Are Used Tires a Good Idea?
December 4th, 2015
Updated October 14th, 2016
Let's be direct - we don’t recommend skimping on quality and safety when buying tires to save money. Doing so could be a costly mistake in terms of safety and the effectiveness of your tires on certain roads and a variety of weather conditions. But, more than likely the thought may have crossed your mind to buy used tires in order to save some money, but this may not be the best or safest choice, even if the used tires you're looking at appear to be in good shape.
You can find used tires in a number of different places, including mechanics, local auto shops, junkyards, and so forth. Even your local tire shop might sell used tires that still have a good amount of tread left on them, and don't appear to have any physical defects. Some tire shops even sell tires that are new but are over a year old (known as "new old stock"); these tires are typically discounted anywhere between 10-15%, depending upon the age, type and condition of the tire. Although it can be tempting to scoop up a set of used tires for the sake of saving a few bucks, you might want to think twice about buying tires that are considered to be new old stock, or even gently used. While you may score a great deal on your purchase, it could turn out to be a costly mistake should one (or more) of these tires fail.
So why the hesitation about used tires? Well, you have to remember that tires are mainly comprised of rubber components, which means that they will naturally age over the course of time, even if they have hardly been used at all. Rubber can experience significant deterioration when it has been consistently exposed to heat, salt air, humidity, and sunlight, all of which can chip away at the structural integrity of rubber components in a tire, wearing them down. For this reason, it only makes sense to stick with tires that have been manufactured within the past year, and avoid any time frames beyond that. You can determine this information by looking at the last four digits of the DOT code on the sidewall of the tire; the first two digits in this 4-digit series represent the week of the year in which the tire was produced, while the last two digits represent the year the tire was produced. For example, a tire with a code of 3198 means that the tire was manufactured in the 31st week of 1998.
Perhaps the most unnerving aspect of buying used tires is that you don't have any information regarding their history; you have no idea how long they've been sitting in in harsh weather or exposed to high temperatures, and you don't have any real way to find out if their lifespan or performance may have been diminished by punctures, potholes, or other common road hazards. When you think about buying tires in light of the fact that you only want the safest and most reliable tires for you and any other occupants of your vehicle, buying used tires begins to become too much of a gamble to take just to save a few bucks. For this reason, visiting a Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto in Sterling will get you on the road quickly and safely with competitive tire prices and a selection of most major tire brands.
If you're seeking quality tires and professional tire installaton - Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto in Sterling, Virginia has you covered. Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto with 8 locations throughout the Northern Virginia area to serve you.
*Always check your owner’s manual for your vehicle model’s specific instructions before attempting any type of repair.