Why you should never purchase a used tire.

Hey there! Will here from Tread Connection North Houston. We know that it is tempting to look for deals (especially right now) but if you’re hoping that a used tire is a good deal, you may want to think again. We’ve said it once and we will say it again, tires are the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road. A blowout (which is usually due to a compromised tire) can be catastrophic. So please hear us when we say, “Never purchase a used tire!”

First things first, an older tire has a higher likelihood of failing. Though it is possible to determine the manufacture date (it is on the side of the tire), it is impossible to determine how far the tire has gone, and what type of loads the tire was carrying. Even tricks such as the penny test and/or comparing the tread to the tread depth indicators are not useful when inspecting a used tire (more on that below.) Additionally, sometimes a tire’s flaw is not even visible on the surface, there could be cracks and degradation inside the rubber. 

If the above information does not convince you, here are a few more things to consider.

Safety Hazards:

According to usedtires.org, “Tire scam artists will take a bald tire and ‘recondition’ it to look like a brand new tire. This gives the illusion that the tire has tread depth and looks newer with dark black rubber grooves. What they do is cut new grooves into the tread and pull out the old rubber. Then they do the same to the shoulder of the tire to fake the tread width. To a layman,  these tires look like they have mileage left on them, when in fact they are death traps. Never buy used tires from anyone you don’t trust!”

This is an image of someone "reconditioning" a used tires. They are cutting into a worn-out tire in efforts to create grooves.

Photo From: Usedtires.org (Reconditioning tires!)

Let me explain why this is a big problem. Tire manufacturers design and construct tires specifically to withstand a certain amount of pressure and loads based on the thickness of the tire. If the tire is worn out, it is already reaching the point where the tire can no longer withstand the recommended amount of pressure. Then if someone carves into the tire to give the allusion that the tire itself still has tread, the remaining grooved rubber (aka the tread) will continue to thin out and this can cause catastrophic blowouts.

Just to let you know, a catastrophic blowout is when the tire literally blows apart which instantaneously loses air and support from that tire. Suddenly your vehicle is a tripod.

Picture of three new Goodyear Tires with a transparent background

Image from Goodyear.com

In addition to reconditioning the tires, many scam artists will also repaint the tires black, and/or scratch off the manufacture date. Ultimately, their goal is to trick you into thinking a used tire is safe!

Do not mix and match!

When a vehicle has different sized tires (even the same exact make and model of a tire but one is slightly more worn down) the different diameters will cause each tire to spin at different speeds. This can cause a car to send false signals to the traction control and antilock braking system.

This is why, when you need to replace a tire (say it gets a nail and the puncture is unfixable) tire experts suggest replacing at least two tires on the same axle.

Tires do not last forever!

Even the tires that do not wear completely down (such as tires on a sports car that is seldomly driven) need to be replaced every 6-10 years. Why? Because the rubber breaks down! So even if you get a “never used” tire, but it happens to be old, the tire is still not good! 


When you purchase a tire through a certified tire dealer (like Tread Connection North Houston) you will get notified of any manufacturer recalls! If you purchase a tire from a used car lot, you will not get notified.  



So ultimately, if you are trying to save a few bucks, a used tire is not the way to go! Yes, tires are expensive, but there are other ways to work around this! At Tread Connection North Houston, we offer interest-free financing through Acima! If you have any questions give us a call at (832) 510-7177!