Tire buying guides

Tire Serial Number: What It Is & How to Read It

Shopping for tires can be a daunting task. That's why SimpleTire.com is here to help make it easier. We'll tell you how to read the information on the side of every tire. Whether they're manufactured for use in the United States, Europe, or Asia, tires have important information printed on their sidewalls. There are a variety of codes, including one for the tire size. The tire serial number is the stamp of approval by the United States Department of Transportation. A DOT number appears on every tire approved for use in the United States. This contains the tire serial number. Fortunately, reading the tire serial number is a simple process. It aids in the overall understanding of tires, tire manufacturing, and tire age.

What Is a Tire Serial Number?

In an effort to make the roads safer, tires manufactured for use and sale in the United States have a DOT number which includes the tire serial number. The DOT number allows the United States Department of Transportation to monitor the quality of the parts used on vehicles. The number also helps drivers know when a part they use has been recalled. All too often, drivers miss tire recalls.

Reading the Tire Serial Number

In order to read the tire serial number, you'll first need to find the letters DOT on the side of the tire. The serial number is smaller than the tire size code. After the DOT, you'll find a series of numbers and letters. Here's what they mean:

  • The first set of letters represents the tire's manufacturing plant.
  • The second set of letters represents the size code.
  • There may be a block of numbers and letters that represents the type of tire. This is an optional listing.
  • The final four digits represent the week and year the tire was manufactured. For example, a listing that reads 1810 would represent the 18th week of 2010.

This tire serial number allows you to easily track your tires. When you hear of a recall, a quick check of your vehicle's tires will tell you if you need to pay attention to necessary maintenance or replacement issues.

Additional Information Near the Tire Serial Number

The information listed on a tire (in addition to the serial number) will provide the specifications of the tire, including size, load capability, and speed rating. These listings may vary based on manufacturer or the type of tire. However, just as the serial number is easy to understand, so are these figures. A better understanding of this tire code will help you buy new tires.

Sample code: 195/60R16 92H

What it all means:

  • 195 represents the width of the tire from shoulder to shoulder, measured in millimeters.
  • 60 represents the ratio between the sidewall and the width of the tread. In others words, the sidewall height is 60% of 195 mm.
  • 16 represents the size in inches of the wheel that the tire is made to fit on.
  • 92 represents the load index.
  • H represents the speed rating.

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