Usedtires.com-The internets leader in used tires.Usedtires.com has been selling used tires for over 25 years.Many people who can not afford
new or who are in the process of selling their car or returning their lease buy used tires.Used tires enter the marketplace when new tires are sold.Tire recyclers cull and sort and inspect used tires and sell them.The tires that are sold from recyclers usually go to used tire wholesale sellers or used tire retailers.Contrary to many lies published by new tire makers new tires which they make are so durable a second life is probable in most cases.New tire makers stop just short of slander when they present their false facts about used tires.The one thing they do not do is tell the truth about how discarding a good used tire before it’s time exacerbates our tire recycling problem.Used tires offer a viable alternative to driving a vehicle with an unsafe,worn out or bald tire.
Normally, used tires last 2-5 years if bought in the right condition. A 2-year-old tire with no damage, patches, uneven wear, and with about 8/32” tread left, may last for good 5 years. A 4-year-old tire with 5/32” tread left, and without any significant plugs or cuts, may last a further 2 years. The lifespan of a used tire is extremely unpredictable, so any calculations are only estimates. The tire’s condition greatly depends on a number of factors.Many Us and European made tires that are now used will long outlast a cheap Chinese made new tire.
What Influences How Long Used Tires Last?
The main factors influencing how long a used tire will last are:
Damage and repairs
Any tire of 6 years or older should be well inspected every year and changed once deep cracks appear on its sidewalls or tread. So, if you’re looking for a used tire, a 2 or 3-year-old one will do fine.
NHTSA released a document showing they are working on the issue. Vehicle manufacturers recommend changing tires once every 6 years, while tire manufacturers, like Michelin, say used tires last up to 10 years.
Date code on a tire
Date code on a tire sidewall.
Determining Tire Age
You can determine tire age by looking at the DOT code on its sidewall. The last four digits are the week and the year the tire was manufactured. So, if you look at a tire with the code 4708, this will mean the tire was made during the 47th week of 2008. Such a tire is already too old to buy, unless it’s in perfect condition and you only need the tire for a maximum of one year.
You can learn more about tire date codes from this article.
Used tires may have up to 10/32” tread available, which is more than 90% of a new tire. Used tires last to 2/32”,
which is the legal treadwear limit but now often considered too shallow. At this point, the braking distance increases, the vehicle’s response becomes worse, and the tires may fail. To get adequate service from used tires, aim at 7/32” or more. Learn more about used tire tread and other things you have to be aware of from this post.
Treadwear grade in UTQG
Also pay attention to the Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG) rating on the tire. There are three aspects: traction, treadwear, and temperature. The word “treadwear” and a three-digit number following, is what you should look for. The bigger the number is, the longer the used tires last, and the harder their rubber is. For example, treadwear 400 will mean every 1/32” wears every 8,000-10,000 miles. However, hard rubber provides a rather rough ride, while softer rubber performs better and soothes the move.
Irregular wear indicates a number of neglected vehicle issues. The wheels may be misaligned, the tires imbalanced, the suspension worn out, etc. Used tires last much less time if they are wearing unevenly. If one part of the tread wears beyond the legal limit, the tire’s performance will deteriorate dramatically. Plus, irregular wear may cause vehicle vibration, suspension failure, and other dangerous issues.
Uneven tirewear types
Common uneven tirewear patterns
How Long Winter Tire Tread Lasts
It’s important to remember winter tires should be considered worn out at 4/32”. They catch onto snow with the help of special thin grooves called sipes. When these grooves become shallower, they don’t catch as successfully, so the tire will start to slide. Eventually, braking and cornering will become more difficult, and it will be easier to lose control of the vehicle.
When buying a used tire look for the following-Damage and Repairs
The most frequent damage you need to pay attention to are cuts, holes from plugs, bulges, and cracks. While plug holes can be repaired, other damage are rarely reparable. There are also other serious issues to be aware of, such as:
Severe irregular wear can make steel cords show on the surface. This is a serious issue that may cause tread separation.
Bumps or bulges on the sidewall may indicate internal damage – specifically, belt separation. It usually happens when the vehicle drives over a large curb or pothole, at a high speed.
If you see chunks of rubber missing from the bead area, consider the tire dangerous. The bead may come off the rim at any moment, as the damage expands. Plus, such a tire will lose air more than the others, which may result in a blowout.
Any damage to the liner may cause air loss, a sidewall collapse, etc. The tire may just fold and immediately fail. Also, if you find rubber dust inside the tire, it’s probably damaged, as the sidewalls were scrubbing themselves off at some point.
As for repairs, used tires last longer without them. However, if the tire is in perfect condition but has one repaired plug, it may still serve well.
Why Tires Get Damaged
Some of the reasons for premature cracking, cuts, bulges, and other damages are:
Hitting obstacles, potholes, curbs
Getting a nail/screw in the tire by driving over a it
Driving in extreme temperatures
Excessive exposure to ozone, oxygen, oil, harmful chemicals
Rapid speed acceleration, hard cornering or braking
Driving on a tire that ran flat
Neglecting basic tire maintenance
Improper usage (street tires off-road, winter tires in summer, etc.).
