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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Are You Driving Your Family On a Time Bomb?

Are you driving yourself and your family around on a ticking time bomb? How would you know? You probably don't even know what I'm talking about.

Most Americans are still ignorant of the facts, though these facts have been public knowledge for at least the past five years according to The Consumer Warning Network.

What I am talking about is something that, if you drive, you are totally dependent on every single day. Your tires.

The problem is that tires are only good for ten years after their manufacture date. No tires which have been previously unused should be sold after six years. However, these tires are routinely sold at places like Sears and Wal-Mart, among many others.

The odds are that you are right now driving around on tires that are aged or aging. You should change them once they pass six years old, and everyone should begin to learn how to tell the age of their tires.

This will be a bit difficult for you. You will need a flashlight, and will need to get down under your cars and look at the backs of the tires. There you will find a twelve-digit DOT serial number at some point. The last four digits represent the 'week' and the 'year' that your tires were manufactured.

For example, if the last four digits are 4202 (as in the picture above), your tires were manufactured in the 42nd week of 2002. If the last two digits on your tires are at or approaching 02 or 03 or older, that means they were manufactured in 2002 or 2003 and are now at or approaching the six year mark.

You should begin preparing to get them changed. And from now on, when purchasing tires, insist on new tires and let the installer know that you want to check the serial number.

The government has known of this problem for some time, but still doesn't regulate. US car manufacturers know of the problem, but for some reasons they do not advertise it, which the European manufacturers do routinely. There have been numerous fatal and injurious auto accidents caused by faulty tires.

It is not good enough to do the old 'quarter test', where you stick a quarter into the tread and if the top of Washington's head is covered your tread is still good. The damage in older tires is occurring on the INSIDE, and you can never tell by examining outside in any way.

Sure, you need to check the treads for wear, and you need to keep your tires properly inflated. But you also need to know the age of your tires. You should replace them once they reach six years old.

Trust me, this is not some internet rumor. It has been highlighted on ABC news, and if you want more information just 'Google' the terms 'tires danger six years old'. There are numerous sources to inform you. 

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