Used Tires: Are They Safe?

Here at TireBuyer Headquarters, our customer service experts regularly get calls asking about a certain kind of tires: used tires. But we don’t sell used tires – never have, never will. Why? Well, we just don’t think buying used tires is a very safe proposition.

We took a good, long look at the pros and cons of used tires – and we found only one “pro”:

  • They’re cheap.

As for reasons NOT to buy used tires, we found several:

  • The used tire industry in the U.S. is completely unregulated – there’s simply no guarantee that used tires for sale are safe.
  • Sometimes tread wear is visible on used tires – but tires can also have internal damage that’s completely invisible. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible to tell if a used tire is safe simply by looking at it.
  • Even if used tires don’t appear worn, they could be quite old. In some cases, used tires may even be painted black to make them appear newer. Most manufacturers warn against using tires more than six years old, because at a certain point the tire’s materials can start breaking down. Find out how to determine the age of tires.
  • There’s just no way to know the history of a used tire. Was it used while underinflated? Overinflated? Overloaded? Was it part of a mismatched set? Was it exposed to road hazards like potholes and rough terrain? Any of these conditions could cause damage that might be dangerous down the road.
  • If the previous vehicle had alignment or suspension issues, the tires could be damaged and/or worn unevenly.
  • Harsh weather – high heat, sunlight, humidity, and more – can cause a tire’s compounds to break down over time. It’s hard to know if a particular tire was used or stored in these conditions.
  • If a tire has been damaged and repaired improperly, it may be more likely to fail.
  • Tires are registered to their original owner; in the event of a product recall, the manufacturer will contact the owner. If you buy used tires, you will not be notified of a recall.

So just to recap: we do not recommend buying used tires under any circumstances. When you consider everything that’s riding on your tires, we hope you’ll agree that the many cons of used tires far outweigh the one pro.

However, we do understand that buying new tires is a significant expense and becaus of that, we offer several lower-cost options for most cars. To see value-priced tires, just tell us about your vehicle; once you reach the tire search results page, look for the “Sort by” drop-down menu and select “Price: Low to High.” If you’d like some assistance in shopping for lower-cost tires, you can always give us a call at (866) 961-8668 – we’re happy to help!

sort by price

And if you absolutely must buy used tires, be sure to check the age, check the tread depth, and look for uneven wear.

Stay safe out there!

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