Owning a car comes with several different expenses. Aside from paying your car note, you must also budget for insurance, registration fees, and regular car maintenance. If you are like most consumers, you are looking for an effective way to save money on costs that are not avoidable. While there is nothing wrong with looking for savings on your insurance, one vehicle component you should never cut corners on is your tires. With so many different used tire companies advertising cheap deals, it is very tempting to outfit your vehicle with used tires just to save money on tire replacement. Unfortunately, many do not understand that this decision to save a few dollars can pose a safety hazard and lead to expensive vehicle repairs.
What Exactly Happens When a Tire Ages?
Before you can truly understand whether or not buying a used tire is wise, you need to take time to understand what happens when a tire ages. All tires age. The timeline in which it takes a tire to age, however, can vary. Road conditions, alignment issues, heat, and cold can all reduce the lifespan of your tires.
An aging tire can easily be compared to an old rubber band that is steadily losing its elasticity. As with the rubber band, tires will start to show cracks in the rubber when they expand and contract. These cracks, though they might not be visible, will continue to develop over time. They can start to form on the surface of your tire and the inside of the wall as well. As the cracks become worse, they will lead to the separation of tread belts from the rubber. This is what is referred to as a blowout when the separation occurs while the vehicle is in motion.
Buying New is the Best Option
All tires will succumb to age at some point. While some tires may be manufactured with a chemical compound called anti-ozinant, the aging process is not avoidable. Unfortunately, when consumers buy used tires from random tire companies, they have no way of knowing just how old the tires are. The salesmen may focus on the price, the tread depth, and the surface of the tire, but what you need to know is what effects time has taken on the rubber. After all, cracks that are caused by aging can be internal and not visible to the human eye. This is why it is best to know what you are buying and buy new when you need to replace your tires.
The Hidden but Real Dangers of Riding on Aging Tires
When you buy tires, you often need to price the cost of the tires, balancing, and mounting to pay for the entire replacement. Used tires often become very attractive because of all of the costs associated with tire replacement. But with a used tire, you never know what you are getting. A one-year-old tire, if poorly maintained, can be just as dangerous as a well maintained 10-year-old tire. Knowing the dangers will help you make a wise investment in the future. Here are just some of the many hidden dangers you might not know about:
Blowouts are the most common tire failures that are reported today on roadways because of tire aging. The main cause of blowouts is internal cracks in the rubber that cause the tread to separate from the steel inside of the tire. While some of these cracks may be visible, a majority of unsafe changes in the tires that can lead to a blowout cannot be seen with the naked eye. Both rotting and cracking, which are irreversible consequences of aging tires, can lead to blowouts.
Grip to the Ground
Another danger of riding on old tires is that you do not get the grip your vehicle needs to maintain control on the ground. Your tire is the only vehicle component that touches the surface of the road. Because of this, it is extremely important that your tires grip the ground so that you are safe when you are traveling at highway speeds, turning, or driving on slippery roads. Some used tires are sold with tread depths that will not provide the grip that you need to ensure you are safe in any driving conditions.
Abnormal tire wear can lead to serious and expensive vehicle damage. Not only does an old tire affect the alignment of a vehicle, it also affects how hard your engine must work. This means that you are using more fuel and putting your engine under more distress than necessary.
While it is tempting to ride on your old tires as long as possible, it is very important to have them replaced with new tires when they are beyond their expiration date. When you buy new tires, you have peace of mind in knowing that you are equipping your vehicle with original-equipment tires that have not even started to age.
Jennie is an automobile enthusiast and blogger living in the U.K. For tyres in Rochdale, she recommends visiting tyresonthedrive.com.