Buying “pre-loved” items like clothes and appliances at secondhand shops can be a great way to stretch your paycheck. So what about buying used tires? While at first glance it might seem like a budget-friendly option, you could be compromising your safety if you try to give an old set of tires a new lease on life. Dive into some risks associated with buying “pre-loved” tires and learn how new tires can be affordable, too. You just have to know where to look!
Risk #1: Their past is a mystery.
Many drivers are well aware of the importance of taking care of their tires. They work to make sure the tires are properly inflated, the vehicle isn’t overloaded, and the car isn’t driven at extremely high speeds. Other drivers may not be as familiar with proper tire care. If you purchase tires from someone who didn’t take care of them, you could wind up with a whole host of hidden issues.
The tire may have been punctured and patched with a tire sealant at one point, or the interior rubber could be fast degrading from high temperatures and hard driving. There’s no way to know for sure what’s going on inside a used tire. Sure, you may feel like you’re saving money, but you may also get stuck with a compromised product. With new tires, you’ll never question how the tire has been driven on or maintained.
Risk #2: Buying used tires may be gambling with your safety.
New tires are registered to the original buyer so that in the event of a safety recall, the manufacturer can notify the buyer directly. When you buy used tires, there’s no link between you and the tire manufacturer, thus no notification of a safety recall. Without that connection, you may never know if you’re driving around on a set of risk-riddled, recalled tires. Is that a gamble you want to take?
Pro-Tip: Play it safe! If you’re currently driving around on a set of tires with a mysterious past, use the Tire Recall Search Tool to find out if your tires may be subject to a recall.
Risk #3: Even unused tires have expiration dates.
Though you may think you’ve lucked out if you find a set of used tires that haven’t been driven on very much, check it out: even unused tires deteriorate over time. When rubber ages, it develops cracks that can make it unsafe for use (but perfect for a cool tire craft). While the estimated lifespan of a tire varies depending on brand, storage conditions, and who you talk to, experts like the Tire Safety Group believe a tire shouldn’t be driven on if it’s more than six years old, whether or not it’s ever touched the road.
Risk #4: Used tires may not last as long as new tires.
New or used, no set of tires can last forever. Since used tires inevitably come with some miles on them, they may not have as many left over for you. Ask yourself, “Is it really cheaper to buy used tires if they only have half their tread left?” A set of used tires could have you headed back to the tire shop for new tires sooner than you’d like. Factor in how much life is left in the tires when calculating your savings to help you decide if you’re really saving money in the long run.
How? Start by measuring tread depth, which is measured in 32nds of an inch. (Use a tread depth gauge, available online for less than $5.) A new tire will typically come with a tread depth of 10/32″ or 11/32″. The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends replacing tires when they reach 2/32″ and many states actually require it by law. So, the closer the tread depth is to 10/32″ or 11/32″, the more life there may be left in the tires.
Pro-Tip: A tire with perfect tread depth may still be too old to safely drive on. “Tires age dangerously because of a chemical process referred to as oxidation,” writes the Tire Safety Group, meaning that a tire’s flexible components become hard and brittle the more it’s exposed to oxygen…and oxygen is everywhere! A brittle tire may lead to a shaky ride and even a blowout.
Solution? Budget-friendly tires are a click away
There’s nothing better than getting a great deal, but not if it puts your safety at risk. Luckily, Firestone Complete Auto Care offers a large inventory of budget-friendly tires, like Primewell, that won’t break the bank even when purchased new. Get a tire quote online and check out our latest tire coupons to see how you can get an affordable set of new tires without sacrificing quality or putting yourself at risk. When you buy new tires online or at your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care, there are no surprises. You’ll never have to question the history or safety of your tires. Put the joy back in your ride and get your tire quote today!