-no for US roads. But hey, maybe they can find love in a tire-anarchist country instead.

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Felix Dang

Hello there! I'm Felix Dang, the brains behind Wheel Drive Mastery. With a background in research and engineering, I'm here to help you navigate the world of wheels with confidence. At Wheel Drive Mastery, my mission is simple: to provide you with reliable insights and practical advice on handling, maintaining, and replacing tires. Through thorough research and analysis, I aim to unlock the secrets of tire mastery and empower you to make informed decisions. So, buckle up and join me on this exciting journey as we unleash the true potential of your wheels!

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