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There are lots of markings ranging from the type of tire, a speed rating that corresponds to a maximum safe speed your tire can sustain, the size of the tire and also when the tire was made; however, if you look after the Department of Transportation (DOT) letters, you'll see another list of numbers.

If the tire was made before the year 2000, you'll see three numbers after the DOT letters; the last number indicates the year the tire was made.

We strongly recommend against driving with tyres of this age. At Bridgestone, we recommend that in addition to your own personal regular inspections, you have all your tyres, including spares, inspected regularly by a qualified expert at least once a year once they reach five years of age.

Specialists, such as tyre dealers, will let you know whether or not your tyres are safe to continue using.

These represent the week the tyre was made, followed by the year.

In the case of the serial number used above, the “18” would indicate the 18th week, and the “00” would indicate 2000.

The writing and symbols on the sidewall of your tyre aren't there simply to make it look good, they all tell you something about the specification of the tyre.

That includes the maximum speed at which the tyre can safely be used, the loads it can carry, its width, which way round to mount it on the wheel, where it's made and what safety standards it's passed.

Tires, like most other auto parts, are built to withstand a great deal of wear and tear.When an old tyre is put under load, cracks in the rubber will begin to form.These cracks may appear on the tyre’s surface, but they can also appear out of sight within the structure of the tyre. Telling the age of a tyre that has not been retreaded is fairly straightforward.When it comes to car part longevity, however, there are always circumstances when the auto part information given by a manufacturer may not apply.In the case of tires, the estimate of how long a tire can last is based primarily on the tread wear.

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