Are used tyres a good deal?

Buying second-hand tyres is only an apparent saving
Buying and using used tyres and are the worst things which drivers do when looking for savings. Driving on such tyres is far too high a risk. The buyers know nothing about the history of exploitation of such tyres or the damage done to the inner layers! The savings associated with buying second hand tyres are only apparent – such tyres pose a threat on the road, and put drivers at risk of losing their health, life and their loved ones.

Drivers, don’t buy a pig in a poke! The tread depth, leakproofness, lack of scratches, cracks and bulges on the side of the tyre are things we can assess when looking at a tyre – however, that does not mean that the set of tyres can be safely exploited. These are only superficial elements. Tyre durability is defined by the quality of the inner layers: bead, belt and carcass. A used tyre can hide significant damage that is invisible to the naked eye, which can cause the tyre to break while driving! The previous user could have driven with too low a pressure in the tyres, which led to excessive overloading and overheating of the sidewall layers of the inner tyre – and, as a result, to a significant deterioration of the tyre's durability.

– Used tyre sets offered by sellers may have previously participated in an accident or have been used when underinflated for a couple months, which completely precludes their suitability for further use. Let's not risk – only when buying new tyres, we have a guarantee that they are free of any damage and have properties declared by the manufacturer – says Piotr Sarnecki, general director of the Polish Tyre Industry Association.

It is wrong to assume that one can save money by buying a used set of tyres. The owners of older cars are particularly willing to look for this type of savings. It is worth remembering, however, that such tyres will soon require another change – that’s because the period of their safe operation is too short. What’s more, the braking distance of older cars is much longer than that of newer vehicles. Buying used tyres negatively impacts our safety.

In a car driving at the speed of 130 km/h the tyre does 1000 revolutions per minute. Any damage of tyres in such conditions is a threat to the life of the driver and other road users. There is nothing more valuable than health – let's treat the purchase of new, unused tyres like an investment in safetyadds Piotr Sarnecki.

Brand new tyres are carefully checked at every stage of their production – including X-rays – to rule out internal damage to the belt or bead. Such tyres, if unused, can be stored under appropriate conditions even for a couple of years and will not lose their properties. Are the resellers’ claims of their good condition a sufficient guarantee of safety for our families? How could good quality tyres be available on the market, if the almost half of the drivers check tyre pressure once a year or not at all? This is true not only in Poland.

Tyres can be easily damaged

Tyres can be destroyed very easily – longer rides with incorrect tyre pressure as well as hitting a hole or hitting a curb at high speed can cause serious damage to the inner layers. Defects to tyres are also often caused by an unprofessional tyre service, which does not care for their machines – a torn tyre brad, that is the element of tyre which comes in contact with the rim, a broken side wall or the centre of the tread or improperly balanced tyre. All these damages are additional expenses for the driver and a pose a high risk. Let's avoid random auto shops, where the price of services is their only advantage.

Suitable storage conditions

A good tyre is unused, but not necessarily made one month, half year or a year before its purchase. New tyres stored even for several years, but under the right conditions retain all properties. The factor which has the biggest impact on the wear of tyres is operation, not storage time – just like in the case of shoes.

The best place for storing tyres is a dry and clean room, where the temperature is between 5 and 30ºC, and the rubber is not exposed to UV radiation. In addition, tyres should not be stored near chemicals or heat sources, as well as devices that generate ozone. All these factors have a destructive effect on the rubber compound[1].

It’s easy to recognize an unprofessional auto shop just from the fact that they carry out storage service in intermodal containers, inside of which the air temperature during the winter is the same as outside and in the summer it reaches up to 60-70ºC. Such conditions are damaging for all types of tyres.

Let's look for savings before or after seasonal tyre sales, but above all in our driving style – it will translate into lower fuel consumption, improved road safety and longer life of our tyres.

[1] Such are the recommendations of European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation ETRTO from 2008

Source: Polish Tyre Industry Association