Are Used Tires Safe? 3 Reasons Why Not

Thinking about buying used tires and asking yourself “are used tires safe?” I personally don’t think so, and here are three reasons why.

1. You don’t know how used tires have been… used.

Overinflation, underinflation, excessive loads, harsh cleansers, improper storage — all these things can cause damage to a tire and make it more susceptible to failure.

Trouble is, it’s not always possible to tell just by looking at a tire if it’s suffered from this sort of misuse.

If you’re trying to buy used tires, you have no idea what the previous owner subjected them to.

2. Old tires are risky, even if there’s enough tread.

Much of a tire’s performance comes down to how much tread is left. So you may think that used tires are a fine option as long as they aren’t bald.

Tire wear is important, but so is tire age. The rubber in tires naturally degrades over time. A tire that looks fine could still be at risk of failure if it’s several years old.

Buying used tires means you might have to replace them sooner than expected, which defeats the whole purpose of saving money. A brand new set of tires may last as long as 6 years, so you may as well buy new tires to get the full mileage out of them.

3. If the used tires are recalled, you won’t be notified.

When you buy new tires, the retailer is required by law to give you a registration card so you can be notified of any recalls affecting you. This is so important, because these recalls can help get unsafe tires off the road before you experience an issue with them.

If you buy used tires, you won’t be notified of a recall. You could be driving on dangerous tires without even knowing.

Yes yes, new tires are a significant upfront expense. I don’t mean to minimize that at all.

But consider this:

Imagine you’re driving to work as usual, passing all the usual things, same as every other day and then KAPOW! one of your used tires has a blowout and you’re suddenly stranded in the road, blocking traffic, trying to change your tire or waiting for a tow truck.

In this moment of fuming, raw nerves, can’t-even-believe-this-is happening frustration, will you regret buying used tires? Especially since you have to turn right around and buy tires again?

Yes, I do indeed think you will regret it.

Look I’m all for saving money where it makes sense. But please, don’t forget that tires are safety devices. With something as important as your safety at stake, cutting corners to save a buck just doesn’t make sense.