Someone sent me the following link to a report done by ABC relating
to auto tire safety. It shows you how to read the tire manufacture date that is encoded
on the sidewall. As usual, they sensationalize the issue, but it is interesting to be
able to know how to tell how old your "new" tires from Sears, Wal-Mart, etc., really
are when you buy them.
I checked the tires that came on my 2007 Chevy Cobalt, and the manufacturing
date code is 2806, which means they were made in the 28th week of 2006 - about 5 months
before it hit the car lot. That's pretty good.
It might be fun the next time
you go in to buy new tires to challenge the clerk if he/she tries to sell you "new"
tires that are more than a couple years old. According to the ABC report, the unofficial
expiration date beyond which new tires should not be sold is 6 years, so if your tire's
manufacturing date code (as of this writing) is less than 3402, you might want to shop
elsewhere, or try to negotiate a good deal.