On multiple occasions I have been asked for a set of used tires. Understandably so, purchasing a set of used tires is tempting when you are on a tight budget.
Yet, they will cost you a lot more than new tires in the long run. Here are 3 reasons why:
1. "Usable" vs "total" tread depth
It is important to differentiate "usable" from "total" tread depth. Brand new tires typically come with a total of 10/32” tread depth, out of which on 8/32” is usable. Why? That’s simply because the minimum allowed tread depth on Canadian roads is 2/32”. When buying any tires, you should think in terms of usable tread depth – this is what you are paying for.
Let’s look at an imaginary used tire with 5/32” total tread depth left. Seems like it should have 50% tread left compared to a brand-new tire. And this is correct in terms of total tread depth (5 vs 10). However, in terms of usable tread depth, it only has 37.5% left (3 vs 8).
A “50% tread left” tire, should be called a "37.5% tread left" tire. Think in terms of usable tread depth, no total tread depth.
With used tires, you end up spending a lot more money on replacement services compared to new tires. In a lifespan of a new tire, one could have to replace 2 or even 3 used tires. Unlike rubber, mounting and balancing service costs the same both for used and new tires. Instead of spending $100 on installation services, you can expect to spend $200-$300 in the same time frame.
A used tire can appear in good condition after a visual inspection, but any internal damage is completely invisible. Unless the tires have been X-rayed, there is absolutely no way to ensure the steel cord is not compromised. There are multiple factors that could’ve caused cord weakening from tire overloading by the previous owner to damage when they were taken off. A potential blowout on the highway could cost you thousands of dollars.
While selling used tires is legal, and very lucrative, I don’t want to get into this business. I’ve always run my companies on the idea of “doing the right thing”. Making profit on used tires does not seem like the right thing to do.
At Kors Tire in Kelowna, we will stick to our goal of providing good quality tires at affordable rates by implementing various strategies that don’t compromise the quality of the tires.
Thank you for reading!