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Is Buying Used Tires a Safety Risk?

Urvashi Pokharna
Used tires help cut down automobile maintenance costs in an economy where fuel prices are soaring. If you are already using or are planning to buy used tires, do read the content here. The money saved on buying used tires may not be sufficient to recover from the probable physical and financial damage.
In recent years, trading of used tires has become a thriving business in America. People are easily lured by the idea of saving a wad of cash by picking up used tires, and often over-look many safety hazards attached with it. Approximately 300 million tires are discarded and 235 million used tires are bought annually in America alone.
You may be marveling at your genius of saving on new tires, but did you realize that a used tire will deteriorate much faster than a new tire. Your used tires' dealer will not refund any money if you want to return your purchase.

Why is Buying Used Tires a Safety Risk?

It is not good to buy used tires because they are often filled with temporary sealant.
Tires that have been used for more than 6 years have high possibility of tread separation while on the road, resulting in fatal accidents than often lead to death.
You cannot deny the fact that a second-hand tire may have had punctures, suffered wear and tear, ozone cracking, cuts and loss of air pressure due to weight imbalance. Even improper storage of the tires can contribute to deterioration.
Ideally, a tire must not be used more than 6 years and you just bought a used tire that you have no idea how long it had been in use for. You might as well go and pick up some from a tire graveyard, and end up in your own.
Over a period of time, a tire loses its ability to create friction on road. This means that it will take longer for your car to decelerate after you have applied breaks. It also means that your car's fate is unpredictable during monsoons.
As you may have noticed in the case of a regular rubber-band, its chemical and physical properties change over a period of time. It loses its elasticity and becomes loose. The exact phenomenon takes place with tires even though they may not have been used for a long time. They wear and tear naturally over a period of time.
When you buy a used tire, you will break the chain between the tire manufacturer and the owner of the tire under whose name it is registered. This will keep you uninformed in an event that these tires are recalled.
It is a fact that most accidents caused from a tire failure are mainly due to separation of tread from loss of adequate adhesion between the steel and rubber in radial tires.

How to Check Used Tires?

It is quite possible that you may not be able to invest on a set of new tires right now. Well, in that case, you must know what to look for when choosing used tires. It is not easy to detect sign of repair on a used tire. But, you should still carefully check the used tires for any tell-tale signs.
All used tire dealers re-polish tires black and sell them off with temporary repairs. Do not be fooled by them and do not buy the tires even if there are only slight cracks, separation of treads or a fixed puncture.
Check the DOT identification number on the sides of the tire to ascertain the date of manufacture. Check the tread of your tires which should at least be 2/32nd.
You can insert a penny and if Lincoln's head does not sink it to the gap, do not buy the tire. Even if your tread is intact and in a good condition, the rubber on old tires tends to get dry bumps, get brittle and eventually crack up from weight.
If you are still looking for a cheap option to replace your tires, buy refurbished or retreaded ones which are a lot safer than used tires that have never been retreaded.
When opting for used tires, you do not know for certain about the history of its usage, whether they were on a car involved in an accident and how had the previous driver used the tires.
Since crap tires have become an environmental concern because they are illegally dumped in landfills, it is wiser to give them for reuse to your local recycling plant. Fear god, respect humanity and never resell your used tires. You may be saving a few bucks on used tires, but you may be putting the lives of your passengers and yourself at a huge risk!