Many tires have hard spots around their circumference. These spots must be balanced by putting small weights opposite them. You can perform such a procedure at home or go to a mechanic, where they will check the tire with a computer and balance it.
It’s an important part of tire maintenance, as imbalance may cause vibrations at speeds of 45 mph and more. The vibration can cause cupping or patch-wear – an irregular wear pattern that looks like scoops of rubber were taken out around the tire’s shoulder. So if you see a tire that has such wear, don’t buy it. You will have to wait for the tire to wear past the pattern, but by that time it may be worn out. Moreover, such a tire will produce noise and may also cause vibration.
Used tires last much longer when they are balanced after mounting. So, if you buy one, make sure you take it to a mechanic or find the stiff spots yourself. Learn more about tire balancing and how to perform it here.
Tire rotation is important, as it prevents uneven wear and helps used tires last longer. Weight distribution between the four main tires isn’t equal, due to the engine and transmission adding more mass. Consequentially, more weight is applied to one tire/pair of tires than to the others, due to which they wear unevenly. Tires with more mass on them wear faster, so tire rotation evens the wear.
Tire rotation patterns
Image source: www.grahamwalkercars.ie
You can read more on the importance of tire rotation and ways to do it in this article.
Wheel alignment sets each wheel parallel to the others and perpendicular to the road. This procedure is often confused with tire balancing, however, they are completely different processes. There are three angles in wheel alignment: camber, caster, and toe. Zero camber means the wheel is perpendicular to the ground. Zero caster means the steering axis is perpendicular to the ground. Zero toe means the wheels are parallel to each other.
How Long Used Tires Last if Unused
Stored used tires last for the same amount of time as tires you mount on your vehicle – a maximum of 10 years since the date of their manufacture. Rubber ages independently from usage of the tire, as the process of oxidation happens regardless of use.
There are two factors influencing the tire’s lifespan in this case:
Oxygen, ozone, ultraviolet light, and heat, make rubber age and dry. The more of these factors present, the faster the tire will become unfit for use.
The amount of light, temperature in the storage room, humidity, and tire deformation, influence tire condition. Exposure to the environmental conditions is also a part of storage. The hotter and lighter, the faster a tire ages. The more deformation there is (if tires lie in a pile or hang without rims), the faster the damage will occur.
Some used tires even last longer when actually used on a vehicle. When a tire is spinning, the oils within it start moving and lubricating the rubber from the inside. This prevents premature drying, making the tire last a bit longer. If you want to know more about tire storage, read this article.
How to Make Used Tires Last Longer
There are some things you can do to prolong the life of your used tires. These are:
Check air pressure regularly.
Some people recommend to check tire pressure every 3,000 miles, others insist on doing it weekly. It depends on the roads you drive on and the symptoms your tires have. For example, if you notice a tire loses air slowly yet faster than the others, check the pressure more often.
Proper inflation will improve your fuel efficiency by up to 3%. Nowadays, checking the inflation rate isn’t difficult, due to the Tire Pressure Monitoring System. It’s required on all vehicles manufactured after 2007.
Tire pressure monitoring system alarm
Rotate your tires.
To make your used tires last longer, make sure you rotate them every 5,000-8,000 miles. Also, look at the tires thoroughly while rotating, as there may be minor damage that could become a serious issue. Remember to choose the right rotation pattern for the tires, depending on whether they are directional and same-sized.
Balance your tires.
Balance the tires every 3,000-6,000 miles, depending on how fast the tread wears. With time, weight distribution around the tire changes, requiring a new balance. It’s important to provide balance, to avoid vehicle vibration and other connected issues.
Don’t expose your tires to UV and ozone excessively.
Some exposure is inevitable, but make sure you control the climate in your garage, to make the used tires last longer. Storing tires in a cool dark place, in special tire totes, will help prolong their life. When not at home, make sure you park the car in shade.
Wash your tires.
Follow special techniques and rules of tire cleaning to achieve the best results. The easiest way to clean your tires is to change the water every time you wash or rinse one tire. Another rule is to dry clean them first and then apply water. Keep in mind, some cleaning substances promote tire drying, so make sure you choose the appropriate cleaners.
Buying Used Tires: Used tires are available online and direct from flat fix shops,used tire stores and yes at new tire dealers as well.
Used tires last almost as long as new ones if you check them for damage, uneven treadwear, etc., before buying. They will also save you money, as you can often find a set that usually costs $1000, for just $200. Furthermore, you will be helping the environment, as there are millions of reusable tires thrown away every year. There is more information on the benefits of buying used tires here.
Considering all pros and cons, the used tire market is still blooming and booming. Over 30 million tires are sold every year, which is only 10% of the US new tire market.