I recently bought a set of 4 used BFGoodrich Radial T/A’s from a used/new tire dealer.
Got home and was reading the sidewall and realised that there is no DOT number, or the letters “DOT” anywhere. Is this normal/ok? I thought these were required so you could read the week/year they were made?
Forgot to mention…the tires look brand new almost…still have tons of tread and the little rubber nubs on them. In case that helps.
Did you check both sides of the tires?? The DOT numbers are on the back side, very close to the bead.
Backside is relative, ya know-- some wierdos don’t like the white stuff on the outside.
But, yes, the DOT number is only printed on one side, even though there’s usually the little flat piece of rubber on the other side where it looks like the DOT number should be printed.
Do you have any reason to be suspicious of these tires?
As has been stated before, the DOT number only has to appear on one side, so check both sides. The number is usually near the bead immediately after the letters “DOT”.
If the tires don’t have the letters “DOT”, take them back to where you bouht them and tell the guy that it is a federal offense to sell tires in the US without those letters.
Further, there would be a reason why the letters “DOT” aren’t on them - never intended for sale in the US (meaning they don’t meet the minimum safety standards) - or they are preproduction - never intended to be sold (might be OK, might not!) - or the letters have been removed because the tire is no longer safe to use.
There is one more issue you need to be aware of - the age of the tire.
Recent advisories have come out that says that tires do not last forever (Well…Duh!!) - even if unused. The rubber degrades over time and loses it’s able to to stay strong and flexible. Several limits have to mentioned and my take is that if you live in a hot climate (AZ, NM, NV, CA, and FL) the limit is 6 years, and the limit is 10 years for cold climates (MI, MN, ND, ME, WI). Everything in between would be…ah…in between.
To determine the age of the tire look at the last 3 or 4 numbers of the DOT number (which will be 10 to 12 digits long).
If the pattern is like “239” the tire was produced in the 23rd week of 1999 (or 1989, or 1979!)
If the pattern is like “5101”, the tire was produced in the 51st week of 2001. The transition from 3 digits to 4 digits took place staring in late 1999 and was completed by mid 2000.
At this point I would not use anything older than 2003.